Hello Gorgeous! Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish Honeys out there reading this. Mr. Stepford really got it right for this year’s 8-Night Festival of Lights.
As my gift to you, I’m sharing the much-anticipated follow up to Part I of my 5-part How to Become a Stepford Wife series.
One of my mentors once said, “There are years that ask questions, and there are years that answer them.”
2017 definitely answered–and showed me who and what I had to let go of. Contrary to popular belief, living the Trophy Life of a Stepford Wife (or Stepford Courtesan) is never easy, and letting go of the people, places, things, and ideals we have loved never gets easier.
This post is the most personal I’ve ever shared, as I tend to be a private person. But, after a series of synchronicities I’ve decided to come out of the social media closet this year and share a little more.
It became clear last December that most of the people in my life were incapable of being loving, caring, and supportive when I needed them the most. These were my Besties since high school, my family-of-origin, and in-laws!
With a heavy heart, I began to evaluate them from my objective coaching lens: What had they done for me lately? What value were these people adding to my life? Were they treating me the way I wished to be treated? Were they treating me the way I treated them?
It occurred to me that the ‘safety’ of these relationships was contingent upon me being ‘okay’ or happy lest my distress make others uncomfortable. These were people whom I had loaned money, allowed to live in my home when they had none, and literally given DOZENS of free coaching sessions when their lives had fallen apart. I realized they had disregarded how far we had come together, and did not value the cost of my generosity. When it came time to reciprocate, they could not and would not do it.
I knew I had tough decisions to make, so I stopped speaking to ALL of them. I decided to spend the next 365 days in my own private emotional space, and checked the hell out.
Here is what I learned during my year of silence:
1. Being a Stepford Wife can be lonely sometimes. Since we relocated, Mr. Stepford has worked tirelessly with little time for vacations. This meant attending luncheon, shopping, or spa-going solo. I am wise enough to enjoy my own company, and have reveled in the quiet moments alone to reflect on my goals, ideas, projects, and plans. I would have loved to have had my former Besties by my side enjoying Swedish massages, Japanese mani/pedis, and delicious gourmet meals, but it was not possible.
As a Stepford Wife, it is essential to remember that you may not always have an entourage of lovelies by your side; many women have to work full-time to earn a living, and do not share the luxury of a husband who provides them support, free time, energy, and disposable income. This level of luxury requires a great deal of mental toughness, emotional strength, and self-discipline. Do not allow yourself to fall prey to toxic coping mechanisms such as self-medicating with shopping or using substances. Instead, go within, and discover who you are and what you are TRULY made of. Rediscover your purpose for what you are on this Earth do do.
2. Having it ALL also means having a lot of responsibility. There were so many times I preferred jet-setting, shopping, or focusing on my business or myself, but Mr. Stepford needed my support . He has been incredibly gracious and generous, so it is a labor of love to selflessly serve him in any way that I can. Sometimes the responsibilities I had placed upon me felt like they would break me. Running a household, a home-based business, being emotionally supportive, and mediating extended family drama came at a huge price. I would be dishonest if I said that there were not many moments where I felt like revving up the Benz and leaving it in my rear view. I learned that maintaining balance and self-care are pivotal to mind-body-spirit health, and are hallmarks of a true Stepford Wife living the Trophy Life.
Being a Stepford Wife is about more than just living a life of leisure and lounging around in designer clothing waiting to be pampered, paid, and placated. Honeys, its also about rolling up your sleeves and giving back to your community, being a role model to those who aspire to live like you, and most of all, being your significant other’s confidant, companion, and best friend–whether you feel crazy in love or not.
3. Being a Stepford Wife is wonderful, but at the end of the day, you will ALWAYS need support. Support is everything, Honeys! We are only as good as our support systems. If you find yourself in emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, or any other kind of distress, its time to seek support. Be a gem and identify 2 to 3 responsible, reliable people whom you can call upon BEFORE you need them. Keep an open dialogue with one another about what is going on. Beware of those who always listen but never share with you in return. Life is about reciprocity–give yourself the gift of supportive give and take (Stay tuned for Part III).
4. Guard your family, relationship, and lifestyle like the National Treasure it is–because it is all you’ve got. Lovelies, I wish I could say that everyone wants to live this way and is happy for you, but it is just not so. There are SO many angry, hateful, bitter women (and men!) in this world who despise Stepford Wives and similar women (i.e. Kept Women, Courtesans, Sugar Babies, etc.) They do not recognize the priceless diamonds we are to our communities, and/or the men we love and live with. Many of them feel that we should be shut down, harmed, and shut out.
For this reason, it is more important now than ever to protect yourselves. Learn to move in silence with regards to your achievements, goals, and aspirations. The evil eye and evil tongue (lashon hara , for my Jewish Honeys) are REAL, and can do serious damage to you and yours. This is why it is so essential to have an established support system that includes some sort of spiritual protections (I will talk more of this in Part III). Don’t be the lady who doth protest too much–live your best life and be quietly content knowing you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Tumblr, Instagram, Snap Chat and other social media audiences do not necessarily deserve to know what you are up to.
5. Your significant other will inevitably disappoint you and let you down, and you will do the same to him. Your in-laws/friends/family may not be supportive or caring when it happens. I wish someone would have sat me down and explained this in explicit detail to me. I won’t get too specific here (I save that for the wonderful women whom I coach), but I will say that everyone screws up, fails or misses their mark at some point.
