Life After Divorce . . . I Hope You Never Say . . .

By Lindy Earl

I recently received a call from a guy I dated a while ago.  While we were dating he continued to date others and was very open about it.  After we stopped dating, he continued dating others.  That’s how it should be.

Then he realized that he was sorry that he let me go.  Wow.  It’s a nice thing to hear, right? Well, it’s a nice thing to hear if you feel the same.  We tried to make a date but couldn’t find a time that fit his schedule.  Then I remembered why we stopped dating.  Everything was more important than me.  And even though this guy was saying that he continues to think about me, and misses our conversations, he still couldn’t find time for me.

So, what is it that I hope you never say?  A few things.  One, I hope you never say, “I should have never let them go.” That’s just a very sad thing to realize.  You may get them back, but I think there could always be a challenge in that you allowed them to go in the first place.

Also, I hope you never say, “I just don’t have time for you.”  Admittedly, time is a limited commodity and, in today’s world, we are bombarded with things to do.  Some, even many, are important.  Some are inflexible – planes depart when they do, right?  Some we choose to make important – maybe our weekly golf game or massage.  Some we back burner, hoping they never come back again – maybe a committee on which we are asked to serve.  We don’t want to do it, so we just ignore it, hoping it will go away.

But, if someone is important, I hope you never say, “I don’t have time for you.”  You may be saying it with your actions, if not your words.  Yes, actions are a powerful communication tool.  If you show through your actions that someone is not very important to you, by not calling them, or breaking a date, then they are going to believe you when they hear you say that you don’t have time for them.

I hope you never utter another insult again.  I know they can be disguised as jokes, but I think this caustic humor – and I use the word humor grudgingly – is dangerous.  While the person on the receiving end may laugh and acknowledge it as a joke, I think we tend to internalize these comments. I believe these joking insults eat away at our self-image and self-esteem.

I hope you never say anything in anger to anyone, because in my experience, I’m the one who hurts after the fact.  I feel so awful for so long that I’ve found it’s better to just hold my tongue in the first place.  I love the quote, “I never have to apologize for things I didn’t say.”  I’m learning.

Then there’s the famous, If only.  I hope you never find the need to say, If only I had . . . .   How sad.  I had that moment the year I turned 40.  I realized that there were silly and fun things on my bucket list. I was able to achieve some of them! So that year I learned to make balloon animals (it took an evening); I learned to play guitar (it took a lot more than an evening and I play poorly to this day); I jumped out of an airplane with a parachute; and I returned, for a while, to dance classes.  I didn’t want to say, “If only I had” twenty years later.

I know I’m not your mama or your conscience.  I just hope that, as we travel this life, gaining some experience as we go, we can make the rest of our time the best of our time.

That’s Life After Divorce.

Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.  You can invite her to speak at your event, organization, church, or company at or find and like her page on Face Book, and join her FB support group, Single Again: From Devastation to Dating.