I was checking out at a local superstore, and my eye caught People magazine. The July 6, 2009 Issue. I happened to glance and saw the words, “I feel like I failed.” This stirred an emotion in me that I had not felt for many years, and right there, in the check out line, I started to weep.
I quickly wiped my eyes, and continued through the check out line and made it to my car. I cried uncontrollably. I too had felt like I failed.
The People magazine cover had a picture of Kate Gosselin on it. She had failed at her marriage. I didn’t know the details of her marriage, or where they were with things, or even much about her at all. I knew she had lots of children and had a reality TV show. I didn’t need to know any details…..because I knew how she felt. My heart hurt for hers.
I failed at a marriage. I was married for 10 years. I had two beautiful boys. December of 2003, I was divorced. I had failed at my marriage.
I wish I could pass the blame and write that every last thing that caused my marriage to fail was HIS fault. But the truth is there are things that I could have done better. There are things that I did that were awful and things that I did that hurt him. I helped create a marriage and fail at marriage that affected my children, and have hurt them in the process. I own those and they are my failures.
I failed, but I didn’t stay a failure. I decided that I was going to grow and become a better me. I was going to face those failures and try to do better. Once you know better you do better. This was a painful process, and it took years. My motto during those years was:
Let this failed marriage refine you, not define you.
It’s now 14 years later and I am so thankful I failed. In those failures I learned. I learned how to speak kinder. I learned how to express my feelings in a healthy way. I learned that counseling is so very valuable. I learned that men can’t read our minds and we have to communicate. I learned that I need to show grace to others and accept grace myself. I learned that failure leads to good things and change and growth. I am not the same woman I was when I got married and I am not the same woman I was in 2003 when I got divorced. I am so glad I failed, because it made me better.
Failure does not have to define us, rather refine us. Refine us into something more amazing than we could ever have imagined.
I am now remarried and have been for almost 7 years. I tell my husband that I am doing this “marriage gig” so much better than last time, he just smirks and laughs and mumbles…”this is better?” The truth is I am still learning, and still growing and learning some more. I am thankful for my failure, because it made me who I am today.