For the past few years I've been bitter.
Secretly, shamefully bitter.
I would see couples out in public with their seemingly perfect families and I'd cringe. I'd give a quick eye roll and begin the skeptical thinking.
"I bet he cheats on her"
"I bet he's having an affair"
"I bet he verbally abuses her"
... the list goes on.
I never said any of those things out loud, I just thought them.
That doesn't make it any better.
What the hell did I know??
Here was a seemingly perfect couple, showing affection toward each other, playing with their children, and looking HAPPY, and I was bitter.
Who knows what their specific circumstance was.
Maybe he DID cheat on her. Maybe they went to counseling and she forgave him and they made it work and are now more blissfully in love than ever.
Maybe he DOES verbally abuse her and she puts on a show in public for everyone.
The point is, NO ONE KNOWS BUT THEM! Yet I was bitter. Based on an outward appearance.
Bitter because I had my own things going on in my marriage that I reflected on to everyone else (and no, I'm not saying those instances are the case for my personal situation, I will never comment on that).
And it hurt me.
I did not plan my life to go this way. I never wished divorce upon my children.
And I NEVER wanted to be that bitter woman who looks at love so skeptically.
But I did, unknowingly, for years.
I know marriage is tough. I tried like hell to save mine. We just couldn't make it work.
And NOW, I'm noticing those feelings of bitterness are starting to fade away.
And I'm beyond happy that I'm not permanently damaged from what I once thought love to be.
I wasn't always like that. I was hearts-and-butterflies-write-your-new-last-name-on-your-binder kinda lovey dovey in my early 20's.
Looking back, I choose to call that naive.
I didn't know there was a whole slew of outside influences that could (and would) make a difference in my world.
I honestly just thought that you got married and you lived happily ever after.
I never saw conflict growing up. My parents were so blissfully perfect in my eyes, I never saw hard times. I didn't know they existed.
So when they hit me, they rocked me to my core.
And I was angry and upset and hurt.
And to lessen the pain, I began to believe that everyone was just as hurt as I was.
It made me feel normal.
Who wants to live like that??
So skeptical and suspicious of the beautiful things in life.
It's no way to live.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and the elephant that was sitting on my chest is slowly starting to get up.
And now, seeing couples and families out in public so blissfully happy, those thoughts don't even cross my mind anymore.
I smile a little to myself and think, "one day..."