Recently, I had an exchange with a friend that has remained on my mind and in my heart. He is dealing with the demise of his marriage, marred by the betrayal and infidelity of his wife, and in a convoluted way, he was blaming himself for her decision to have an affair on his “flaws”, both real and perceived. As I contemplated his rationale for his estranged wife’s decision to stray, I found myself relating to him, yet not agreeing with him. While my marriage did not end for the same reasons, I do know all too well what it is like to place the end of significant relationships squarely on my shoulders.
Whether it be the end of a friendship or a romantic relationship, I assume that my long-held belief that I am not good enough to be the reason when a relationship comes to an end. A litany of thoughts will go through my head on repeat. If only I were prettier. If only I were more desirable. If only I were smarter. If only I had said or done certain things. If only I hadn’t said or done certain things. If only I were the right girl in the right place at the right time. The list of “if onlys” is endless, and it has haunted me.
As I engaged in this exchange with my friend, though, and challenged his assertions that he was at fault, I found myself talking as much to myself as I was to him. I shared the above quote by Dita Von Teese with him, and I reassured him that no matter what flaws he possessed and what had transpired in his marriage, he was not responsible for her thoughts, feelings, and actions. Sometimes, no matter what you say or do, someone still will not reciprocate your love and affection. Unrequited love and friendship absolutely sucks, but it’s part of life. The trick is not to allow it to consume your life and to realize that while not everyone likes peaches, plenty of people do. Life goes on, even when someone you love and care about chooses not to be a part of it.
Appropriately, the day after this exchange, one of my favorite older gentlemen at the day shelter for homeless men where I work stopped to talk with me and said to another guest who joined our conversation, “Miss Kristi is the sweetest peach ever”. His compliment made me smile, and it reminded me that if he can see in me what I am sometimes blind to in myself, then I need to let go of those “if onlys” and accept the positive and qualities that I already possess. Whether or not someone else likes this particular peach, I like who and what I am, and I am hedging my bets that others do and will, too.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story
Kristi, you really are a peach:)
Thank you so much, Ed; I appreciate that!
What a humanly, relateable (is that a word?) story. It is a question most introspective (if not insecure) people are bound to ask themselves at the demise of a relationship. But, as you found, I think most of us are able to place blame and/or responsibility where it genuinely belongs, meaning, we are responsible for our actions, not those of another. Thanks for sharing a story that has us take a look at our motivations and behaviors.
Wendy, thank you for reading this and sharing your feedback, as I appreciate you doing both. It has been quite the learning curve to stop apologizing for that which I am not responsible for and only accepting responsibility for my own thought, actions, and words. It is progress indeed.
thanks so much for reading and following, and funny my nickname is peaches. best, beth
You are more than welcome! That’s so funny that Peaches happens to be your nickname-love that!