What was the worst mistake or decision you have ever made in life? What could you have done differently?
Hmmm, now that’s a bit hard. o.O I don’t think there’s been something that I’ve done that was so totally a mistake.
I can think of a couple of things I’ve done in life that I’m not proudest of but some of them are a bit close. Hmm.
Before Dave I had a boyfriend. I shan’t name him, but I’ll talk about my experience with him as its something I’ve learned from.
We were together for a couple of years. We met online and had been very good friends prior to becoming a couple. Part of the reason we lasted so long – I think, anyway, – is because we were such good friends to start with.
As sometimes happens, feelings began to change. I’m not so sure that his did; even to this day, I feel we might have been okay, because he hadn’t changed. It was me who did all the changing. Slow at first, and gradually more and more I began to realise that I didn’t feel for him what I used to. Nothing specific triggered it, but the change was becoming more and more obvious to me.
This is the part that was the (very) poor decision. I decided to keep my feelings to myself. I didn’t talk to this man about how I was feeling and what had changed which meant, as a result that he had no chance to fix it. Or work with me to see if we could fix it together. In effect, I cut him right out of the emotional process and ended up leaving him to deal with the fallout. Understandably, that didn’t go well. He’s not a mind reader (I don’t think!) and neither am I, which means that when the arguments started to happen, neither of us really understood what the other was upset about. In hindsight, I know a lot more about what he was feeling and thinking, but that’s the beauty of being able to look back. At the time, I saw jealousy and unreasonable requests while he must have no doubt seen someone slipping further and further away from him and, even worse, into the arms of another man.
Not to say that that relationship could have lasted until now (who knows, after all! Something else may have come up), but I think, if I could do it over, having learned much more about myself and relationships and men, I would take far more time to explain things. To share what I was feeling and why one thing annoyed me and another thing sent me to the verge of tears. Communication is so important in any relationship and there was a distinct lack of that in later months.
This is the thing though, its definitely not the most sensible of choices – hiding behind an emotional wall – but I think through doing so I’ve learned how not to act. It was bad at the time, but I certainly won’t do it again.
That’s how I think about experiences such as these; they’re only bad or the worst if you don’t learn from them. All experiences are there to help us grow… this is no exception.
What about you? Would this be an easy question for you to answer? Looking back over it, I’m not even sure I’ve answered it, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.