It is the gift that I have given myself.
I also realize that forgiveness, or the meaning is different for everyone. I don’t presume to give advice. I only know what it means to me.
There was a man that I once loved. We did everything together, vacations, holidays, every weekend we had plans. We spent time with friends, went to parties together; we enjoyed spending time with each other. We were a couple. This is the man that I loved.
The man that hurt me, chose a different path. Sneaking around, lying, cheating… this man, I don’t like and I don’t want him in my life or in my head.
I know what he gave away, and it is his loss. He may never acknowledge it, but I know. I feel sorry for him… the one I once loved.
I forgive him and wish him well in his new life, but I know that it will never be the same for him or me. Just like you can never go home again, there is no turning back the pages, or going back to the way life was before. That life doesn’t exist any longer.
Because I have forgiven him doesn’t mean that I have forgotten what he caused. I don’t excuse his behavior or find it acceptable. He hurt me, and I have felt it, and lived through it.
I still remember the day he told me. I remember the feeling of my world turning upside down. I remember the denial, the hope, the pain and the loss of what I believed in. It took me almost a year to give up, give in, and accept that it was over. I have no control over his decisions or his life. He can do with it what he will. Best of luck.
In forgiving him, I am finding peace with what happened. I’ve filled up my bag of negative energy and I’m getting it out of my head and out of my life. It is emotional baggage of a past that I can’t change, and I don’t want.
I’ve had to learn to forgive myself. I’ve never blamed myself for his actions, but I have asked myself repeatedly how I could be so blind; how I could lose my SELF, my voice, my values… it goes on. Perhaps fear of the unknown makes it seem worse than accepting the familiar slights. Easier to put up and shut up. I can’t imagine me ever telling him that I would like a divorce so I can date other men, after I created a snail trail across the state. Uh… that would mean that I would need a plan, and packing, and moving…. all for what, another Dick? It’s like Groundhog Day and Deliverance all rolled into one.
The quote below is from Psychology Today: What is forgiveness, really? I think this speaks to me:
“What Forgiveness Is
Forgiveness is, in part, a willingness to drop the narrative on a particular injustice, to stop telling ourselves over and over again the story of what happened, what this other person did, how we were injured, and all the rest of the upsetting things we remind ourselves in relation to this unforgivable-ness. It’s a decision to let the past be what it was, to leave it as is, imperfect and not what we wish it had been. Forgiveness means that we stop the shoulda, coulda, woulda been-s and relinquish the idea that we can create a different (better) past.”
Dear Lord, I hope I have learned a hard lesson.
I used to like this song.
Ahhhh…the partner problem. I totally agree with SpaghettiSam. I never cared who she is, what her name is, or where she lives, works or hangs out. The only questions I asked after he confessed his sin were, “Does she know you’re married?” His answer, “Yes”. And, “Is she married too?” “No”.
I’m sure their relationship didn’t just happen over night, and longer than the month he confessed to. It was a work in progress over a much longer time, and she’s probably not the only one he was toying with. She just out-witted and out-lasted the others. Yay, she won the “prize”.
I stuck it out, living with him for another 6 months, thinking we could reconnect after he told me he was no longer seeing her. No, I had a partner problem. I was willing to go the extra mile if he stopped seeing her, but it was a lie. I left because of the lies. I refuse to live with liar. By the time I left, if I had known where she lives, I would have stuck a bow on him and hand delivered him to her. Most people, that I know, would be offended if I gave them the gift that keeps on giving… lying, cheating, demanding, entitled and manipulative. But, I’m pretty sure she would appreciate my thoughtfulness.
When I left, I expunged myself from the house. I took everything I had purchased over the years to turn the house into a home. What I didn’t take, I donated to charity. I left him with a shell, only his furniture and of course his beloved TVs, all 3 of them. I also removed every picture, collected over 26 years, that I was in, with him or alone. I took me out of the equation, and there aren’t any reminders of happier times.
Oh, I did leave him the big roasting pan. She’s going to need it to cook the fucking bird in, if she makes it to Thanksgiving.
She now has the partner problem.
Yay, I win.
What’s in my bag?
Hate: I’m not a hater, in the bag it goes. I don’t hate people. I might dislike them, not agree with them, or understand them, but hate is negative energy for me. Move on
Fear: Unless it’s a spider, I will face my fears. I refused to be paralyzed by it; I’ll squash it, including spiders – (gag)… if I have to. Move on
Anger: It has it’s purpose, but I won’t carry it with me past it’s expiration date. More negative energy. Move on
Anxiety: That was the first to go when I left. I could finally breathe. Move on
Excuses: No more stories to justify actions or behaviors. I won’t over-think the obvious. It is what it is. Move on
Crying: Over, done, won’t change the past. I won’t let my pain turn into a pity party of tears. No one should be allowed that
much control over me. Move on
Lies: All of them in the bag. They don’t matter to me anymore. I have moved on
12lb. turkeys: I will never purchase a 12lb. turkey for three people for Thanksgiving again; just so he can stuff it. Nor will I allow him to force me to eat Thanksgiving Dinner at noon, so he can go hang with his girlfriend and guy friends all afternoon and evening! In the bag it goes! Move on
I am thankful every day. I won’t let the negative energy define me. I refuse to be stagnant and rethink the past. It has already moved on.
I have a future and I’m working on it. Positive energy
I just read this in the news today… I actually got away from reading the dictionary for a change.
I think it’s suspicious, just sayin’
It’s pretty sad when you find yourself reading the dictionary.
I’m not sure I can identify with the word chump…
Only because I let it happen, I went along to get along. What a sucker!
