Here is a little more of my story, I post this only with the hope that someone who reads it, may get a little help in their story.
The last wedding I went to was my really good friend Deborah’s’. I don’t cry at weddings, but I cried from start to finish in this one. My then husband was on the verge of leaving our marriage. If my daughter had not been her flower girl I would not have gone. They had a beautiful outside wedding. I stood there watching her tell this guy that she’d love him forever and him saying he’d love her forever. I had to either cry or laugh. What a joke forever was to me. I wanted to help them say new vows. How about you tell her you will love her until you run out of love, and maybe you’ll get lucky and never run out. (although now, that the bitterness is gone I look and Deborah and just see a great love story)
I met Harry when I was nineteen. I was going to a bible college and waiting tables at night. I remember when he got hired at the restaurant I worked at. He was a strange one. He’d come in with his big curly hair and his big bag of poetry, most of which were written on napkins. Then one day I gave him a ride home. He is such a talker, so that day he talked about life and all his thoughts on the world. And what he wants out of life. He had such passion. I had never met anyone so full of dreams. It caught me off guard how much I liked him. So we went on a date, and it was the kind of date you see in the movies, it was so perfect. Then the magic really happened when I went to see his band play at some little hole in the wall. He was amazing on stage. I was hooked. I had quit college and moved back home, and stared delivering pizza. One night I was headed to work and just could not stand how much I missed Harry so I drove right past work and went down to see him. Another movie moment, it was pouring rain and lighting was crashing, I knocked on his door drenched from the rain, I think that is when he got really hooked. Two months later we went to the court house and promised forever.
I quickly got Harry in church with me. And we both stared to play the role. I wish I could say for certain what went wrong, or where it went wrong. I know we both made a lot of mistakes. I know I did not let him in fully, and I tried to change him and he tried to be changed. I could never say I am sorry or I was wrong or even thank you. I did not support the very dreams that had once made me fall in love with him. We got lost, we both got so lost. Two kids later, life drained all of the joy from us. We loved our kids and we had a lot to be thankful for. But he and I did not laugh together we did not live in each other we simply existed in the same house. Until one day there was nothing left to fight for. And he walked away. If I had fought as hard as I did at the end, throughout our marriage, then I think we would have made it. I could write an entire book on all the mistakes we made. But they each come down to being real. When I was sad and wanted him to just hold me, I told him by nagging him about being at work too much. When I was jealous and insecure, I handled that by making him feel bad about himself. He was more of the hold it all in type, and when he was tired of holding it in, he shut the door and never came back. He never told me until he left that he was tired of God and tired of living a lie. I was tired of living a lie too. I still wonder why we felt we had to lie in the first place.
So watching Deborah on her wedding day I hoped that she would be real, and Wendell would be real. I hope if you are married and up until now you have not been honest, then you will fix that right now, today. If we could just say what we really want and what we really feel………..things could really be different. Your husband or your wife is the person who gets the all access pass. You should be able to share yours thoughts, your dreams, or insecurities, the best of you and the worst of you. You choose each other, and next to choosing God, that is the most beautiful design of love, the most perfect picture of acceptance. I know as the human race we are by nature a selfish people, but we have got to learn to put the people we love before ourselves. I wish I could have let Harry succeed without my jealousy getting in the way. But I wanted to be important, so to make myself more than I was I used my words to tare him down. It’s so crazy that my biggest fear was him leaving me so I did everything I could to push him away. If I had not lived in that fear I could have just loved him. What if I had told him my fears, maybe he could have calmed them. My ex and I have gotten to a place of friendship, and we really do raise our kids to together, so if you can have a “good” divorce, we do.
Here is my short list of things I wish I had done or not done while married to him.
1. I wish I would have supported his dreams more.
2. I wish I would have said more things to build him up
3. I wish I would not have ever called him names
4. I wish I would have let him be my best friend
5. I wish I would have defended him more
6. I wish I would have shown him the kind of Love that comes from God
7. I wish I would not have kept him from my heart
8. I wish I would have not needed to be right
9. I wish I would have told him when I needed him
10. I wish I would have seen him as a gift.
Now let me tell you it is really hard not to make a list of “I wish he would have”, but that is what God it doing in me. If I can focus on me and do what God leads me to do, then I will be giving God room to do what he wants to do in that other person. And while we have moved on from our relationship I still have to see him how God wants me to so that our kids will do the same. Too often I see bitterness take hold of broken hearts and the kids have to suffer, they hear to much, to many times they hear you talk such harsh words about their parent. If only we could look past our heart to see theirs. Let their dad or their mom still be their hero.