When It's Time to Leave a Relationship
Five women who were stuck in unfulfilling relationships share their wake-up moments.
Photo: Ann Cutting
Alexis Smith: "I wanted to believe him"
Alexis was a party girl studying fashion, and George was a shy art student when they met in college. "We were attracted to what the other had to offer," Alexis says. After years of dating, she married George, shortly after giving birth to their first son.
Alexis began to notice a change in her marriage once her husband opened an art gallery and started staying out late. George admitted to cheating on Alexis while she was pregnant with their third child.
George begged forgiveness, and Alexis, who was eight months pregnant, gave him another chance. They moved from Manhattan to a quaint country house. But, on the first Christmas Eve in their new home, Alexis discovered that George was in love with another woman and decided that it was time to leave him—for good.
George moved out, and Alexis was on her own. That's when she realized she'd been on her own for years. When George was once again ready to reconcile, Alexis had an epiphany: "If I go back now, I'll lose any self-respect I've mustered over the past months." She carried on building up her own clothing line and then, unexpectedly, fell in love. "I never thought I'd find love again. Or that someone would love me for me."
Next: One woman copes with her husband's kids from a previous marriage