Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.” How many times have I heard that? “Forgiveness is the Christian thing to do!” Well, then it is a damn good thing I’m not a Christian.

What will it take for me to forgive MC? Now, that is really the question on my mind and I don’t have the answer.

He seems to understand the pain he has caused, the costs of his tomfuckery to me. Still, no forgiveness.

He is with me every step of the way through this pain, even with my repeat of questions nearing the thousands, probably tens of thousands. Still, no forgiveness.

He would love my forgiveness, realizes that he has much for which to be forgiven, and doesn’t expect that it will ever happen, loving me and being there through the shit storm he created regardless. Still, no forgiveness.

I know in my head and in my heart (finally) that the past can never be better, it can never be different. Still no forgiveness.

He is working to fix his fundamental flaws, to become healthy, authentic and safe. Still, no forgiveness.

So, what now? Time? I have no answer to this question. Maybe recognizing all of the above in my head and my heart is the closest I can get. I don’t know?

Maybe it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe, it is a decision, a choice every day to forgive. And, each and every day, I will have to accept for the day only, “today, I choose to forgive you.”

Maybe, I am still working on forgiving myself for allowing myself to live with fear of his ego for so long? And, until I get there, forgiving another for this shit is not realistic?

Maybe, I am just grasping at straws. Maybe forgiveness includes other things I have not yet discovered. Maybe forgiveness is all of these things.  Maybe, forgiveness is none of these things. Maybe, it doesn’t really fucking matter. I don’t know. What do you think?

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9 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. I wish I could tell you that if he does A and B then you’ll be able to forgive. It’s obviously not that simple. I guess time is an element, him doing the things you need from him consistently is an element, and having open and honest communication is an element. And no more tomfuckery, obviously is an element. But even that may not be enough. At some point, I think you’ll either have enough proof that it won’t happen again and your marriage will get back on track or you’ll realize you can’t forgive this and you’ll have had enough trying to gain it back. I’m not able to tell you when that’ll be though. Just keep plugging away, trying, and talking. The answer, one way or another, will reveal itself to you eventually, I think. Not much of an answer to your question I guess, but it’s all I’ve got. 😜

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  2. Interesting points for sure, I think most of which make a lot of sense. The thing is I don’t really feel like I am trying to get anything back. We really have had to start over, from a healthier foundation, and I do feel like we are doing that, I feel like he is my friend and I even love the son-of-a-bitch (gasp). Blind-faith is gone forever, and that is just fine.

    I am pondering here, brainstorming if you will. I wonder if I associate forgiveness with allowing myself to be vulnerable again. I don’t ever want to be so over-confident that I ignore or rug sweep red-flags, ever. Maybe, I am afraid forgiveness leads down that road. Maybe that is irrational of me. Maybe I’ll get over that fear and find it is only part of it. I don’t know.

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  3. Choice? Yes. I think it’s a choice. I say that because it’s all I’ve got. I don’t feel like I’ve forgiven….I know it’s a process, but I don’t feel that “relief” I think I should feel. I also don’t feel love. I guess for me I somehow think the two go hand in hand…that maybe once I feel the forgiveness, I’ll feel the love.

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    1. Yes, I want, but do not expect, forgiveness. I think the word “forgive” connotes the phrase “forgive and forget” for many people who seek forgiveness. Forgetting is neither possible nor desirable. I suspect forgetting is a bad idea in all cases.

      I do actually believe it is possible to love without forgiving. Love is choosing to want the best for the other person.

      To forgive, says the dictionary, is to stop feeling angry or resentful for an offense, to stop blaming someone, or to cancel a debt. I certainly don’t expect TL to stop blaming me for lies and adultery. I did those things. I am responsible. That will never change.

      I don’t think it’s necessary, nor likely, that she cancel my debts — emotional debts — to her. I do owe her lots of affection, support, and companionship that I failed to give her during my many years of betrayal. I may never be able to repay that debt, but I gladly promise to try. I want to do these things regardless, but I owe them nonetheless.

