Melanie Lentz

Former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent - Writer - Speaker - Lady

Day of the Robin (aka The Day the Ex-Husband Remarries)

Day of the Robin (aka The Day the Ex-Husband Remarries)

I’ve dreaded this weekend. It seemed to take forever to get here, and all I’ve wanted was for it to be over. The news wasn’t a surprise. Of course, I knew my ex-husband would probably remarry at some point. I suppose I just didn’t know how I would handle that kind of news. Maybe I selfishly hoped I would be first to prove to him and myself that I was desirable and special as opposed to feeling like the woman he used until he didn’t need me anymore...that I’m more than merely tolerable.

I’ve been fighting my anger for the past couple weeks especially. I want to be angry because while his life fell into place after the divorce, mine fell apart. No matter how hard I’ve worked at getting better and coming out of all of this a better person, I surprise myself at how easily I go back to those dark moments, specifically that awful day I looked at him and knew I was hoping for a salvageable relationship with someone who no longer wanted a relationship with me.

But looking back, I’m not sure I would have wanted to be in a relationship with the person I became either. I won’t play the victim here. I’ve long since owned my part in the failed marriage. It doesn’t really matter if he has owned his part at this point.

I get angry when I remember how defensive I was when it came to him. No one could say a bad word about him or I would bite their heads off, even in the worst times in our marriage. But there were others - ones who thought their special bonds with my husband trumped my relationship with him - who could freely say whatever they wanted about me. It’s amazing how alone one can feel in a marriage. I never want to feel that way again.

I don’t miss those days at all. Perhaps my anger is really my way of trying to be tough because, in actuality, I’m really sad. I’m sad at how hard I took everything while he moved on quickly. I’m sad that I felt the need to get back into the dating game right away to prove nothing was wrong with me. While superficial and casual was fun for a bit because I felt desirable, it didn’t bring any healing.

The divorce has been final for over two years now. That failure will probably haunt me forever, but I want that chapter of my life to end. I want that door to close. Maybe this weekend is a good time to slam it shut (but not in an angry way).

Speaking of doors, I’ve been searching for open ones. Where do I go from here? What’s next for me? Thus far, all doors closed for me except the one that led to the Midwest from Los Angeles, and that drastic change didn’t come easily. I left pretty much everything behind and drove 26 straight hours in a rental car with three dogs wondering if I’d lost my mind. It’s an understatement to say I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Yet, for some reason, what I was doing seemed like what I was supposed to be doing. It’s hard to explain. Maybe someday it will make more sense.

Shortly after I got to the Midwest, I saved a baby robin from one of the dog’s mouths. I cried and cried as I held the bird. I hate seeing animals hurt. But the bird eventually started flapping its wings, and after placing it safely next to a bush in the front yard, his mama came back and fed him.

The next night, the young robin was perched on the potted lemon tree next to where I held him the day before while waiting for him to die only to be so happy when he finally perked up. I thought the crazy bird had a death wish by coming back into the yard. The day after that, he was squawking outside my bedroom window. I watched him for a few minutes and smiled when his mama came once again to feed him.

Eventually I couldn’t tell which one was my robin. He grew and blended in with the rest.

My cousin once said that when you see a cardinal it means someone is thinking about you. I wondered if there was some significance to seeing a robin. I read that “legend” has it seeing a robin means you need to let go of something. I don’t know how true any of that is, but I do think some of life’s lessons are learned by merely paying attention, that there’s learning to be had in the little things, even a baby robin learning to fly.

This weekend, a big chapter of my life will be over. Doors will be closed for good.

When I woke up this morning, I looked outside and saw a robin hopping around in the grass. When I saw it, I remembered my baby robin. I thought of how relieved I was when he survived and thrived despite a brief scare in a dog’s mouth. Sometimes you are lucky enough to be rescued from what would inevitably have destroyed you.

Life goes on no matter how you handle it. One of my best friends told me that recently. At some point, you have to realize time doesn’t stop for grief and healing. Eventually, you need to move on with it.

I can choose to dwell on the past and stay sad and angry, or I can choose to let it go and find the joy and peace I want despite the baggage of my past. I’m tired of being sad and angry. That’s not who I really am.

I’m choosing to let it go.

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