Another thought, I can identify with Pavlov’s Dog. A prime example of classical conditioning to meet the needs of Mr. Needy. Every time he barked, I jumped into action. To the extent that I accepted, made excuses, over-looked, ignored my gut instincts; you name it. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked myself why I accepted his behaviors, e.g. pouting, silent treatment, lack of intimacy, lack of caring, understanding, _________ (fill in the blank). He was in the process of living the life he wanted, expected, felt entitled to and I was right there helping him
Why didn’t I hear the lies? My gut told me that something was off, but I am trustworthy, so I trusted… until I didn’t. I tell myself that I was blind, but I think I chose to turn a blind eye.
I’m not the raw blister I once was. I’m beginning to toughen up. Maybe this is what it means to find one’s self.
I’ve been skipping around reading other blogs on infidelity, mostly created by women who share similar stories. Some bloggers are active and have longevity, while other sites were created years ago and seem abandoned. I’ve wondered what happened to those women who haven’t posted anything for months or years. Is their life better or worse? Did they tire of reading the same events, so similar to their own, and just didn’t have anything to add? I know I can pretty much say “ditto” when I read some of their stories.
There are bloggers who are still wrestling with obtaining their divorce, while others are years out from divorce or in some instances, trying to reconcile or find a restore point in their marriage. I think that’s really hard and requires more than I’m willing to invest. The women I have the most empathy for, and I have empathy for all who go through this nightmare, are the ones with young children. I have to swallow hard when I read some of their stories.
As I think about my own situation, I really think I was abandoned several years ago, and I just didn’t recognize it. I was still placating and trying to meet his needs to keep peace, while he was slowly creating his future.
I also wonder why he confessed his infidelity. He said it was because he couldn’t lie to me any longer. What purpose did it serve to tell me about it, except to unload his guilt or set me on the path to where I am now. It’s been 13 months since the confession, and in March I started preparing to leave. The divorce he wanted so badly, is now on the back burner because he is anxious about his health issues and he needs me to keep him on my health insurance. I agreed not to file until October, but he’s trying to convince me not to. Last week he actually said he doesn’t know why I want a divorce.
It’s always about him.
I moved out at the end of August, and it has been so peaceful. I still have to make several trips to his house to get the last of my stuff. It’s hard to move 26 years of stuff in just over a few months. He tells me there’s no hurry. Then today, he texts me to see if I’m coming over, because he expects to have “company”.
He hasn’t touched me in over a year and I refused months ago to do his laundry or cook for him. He told me I was the best roommate, I guess because I still cleaned the house while I was still there. Now, I’m not his girlfriend, his wife except legally, or his roommate. I don’t owe him anything, especially loyalty.
I think of him as contaminated, and his girlfriend has contaminated the passenger seat in his truck. I refused to ride in the truck with him to the bank to close our joint account. Cooties!
Anger is what motivated me and got me on the way to my current freedom. But, I don’t want to carry anger with me any longer. I just don’t think it’s healthy past a point. My problem is I feel sorry for him, because I think he lost his mind. But I remind myself that I can’t let it stop my momentum, or feed into his poor me tale of woe. He is living his dream, and I wish him well. I need to move on.
So, I’ve worked really hard to give up the make believe life that I concocted, that kept me thinking we were forever. I’ve given up 26 years of dating and marriage, because I finally figured out it’s just a story. I think that’s why it’s so hard for women to let it go [just my opinion]; I know I was a really good author of a fairy tale.
July 31st, the best day ever.
He carried the divorce settlement paperwork around for 6 weeks. I asked every week if he had time to get them signed, excuses, excuses, excuses. I was getting fed up [again]. The last excuse had me worried, because I pointed out that he and his girlfriend were anxious for him to get a divorce, and I had already gifted him a free [paid for by me] divorce. He gave me a smug smile and said he had stopped trying, because, “What you want isn’t always the best thing to do”.
It was the smug smile. The I have the upper hand, I’m in control of you, you can wait until I’m good and ready smile.
So I waited, and finally I reminded him that while he was at the bank closing our joint account [that I never used] he could sign the paperwork and have it notarized. He acted surprised that I remembered the joint account. We opened it right after we got married, and he used it to transfer money into for the household bills. For good measure, I mentioned that the funds in that account were jointly owned, and I could withdraw any and all legally, so he should make an effort.
So Wednesday, July 31st rolled around. I had taken the day off because I had a plumber and carpet layers showing up at my soon to be new [old] residence. Many years ago, my sister and I inherited our parent’s old house after they both passed away. We were both unencumbered [with men] at the time, so we moved in together; it was a rent-free advantage for both of us. I was still living there 26 years ago when I met the one I’m trying to divorce. Eventually, I left and move in with him, closing up that side of the house. My sister had the main house, and has lived there comfortably sans encumbrances all these years. She and I have spent every weekend since the middle of March getting my side of the house ready for me to move back in. As I was driving to his/our home that day, I felt like I was making headway, and my move was becoming more imminent. I was smiling.
When I got home, he was sitting in his recliner, and as I came through the door he said, “You will need to come to the bank with me and sign the paperwork to close the account.” I asked him if he was going to get the marital settlement signed also, and he said “yes”. Jiminy Cricket, let’s go. I’ll even drive! So, after 6 weeks of torment, he FINALLY signed the divorce paperwork!
Too bad he didn’t know this song…
Give a Little Whistle
When you get in trouble
And you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle, give a little whistle
When you meet temptation
And the urge is very strong
Give a little whistle, give a little whistle
Not just a little squeak, pucker up and blow
And if your whistle is weak, yell
Take the straight and narrow path
And if you start to slide
Give a little whistle, give a little whistle
And always let your conscience be your guide