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Questions And Answers: When Is It Okay To Break A Promise?

Thank you MizShagtastic, for posing such a thought provoking question in the Jackassery Forum of Questions and Answers.  My apologies for turning what's normally a precise if not curt response into a Mini-Novel, but those thoughts inspired this story assigned to me as a writing challenge several months ago.  It's one I was not able to previously write. 

~ thank you for breaking the chains ~

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Who hasn't broken a promise?

Who hasn't told their child, "I promise to take you to McDonalds after school", then unexpectedly you're late getting out of work, have to run to the dry cleaner, in traffic and barely make it in time to dance practice. By the time every errand and chore is complete, the only food offered are disappointing Hot Pockets over Happy Meals.  Is that so wrong?  We've all been there. 

Or, who couldn't forgive a friend for telling a secret she Promised not to share.  Even if it was a pretty big secret, most people have enough compassion and empathy to make allowances for at least one faux pas. 

Sure those broken promises are wrong, technically they all are, though they are at least forgivable.  However, the marriage promise is most important to me and it's one I ultimately broke after nearly 17 years.  Some would say marriage vows are unbreakable; nothing but an affair or steady *** whoopin' could excuse. 

I suppose if this Ultimate Promise of My Forever wasn't so important, forgiveness wouldn't be a struggle right now.  Yes, I'm the the one who gave up... and it WAS VERY WRONG; though it's a decision I don't regret (which is the conundrum I face).

I keep working through the reasons and rationalizations; telling myself I did try hard enough.  Asking myself the same question 5 minutes later, "Did I?".  One thing I do know, is I never see marrying again because I NEVER want to be in a position to break a promise that strong EVER AGAIN!

Marriage is sacred in my eyes. I don't know if breaking that promise is unforgivable or not.

I'll let you know someday if I ever forgive myself.

DrewBerry DrewBerry 46-50, F 22 Responses Dec 7, 2009

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We do put ourselves thru hell for nothing!!<br />
I am able to live with it more and more each day<br />
Thankfully dad, Randy and I have made our peace.<br />
Custody is still half and half as we have a 'contention plan' for when things escalate to the point of losing our temper and resorting to 'spanking'. He's 14 years old for heavens sake...<br />
Truth is, I CAN'T DO IT ALONE. I NEED HIS DAD...... that's the truth. My son knows it too... <br />
Day by day.<br />
<br />
thanks friends

I have been married twice.... the first husband broke off the marriage, he went and had a vasectomy when he knew I wanted children...it broke my heart because I still loved him.<br />
<br />
Second guy I divorced due to violence...but strangely, I felt guilty because he is the father of my son and this divorce would effect him as well as me.<br />
<br />
It took a while but reallity did overtake my guilt when I realized remaining married to him would be worse than if we had stayed.<br />
<br />
Why do we women corner the market on *guilt* ?<br />
<br />
We put ourselves through hell for nothing.

AP - I would happily be dragged off by You and Happy, ANY DAY..<br />
<br />
Let's plan a little party cruise on that sailboat<br />
<br />
I hear HS makes a MEAN MAI TAI

Oh dear. How did I miss this story? Sorry DrewBerry...<br />
<br />
Reading your story and all the comments left by some very wise and insightful people, I know you will be okay. If you should ever find yourself doubting that, we will ride in and drag you -- kicking and screaming -- away from despair and self-doubt (*happysailor will do all the manly heavy lifting; I'm only good at soothing noises).<br />
<br />
xoxo<br />
<br />
Love,<br />
Andrew

And I'm feeling your warm embrace Angel. Thanks from my heart..<br />
xxxx

I won't repeat what anyone else has so eloquently put. I will just embrace you with my angel wings, and tell you I've been where you are. Your love of self, and for your son will conquer your fears. You have many here who stand by you, and support you hun.<br />
Love and Hugs, T~<br />
xxoo

HappySailor my friend - it was not my intention to leave you and Star out of my responses. I really thought I had them all covered... I appreciate the time you both took to read and share.. <br />
<br />
you are all true friends!!!!!<br />
<br />
~ galaxy hug to all ~

HappySailor my friend - it was not my intention to leave you and Star out of my responses. I really thought I had them all covered... I appreciate the time you both took to read and share.. <br />
<br />
you are all true friends!!!!!<br />
<br />
~ galaxy hug to all ~

Not ignoring luv, just still contemplating; yesterday was rough.<br />
<br />
StarliteRose - thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I see what you are saying on a practical level. It's a bit tougher actually convincing myself of those truths. It's coming.

Comment ignoring dorkazoid - <br />
<br />
If it's guilt you don't want and forgiveness you are struggling with... read my stories.... AGAIN

Coyote - you get your own response, because your thoughts and words resonate the most in my mind.<br />
<br />
It's those 'assumptions' I wasn't quite prepared for. Gosh, in the naivete our twenties, nothing was insurmountable, remember? I could spend years contemplating, reasoning and reflecting on just that one thought. But, what would be gained?<br />
<br />
Which brings me to the guts of your remark.... the point of the whole story actually.. 'Struggling With Forgiveness'<br />
<br />
And I've come to the conclusion that carrying the sack is no help to me AT ALL... None. It does not feel good and I release it right here, right now as I type these words... NO MORE GUILT!<br />
<br />
Today I proclaim: LIFE IS FOR THE LIVING AND SUFFERING IS FOR THE FOOLS.<br />
<br />
~ this is very liberating ~<br />
<br />
Your words echo in my mind... thanks friend.

