Lately I’ve been thinking about divorce. I have been divorced twice, and each time the situation was very different; but the common thread in mine, and those I have observed closely, is the same. It is the breaking of Trust.
When I was married the first time, I trusted that the man I loved would keep his word to me always. There was a Plan, and we would stick to it. When the plan was altered later, I felt betrayed. Perhaps too young to work out how to change and cooperate, we got divorced.
The second time I was married, I trusted my husband to be a certain person that I thought I knew. When I found out later that he was actually someone else that I didn’t know, my Trust was gone.
Now, I think if you really love someone, I mean really, truly love someone, you can forgive a lot. None of us is perfect, and compromise and forgiveness are central to sustaining relationships of any kind.Perhaps when you first met, your partner was charmingly funny, terribly sexy, and capable in so many ways. So, if they aren’t as funny anymore because you’ve already heard their jokes, or they aren’t as sexy anymore with their love handles and receding hairline, you can accept and love them as they are. Forgot to turn down the peas and burned them?(I regularly do this!) No worries. But here’s the thing: if someone breaks your Trust, it is almost impossible to repair it. At the end of the day, we need our partners to be in our corner, no matter what. We have to know that as we face each day’s travails, there is always shelter from the storm in the form of that person with whom we share the most intimate details of our lives.
Trust is a very difficult thing for me. I have so many trust issues based on past experiences, that I have to work hard in relationship contexts to focus on what IS, and not what was. I recognize this, and so I work on it all the time. For those of you who have been deeply hurt, I want you to know that there is light on the other side of this pain.
Divorce and its subsequent lifestyle changes make us vulnerable for a while. We cannot help picturing the future with lots of empty chairs. Holidays. Special life events. Everyday routines. Lots of empty chairs. But I am here to tell you something True: the chairs get filled up with new experiences, new people, new ideas. There is so much waiting on the other side that we never knew existed. Just walk through that door. Trust me.