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Together, We’re Stronger and Natalie Jeanne Designs

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I came across an article a few weeks ago written by an anonymous military spouse. She wanted to tell her story anonymously because hers is an uncommon one and she didn’t want the embarrassment and public ridicule that often attaches itself to essays written for the masses.

Her husband cheated on her. With four different women. While he was deployed or on TDY. After years of therapy, she and her husband are still married and claim their marriage is better than ever.

What struck me wasn’t the fact that she’s still married to the man who caused her a great deal of emotional turmoil – the man who was supposed to be her 2nd, her co-pilot in life. What struck me was the hateful comments in response to her very moving and hopeful essay to a community familiar with physical distance. Many women threw word stones at her, not believing how she could possibly still be married after his infidelity.

You can read her article here entitled My Husband Cheated, and Our Marriage is Better Than Ever.

Comment after comment you find responses such as, “Personally, I think anyone that stays after all that is a fool.” And, “This is stupid. An affair is an affair whether it's military related or not. He cheated and you should have kicked his sorry butt out the first time.” My personal favorite comment was, “This article threw the women's movement back into the dark ages, disgusting.”

Personally, I feel the current women’s movement is one of togetherness. It’s about lifting each other up. Encouraging one another. Even in the face of opposition and misunderstanding. That article isn’t suppressing. The hurtful comments are.

What are we doing to one another? Why do we think it’s ok to verbally bash other women? Why can’t we cheer on one of our own even if it’s probably not the action we would have taken?

I love Sheryl Sandburg’s perspective on how ruthless women can be toward other women in her final chapter of Lean In because she’s so truthful. I especially agree that women often look around the room and… view one another as competition. Why do we try to be Queen Bee? And why the hell are women mostly spiteful to other women?

Ok, so in an online forum, people love a cat-fight from time to time. I’m certainly guilty of pulling up a chair with a bowl of popcorn to catch the show. But if you’re on the receiving end – online or in person - it sure is isolating. As military spouses we already get enough isolation by living far away from our families – living away from our friends and the communities we grew up in and deeply miss - and our spouses when they’re deployed. We feel isolated all the time.

Isn’t it time we stop out-doing, out-dressing, out-talking, out-everything to our sisters and start standing together for strength? So she does something you disagree with. It’s not your life. Lift her up anyway. Got a lady-friend who has special quirks or is interviewing for a job you want? Why be spiteful and manipulative? Smile and encourage her. We're all humans after all, and time doesn't move backwards.

The anonymous writer – together with her husband – were able to save their marriage. Anyone who has saved a marriage, or anyone who has had to heal deep, emotional trauma, knows how much work goes into that. Let’s celebrate the good. Happy dance!

I'll leave with this final thought from My Husband Cheated, and Our Marriage is Better Than Ever, "When we share our stories, we give other people tools to help themselves and strength to write their own stories. Sharing them does not mean that that is the only way to do things. It's just sharing. What people decide to take from it, or do with it, tells them more about themselves than the person whose story it began as."


I’m very happy to be encouraging my new friend Natalie Hilbert from Natalie Jeanne Designs. She has many adorable accessories in her Etsy shop such as these dazzling, grey earrings.

Stocking Stuffer Idea (6 of 6)
Love these glam earrings
Love these glam earrings-2
No bigger than a penny, these sparkly faux druzy studs are the finishing touch for my holiday party wardrobe. I even wore them to a football tailgate party after Thanksgiving to jazz up my sporty digs.

I have very sensitive ears, although, these earrings didn’t bother them at all – even after a full day or wear. They’re also lightweight and arrive with two different backs – a friction back (the binocular looking little guys), and a clear rubber bullet plug.

I adore that these look expensive, like something out of a New York & Co. holiday guide magazine, but are super affordable. Natalie’s earrings range from $4.50 – $8.00 per set.

Here are some of my favorites from her shop. Those anchors! I die. And those pink and mint drop earrings? They remind me of an 80’s stripy swim suit I wore probably every day in the summer of 2000.

Earrings starting at 5.00
This holiday season, please join me in supporting small businesses such as Natalie Jeanne Designs to do your shopping. Now you can get anything in Natalie’s store for 20% off right now with a Patricia’s Daughter exclusive discount. Head on over to her shop to scope out the many adorable accessories she hand-crafts. To get the deal, enter the discount code “ERINB20” at checkout.


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