There are certain things in life that we all have in common, married, unmarried or divorced. Religious or not. Parent or childless. Man or woman. These are the things that allow us to relate to almost every human on the planet, if we can’t relate to someone with one of these criteria then we can fall back on the fact that we are all human and most everyone has a bellybutton.

But then there are sub-genres of things. Those who have experienced miscarriages, the loss of a child or infertility. Those who come from “traditional” homes, single parent homes or same sex parent homes. Often when faced with those who know a life so much different than ours we are left staring at each other from opposite corners, or struggling to find common ground. Other times common ground is irrelevant because that whole “we’re all human” thing takes over.

But what about the times when we’re staring down those who have more in common that we’re used to? Sometimes our fight reflex comes out. Sometimes our trials and difficulties are what define us and we get uncomfortable in the presence of others who are going through similar difficulties. I know I have a hard time seeing other couples who deal with infertility so eloquently, or on the other hand couples who are just starting down the scary and uncertain road who avoid me, knowing that they may one day be where I am. A two thousand dollar shot in the butt with nothing to show for it but crazy.

I had my heart broken nine years ago. Smashed, destroyed and left for dead. I cannot say I have had my heart broken a thousand times because it only happened once, and once was all it took. Maybe if it had never happened I could be one of those who could say I had my heart broken more than once, never knowing what a true broken heart was.

Cody bears the scars of a broken heart too. While it’s not my story to tell, he was hurt. And hurt badly.

While we both struggle when we talk about those who broke us before we found each other, I have a feeling we both nurse the wounds of our broken hearts privately more often than we’d like to admit. I wish it had never happened to me. Cody swears he’s healed. I’m mad at the girl who hurt Cody. I’m mad that I’ll never know what he was like before her. That she left a mark on him that affects him and our relationship to this day.

I’m also mad at the boy who broke my heart. I’m mad that I have to know what that pain feels like and constantly live in fear of feeling it again.

I know our most personal struggles can bring us closer together with those who have gone down the same path. Yet at the same time they can put us against one another.

We are put into these little “groups” by default.

The haves and the have nots.

How would my life be different if I had never been hurt? Would I love Cody any less? Would we have even found each other?

If you could go back to the one moment thus far that defined you (or hurt you) the most…would you undo it?


  1. I just wrote about the very same thing! Ten years ago my world was shaken apart. I don’t regret a thing. It’s shown me that life is about loss as much as it is love, and that without experiencing both you haven’t really lived. I’m who and where I am today because of it.

  2. Ya know, when I really think about it- my gut reaction is to say “No, I wouldn’t change a thing”… because the good that has come out of it has been that I appreciate my husband and realize how good of a man he truly is, in comparison to the guy who absolutely broke my heart and my spirit. Without that knowledge of how bad things (and people) can actually be, would I really appreciate his goodness as much? Would I be less understanding of his small faults without having the comparison of truly bad faults to pair it against? And was that worth all the pain and the hurt I still (almost 10 years later) carry around with me?
    Is this an ‘all or nothing’ question? Because for me, if I could- I’d go back and change the amount of time of my life I gave to him. I think I’d change the 4 years of pain to a year and walk away a whole lot earlier. But, again, it was a progression to how bad it was in the end, and obviously I didn’t learn my lesson until I finally walked away.
    Ok, after all this rambling, I believe my answer would be No. Even with how much my hurt still effects my marriage (lack of trust for no real reason, fear of being hurt like that again- etc.) I also know it makes me appreciate my marriage a lot more and work harder to make it work- because I know what I have now can’t hold a candle to what I’ve ever had or could have.
    I hope that makes sense. 🙂

    And I’m a new reader and just want to say Hi! And I adore your blog. I read your old post about hyperemesis and I related so much to it. I had it with both of my kids and that’s why we’ve stopped at two. Mentally and physically, I couldn’t handle it again. My body just doesn’t like to be pregnant it seems.
    And a *huge hug* for the Endo fight. I have to too- just had my first lap last month and declined the Lupron shot since my body will take every possible side effect and give me all of them times 10.
    Take care hon!

  3. I had my heart broken just a few years ago. I wish it had never happened, but it forced a change in my marriage and the way I look at things, so in a way I’m glad it happened. But I wish it had never happened as well. Does that make sense? It made me more cautious and in a long term relationship being cautious with the one you love is painful. All the time.

  4. No. My pain reminds me how lucky I am to have found Mike at all. And I hope his broken hearts and hurt remind him that I’ll never do the same.

  5. I like to think that my heartbreak is what made me stronger. I had my heart torn apart and it made me realize what I never wanted again in a relationship and what I truly deserved. If I hadn’t had my heart broken I might have been a doormat (hard to think) of a wife/girlfriend. I think it changed me for the better and I wouldn’t undo it. It lead me to find a better person, my very loving and sweet person, and I’m forever grateful to the stupid fool who broke my heart.

