*Composed and posted from my phone. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
Mistakes. We all make them. From time to time we make a judgement call that ends up hurting others. Sometimes, we make a decision to do what is best for us which is not necessarily best for those whom we love. Sometimes the mistakes are small, such as breaking someone else’s property. Sometimes the mistakes are huge, like breaking someone’s heart.
It is our right to be upset with someone else when they make mistakes. It’s natural, in fact. You cannot help but be disappointed, or perhaps hurt, when someone does something that hurts you in some way. Yet so often mistakes break relationships. Whether that relationship is romantic, a friendship, or familial, many of us lose those we love over honest mistakes.
I’ve only recently come to terms with my fallibility. There was once I time when I could not see my mistakes even when they were laid before me in all their inglory. These days I see my mistakes all too well. From time to time I think of those mistakes and the people who suffered for them. Most of those people are no longer a part of my life. They decided that what I had done was so monumentally cruel that they no longer wanted anything to do with me. On one level, I understand their decisions. I understand making those choices from a place of darkness and suffering. I have made those choices myself in the past. On the other hand, I would give anything for those people to see that though I hurt them, it was completely unintentional and that my one mistake doesn’t define me as a person or make me a different man than the one they came to know. I would love for them to look past my poor decisions and forgive me for my stupidity and see me once again as they once did.
It was with those thoughts in mind that I did not immediately dismiss my ex-wife when she recently asked me to consider giving us another go. I gave her an entire list of reasons why I didn’t think we could make this work. She had a counterargument for each of my points. More importantly, she accepted her part of the blame for the fall of our marriage, which is something she had never done before. She implored me to give her a chance to prove that she had changed, and for reasons beyond my understanding, I took that leap of faith.
So far things have gone well. Though some things picked back up right where they left off, other things have been different. It seems she has finally accepted me for who I am.
I admit that I need to step up my game and make an effort to make things that are important to her important to me and I hope I’ve done a good job of that so far. But she’s also made an effort to let me have some time to do things that are important to me. Our communication, which I believe was our biggest issue before, is working better than it ever has in the past.
So far I’ve been trying to balance keeping my guard up and letting her back in. I’ve slowly been giving her myself piece by piece. I admit I’m afraid. I’m afraid that we’ll somehow end up right where we were before, but we’re both different people now. We’ve both been broken and are slowly putting oursleves back together. Most importantly, we never stopped loving each other.
It’s awesome when you’re able to look through someone’s mistakes and see who they are at their core. One or two lapses in judgement does not make one a horrible person; it makes one human.
I urge you all to keep in mind, if you happen to be casting stones, that you’re imperfect, too. We have all made mistakes and all of our pasts are littered with poor decisions. If someone comes to you and admits their mistake to you and is genuinely apologetic, I believe that person is worthy of a second chance.