One day I made a breezy, off-hand remark, something like, but “You’re divorced, you wouldn’t understand.” I don’t recall my exact words or their context. I do recall the enormous look of hurt on her face and the tears filling her eyes. I had wounded her.
Flash forward to my own situation. The young marrieds surrounding me regard my relationship with my ex as a colossal failure. I know now how Marge felt. For twenty-one years my marriage was a success. Bob and I were wildly in love and happy, holding hands and not getting enough of each others’ company. Only when my husband became restless did our relationship begin to unravel. Frankly, I could have twisted myself into 3 pretzels, I believe now that nothing I did would have changed his mind. He wanted new pastures, a new woman, and to go in an entirely new direction than we had taken.
I feel awkward when my comments about marriage or my ex are discounted as meaningless. It feels like half of my life is being negated. Just this week an old friend of mine told me that a friend of hers had thought Bob strange. The words hurt. I didn't think Bob strange at the time I was married to him. What did her statement mean? I felt a distinct twinge of pain.
Oh, Marge, wherever you are, I apologize for my careless words all those years ago. If only I knew then what I know now - that thoughtless remarks not only hurt, they are demeaning.
Here are some interesting links:
- Context Makes Some Words so Hurtful: El Paso Times