Video: What Do You Wish You Had Known Sooner?
Video by The Real Daytime
"Knowing what I know now about who I married, I wouldn't have married him," Jeannie Mai declared on a recent segment of The Real. She opens up about an issue that, as a woman, you probably either fear or have experienced: Divorce. Jeannie and her husband of 10 years split for many reasons, but the main reason is that Jeannie knew she did not want children. It was the one thing the couple disagreed on.
Even though they divorced, Jeannie admits she was still in love with him. But, she said, her ex-huband proved to her something he always warned her of: "You really truly don't know a person until they don't get what they want." It was an ironic, tragic turning point in their relationship. He was not the same man she fell in love with. She wondered, "Did I know the real you or is this the real you?"
Unfortunately, the questions and thoughts racing in her head are very typical in divorce. You can't just make yourself stop loving someone. However, sometimes you need to make the tough decision to end the relationship because it is the best thing for you both. It's particularly painful, however, when the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with ends up behaving in a way that betrays all the beautiful things that made you fall in love with them in the first place.
Regret never feels good, but it is a way that life teaches us lessons about who we are and what we are capable of. It could not have been easy to decide to get a divorce, but Jeannie selflessly set her ex-husband free so he could experience being a father.
Also, Jeannie learned who is there for her. Divorce is still highly stigmatised. Many people cut out divorced friends for a period following the event to avoid the uncomfortable conversation and any possible drama. In this segment, Jeannie thanks her co-hosts for checking on her and inviting her to events. In this way, they showed love to her when she needed it most. They remained as a vital support group in her life.
Through her platform, Jeannie can speak to millions of women, many of whom may be experiencing divorce themselves. It's a brave act to be so publicly raw. It's an act that will have an impact on the lives of others, and it shows women everywhere that:
Life will be okay after divorce.
It's okay to feel both love and regret during divorce.
Your regrets can teach you big lessons.
Women need to support each other.
Is there anyone in your life who turned out to be different than you believed? It doesn't necessarily have to be your romantic partner, either. All relationships run the risk of going awry. Every person we love can disappoint us with their actions. In Jeannie's case, she would have skipped the heartache if she knew where it would lead, but it was too late. What do you wish you had known sooner? Would it have made any difference?