Serge Bielanko is pretty sure his next relationship will be the best he’s ever had.
I’m pretty sure that my next serious relationship will be the best I’ve ever had.
Why do you say that, divorced dude?
Ha. Fair question.
Divorced seven months now, the hurt and pain has been massive and intense. In a lot of ways, time is my only friend. Resilience isn’t some kind of spontaneous balm for your roughed-up soul, you know? It comes at a price. And that price is often a deep suspicion that forms in your gut.
So big questions abound:
“Am I a bad dude?”
“Will I ever be able to be a good boyfriend for some other woman?”
And maybe the toughest one of them all …
“Do I even have the guts to want to try again?”
Yet, when I swipe away the murk and the fog up in my head, I’m beginning to come away with some pretty cool answers, I think.
The future, it turns out, might even be better than the past. With me, my silver lining has sadly been something I never really did within the confines of my marriage. That’s hardcore introspection.
I’m talking self-discovery. Not the kind you hear about in articles on the Internet and then ignore while you move on to the sports scores or the latest celeb gossip either. I’m talking about turning the proverbial camera around and zooming in on yourself. If you’re a certain kind of person — like me at age 43, you cannot resist trying to find out if you CAN be a better partner/lover/soulmate/sidekick.
These days I’m driven by one very ancient and comforting question and that’s this …
What if I am able to learn from my own personal history in ways that make all my tomorrows a whole lot better?
I wasn’t the worst guy who ever took the plunge and got married and I stand by that statement. But let’s face it, okay? I wasn’t anywhere near the top of the heap either. I tried to love a lady with what tools and emotions I was able to access in myself but I was mostly closed off to self-scrutiny and improvement.
I mean, it’s easier to just go with the flow, isn’t it? It’s much simpler in this life to say to yourself, “This is who I am. This is who you married. You knew who I was when we took our vows. So I’ll be damned if any of this love-falling-apart crap is MY fault!”
It’s a terrible, crippling mindset and yet it’s more common than the stars in the sky. People get lazy in love. Laziness leads to excuses. And excuses lead to defending yourself at every turn.
So I am trying to pick my own shortcomings apart, a little at a time, trying hard not to overwhelm myself with how plentiful they are or with their magnitude.
And I have to tell you, it feels a hell of a lot better than sitting around with my head in my hands feeling sorry for myself. It just does. Listen, some evening down the road, when the time is right, I really hope to find myself falling in love again.
And funny enough, at that moment, I might have a real advantage over a lot of other fellows in this world.
See, “I’ve been divorced,” I’ll remind myself. “I’ve handed out the hurt and been hurt and I’ve made all sorts of mistakes by never opening my eyes to being a better man.”
But not any more.
By being able to say that and believe it, I think it just goes to show you that divorce can help you change into a more caring/respecting/attentive/loving person if you really want it to.
I’ve been in love before and I want to be again someday. And I’d like to make someone really happy they found me, ended up loving me.
But like I said, time will tell.
Originally appeared at Babble.com
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