We often hear that things happen in God’s time and not ours. I honestly have never fully understood that until recently.
It’s only been within the past three months or so that I have truly been able to walk away from my ex. We have known each other for over twenty-five years and were a couple for twenty-four of those. That’s a lot of history to overcome, no matter how bad things got. He still knew how to push every button and make me feel bad about choices I made or how I looked. At the same time, he could make me feel great to counteract whatever negative things he said or did to me. The cycle felt impossible to break.
I spent nearly six years praying for God to work on him, to make him see what he was doing and giving up. He refused to see it. He didn’t see the beautiful family he was throwing away with every harsh word or terrible decision he made. He didn’t see how much he hurt the boys; he didn’t see how broken I was. All he could see was his own loss of freedom, the lack of trust I had for him after his affair, and the anger I exhibited every time he hurt me again.
He didn’t see what I saw- three incredibly hurt people who desperately wanted their family to stay together. Two beautiful boys who wanted their father to be there for them and choose them over work and others, and a wife who loved unconditionally and was willing to give up almost anything for her family to remain intact.
That “almost anything” is what finally ended us. I was willing to accept that I may never have a husband who truly talked to me and wanted to know my feelings and share his. I was also willing to accept that I may never trust him again and that he may continue to be mean at times and not think before he spoke or acted. What I couldn’t get past was never feeling truly loved and chosen. That’s what finally ended us; his lack of remorse and repentance for all he had done. His lack of willingness to even try to change. I was broken, the kids were broken, but he wasn’t.
I learned, I grew, and I changed. I am still learning, growing, and changing. My boys are doing the same. But my ex, he just continued in his same patterns and behaviors. I tried repeatedly to talk to him because I wanted the boys to have a good relationship with him. I prayed and prayed that God would open his eyes to see what he was doing to the people who truly loved him. But, he continued to be the same man he always was, not caring who he hurt along the way, as long as he felt good.
Then one day, I quit praying for that. I prayed for my boys that they would be able to learn to forgive, that I would learn to forgive, and that we would all be made stronger, more caring, more courageous, and learn to rely more on God and His will rather than our own. I no longer had the energy to pray for my ex like I had before, it was exhausting me. So, I put him completely in God’s hands and told Him that I no longer wanted the responsibility. He wasn’t mine to be responsible for, he belonged to God. It took me a couple weeks to realize that letting go of every part of him led me to a place of peace and understanding, and I no longer felt like he was mine to take care of. I no longer felt the same for him as I had before.
Fast forward a couple months, and I am genuinely happy. I don’t feel the weight of his problems and choices on me anymore. If he wants to screw up his life, it’s his to do that. If he doesn’t want to repair relationships, it’s his loss. It doesn’t matter what he chooses, the consequences are his. Yes, I still pray for my boys’ dad. I would love for them to have a genuine, loving relationship with him someday, but I no longer pray for my husband, he doesn’t exist anymore.
This is where God’s timing comes in. A couple weeks ago, my ex came to me. It seems like he may finally be seeing the damage he has caused, and realizing what he has lost has hit him hard. He seemed broken and genuinely sad for the loss of his family. He misses us all; he misses what he once had. And while I felt sad for the man that cried before me, I never once thought about how maybe this could be the start of repairing our family. I realized as I watched and listened that I had no desire to go backwards. If this had occurred during the time I was still praying and hoping for it, I may have taken a step back and tried again, but it happened in God’s time. He waited, not giving me the desire of my heart at the time because He knew the deepest desire of my heart was for something more, and I am so thankful to Him for that. God’s timing truly is for our best.