You know how Facebook has those “On This Day” moments that pop up. This past week, one popped up that made me stop, smile and think about how far I’ve come.
Five years ago I met my now husband, Jason, on Facebook. We were introduced via Facebook messenger by a mutual friend. At the time, my heart was still fragile after it had been shattered into a million pieces by my wasband, who left me for a very good friend (now ex-friend) and neighbor.
I didn’t plan on falling in love with Jason. I still had trust issues. I was scared to death. I was almost 40, recently divorced, a breast cancer survivor with scars, which led to many other insecurities and had never really dated as I had married my high school sweetheart. And now here I was almost 40 and falling in love with someone over Facebook!
Jason and I messaged, we lurked, we googled each other. And then moved on to texts, phone calls, meeting in person – and actually saying I love you before we ever went out on a real date. I used to make fun of those people. How can they actually fall in love without ever meeting in person. I grew up in a time when we passed notes in class and had land line phones. But now I get it. I really get it.
We got to know each other, had deep conversations, cried, laughed a lot, shared the intimate details of our lives – our hopes, our dreams, our fears, stories about kids and our families. We were raw and authentic and held nothing back- all before we ever met in person and developed a physical relationship.
The fact that we lived two hours apart early on was probably a good thing. It forced us to take things slow from the physical perspective. To really get to know each other. We both had healing yet to do. We both were mending our broken hearts – him after losing his wife Sarah and me after losing my wasband to my ex-friend. And we both were very cautious and protective of our kids and how any future relationship would impact them.
He taught me how to trust again
It was really hard to open my heart to the possibility of love again. To learn to trust someone else. To let him in. For me, not only did I not think I could find love again, but I also didn’t think I could risk having my heart shattered into a million pieces yet again if it didn’t work out. The wounds of betrayal left me jaded, scared and wondering if I could ever trust someone else again with my heart.
But then, I met this wonderful man through Facebook and the rest is history. I had a second chance. It wasn’t easy getting there. There were times when we were dating where my insecurities and fears made me second guess whether my broken heart could heal enough to love again. I finally realized that I wasn’t afraid of falling in love with Jason, I was really afraid of having my heart broken again. And that wasn’t fair to him, or to me. Finally, I just let go of my fears and my past and told Jason I was going “all in.”
Over time, I was able to truly release my fears and open my heart again. You see, although my heart had healed, the scars were still there, holding me back. For those that have suffered loss or had your heart broken, know that you can find love again. On your own time. When you are ready. And when you find someone who you are willing to go “all in” with. And you never know, you could even fall in love over Facebook, even if you are in your 40’s!
It was hard some days. And still is. I have my own issues and insecurities that I continue to deal with even all of these years later. But I made the decision to not let my past dictate my future. To not let the actions of my wasband and ex-friend define MY future relationships.
I am so very thankful I was willing to let down my guard and to love openly and freely.
Jason and I were talking to a friend recently about relationships, divorce, and loss. We both took our time to open our hearts again. Him, after losing Sarah and being a widower with two small kids. And me after my wasband left me for my ex-friend. But we both sat there and talked about how we are happy now – more happy than we ever thought we would or could be. In a place that years ago, never seemed possible.
The lesson: Be willing to take risks after hurt, after betrayal, after loss, after heartbreak. In doing so, you may discover an even more beautiful life than you ever thought possible.
What I have learned is that over time, my broken heart could be healed. By experiencing such great loss and heartache, I was able to love deeper and more fully than ever before.
Today, if you are hurting and struggling, stuck in the darkness, please know that you can be happy again. It may take years to do so, but eventually, if you open your heart and your mind to the possibility, you can find love again. I would say my relationship with Jason is deeper, our love deeper, because of what we have both been through. We see through the bullshit, we focus on what matters and most of all, we love the crap out of each other, our kids and our life.
Here we are five years after we first “met” on Facebook, and three years after we said “I do” and I look at our beautiful, blended, messy but completely awesome family. I see how far we’ve come. And how happy we are. The happiness that we both weren’t ever sure was possible again. The happiness that exists because we were willing to open our hearts after heartbreak and loss and go “all in.”
And here’s a special thanks to Facebook for making our second chance possible.
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