I Should Have Listened
Age 19, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
We were living together and I loved you desperately, but…
I should have called to tell you that I’d be home late. But I didn’t.
You yelled and screamed, furious that I had been so thoughtless.
I didn’t know it was because you were afraid you’d lose me. You needed reassurance, and instead, I left.
You frightened me with your anger. I thought you wanted to control my life.
So I moved out of the apartment we shared.
When you came to see me to apologize and to work things out, I didn’t give you a chance to explain why you had been so angry. I didn’t know that you’d survived a very difficult childhood. I didn’t know that you’d never had unconditional love. Until that moment, I had been totally committed to you.
If only I had given you a chance, if only I had listened, if only I had forgiven you we would have spent our entire lives together, instead of spending most of our lives apart.
There was always a piece of my heart that belonged to you. Years later, when we finally had the opportunity to talk and work things out, I was angry with myself for walking out on you. That was one of the worst days of my life.
I’m so grateful we worked it out. I’m so grateful to be married to you after all those wasted years. I’ll always regret the time we spent apart.
What did you learn?
I learned that forgiveness can be the biggest gift of all. The most important part of a conversation is listening to what the other person has to say. Don’t assume the reasons why someone did something. Find out and ask why!