      Should she stop feeling angry or resentful for my offenses? I don’t know. I certainly understand those feelings. I’d surely feel them if the roles were reversed. Sometimes, more and more as time passes, I see TL’s anger and resentment sink beneath the surface, leaving us with a vision of love, compassion, and labor on our relationship. Occasionally, maybe when she’s feeling particularly weak, the anger and resentment surface. Those are difficult times, and I can clearly see the allure (for me) of forgiveness at those times.

      I think that leaves me with this as the remaining reason I pray for forgiveness: when we’re not struggling with immediate anger and resentment, I think we are happy together. At least, I’m happy at those times. I don’t know if TL can say the same. In fact, combined with the counseling and other work I’m doing, I’m now happier at those moments than I ever was before D-day.

      I hope that TL can be happy too. If she would be happier without me, I’d accept her decision to separate. If there is any chance she can be happy with me, I only want forgiveness in the sense of helping TL be a bit more free from the pain that anger and resentment cause her.

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  4. I agree TL and RH it’s difficult knowing what forgiveness looks like.
    The process the joy some say after you truly have forgiven
    I don’t know if I’m there I suppose it depends on my goal now that I think about it.
    Loved this post not that I am any help just knowing I’m not alone.
    Is nice

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also struggle with the concept of forgiveness. I’ve actually dropped the idea completely because I am at a loss as to what it feels like. I’m not religious. I am with him – isn’t that a form of forgiveness? I’m wirking on creating a worthwhile marriage. Is that a form of forgiveness? I love him. What does that mean? A while back I decided that I will work on ‘accepting’ what he did and stop wishing for the past to be different. For the adultery to not have taken place. This has proved more helpful to me, demands less but still creates a healing space. On good days I accept it but I still have my moments when I want to throw it all in the air, scream at the injustice of it all and condemn all women who knowingly shag someone else’s husband! Mind you, I have more steps going forwards rather than backwards so I guess I’m making progress 🙂

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  6. NH and MR: I think you are both so right, it is difficult to know what it looks like, maybe that is part of the problem.

    I imagine, almost fantasize, it is fully letting go of the anger and perhaps a sense of closure on some level. I really do want to get to that for my own health and sanity, even if that is not what forgiveness looks like, I sure want those things in my heart and mind. Perhaps I am putting too much pressure on myself?

    I hate that others feel this too, but am also relieved to know I am not the only one!

    I was thinking about when I was 15 years old. My parents separated and I went with my Mom because I worried what would become of her if there wasn’t someone to watch over her. My Dad, who I had always been much closer to, was not a financially responsible person. Yet again, he was late on child support. He and I got into it with me telling him, it was not only his legal obligation, but moral obligation to make sure Mom got that money ON TIME, being late AGAIN was unacceptable! I really let him have it. I walked off in anger and overheard him tell my Mom that he wasn’t worried about me being angry at him because I couldn’t maintain my anger at him, and would forgive in a day or two. I stopped talking to him, refused to see him or have anything to do with him.

    My Mom didn’t drive and as soon as I got my license, I got a very old beater car. In fact, my Dad traded some inventory from his “business” for it. Before my parents had separated, my parents often borrowed money from me (money I had earned from babysitting or gifts from grandparents) and never paid it back, so I told my Mom I would accept the car as payback. I was 16 at this time, still not talking to my Dad.

    I drove my Mom to see a friend a few hours away. On our way home, my car broke down. A policeman got us to the nearest town. My Mom called my Dad. Knowing I wasn’t speaking to him, knowing even giving me a car didn’t change a thing, knowing I had not forgiven him, knowing that it was likely I still wouldn’t, he dropped everything and came to get us. He fixed my car on the side of the highway and then followed us home, to make sure we made it. I am still not exactly sure why, but after all of that, I forgave him. He never again assumed he could always ask for forgiveness and expect to receive it.

    I remember what it felt like to forgive. I let go of the anger. I let go of the grudge. I also again believed in him enough to know he cared about me, that he loved me. So, when I think about forgiveness with Mindless, I remember this for some reason. Not sure what to make of it all, but I somehow think it is relevant to my block today. I don’t know.

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