The Day I Knew My Marriage Was Over


I was divorced from my first husband (and my children’s father) for seven (7) years before I met and married my second husband. I worked long and hard on myself during my single days. I worked hard to ensure my kids were balanced and all was well. After all, divorce was new to me. My second husband had never been married and didn’t have kids; although he came from a huge family. I initially thought this was a win-win… we would just need to integrate one person into our family. If it was only that easy!

Fast forward a year into our marriage… I was about to fly home from a week long business trip where I had just received a call from my doctor asking, ‘how quickly can you get here? We have your biopsy results and the doctor would like to talk with you.’ It was a LONG 5 hour flight home. I told my husband about the call and he knew my deepest fears were probably true. He knew how hard of a flight this would be and how worried I was.

When he (and the kids) picked me up from the airport that night, all he could do was complain to me about how my son threw pebbles from our front yard from one side of the yard to the other side of the yard and some pebbles were left on the walkway. He went on and on about how frustrating this was.  I’m thinking…okay, I just told you I may have cancer and all you care about are the stupid pebbles!?! It gets better…

The next day, I called my husband after going to the doctor to confirm that yes, it was cancer, and here’s when surgery was scheduled (so he could take that day off). His response was that he wasn’t sure whether he could take the day off because he was really busy. He scanned documents into a system for a legal firm. He was an employee in good standing. It wasn’t brain surgery. I didn’t understand the problem with taking a day off for your wife’s cancer surgery! He immediately realized he said something seriously wrong. That was the beginning of the end.

Through his actions (there were a few other issues as well), he told me that I didn’t matter. I wasn’t a priority. His actions told me that he tolerated my kids. This was unacceptable. I expected him to grow to love my kids and be there for me no matter what. Neither happened. We went to counseling. Nothing changed.

That day, I realized that we deserved better. He was not there for surgery. He wasn’t there for future doctors appointments. He wasn’t there for my recovery. He wasn’t present emotionally for me. There was simply no way I was willing to be treated this way. I knew and believed I deserved better. The kids deserved better. Everything fell apart that day… and I am SO grateful that it did.

Had everything not happened the way it did, I may have spent more years with a man that wouldn’t really, truly be there for me – for better or worse. While it sucks that I’ve had TWO failed marriages, I wasn’t going to settle. We never know what life brings. I am thankful for my experiences with both of my marriages. Through this, I am ready and open to receiving all that is good in my relationships!


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Tandy Elisala

Family Caregiver Coach, Cancer Empowerment Advocate and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness | Empowered Family Caregiver
Tandy Elisala is passionate about helping family caregivers go from being overwhelmed and stressed to empowered and calm. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. Tandy left her corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously while raising three kids as a single mom. She took care of both parents for 2 1/2 years until their respective deaths. Tandy now teaches what she learned on her journey. Tandy is a family caregiver coach, a multiple best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mom to three adult kids, one angel dog and one diva cat.

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