IDAHO FALLS – For most of her life, Monette Dias was looking for love in all the wrong places.
The 54-year-old Idaho Falls native has been married 11 times and in January, appeared on TLC’s reality show “Addicted to Marriage.” At this stage of life, she’s living happily as a single woman in Kentucky. Though she’s not seeking marriage, she hasn’t thrown it out entirely.
In a conversation with EastIdahoNews.com, Dias says she’s open to whatever happens as she begins a new relationship.
“My last relationship ended 10 years ago,” Dias explains. “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching, a lot of changing and I’ve come into my own. So if I ever find that person, eventually I would want to be married again.”
She shares her story and the struggle to find Mr. Right in a new ebook slated for release next week called “Too Many EXclamation Points!!”
The book focuses on the years between her last marriage through today, but her saga begins much earlier when she was a young girl growing up in Idaho Falls.
Despite experiencing multiple forms of abuse as a child, she describes an idyllic home life and speaks highly of the relationship her parents had.
“My dad cherished my mom and treated her like she was a queen,” says Dias.
She has many happy memories with her parents and was close to both of them.
Then at age 15, the “rug was ripped out from underneath” her when she got a call at school that her dad, who worked as a crane operator, had been killed in an accident.
It wasn’t a conscious thought at the time, but in retrospect, Dias says the death of her father left a void in her life that she didn’t know how to fill.
“My dad was the person who protected me. He was always there. He was the anchor (in my life),” Dias says. “When I lost him, I … kept trying to fill that hole (by finding someone) who could take the pain away.”
After 11 failed marriages, she now realizes that relying on someone else to remove her pain is an impossible expectation. Filling the void and reconciling the past, she says, could only come from within herself.
“In all those marriages, I truly believed this one’s the one,” Dias recalls. “They told me everything I wanted to hear.”
Through all the years of romantic turbulence, she feels like she’s finally come to terms with her father’s death.
After being featured on a network TV show, she’s garnered both praise and criticism from people across the country. She says “it’s been interesting” to learn how many people assume she’s “a horrible person” for being married so many times.
To her haters, she only has one thing to say.
“I can’t change that I was married that many times. I can’t change the stupid things that I did, the dumb things that I thought … but I can change my future,” Dias says. “I can change my relationships and I can help people who are in a place where it feels so dark that nobody cares because I’ve been there.”
Regardless of what people say, Dias is happy with how far she’s come. She’s in a much better place now and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, which she considers the greatest blessing in her life.
“I might not have got the marriage thing right but I got the mom thing right, and that’s the most important thing to me,” she says.
Her new beau is a man she went to high school with as a kid in Idaho Falls. The relationship is still relatively new and she doesn’t know what the future has in store for them.
With a fresh perspective on life, she prefers to enjoy the dating experience with no expectations.
“He hasn’t pushed anything and I’m definitely not pushing anything, so we’ll see where it goes,” Dias says.