Saturday, May 25, 2013 8:45 AM
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Taylor. While going through her own divorce, local author and lawyer Cheryl Taylor wrote a book she hopes helps women contemplating ending their marriage.
Published on: Thursday, March 21, 2013
By Alexis A. Goring
Not many books exist that help a woman answer the question, “Do I stay in this marriage?” But now, thanks to local author Cheryl Taylor, there is what she describes as “an invaluable resource for women everywhere” to equip them with the tools they need to make the best decision.
“‘Do I Stay in this Marriage?’ guides the reader towards a point where she can accept that she made the best decision possible at the time,” Taylor said. “Making a decision regarding a relationship is empowering and healing because it lessens the amount of guilt and resentment that is inevitable when a key relationship ends.
“The best part about this book is that it was written in real time — as I was going through the separation/divorce process. Not to mention that I am a lawyer who has counseled hundreds of women facing divorce-related issues.”
Having grown up in the small town of Media, Pa., Taylor moved to the D.C. metropolitan area to attend Howard University. She later worked for University of Maryland, College Park before working for the government. Everything in Taylor’s life was moving along exactly as she wanted until she decided to get a divorce from her husband.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Taylor. "Do I Stay in this Marriage? Smart Tools for Evaluating Your Relationship Right Now" by Cheryl Elizabeth Taylor.
“I was married for 14 years,” she said. “About year 10 I realized that we were having the same conflicts and they weren’t being resolved, and then it occurred to me that the conflicts we were having could not be resolved because they are based on who we are.”
Taylor said she reached the point of realization that “this is it.”
“This person is not going to change. I am not going to change who I am on a fundamental level. We are who we are,” she said. “And I had to make some choices.”
Although Taylor was not religious, she said her relationship with God has become “so much deeper and personal” since her divorce. “Divorce brought me to my knees,” she said.
“In this society marriage is a status. … Being married is a preferred thing in America as opposed to being single in many circles,” Taylor said. “So being single, I had one income, not two. A lot of things changed for me, and I was able to access myself for the first time to discover who I was and also to allow God in. And it was nothing but the love of God that saved me through all of this period.”
Taylor hopes her book will be a beacon of light for women whose marriage is on the rocks, letting them know that they are “not alone” in their struggle.
“A lot of times regarding relationships, we don’t always know the consequences, and that’s what makes this book unique,” Taylor said. “Because one, it talks about how to make the decision. Then it talks about if you decide to stay or if you decide to go what you need to expect.”
Taylor also wants women to know that any decision or change begins with them.
“If we can look at what role we’re playing in the success or demise of our relationship, we can make decisions about the relationship for ourselves and our family,” she said.
Taylor noted that her primary focus through the divorce was the welfare of her children. The civility she and her ex-husband reached during and after the divorce has had a positive impact on their kids.
Writing a book when you have a full-time career and two teenage children can be a challenge, but Taylor proceeded undaunted, taking time on the weekend and mornings to pen the book.
After two years, her manuscript was complete. But, the publishing process was not the traditional route.
“I know how difficult it can be to get a book, especially by a new author, in a book store or even to get the book published, but this message was so important to me and so personal that I self-published it,” she said. “I spent my money and a month after the book was finished.”
Writing from the heart is what Taylor, who is not a formally trained writer, has done and she hopes her readers will be healed by her words.
“The purpose of my writing, I’ve discovered is, I want to heal as many people as I can with my words,” she said. “I want my words to help people solve problems, and I want my words to help make people’s lives better. So my dream for the future would be to reach as many people as I can and to help heal them. We, as a society, are in a lot of pain for a number of different reasons. I would like to use my experience and my knowledge and my work in particular to help heal some of what ails us as a society.”