We are all in this world living a human experience together. Mistakes are part of being alive and are how we learn some of our greatest lessons. Honestly, people who live “perfect” lives scare me. I see them as timebombs ticking away towards an unknown explosion. They have yet to stumble and fall so they don’t pay attention to the rocks under their feet or the branches overhead. They walk through life missing a certain level of awareness.
Before my marriage came to an end, I lived life with partially opened eyes. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time. I was just chugging through life trying to hold onto my imaginary title of “perfect wife” until I did the least “perfect wife” thing ever… I had an affair.
The gory details of what happened don’t matter for this story. What matters is that I made an epic mistake. A mistake even I can’t believe I made. My ex husband did offer me a second chance at our marriage. He asked me to come home after initially asking me to leave.
Second chances are hard, requiring lots of work from everyone involved regardless of who was at fault. As the one taking ownership of the error, you need to stop and take time to understand why you chose the path you did. Is forgiveness only wanted because you were caught in the mistake, otherwise you would have continued? What are the reasons why you want another try? How do you need to change so it never happens again and are you willing?
For me, I knew going back into the relationship wasn’t a healthy option even though it was tempting to crawl back into his arms and try again. My mistake exposed deeply rooted issues I needed to address using self reflection and rediscovery of who I am. This was work I could only do alone.
The second chance he offered me was to go back and be who I was when we were together. But I knew deep down I was no longer able to be that person. I was no longer able to live that life.
We often believe second chances mean we return to exactly what we had before. I see now they can also mean another opportunity to grow by learning from our mistakes so when our next chance at Love comes, we are ready.
Yes, I believe in second chances.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.