The New Wifestyle Profiles | Ashley

By  |  20 Comments

it’s that time again for another ‘wifestyle profile’ and today is extra special and interesting. i present someone quite special…my sister-in-law! she’s a strong woman who got divorced just over a year ago and is being bold and sharing insight into her life.

read on and show her some love and support in the comments!


marriage blog wifestyle profile

Hello Wifestyle Readers!

I am honored to share my story and hope that someone (a lot of someones ) can walk away with some insight on marriage, divorce, and the happily ever after that can exist.

Phase one of my fairytale …

My childhood was pretty much taken directly out of a fairytale storybook: beyond loving parents, best friend as a sibling, home cooked meals almost every night, parents with whom I watched build many successful businesses together, house full of laughter, bike rides & walks to school in the morning, quality time with each parent, and countless vacations. Needless to say, I expected nothing less for myself as an adult; I thought I would marry my best friend and build my own house full of laughter and love one time and one time only. 

marriage blog wifestyle profile

James and I met on a summer night, in 2009, and spent almost every night thereafter together. We knew the evening we met that we enjoyed each other’s company and didn’t see that changing anytime soon. When we met, we were both successful professionals, dog owners, happy young adults – everything on paper matching up for a perfect score.

Once things publicized through an official Facebook announcement, I panicked. I ended our relationship abruptly. Within days, I had calmed down and stopped freaking out and luckily, James and I reconciled. Jump forward 6 months to an engagement, beautiful beach wedding, talks of children, dream home purchased! There we were: little ol’ newlywed suburbia couple….everything that’s supposed to make you perfectly happy, right?marriage blog wifestyle profile

Then POOF! What went wrong? How did what seemed to be a loving relationship turn into such a whirlwind “first marriage” romance? After a lot of internal analyzing, therapeutic wine induced evenings with close friends, and countless therapy sessions with my parents, I’ve come to a few conclusions.

Living with someone gives you the insight to see them for who they are. You get to see moments from what they must have been like in their childhood, their quirky habits, and their annoyances. As they say: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You have much more of an idea of who that person really is. Whether you choose to see that, I mean truly see that, or not, is your choice. When someone shows you who they are, who they truly are, believe them! As for myself, I don’t think I believed it. I don’t think I ever asked any real, tough questions. I thought “I love this person. He’s a good man, provider, and he makes me laugh. And that’s enough.” Unfortunately, for me…for us, it was not enough in the end. I felt like the things that mattered to me in a relationship (love, stability, compassion, sense of humor) would mean as much to me as they did to him. They didn’t.

I grew up in a house where communication mattered – although not always in perfect harmony; it mattered. Communication was part of our lifestyle and was engrained in us. Had James and I talked, listened, asked each other the tough questions, communicated, known each other for who we really were, I may not be writing this article. Heck, we may have never married, but you get so caught up, so excited, so “this is it!” moment of a feeling that sometimes you don’t stop and ask yourself AND your partner the hard questions. These are the real questions, the most intimate, terrifying questions you should know the answers to long before you marry.

I recently moved to a new city, Dallas, which means a whole plethora of new experiences. My new city dentist trip exposed something kind of comical, as I was filling out my new patient form there were 3 little boxes:

  • Single
  • Divorced
  • Married

I had a “huh” feeling for a quick moment. Why would they need to know if I was divorced? Would that help them clean my teeth better, in a more cost efficient way? I still don’t really know what purpose that serves. However, it got me thinking. Divorce does not always mean a failure. Sometimes it’s a sign of growth and a sign of re-growth. A sign you can write your own fairytale, your own story, no matter how many bumps you’ve had. You control it! You get to decide what direction you want to go or not go. Make it count. Make it matter. Don’t make the same mistake twice, and ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS!

Phase two of my fairytale

Fast forward to my life now, 30 something, young adult in Uptown Dallas, living out my dream job, enjoying doggie dates with my two sweet babies, Bentley & Leah Bell, finding new friendships, and exploring this wonderful city.

marriage blog wifestyle profile

So here I am, writing phase two of my fairytale, and I hope you’ve realized after reading my story that above and beyond anything else you and only you hold the power. You check your own box. Now would be a perfect time for me to say something generic and cheesy like “life goes on,” or “everything happens for a reason,” but instead I’d rather share something someone recently told me which resonated deeply with me:

“ You are capable and worthy of giving love, and more importantly, you are capable and worthy of RECEIVING love”

Think about that…receiving love. As strong, sometimes stubborn, alpha females, we sometimes give love easily but are hesitant to let it in, to receive it ourselves. Let love in. Ask the tough questions. Receive the tough answers. Don’t doubt yourself, and better yet, don’t doubt your partner. Don’t make the same mistake twice, and most of all, remember you control your fairytale. You control what love you give and receive. Make it a great fairytale, no matter what phase you are in!