Wilmaaa - what can I say that you don't know is already in my heart? words cannot express, so I'm not even gonna try. You know!<br />
<br />
Salar - I agree with every thing you say as long as the 'reasons' were right... It's in the reasons I left that make me wonder if I should not have given it a better go... but I know there was NO SURVIVING any other way.. I KNOW THIS.. still, I digress..

i gotta go get the boy... lordy lordy.. <br />
<br />
~ genuflect ~<br />
<br />
see you all when i get back from the dark side..<br />
<br />
J/k.. it's not that bad.. we've come a long way.<br />
<br />
Proper responses to all when I get back..

DB - You have done your penance love.... I was just telling LR yesterday that imperfection is what makes us beautiful and different...<br />
<br />
If you double post with a million miles away statement, does it feel like they are 2 million miles away???<br />
*whips out galaxy atlas*<br />
<br />
I will take over proofreading wilmaaa's comments if you want to take a break...<br />
<br />
I see SR is standing tall and proud today... <br />
Let alone prophetic... *smiles*<br />
<br />
;O)P*

Drew sugar, from my experience of you--through your writing and your interactions with me--you are a very kind and sensitive person. Even this story and your struggle to forgive yourself is evidence of that. Sweetie, even if you can't see it right now, it's NOT your fault. You are human, and as humans we all make decisions that we have to correct and learn from. We get wiser as we get older, so it's only part of the human experience that we feel critical of some of our past decisions--even when those decisions were for the best. Just know that it has made you stronger and wiser. *BIG HUGS*

ha ha Wilmaaa you have a grammar error on your first line.<br />
<br />
Did you do that just to make me feel better? <br />
<br />
~ it did ~ chuckles ~

Glad to hear it W ......

As Coyotegray says Drew ..... Set aside your guilt place it in a box and throw away the key never to be visited again .... Oh and get on with your life lady

Wilmaaa, Salar and Coyote - I can't comment thru my tears ATM.. but I'm here and feel the comfort from you all.<br />
<br />
Though you are a million miles away, you are my closest most treasured friends!

Breaking that promise was actually right , you knew it so you did it Drew ..... Isnt the most important promise the one to thy self , to be happy and contribute ? there fore an obligation of marriage when one realise,s that it,s not right ,the wrong choice taken are we to then life a life of misery and heart ache I think not , you made the right choice for you .....

Randy (my son's name BTW) - I'm touched by your thoughtful response as I read it through my tears. Of course I want comments, and encouragement; your's came at just the right moment this afternoon.<br />
<br />
You see, today, I got my validation for leaving when I had to call child protctive services on my ex during a heated and increasingly physical confronation with our son. We never had a violent relationship, though the turbulance began to rear it's ugly head in the last days of our marriage. <br />
<br />
Today was the last time I will watch him push our child around. I will no longer have to witness the look of fear on our childs face from his dad's heavy hand. Because as of today, no more split custody. I'm officially full time Single Mom of a child even his mother has trouble loving fully.<br />
<br />
I'm scared as ****, but know I am doing the right thing...<br />
<br />
Forgiveness of myself is easier today. <br />
<br />
Now I just need the strength to face this new and frightening challenge.

it WAS VERY WRONG; though it's a decision I don't regret.................Hmmm A deep bit of reflection and careful pondering is called for , As I cautiously attempt a word of interest on this delicate subject .. before I can make a do comment ;) I'll let you know someday ...<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
Ok. long enough LOl ,<br />
drew not that you even incouraged a request for a response, but I still feel a need to toss my 2 cents in the ring and will surely start a fire storm of dank remarks..<br />
<br />
<br />
Drew girlfriend, I usally let most post slide and just send a chipper little remark , but this concerns most likely deserves a more personal response , but hey I'll open it up to the forum, so if anyone else likes to shoot a volley or two forth so be it.<br />
<br />
We need to feel in control and not trapped, unfortunately allot of times those we look towards do just the opposite to prevent our falling away!<br />
<br />
They forget the happiness , warmth, solidarity and comfort shared amongst each other and tend to wander off and forget the passion, desires and hopes we brought to the relationship.. during the passing of times these emotions seemingly tear at us and make us feel less important than we rightfully should!<br />
The sense to just want to be needed ,wanted and happy again lights a fire in our soul to seek betterments, that help us survive along this sucky dry *** travelin road we wander through. <br />
I feel no shame or should you, for your heart and soul knows whats the right reason and answer to that question you ponder on... <br />
<br />
Seeking happiness can be a difficult rip, when those you thought would reside with you always start to realize just how far they truly tread from that path of equalness and sharring!<br />
<br />
They now press and fight harder to hold on to what was given, apparently struggling to retain that which was given by a free will by a not forced want ,as it may now have become. <br />
Times We relent, othertimes we become enraged by the suffication of this attempt and forcing compliance and true independence is / becomes the last resort of freedom will.<br />
Be happy and safe For you are a true good soul<br />
YF Randy