I don’t know why I feel so unlovable. I don’t know why I’ve always been more comfortable with men who reject me than with men who embrace me. And I may never know.
But I do know that happy marriages are not built upon quicksand. You build a family on a solid foundation. And when each partner is themselves solid, a lasting collaboration can begin.
I do know that trying to love someone who doesn’t believe they are worthy of love becomes a chore. And probably, that’s how it was for Pete with me. Outside the story of blame or anger, the fact was that I chose someone whose love I couldn’t much feel, didn’t know how to welcome, and in some way that I still don’t understand, rejected.
Could he have done more? Tried harder? Maybe. Was he the right match for me to begin with? Probably not. Would I have even chosen him if I did know how to take love deeply in? I don’t know. There are so many questions in a marriage, in a life, that can’t be answered. Now, or ever.
The one thing I do know is that the practice of self-responsibility is my freedom. Finding my part in the dance of my marriage and divorce and owning it: I don’t feel lovable. Pete couldn’t fix that. No one could. This diffuses the idea that destroys me every time I think it: that our divorce is Pete’s fault.
This is what no-fault divorce means to me. That Pete and I did our best together, and now we are free to do our best in other circumstances. For Pete, that meant a new relationship almost immediately. For me, it has meant three years of deep personal inquiry and healing work.
I want the next man’s love to reach me. I want to know in my bones that I am worthy of it. And that there is no blame or regret in the world that can keep me from my birthright of deep intimacy.
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