I’ve been married twice. Neither one of my husbands was committed to the marriage. Every time we had a disagreement, the divorce card was drawn. Then, they’d add insult to injury by adding, “You’ll find somebody else.” It hurt me very deeply because I was committed to both of them. I so wanted my marriages to work, but the message I got loud and clear was that if I needed anything, if I asked for anything, if I showed up, then they would leave. I’m simplifying it because there were many other issues involved in their inability to commit. But, what I heard was I don’t want you. You’ll find somebody else. It cut to the very heart of who I was and how I felt about myself. It devastated me every single time.
An old boyfriend contacted me last night and was very sweet and apologized for the way he treated me previously. I totally understood and am always willing to forgive somebody because we all screw up. And, really, he’s in a rough spot, so I do understand. Pretty quickly, though, the talk got very sexual. The message I received was I don’t want you. I’m looking for sex. His words told me he was sorry that he had used me before, but his actions told me he was doing it again. I didn’t really know what to do with it, so I just said I was sleepy and needed to go to bed. I didn’t quite understand why I was feeling so hurt until this afternoon. A part of me wanted to talk to him today because I really like him as a person, but another part of me said He doesn’t want you. He’s just looking for sex. There’s no way I could deal with that rejection of my self again.
As a single person, people are always telling me that I’ll find somebody. They say that God has somebody out there just waiting for me. Really? How do they know that? I know they think it makes me feel better, but it doesn’t. I know lots of fabulous women who haven’t found anybody that they click with. We are not guaranteed a relationship in this lifetime. And, really, if I wanted to find somebody, I could probably find somebody today. That doesn’t mean I’d want them. I know plenty of people who wish they hadn’t found somebody. It’s just not that simple.
We say hopeful things to make people feel better. It does make someone feel better. The person that says it feels better. The message, however, is never the same to the person hearing it. Especially if it’s something that somehow predicts the future, speaks for God or tries to explain something unexplainable. It feels like a lie …well …because it is. When I know it’s not the truth, I decipher the message in the only way I know how. I always hear the message of I don’t want you….. I can’t see you …… Please go away. I’m sure it somehow comforted my ex to think that I would find somebody else so he wouldn’t have to feel guilty about abandoning our marriage. But, it didn’t comfort me. And, it was a lie. It was a made up story to make him feel better.
This is what I wish. I wish that we could all be loved as the beautiful, fallible, spiritual beings that we are. I wish that when people are uncomfortable because I’m hurting they would say, “Listen, I’m really uncomfortable when you’re feeling this way because I want to fix it, but I want to stand by you. How can I be here for you?” I wish my ex had told me that he wasn’t capable of loving me, and he felt like crap about it because he knew it hurt me. I wish that my old friend would say, “I’m looking for sex, and I think you’re hot. Are you open to that?” I wish that we could all be comfortable standing in the presence of reality and accept it as it is. I wish that I could do it, too, because I’m sure I’ve said things that were insensitive but well-meaning, too. I wish that we were all aware of the subtle messages we send to those that we love when we’re trying to make them feel better. It might make us think twice before opening our mouths. I actually think we are all doing the best we can. We just screw it up all the time. Not everything can be fixed. Sometimes, it just has to be broken, and that’s okay, too.
Momma told me that one day when all four of us kids were little, she was in the laundry room doing laundry. All four of us came in and were crying and screaming over different things. She tried to listen to us, and with all the frustrations of being a Mom and not being able to fix our feelings, she sat on the floor and cried with us. I love that story. Sometimes, we all need to just sit down and cry together – whether it’s ever going to get better or not.