I only wish I’d known that when my husband inevitably proved just how human he is that I would be left to pick up the shattered pieces ALONE. Suddenly I found myself without support, guidance, or any idea of what to do next. When I sought support and guidance from my in-laws and family of origin (another story for another day), I was met with dismissal (my mother-in-law remarked, “My son is PERFECT!”), disdain (my salty adopted sister laughed, ”Boo-hoo, poor little princess finally got a reality check.”), and blatant apathy (a monotone former BFF who lived in NYC with me rent-free lamented, ”Oh, wow, sorry to hear that”, before casually changing the subject.)
Heartbroken doesn’t even describe it, I knew then it was time to let them go.
6. When #5 happens, seek help and support from qualified, paid professionals and friends who RECIPROCATE. If you ever want to know who your TRUE friends, family, and confidants are, go through a crisis. You will inevitably see many of the people you love disappear, turn their backs, and turn their up noses in disdain. 2017 was a year of many losses for Mr. Stepford and Me. And when those losses occurred, we were left to figure it out by ourselves. At times, he could not bear the weight of these troubles, and was not as present as he could have or should have been.
When this happened, I had to devise my own master plan to restore my life, marriage, and household to solid ground. I am so thankful for my education, training, mentors, coaches, and TRUE friends. They did not shy away from life’s troubles, heartaches and pains. My friends have cried with me and for me, and have been unflinching in their willingness to share and let me be there for them too. This all became possible because I was willing to let go of fake friends who were not strong enough to be transparent about their fears, flaws, and not-so-fabulous shortcomings. In letting them go, I understood this was why they could not allow me to be transparent about mine.
7. Surround yourself with other people who are living similar (or identical) lifestyles and reflect your ethics, standards, and values. Its easier and more efficient to maintain a support network of a handful of your own tribe members than to swim upstream with a team of others. In them you will discover unmatched levels of openness and honesty.
Once I cut the dead weight from my life, it became second nature to identify friendships and relationships with others with similar goals. When I reach out to them, they reach back. I find myself enjoying my life of leisure with like-minded women, who know that they (and I) deserve the best of everything. Most of all, they don’t settle until they have everything they desire and insist upon the same for me! They open up about their challenges as Stepford Wives in honest and candid ways. There is no need to maintain a facade of perfection.
This is how I know I have found my tribe, don’t give up until you find yours, Honeys!
8. When life inevitably places you in hot water, take a deep breath and allow yourself to be transformed, and take copious notes of the lessons you are learning. Frankly, I have been through hell this year!
2017 kicked my tail to the moon and back, but baby, look me over!
When I found myself in hot water (for about 365 days in a row), I did what any Stepford beauty in a sauna or hot tub would: detoxify. This was excruciating, yet rewarding. Each step of the way I noted on the who, what, when, where, why, and how of it all. I saw the patterns in the fair-weather friendships and damaged beyond repair family liaisons and was finally able to pinpoint the roots of my distress. Most importantly, I identified the areas in which I needed to grow and change.
I saw it was past time to cease contact with all of the frenemies and non-reciprocaters. I was long overdue to hang up on bitter, hateful, passive-aggressive conniving “family”. And it was time for me to tell Mr. Stepford to shape up, or ship out and make room for a better man.
So I took a deep cleansing breath, channeled my courage and DID THAT ISH!
In those moments of boldness, I reclaimed my voice and my self-esteem. I am no longer willing to make excuses for other people’s bad behaviors, unkind words, and apathetic attitudes. I took it further and made it clear that moving on I WILL call them out, publicly if need be because I would not suffer them in silence. Anyone who could not get with the program has been dismissed and wished the best that life has to offer.
Since then, I have wiped the slate clean, and am surrounded by a small circle of true, reliable, and caring friends and family of CHOICE whom I know share my love, respect, and trust.
9. Never be afraid to let go or walk away, give yourself permission to move on. Knowing when something is over is a beautiful gift and insight. I still work to know when to say when–it is truly an art. Few of us ever get the luxury of happy endings, but they do exist. My favorite happy endings have always been the result of me being honest (first with myself and then with others) that something has run its course or served its purpose. I am not sure what 2018 will bring, but I know that it is already gearing up to be an amazing year, because I learned the Art of Letting Go.
I will close with this quote from the series Mad Men, compliments of Stepford Wife extraordinaire Mrs. Betty Draper: “I don’t want you to think I’m a quitter. I’ve fought for plenty in my life. That’s how I know when its over. Its not a weakness. Its been a gift for me. To know when to move on.”
^Self-portrait of me promoting my AMA Page!
Whether you are seeking mentorship for your relationships, career, or life goals, I am here to help! As an expert women’s relationship coach, I specialize in RESULTS.
Success is in the hands of women who are consistently persistent. Don’t let 2017′s circumstances and setbacks carry you any further off track, lets get together and strategize how to use them for your next come back! Success, prosperity, health, and happiness are YOUR BIRTHRIGHT.
Don’t stop until you get it ALL, Honeys. GET.IT.ALL.
In the coming year, be the sensual, intelligent, savvy Swan you truly are! Love you bunches.
Note: All photos are owned by the rightful owners unless where otherwise noted.