Ashley Avery
(single, divorced and happy)

1) Did you live with your spouse before you got married?
2) What are some tough questions you and your spouse asked each other before/after marriage?


  1. Pebby Garner

    October 15, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I have been married and divorced TWICE!! The first marriage ended when he walked out on me and our children (after 11 years of marriage). The second marriage ended before it really started. I did ignore the signs of some very big problems but I thought that it would get better. We did live together first as well. So, I agree with you in regards to the tough questions to ask and listen and DON’T COMPROMISE!!! I did in my second marriage and it made it tough for me and my children.

    I too, struggle with receiving love…I can give it out but for me to receive it back is difficult. I need to remember that I am worthy of receiving love.

    • Ashey Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Pebby! Thank you so much for taking the time to read on my story. I couldn’t agree with you more on not compromising! Even if it means staying single for a while 😉 Wishing you lots of love in your future, receiving and giving, of course! 🙂

  2. Amanda

    October 15, 2014 at 8:22 am

    So interesting! I’m actually kind of fascinated by the stories behind divorces.
    My husband and I purposely decided to live together for years before marriage. One reason was to save money since paying two separate rents was taking a toll on both of our bank accounts, but also because we wanted to make sure we could handle daily life together. It was really important to us to “try it out” so to speak, and I’m SO glad we did. Thankfully, we had no problem at all living together, but I do know that for some couples, the shock of combining daily lives is too much to overcome. My family had a big problem with us “living in sin,” but I chose to not listen to them. Eventually they got over it, and I’m glad that we did what we knew was best for us. It also gave us the chance to have those late-night deep discussions. I do believe that some marriages can be successful without living together or knowing much at first, but I think if both parties are open to it, it definitely helps.
    Amanda recently posted…The Best Cat Memes

    • Jen

      October 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

      We lived together for a year before getting married as well and as heavily as the family guilt/”living in sin” weighed on my mind, it was one of the best decisions we could have made. We have definitely had our share of fights in the time that we’ve lived together, but I truly believe it was absolutely necessary to get those arguments out of the way, instead of running into them after the wedding. I know we will continue to face our share of challenges like any couple, married or not, but I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way in the way we approached it. Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

    • Ashley Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Amen, Amanda!Thanks for sharing such a big part of you and your husbands journey together, so glad to hear it worked out, and kuddos for moving forward with what you both felt would work for y’all, not everyone has the courage to do that!

  3. Mindy Mahoney

    October 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Ashley – thanks so much for sharing your heartfelt story so honestly. I agree that strong, independent woman can struggle to find a worthy partner. I have checked all three boxes in my life and am thrilled to have found my life partner the second time around. I know you will write an incredible fairy tale of your own!

    • Ashley Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you thank you, Mindy! It’s people like you that give me hope 🙂

  4. Jennifer Haston

    October 15, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Hi Ashley! Great post!

    1) Did you live with your spouse before you got married? Yes we did.
    2) What are some tough questions you and your spouse asked each other before/after marriage? we talked about how we would handle having kids if we wanted them and the timeline. We discussed money and combining it and worked on a budget together. One of the hardest questions we discussed was money but we really see eye to eye on it now.
    Jennifer Haston recently posted…Baby Steps, young grasshopper, they will lead you to GOLD!

    • Ashley Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer! Great questions to ask one another, those are BIG ones in a marriage! Glad to hear you guys see eye to eye now 🙂

  5. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    October 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

    This is an awesome post- thanks for sharing, Ashley! I’m living with my boyfriend right now and I am really happy that we decided to do that. It really is an eye-opening experience living with someone that you would not get otherwise! I can’t imagine getting married without living with someone first– just my personal preference. And thankfully, compared to the commenters above, both of our families were surprisingly fine with it! I was shocked, haha 🙂
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…Mouse in the house

    • Ashley Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      That’s great to hear, Ashley! Wish you guys good luck and lots of love!

  6. Christina

    October 15, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of yourself with us, Ashley! I think there’s still a lot of unspoken judgement toward people who get divorced. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting a divorce. It means having the strength to recognize that things the relationship aren’t working–and that’s ok.

    Ultimately, marriage is a social construct that permeates throughout many aspects of society. People are told that it’s the right thing to do and that it’s something we should aspire to have. Committing your life and love to a single person is a beautiful thing but I don’t think it’s necessary to live a fully satisfying life.

