I stood on my front porch steps looking down on him. He had come over to talk to me. To talk some sense into me. When I saw his car pull into the driveway, I met him outside.
I didn’t want to invite him in.
This was my home, the one I purchased, by myself. It had become my sanctuary as well as my hideout. And I didn’t want to invite him in.
It’s odd, I can’t recall the words I said to him, but I know they were hurtful. Never in my life had I said such painful truths to someone so easily. But the words just came out without any hesitation.
“It was a mistake, and I want a divorce.” He responded with words like, ‘but’ and ‘what-about’ and ‘please’, to which I answered, “No I don’t want to give it more time.”
I knew three months into it that I had made a huge error.
Finding courage to do this wasn’t easy. I was deeply embarrassed that I had married someone I barely knew. We thought it was ‘love at first sight’, and so did most of my friends.
You know what it looks like. Two people meet and there is this magic instant spark that you can feel. And it feels good. It’s contagious even. Everyone wants to be a part of it and feel the love.
Only it’s not love. It can’t be. Love is something that grows from knowledge of the other person. Love is something that is still there after you learn about the other person’s weaknesses and faults and fears. It’s impossible to know any of those things “at first sight.”
I hadn’t taken the time to get to know this person. I’d acted on my instinct and belief of love at first sight. So there I was, hurting another person and humiliating myself because I had acted on foolishness.
I knew what people would say about me. Hell I would probably agree with them, but I still went forward, not looking back, and handed him the divorce papers to sign. I wanted the marriage annulled but he had refused.
Looking back, maybe that’s why I didn’t hesitate to hand him the truth of it all. In a way he had it easier than I did. I was the bad guy here. I’m the one who divorced him. He didn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting and could even get sympathy for the entire ordeal.
I knew I would be the one judged in this situation. And I was, by many of my friends and even some of my family. I still am.
But years ago, I found the courage to recognize a mistake and correct it, regardless of judgment or criticism. And today I am telling you this secret so that it doesn’t have power over me any longer.
I’ve held onto this for years, pretending it didn’t happen. I even “left out” this part of my story to many who know me. I did it because I was afraid.
What if you found out, and judged me? That was my fear.
I’m learning, as I get older that I will be judged, no matter what I do. It’s our nature to judge what we see and hear. But if I let that stop me or hold me back, then I won’t be living my authentic life.
And as I countdown to my 60th birthday, I am getting closer and closer to owning my story and even being proud of my accomplishments… as well as failures.