Forgiving You Was Easy

My husband asked about my blog the other day. I told him it was about ‘Forgiveness’, and he smiled at me.

“So I should forgive so and so from work for driving me nuts.” he replied.

I laughed a little bitterly and proceeded to read him the first paragraph. He was quiet after hearing it, and I smiled sadly over at him. “Forgiveness isn’t easy, and sometimes I think it’s just a fairy tale.”

After reading the replies from members in the ‘Betrayed Spouse Club’ I realized I hadn’t elaborated on why and what I want out of forgiveness.

I asked my sons to forgive their father, to let go of the hate they were carrying.

I watched hate grow in their hearts and it changed them.

If I’m being honest (and I try to be on here) I got a certain satisfaction in knowing they hated their dad…sad and pathetic I know…but it felt good.

I was the one they circled around to protect and it left him in the cold, by himself.

I got to see my husband plea for forgiveness from my oldest son, and tell him ‘his side’ of the story’, my son stood listening in silence, then looked at his dad and replied “It still doesn’t make it right” and walked away.

I felt them pulling away from him and embracing me and it was justice, my retribution, my ultimate revenge.

God whispered in my ear “How is knowingly letting hate grow in your sons’ hearts, any less selfish than what he did?”

“Right is right and wrong is wrong, and you should always do right no matter how hard.”

My words to my kids and yet I was letting wrong happen.

I was letting my anger and my hurt, harm my kids.

How was I being any different from my husband?

Because I had my ‘He had an affair card’, and it allowed me to be mad and crazy?

I knew I could either embrace wrong and walk down that path, dragging my children with me, or be a mom.

I have always believed as a mom, you don’t get to be selfish, or ever think of yourself first…you put your children first, no matter what.

I pulled my boys aside in the car, in their rooms, and told them I needed them to forgive their dad, to let go of the hate. I didn’t want them to carry hate around in their hearts. I let them know it was okay to forgive him, okay to love him, it didn’t mean they loved me any less. I gave them permission to forgive his hurt of me.

I have done a lot of wrong in my life, but I did good when it came to raising those boys.

I have watched over the last year as hate was replaced with hope, and hope became love.

They have formed new relationships with their dad, and they let go of the hate. THEY LET GO OF HATE…

I want to forgive for me,

I want to let go of the anger and hate.

I want to look at my husband without eyes clouded by hate.

I want a lighter heart, because the one I carry around now is heavy and it makes every step I take toward healing a struggle.

Hate and anger weigh you down.

I know I will never forget, and it’s a pain I will live with for the rest of my life. I hate what he did to me and my kids, but I’m so tired of hating him.

I want to be happy again, I want to laugh more and cry less, I want my heart to heal…it can’t heal if it’s full of hate.

I want to forgive for my kids sake, they deserve to have a mom who isn’t angry.

I want to forgive because I deserve peace.

I have to believe forgiveness is possible, because I refuse to be defined by his affair.

I have to hope with the help of my friends and God forgiveness is at the end of my path to healing.

“Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting”

– Dixie Chicks –

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11 Responses to Forgiving You Was Easy

  1. brokenjoan says:

    Kelly, I think you need to do what you think is best for you & your marriage, we all have our own issues, this is not a one size fits all, as hard as it is we get up everyday & try again, wishing our husbands had given us even half this much of a chance. My heart is with you my friend,XO Joan

  2. THIS is the best post for me, personally, so far! Thank you!

    This is a perfect stepping stone as we embark with counseling tomorrow night.

    Thank you so much for sharing this…xxoo

  3. Nephila says:

    I don’t agree at all. I found it just another beating round the head to be told I should forgive, and utter nonsense that it was for my sake. Especially since the OW was the main one screaming it.

    I love Janis Spring’s book How can I forgive you? She talks about how as a therapist it’s totally unsatisfactory to have to tell people that forgiveness and withholding forgiveness are the only choices. It’s just something else to rob us of, our right NOT to forgive the unforgivable. Instead she crafts the solution as Acceptance. I agree you have to accept what happened and move on, eventually on your own timetable. No one else’s. But I don’t think that requires forgiveness.

    I got to acceptance with my cheating dad years ago without even having that book. But this one is going to take me a while longer. Forgiveness is not necessarily the only legitimate goal.

    • brokenjoan says:

      Kelly, you are right we all see forgiveness differently, but I agree with Nephila & others on here, I really believe you can move on without forgiving & I don’t think just because you don’t say the words I forgive you, that you are still holding on to hatred for anyone. But if that’s what it takes for you to move on & it helps you move on, I am so happy for you. XO Joan

      • Thank you Joan 🙂 I don’t know if I will ever say the words…I’m not much of a planner, but I hope to find it in my heart for my own peace. I really do hope on my death bed my final words aren’t “You slept with a whore” and are instead ” I love you” to my husband…otherwise I shouldn’t stay with him and should move on for everyone’s sakes. Hugs to you Joan.

      • Nephila says:

        Thank you brokenjoan. I have no problem being judged for my behaviour before, during and after the affair. I stand on my merits and I’m proud of my strength. I judge bad behaviour harshly myself and I don’t back away from that.

        But part of that is that I won’t accept that *I* am (insert nasty adjective) because I won’t forgive. Being harmed doesn’t give the victim further responsibilities it actually gives them considerable latitude.

        And I will never buy the crappy line that forgiveness is for me not them. Almost everyone hung up on obligations of forgiveness is someone with a big skeleton in their closet. Self serving claptrap.

        I hope one day I can accept it happened. But that’s not a decision, it’s not in my power. It’s something that may or may not happen, eventually.

        Feelings are feelings and you feel them as long as you feel them. As long as my actions are honest and legal I will never be ashamed of my feelings.

  4. Nephila says:

    Oh and I totally think the thing wrong with forgiveness is that it’s saying it was no big deal anymore. And I don’t buy it when people say that’s not implied. I’ve forgiven a lot of things and yep, eventually they were no big deal. This is qualitatively different.

    • I guess what I was trying to say is we all see forgiveness differently…I see it as letting go of the hate in my heart and stepping out into the light. I see it as deciding to move on despite what was done to me, and deciding how it will define me. I see it as letting go of the constant anger and choosing happy. I’m not there yet, but by the grace of God I will be someday. I think maybe you all think I’m saying to excuse the affair, and telling my husband what he did was okay…I’m not. By forgiving him I’m letting him know I love him despite his actions. He knows I will never forget, and he just wants me to be happy. I think by embracing hate and holding on to it I will become like he was, or even worse the whore.

      • Nephila says:

        I know you don’t think it’s condoning, but then I wouldn’t call that forgiveness at all. It’s a great book. The definitions are very helpful. I just think what you’re saying sounds like something I don’t even think is a good idea for me. I would chafe at the injustice of it. But acceptance is a decent goal. Nothing to do with forgiveness. Forgiveness has to be earned, and even then it’s not an obligation.

    • Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.[1][2][3] Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offence from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship…so I would call what I’m striving for as forgiveness. I don’t know why it’s become a ‘dirty’ word to betrayed spouses. And I’m not trying to tell anyone what they should do, but why I feel it’s important for me.

      • Nephila says:

        That’s fine. Good for you. If you want to understand why I don’t like the word I think Janis Spring explains it brilliantly.

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