Words To Live By

by Monica on August 18, 2011


They carry far more power than we give them credit for.  Some words lose their meaning with use. Others become lost in translation. When life really throws a curve ball there are no words. There’s just a void to be filled.

 I’ve learned an incredible amount about words this past week: How to choose them wisely, how to force them to be said, how to listen better to the words of others.

So let’s start with a word I’ve been hearing a lot lately:


I just called mine off. The perfect, beautiful, fall, Maine wedding to my partner of almost eight years will not be happening in six weeks.

 Here’s another word:


Somewhere along the relationship track, I underestimated the power of this word. Marriage is (theoretically) forever. Or at least until death do us part. Which, for all we know, is the only forever there is. When I caught myself thinking, “If it doesn’t work out, we can always just get divorced” I should have seen the red flag. But I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to. Because of another word. The most loaded word of all:


To be clear, I didn’t call off the wedding because I didn’t love my fiancé.  I love him now and will continue to love him no matter what happens down the road. He’s always put me and our relationship ahead of everything else. He loves me.  But there is more to a marriage (another big word) than love. How each person gives and receives that love is of equal importance. Then, of course there’s the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Semantics matter.

Through this experience I’ve also learned a great deal about the importance of using my words, no matter how vulnerable they make me feel. Without going into too many details about our personal life, it’s safe to say that my fiancé and I were not communicating well prior to the decision to call off the wedding. There was no fighting or bickering. There was just an absence of expression.  The words we did use lacked transparency. Avoidance and acceptance (in the negative sense) clouded our discussions.

Speaking of words, I have many more I could say on the topic. But for right now, I’d like to let the dust of this week’s decision settle. I want to respect my relationship’s privacy and let it heal however it’s meant to.

With that, I’ll leave you with one parting word:


Courage to use your words when the time comes for them.

Because it will.

 And you’ll know, deep down, exactly what to say.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauree Ostrofsky August 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Thank you. This is beautiful. Simply, heartfelt, honest.

I wish I was there to hug you in person, but know that I am from over here.

Your words matter to me.


Monica McCarthy August 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thank you Lauree. I can feel the virtual hugs from over here:)


Brigitte August 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I’m struggling to find the words to respond. Let’s leave it at this. I’m honored to be able to call you my friend. Much love to you.


Monica McCarthy August 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Love to you back, lady!


sui solitaire August 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

wow. thank you for sharing.

you know, recently I let go of a long-term relationship myself. I found myself becoming more skeptical of marriage even though it was something we’d always talked about. I started questioning other couples and asking them how they knew they wanted to get married. after a while, I realized that I was asking others because I was no longer sure… and hadn’t been sure for a while, which I had been denying.

the scary thing about marriage is, for me… you can’t have any “what ifs.” it has to be 110% or it has a chance of failing. not that there’s anything wrong with trying and failing, but for something like marriage, I want to know it’s the right time/person/etc. instead of doing it half-heartedly and simply bailing via divorce.


Monica McCarthy August 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I’m sorry to hear about your recent relationship. I did the same thing in regards to asking other people about their relationships in order to find an answer. Best of luck to you.


Deanna August 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm

wow. just … wow.
My heart goes out to you and I hope you find the healing you need.


Monica McCarthy August 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Thanks Deanna! My partner and I both feel it was the right decision, so (fortunately) there’s more relief than sadness around here:)


Lauren August 18, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Wow – bravo to you lady for the courage to share this. It’s exactly what I needed to hear for a similar-ish situation in my life right now. It took a lot for you to write this…trust that your words are definitely helping others to not be afraid to share their words. Thank you for this!

And in the meantime, sending warm thoughts your way :) .


Monica McCarthy August 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Thank you so much Lauren. I’m wishing you all the courage you need for your situation right now. I’m here for you!


tiffany moore August 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Wow, Monica, I’m sending you so much love and support! You are beautiful and amazing and capable of so much. My word for you: trust.


Christa Avampato August 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Oh Monica,
I am so sorry to hear about the wedding. What a brave, courageous, and difficult decision that must have been. Let’s get tea, my friend.


Laura September 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Wow, Monica. Just wow. I applaud you courage and your ability to listen to yourself and do what you most need to do. Hang in there lady!


Monica McCarthy September 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Thanks so much Laura!


Fallon May 1, 2012 at 5:12 am

Thank you for this post. I am currently feeling this way about my wedding scheduled for September 1st. I am building up the courage to tell my fiance’. I’ve found myself having the same “If it doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced” thought. If I don’t have faith it will work out before it even happens….it probably won’t work out.

Just hoping I can keep building courage and take the steps I Need to take.


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