This I Believe

christina - rocky face, Georgia
Entered on October 21, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change
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I believe in burning bridges. No, I am not a terrorist, vandal or pyromaniac. When I say burning bridges, I mean burring the hatchet or forgiving and forgetting. I was always raised to forgive and forget but as life goes on and you get older, you experience things and build relationships with people. Sometimes these relationships can be painful and you can get hurt and you can begin to fester up things inside and start to hold grudges. This will eat you up inside and start to hurt you more than the one that has done you harm.

When I was married to my second husband years ago, I thought it was to death do us part. This was not the case though. After we had been married for eight years he became very distant and cold. One day he did not even come home or call. Our three daughters became worried and wanted to know where their daddy was. I began calling all his friends and asking if they had seen him. After two days, he finally called and said he was done with the marriage and wanted a divorce. I was in such disbelief I did not know what to say or do. Days went on and time passed and I began to become comfortable with the separation. Then the crap hit the fan and I saw my husband with another woman, at the grocery store of all places. It became really obvious why he had wanted out of the marriage.

When I confronted him it was all my fault. I had been the terrible, uncaring wife and she was the perfect woman, even though she was the ripe age of 22 and knew nothing of life in general. He began to tell me how terrible I was and how he never wanted to see me again. I was devastated and began to run the past eight years of our marriage and life together in my mind. I started thinking of our children and how would I explain this to them.

After several weeks of dealing with this, I became cold, distant and hard-hearted. My sole purpose for living was to make his life miserable. I mean what would you do? I was left with all the bills and no money, and the psychological welfare of my children. I began to hate him and try to think of ways to get revenge. In the meantime I was losing weight and sleep and crying all the time.

Finally, one Sunday after going to church I had an overwhelming feeling to change. I realized that my marriage was over and there was nothing I could do, but to go on and live. I had three children that depended on me and regardless of how bad their father treated them and me, I had to forgive him. So after one year of agonizing over the divorce, I called him and told him that I would quit my vengeful acts and make this a peaceful recovery for us. Whatever he did wrong was for god to judge and punish not me.

My recovery has been long and hard, for it has been two years now. I have grown spiritually and have come to know myself. I strongly believe if I had not made this peace I would still be a miserable person and not be a very good mother. This is why I believe in burning bridges.