  6. I don’t share my broken heart story with anyone (except for my wife), but it was broken, bad. It took some years of healing, but I am actually happy that it happened now. It helps me to better appreciate the way I am treated as a person by my wife. It gives me a truer understanding of what REAL love is. And, if it hadn’t happened exactly when and how it did, I wouldn’t have a wonderful wife, and the most awesome son ever.

    I wouldn’t undo it for anything.

  7. In a heartbeat. I have wished many times that I could back and change that one moment. I don’t care if it made me who I am today. I just know what it did to me then.

  8. If I could magically know not to marry the man I married, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    I have trouble reading about divorce when custody or bitterness is involved. I just can’t go there in my heart without feeling all those emotions. Maybe someday.

  9. I’m not sure that it would be one moment. There are many defining moments which got me to who I am goday. Do I wish that I had made some different choices? Absolutely. Would I change my life and family today? Never.

  10. The one moment that hurt me badly. I’d undo in a heart beat. There was nothing positive that came from it…so yes. undo undo undo!

  11. I can’t say I’d go back and un-do the most heart-breaking moment of my life. I wouldn’t say it gives me more or less empathy for other people, though, either.

    I think with all heartbreak and tragedy you can choose how you will let it affect you. That it will affect you is a certainty, how it changes you is up to you.

  12. Nope. It’s the suckiest thing but I’d be afraid to change anything for fear that I wouldn’t be who I am now.

  13. Hell no. Not in a million years. The answer is in your question; it defined who I am today.

  14. I was married before I met my husband and that marriage scarred me. But it also taught me what I will and won’t put up with and what I won’t settle for. As much as that experience sucked, it made me stronger and gave me the tools to choose the right guy the second time around. Here’s to a happy and fulfilling marriage – seven years and counting.

  15. Thanks Casey for an excellent question and eloquent post. I wrote my response here, mostly because your other readers would hate me for taking up so much space.

  16. Rick Bucich says:

    I would like to add that I have one friend (who doesn’t read this blog) that became overly scarred. It has impeded her ability to trust and enter into healthy relationships and as such I fear she will remain single indefinitely. She hasn’t lacked quality suitors either, but tends to over-emphasize any apparent flaws leading to destructive behavior.

  17. I haven’t read through the comments that have come before me – there are way too many. So I’m sure this has probably been said by many, already – for there are many of us who share this boat with you.

    I look back at the heartbreak of a divorce and all that that entails. That lost love and destroyed marriage help to make me what and who am. I would not be what and who I am had I not experienced that loss. I would not have what I have now, had I not lost what I had before.

    I LOVE who I am now. I LOVE what I have now.

    Given the choice – I’ll take what I’ve got.

  18. I suffered from severe anxiety for a few years and at the time I swore I’d have rather had cancer or some other sort of disease for which I could be treated or had some physical reason to go along with it. Crazy, I know.

    But having gotten through it with LOTS of therapy, I’m grateful *now* to have learned so much about myself during the process. So no. I wouldn’t undo it, but I might undo some ofthe choices I made to get me there.

  19. Jennifer says:

    You know hurt and pain are just a part of life’s experiences. I would never go back. You learn, you live and most importantly you MOVE ON. Why waste time on regret? Why? Live for today! Enjoy the moments that make up the here and now and look at what each thing is teaching us.

  20. 70!

    I would, definitely definitely definitely, change a couple of those moments. Not *every* hard thing in my life, because you’re right, I wouldn’t be who I am now if it weren’t for certain events in my life, but you know, some things? Absolutely shouldn’t happen. To a 3 year old or to a 16 year old. Ever. (and what’s going on right now? I would TOTALLY change. But I’ve written a novel here so I won’t go into detail 😉 )

  21. My moment was in middle school. I thought I was a part of a group of kids and found out that I wasn’t. No one came up to me and said as much..they just talked about a party that they all went to that I wasn’t invited to..never heard about it until afterwards. Unfortunately, this has colored my friendships since. I can’t help but wonder if they are really my friends, are just putting up with me and when the shoe is going to drop. I don’t spend tons of time talking about it, but that experience had a profound affect on my life.

    So, would I change it? That is a good question. If I’m going to totally honest, the answer to that question would be yes.

  22. Yes, I would undo it. I know now that the boy I “dated” was always cheating on me, that he was ashamed of me, and that he lied every time he told me he loved me and didn’t mean it. He preyed on me as someone with little to no self-esteem. He took what little I had and crushed it with his self-centeredness. And now I truly don’t even know if I want to try to love anyone again – if that is the way that people who “love” me treat me….