Forgiveness

I’ve mentioned Divorce Care before. We met last night, and the topic was “Forgiveness”. (Thank God they skipped over “New Relationships” because after “Single Sexuality” I just don’t think I could take any more awkwardness.) Anyway, I’ve been mulling over the idea of it in regards to my own situation (forgiveness, not sexuality) ever since.

In the video, they were talking about how forgiveness means you’re no longer wishing to “get even” with your ex. You don’t care anymore about making sure they’re punished for the wrongs they’ve committed against you. Hanging onto anger/bitterness just hurts you without really affecting them at all. It was all good points!

My issue is…I don’t really want harm to come to my ex. I haven’t been forcing the issue on things that I know would make his life difficult – getting the stuff out of the house, getting him off my insurance, child support, filing taxes, etc. I’ve tried to stand up for myself/Wade without doing things just to be spiteful. I want him to succeed in life because I want him to be a good father for Wade. His life falling apart won’t help me at all.

But.

I also don’t feel like I’ve forgiven him. I was trying to express this feeling during the discussion last night, and I don’t think I explained myself well. The conversation turned toward how we’ll never know why they said/did the things they have, we just have to accept that it is what it is and move on. I don’t think it’s the why that bothers me, though. People do shitty things to each other because sometimes life is shitty. I did things wrong, he did things wrong, decisions were made, and now we’re divorced.

What is picking away at my brain is…what. The events of last summer caught me so insanely off-guard that I’m not sure my brain will ever stop spinning over it. I know – I know – things that he’s done, and lied about doing. I have heard  first-hand accounts from multiple sources that don’t know each other and have nothing to gain from lying to me about it. I know a Big Thing that he’s never admitted to, and I know a Small Thing that he lied to me about for YEARS and has still not admitted to. When I first learned about each of these things (after he’d already moved out) I messaged him about them and either didn’t get a response (Little Thing) or got lies (Big Thing). And neither have ever been brought up again. Because I have accepted that he won’t be honest with me. Why? I don’t care.

But.

I hate that I’ll never know the truth. The only person that knows exactly what happened in/to our marriage is the one person that won’t be honest with me. So I’m never going to know what else, if anything (I’m sure there are other things), was a lie. And that drives me insane. I’m working on getting over it, because there’s no point in obsessing over something you can’t change. I’ve accepted that our marriage is over, and accepted that I’ll never fully understand why he made that decision… So eventually I’ll be able to accept that I’ll never know what all I need to forgive him for. I just need to know that I’ve forgiven him.

And maybe one day I can.

Today is not that day, though.

They said that forgiveness is a decision first, a feeling second. And that you can work on being willing to be willing to forgive, before you’re actually willing to forgive. And I think I’m there. I want to want to forgive him. Because what’s the point of not?

Maybe one day I won’t flip his shop off as I drive by.

Maybe.

11 Replies to “Forgiveness”

  1. Forgiveness is the worst thing to deal with. They don’t talk about it when talking about divorce the same way they don’t talk about pulling out the placenta when talking about giving birth.
    It’s an afterthought, but a very important one.

    1. And, yeah – you’re right. Dealing with the seven stages of grief, or whatever, was nothing compared to having to work through forgiveness. Because they’re all passive actions, I guess… I *feel* angry, depressed, etc. because of something that’s happened to me. I can accept that I’m going to feel these emotions for awhile and just have to ride them out until they’re over. But forgiveness is something I have to actively work on. It’s forcing me to be all adult and grow as a human and I don’t like it. lolol

  2. I get letting it drive you insane.
    Hell, I’m not even INVOLVED, and not knowing what either THING is drives my brain nutty (and obviously it’s NONE of my business, but you know, the human brain craves knowledge.)
    But especially when you were invested for so long, I’d want to know the everything of it all too.
    I’m bad at forgiveness. Like really bad.
    I almost have a balance sheet in my head, and I’m terrible about dragging things into the argument that happened in the past and have NOTHING TO DO with a current issue.
    So yeah. I’m sure youre doing as good as you can given everything (and better, imo, but what do I know?)
    I think you’re doing excellent stuff for your son and holding your life together. I also would have to push the issue on everything, regardless, so you’re a better person than me in that regard.
    Rock on, friend. You’re doing awesome.

    1. Yeah… I just love KNOWING stuff. Even when there’s drama that has nothing to do with me, I love knowing all the details. So to not know the details of my actual own real-life shit? It’s beyond frustrating.

      Forgiveness has never been much of an issue in my life…partially because no one has ever done anything truly awful to me up until this point. lol! So I guess I’ve learned that I’m not very good at it, either. But like I said – I’d like to be! I want a future where I can interact with him without wanting to punch his face. Have joint birthday parties or sit near each other at sports ball games. (Side note – I dread the years Wade’s playing sports…)

      But thank you. 🙂 I’m trying to do my best, for Wade if not for myself. I’d love to be petty and dramatic, but I really don’t want to have any regrets about this moment in time when I look back on it, or when I have to explain things to Wade when he’s older.

  3. Sounds like some gaslighting honestly, which is hard to forgive. Mostly just because you’re not exactly sure what you’re forgiving or if they did anything at all. (In some cases. You seem pretty clear that he did wrong.)

    It’s literally years after the fact and I am still just now uncovering BS my ex pulled. It’s makes it hard to forgive because I keep finding new stuff that I think he did, but I’m not able to trust my own mind. And we don’t have to worry about seeing each other again – though that thought does haunt me.

    That’s a very roundabout and jumbled way of saying that I get what you mean. It’s hard to be forgiving when you don’t know the full truth.

    Have I used the word “forgive” and it’s various forms enough? I’m very tired.

    1. Yeah, that dude was a real piece of work. I’m glad you’ve got a better life/family now. <3

      I guess it goes back to forgiveness being for YOU rather than him. All you can do is forgive what you know about, and know that you'll be able to forgive the things you may or may not discover in the future. But it can definitely throw you for a loop every time you discover something new.

      I found out The Big Thing first, and it was pretty upsetting, but not altogether surprising. It was more of a "oh, well...yeah, that makes sense, then" kind of moment. Finding out The Small Thing was almost harder, because it revealed that he was willing/able to lie to me over something fairly minor for years without hesitation...so it opened a Pandora's Box of "well wtf else happened in our marriage that I don't know?"

      You know?

      ugh.

      1. I struggle with forgiveness feeling a lot like “letting someone walk all over me because they face no consequences.” People tell me it’s freeing to forgive and I certainly hope that’s true.

        1. Very true. I guess we just have to remind ourselves that forgiving THEM doesn’t add/remove anything to THEIR punishment. It releases us from our (self-inflicted) punishment. Me internally raging against my ex doesn’t hurt him nearly as much as it hurts me (if it even hurts him at all).

          But, yeah. I get it.

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