This I Believe

Mike - Lincoln, Nebraska
Entered on June 26, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that mistakes we make in life be it large or small don’t define us as the individual we are. Over the last year to the day I have had to come to grips with my large mistake of infidelity and now just one short month from divorce. As we make our way through life we’ll always make mistakes, some we’ll hopefully learn from and some we may not, only to revisit the same unpleasant situation again. In my 34 years on this planet I always prided myself on the fact that I cared for people, watched out for them if you will. I was often one of those who needed looking after. Then one day over the course of a few months in a short marriage I used very poor judgement and committed a very disrespectful, hurtful and and mean act… I stepped out of our marriage. For the last year I could not understand for the life of me why I would do such a thing to such a wonderful, beautiful and loving woman. The entire ordeal was completely against what I believe in, I never would have dreamt that I could be so hurtful to another human being. Furthermore, I never enjoyed it once, I was disgusted the entire time. I have fought for a year trying to figure out why I did what I did. In addition I have fought feelings of guilt sorrow, loss and self hate.

I now believe that although I will always have this in my past it will not define who I am as a human being. It is incredibly important when one makes a very poor decision that they learn from it, embrace it as an experience in their life journey. Through intense counseling I understand why I did what I did, it goes so much further than having some “fling.” At first I would not accept what I was being told as the reason why I committed adultery. I wanted to feel the pain I wanted this act to define who I am, I wanted to punish myself for the rest of my life for what I did to my beautiful shining wife, I deserved it and I didn’t deserve peace. Although my days continue to be incredibly difficult I understand that I have a good heart, I’m a good person and I going to work hard everyday to be a better man and a better human being. When my wife left our home I told her that she was my inspiration for change, that continues to be the case, I have tweaked, tuned and altered many aspects of my life over the last few months. Life lessons can be difficult but in the end they make us better individuals, more caring, more thoughtful and stronger. My wife will thrive and in the future I will thrive as well, that is what I want. My wife was an innocent bystander who was taken for a ride she didn’t even know she was on. The hurt she experienced I will not even pretend to understand, in fact when I try to understand her pain I’m drawn into a low that is rather scary. In my mind that is reassurance to myself that I in fact do have a conscience. A conscience that over the last year I had doubt existed in the first place because of what I did. I am conflicted on weather or not I think I should feel as bad as I have over the last year. On one hand I feel that nobody should have to endure the turmoil that I’ve went through and put myself through. On the other hand it is the turmoil that I have experienced that will teach me, allow me to grow and understand how one’s actions can effect others and prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

I understand why my wife decided to seek a divorce, she tried, she endured for nearly a year to see if she could continue in our marriage, she stayed longer than most women would have. I will carry the memory of my wife forever, the good times, the bad times, vacations, our first home. I’ll remember her beauty, love, her red hair, her smell and every little thing about her that I loved so much. These are not things that you forget with time, they simply aren’t. In the future I will not use these things to beat myself up but instead to remember what I lost. By doing this I feel confident that I will not make the same mistake in the future. mistakes do not define the individual, what they learn and take away from the mistakes does and I will love life again… this I believe.