    1.We lived together for a little less than a year. We were engaged before moving in together. I think it’s extremely important to live with someone before you get married. As you mentioned, Ashley, there are so many little habits and behaviors you observe about someone when you live together. There are a lot of reasons mine and my husband’s first year of living together was difficult. One of the most significant challenges we faced was learning how to cohabitate–learning how to combine our habits, both the good and the bad, to create a happy and balance home life.

    2. Before moving in together/getting married we discussed our short and long term goals as individuals as well as expectations of our relationship moving forward. The result of these conversations was compromise on both our parts. When you choose to make a long-term commitment to someone you realize that compromise is a natural part of a healthy relationship. Talking these things through also helped me realize the importance of support and patience in a long-term commitment.

    P.s. Your dogs are adorable!
    Christina recently posted…Fashion Throwback [Woman in a Romper]

    • Ashley Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Wow! Thank YOU, Christina! Great feedback! You said it all perfectly! And thank you for the dog comments, as you can imagine they are spoiled beyond belief 🙂

  7. Kathy Avery

    October 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I remember dreaming as a little girl that I always wanted to be a Mom… Well dreams do come true, as I read the beautiful article my daughter wrote, it made me feel so proud and honored to call her MY baby girl, or should I say woman. My heart is so full and I feel so very blessed to have such an amazing family.

  8. jenn

    October 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Well girlie ive always thought you are AWESOME. And now you’re just even more AWESOME 🙂 I think you are dead on about us not letting love in. I think honestly that’s where Eric and I will have alot of issues because I don’t let him love me the way I should

    • Ashley Avery

      October 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Jennnnnnn! You are so sweet!! Thank you so so much for saying that! And let that man love you! LOL 🙂

  9. Rachel G

    October 16, 2014 at 3:22 am

    I’m really glad that you published this perspective on marriage as well. The line, “When someone shows you who they are, who they truly are, believe them!” was very key for me–I think a lot of people who are “in love” lie to themselves about who they are in love with, or else just believe that the person they love is a different sort of person altogether, and that only leads to problems.

    Question 1: We didn’t live together before marriage. We’re both Christians, our faith is very important to us, and waiting till we were married before sleeping together was very important to us as well. Also, with my little feminist streak, I like the fact that marriage gives me more legal rights that just “girlfriendhood”, and I really wanted the legal rights marriage gives me before acting like a wife without the legal status. We did, however, get married two weeks after Angel finally moved to Michigan and started a new job because we very much wanted to live together.

    2. We asked all the hard questions. Seriously. My parents actually emailed Angel a list of 75 tough questions that they thought should be talked about pre-marriage, and over hours and hours of mostly on the phone conversations (Texas and Michigan aren’t that close) we asked each other all those questions, about the past, present, and future: relationships, family values, kids, money, debt, what was most important. My parents even included the kinds of questions that most people scoff at asking someone they love: “Are you in debt?” “Do you have a criminal record?” I do believe you really need to KNOW someone to marry them, and if you’re not going to live together, endless phone conversations can work well for some of us.

    I think what really got us hooked on each other was when we found out, through those conversations, that in spite of being, from outward statistics, as different as we could possibly be–everything that was most important to us was the same, and we were so shocked to find out that someone else existed who thought the way we did.
    Rachel G recently posted…It Runs in the Family

  10. Ashley Avery

    October 16, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Rachel, what a great point of view! Refreshing to hear! I would love to get my hands on that list of questions your parents asked…. you could write a book with those I’m sure! Thank you again for sharing!

  11. Amanda Wood

    October 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    What a wonderful way to look at your story. It makes my heart happy to know that instead of wallowing in your divorce and staying in a dark place about it, you’ve chosen to let it make you stronger. To let it teach you things about yourself and what you expect and want and need from a relationship. Amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    I did live with my husband before we married. And I am so glad I had done so in the past. Premarital cohabitation has saved me from making more than one mistake in my love life.
    I actually wrote about this today!
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Premarital Cohabitation: A Snippet of my Research Paper

  12. Paula Howley

    October 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Divorce IS hard, and even though I’ve done it myself, it’s hard not to fall into the trap of being hard on ourselves because of it. Did that sound hard enough? lol I hope you find what you’re looking for Ashley!
    1. husband 1 and I lived together first but we were both idiots so it didn’t count.
    husband 2 and I lived together right away so I was still pretty idiotic. I moved out to find myself and glad I did so we moved back in together for a year before marrying. I have mixed feelings about it all.
    2. We had to. we went to counselling first because we had so much baggage, it took us years to unpack. in fact, I’m still finding stuff.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Head Start Public Speaking For Kids Gibsons Class 2 Recap! Choosing a Topic