While chatting with Sarah, I had to ask, “What attracted you to Robert?” Her ex- husband, former NFL player Robert Henson, was a chronic cheater. Even before they were married, Sarah spent a great deal of time chasing away other women. At times, Robert was absolutely shameless with his shenanigans – and I mean shameless! What was so special about this guy? “He was the first person who saw me for who I was. He didn’t care that my father was T.D. Jakes, and he didn’t care that I had a son at fourteen,” Sarah said. “I thought that, if I fell in love with him and had a family, our marriage would be the foundation of everything great in my life. We were both broken, and we accepted each other’s broken pieces.”
But Sarah was no “damsel in distress.” She ruthlessly pursued Robert, although she knew he had a fiancé. In Lost and Found, she wrote, “My story is not unique. For quite a few women who are broken and ashamed, like I’ve been, we actively play a role in hurting another woman just so a man can validate us. Piece by piece we give ourselves away, hoping that each piece will amount to enough to make us special to him.” This jolting honesty makes Sarah’s story intriguingly complex. Within her, there’s a woman who we resent, a woman who we understand, and a woman whom many of us have been.
Even with all the dirt that Robert threw on Sarah (and he threw a lot), never once did she blame him for her pain. She owned the aftermath of her mistakes. “I apologize for every text, call, date, kiss, and other selfish acts committed to feed my own insecurity,” Sarah stated. “My self- doubt made me an assailant. And in these decisions, I reaped everything I sowed.”
Sarah heaped mistake upon mistake in a tireless quest to win Robert, and sank deeper and deeper trying to earn forgiveness for her teen pregnancy. She dropped out of school, moved in with her philandering boyfriend, and kept lying to her parents. “My parents had no idea what was going on. If they did, they would’ve never allowed me to marry Robert,” Sarah confessed. “Nobody knew what I was going through. I didn’t feel like I could run home and call off the wedding. I had already messed up. I had a baby at fourteen. I wasted my parent’s money on college, and dropped out. But while my parents were planning my wedding, I was still finding out about Robert [having affairs] with other women. But I thought that was all I deserved. I didn’t think I deserved better. I always felt the most weak when I was with him.” And that saga didn’t end when the couple got married. It just got worse. Sarah continued to ignore the “red flags,” and suffered in silence. “I didn’t want to be the person who gave up on him. I didn’t want to be the person who let him down. I was so busy trying to love Robert that I kept forgetting to love myself,” Sarah confided. Eventually, the lying, cheating, fighting, and dysfunction got so bad that the couple divorced after four years of marriage.