After Her Boyfriend's Death in Plane Crash, Country Singer Stephanie Quayle Discovered His Horrible Secret

Quayle discusses how she found inner peace after her boyfriend's deception.

Country music artist Stephanie Quayle recently penned a highly personal article for Newsweek titled "I Lost My Boyfriend in a Plane Crash. Days Later, I Discovered His Deceit." Her story recounts the devastating impact of discovering a loved one's secrets after a tragedy.

Quayle said she had never truly extricated herself from her first toxic relationship. It concluded in tragic fashion with a plane crash in 2009. She mourned for her boyfriend for five days before a betrayal blindsided her, as "layers upon layers" of deception and disbelief compounded her pain. "I was not the only woman," Quayle recalled.

A sense of betrayal overwhelmed her grief as she realized the whole relationship was a "lie." "Overzealous" loved ones urged her to simply "get over it" to survive. Her initial coping mechanisms were frenzied overwork and cigarettes and alcohol, but Quayle said that she did not fully recover until she documented the unbearable trauma. She recognized that she was far from healing by not getting the support and therapy she needed to process her grief properly.

"It was more like I found myself drowning in it from the inside out. And I was too ashamed and embarrassed to confront myself head-on," she confessed. Her heart was torn between the present and the past, both exerting unequal pressure. As one confidant described it, she felt "duplicitous." Her outward smile and laughter masked the turmoil within.

Now, enjoying life with her husband, Quayle discovered for the first time the dormant pain, waiting for release and acceptance. "Looking back, because I had glossed over the hurt and toxicity from the first relationship, it was easy to fall into another one without much regard at all. And then what could have been just one, I realized had been multiple," Quayle said.

"How could I have let this happen? And yet, I did. I own that. I was complicit. I made my choices. And I ultimately gave my most heartfelt apology to my younger self," she admitted. Having considered the 15 years since the accident and how she enabled toxic individuals, Quayle said she was able to acknowledge her own missteps.

Through the counsel of her friend Dr. W. Keith Campbell, she started to see and experience growth as she confronted and forgave her past. "Forgiving them gave me more than I could have ever imagined. Forgiving myself gave me new life. The shame that I have carried for all of these years no longer has any place in my soul," Quayle declared. "The embarrassment that used to be felt when met with 'you're smarter than that' or 'how could you stay?' is now hard-found wisdom that I can use to be a guiding light for others to know how and what to do differently."

Ultimately, Quayle said she learned that the road to healing is one of self-discovery. Her new mindset and habits were now replacing outdated patterns of thinking and behavior. "Now that I have gained this knowledge, there's no turning back. The freedom I now enjoy—previously wasted in trying to understand others' negative behaviors—grants me the ability to now effortlessly walk away from anything with potential toxicity," she stated. "I recognize that I am not for everyone, and not everyone is for me. Our minds can be both our greatest champions and our most formidable enemies."

The "Selfish" singer realized that time was her most precious commodity and that she must be careful about how and with whom she spent it. "We can always earn more money, but we can never make more time. The years lost are irretrievable, but both you and I can prevent those moments from slipping away again."

Quayle offered in conclusion: "Many wonder why I share my story of surviving a toxic relationship; it's so that I can give someone else time back in their own life. That's the purest gift I could ever offer."

The country star's latest album, On the Edge, also chronicles her journey through an unhealthy relationship and her subsequent healing. In addition, she recently released the book Why Do We Stay? How My Toxic Relationship Can Help You Find Healing.