Back in November, Ashley Martson and Jay Smith finalized their divorce after nearly a year of on-again, off-again drama.
Their marriage was toxic.
Jay didn't simply go back to cheating every time that they reconciled -- it appears that he never stopped.
To say that Ashley had a difficult year would be an understatement.
Now, she has posted a tearful selfie to Instagram alongside a lengthy, emotional caption.
Fans are worried about how she's doing, and our hearts go out to her as she tries to process the humiliation and pain that 2019 visited upon her.
We hope that Ashley will be okay.
Poor Ashley ...
Ashley Martson can be a polarizing figure within the 90 Day Fiance fandom, but even her harshest critics were alarmed by her tearful selfie shared over the holiday weekend. The week before the New Year is a time of reflection, and Ashley has had one hell of a year.
She's getting real
"This is as raw and real as I can be. I’m fighting the tears just typing this," Ashley confesses. "This year has been tough."
Here's the context of the photo
"This photo was taken accidentally the night of my birthday party in New York City. We had just split and I filed for divorce for the second time," Ashley clarifies. This would be right at the beginning of May.
It was not a "happy" birthday
"The tabloids attacked me at my events all week about my failed marriage," Ashley reveals. That's heartbreaking -- even before Jay crashed the event. "He showed up to my party, unannounced."
No, she didn't kick him out
"We were civil and had an appearance the next day so it was okay," Ashley writes. "He said Happy Birthday. He had drinks and hung out with his friends." Honestly, few of us would be so polite to a recent ex, and a part of us wishes that Ashley had not been, either.
The tears came after
"As I walked out the door and got in the Uber with @ritzy_rina I just lost it," Ashley shares, speaking of her friend, Carina Passalacqua. "The tears came pouring out."
Why was she crying?
"It was the moment I knew... I knew I failed," Ashley assesses. "I failed my marriage, myself, my children. My heart was broken into a million pieces and the walls completely caved in around me." (Side note: in no universe is the party who was repeatedly cheated on the one who "failed" the marriage -- not in this case, anyway)
She lost it
"Everything I kept bottled in poured out of my eyes in the back of this Uber," Ashley shares. "My best friend, who is a true best friend, didn’t even ask. She just began crying as well."
Ashley unleashed a torrent
"She saw me hurt for so long and try and act like I was okay even though she knew I wasn’t okay," she expains. "She felt my pain and we both just cried. The whole ride to our hotel."
Emotional pain hurts
"I never felt a hurt like this in my life. Ever," Ashley confesses. Some fans may be surprised that she would say this, given that she was horrifically kidnapped over a decade ago, but emotional pain in which you (mistakenly) blame yourself is no joke.
This isn't a Jay-bashing post
"I’m not blaming all this on him," Ashley makes extremely clear. "That’s not why I’m posting this."
This is why she's sharing
"I just want men and women to both know it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to cry it out. It’s okay to not be strong all the time. It’s okay to fail," Ashley expresses.
Healing is a lengthy process
"Whats not okay is to let it destroy you," Ashley adds. "You can, and you will, get back up and begin to pick up the pieces."
The pain lingers
"To this day I still hurt," Ashley acknowledges. She then scares the bejesus out of fans by writing: "I still love him."
Ashley may have admitted to still loving Jay on some level, but writes: "I just have come to terms with the fact it’s over and I’m gonna be okay."
Here's her core message
"So all of you who are struggling please know these feelings are temporary and you will get back to yourself," Ashley promises. "Time truly does heal wounds."
It's really over
"There is no more Ashley and Jay," she affirms. Fans pray that it is so.
She doesn't want to bring it up again
"I’m leaving this post with the final time I speak on us or our marriage," she expresses. We'll understand if circumstances force Ashley to bring it up again, however. Sometimes, you have to talk about your ex, especially when you are famous.
She's ready for a fresh start
"It’s about to be a new year and I’m ready to start a new chapter and not look back," Ashley states optimistically.
She thanks both fans and friends
"Thank you for all your support through this hard time," Ashley concludes, "and a special thank you to @xdestiny_lynnx @ritzy_rina @dolceaestheticsny and @michellee_727 you guys are amazing and I can’t imagine fighting this battle without you."
You know what's interesting?
This tearful selfie and an entire car ride of sobbing with her best friend was not the end of her story, as we know.
She and Jay reconciled
Jay spent almost all of July in ICE custody before his boss generously paid his bail. But after Jay split with his then-girlfriend, fans -- and that ex -- were immediately worried that Jay and Ashley were back together.
Those fears were realized
It turned out, weeks later, that they had gotten back together, trying to make it work yet again. It defied belief.
Obviously, it didn't last
Jay of course cheated on Ashley again -- he is extremely reliable when it comes to that, and it's not clear if he fully understands that cheating is wrong. He sometimes acts like it's merely inconvenient when people learn that he cheated. The dude needs therapy.
This split was different
Ashley dumped Jay for the (hopefully) final time this fall after a woman claimed that Jay had knocked her up. Jay would later shoot down her claim that she was pregnant, insisting that no woman was pregnant by him. That's not the same as denying that he banged her, obviously.
It's good that Ashley is taking time to reflect
For herself and for her family, what's best right now is to focus upon a fresh start on her life that does not in any way involve Jay Smith. Some part of her may still love him, but love is just one ingredient in a relationship. Love alone is not enough.
We wish Ashley the very best of luck in her life and romance and career in 2020.