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Wed Oct 11 5:53 am  #1


The thing called Forgiveness

I struggle a little bit with Forgiveness today.  

When you planned forever with the love of your life, trusted him completely only to discover after 5 short years that that person never existed it is already hard to even think about forgiving the lies and deceit.
I also am still too scared to get tested for HIV, STDs and such, because I am not ready to deal with an affirmative outcome. I am angry about the risks he put me and the kids through still.  How our lives are disrupted
because he got married in the first place, knowing that he was gay.  The financial implications that I have to deal with daily.  But I manage to work through all of that and find peace time after time.

But, how do you completely forgive someone when it is now his life's mission to disrupt your life?  My XGIDH told me he needed the divorce papers to take me of his medical scheme but then went behind my back and
took me off months ago already - even before our divorce went through.  I only discovered that weeks ago when I needed the medical aid.  He phones me a night before the kids supposed to spend the weekend with him to tell me his taking them on a short holiday -
leaving me to pack extra clothes for them.  Fully aware that I am moving into a new house that weekend and needed him to take the kids so I could finish moving.  He does not pay our shared debts.  When its the kids' last day with him he let them sleep well into the
afternoon knowing that they will not be able to sleep before late that night. He teaches them rude rhymes, leaving me to be the one to tell the kids that it is rude and not to be repeated.

He is doing everything within his power to upset me - how am I supposed to forgive and move on from this individual who is unfortunately the farther of my children? Talking to him has no effect.  He just does as he want the next time.  Playing innocent when confronted.
Some days I can barely look at him when I drop off or pick the kids up.  If it was  up to me, I would left this town altogether, but I don't know if it will be the right thing to do by my children.
Today, forgiveness just seems to be a never ending process that I have nothing to gain from.  Any ideas on how to deal with this childish behaviour?

 

Wed Oct 11 6:03 am  #2


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

I don’t think you are anywhere near ready for forgiveness.  Why should you be?  That’s so far off and to be done only for your own benefit.
Is there no legal recourse for you in terms of him paying off your shared debt? 
Be kind to yourself.  We both know this is a long and painful road.
Hugs,
Majenco

 

Wed Oct 11 6:18 am  #3


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

I only have a minute right now, but in my opinion, forgiveness and moving on with your life with dignity as best as you can are two completely different things. You don’t owe him forgiveness, that’s entirely up to you. Ask yourself if you would have forgiven anyone else in your life that did this to you and your children, probably not. All you owe him is following the custody arrangement, the rest is your choice.

 

Wed Oct 11 9:34 am  #4


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

This is going to be one of those "do as I say, not as a I do" comments.   I haven't figured this out yet myself, but maybe you are a better person than I am Ms. Lonely. 

The forgiveness should be for you, not for your ex.  Your act of forgiving him releases you from the bitterness and pain that you experienced and helps you move forward with peace in your heart.  Do it for you.. not for him.  If you think about it in this way, his actions no longer matter because your forgiveness is no longer bound to his attitude or whether or not he is apologetic. 

Now, I'll admit, that all sounds really nice.   But I haven't been able to muster the strength to forgive my ex.  I want to.. but I can't yet.   I do feel closer to it than I was before.  I no longer spend hours a day locked in hateful thoughts..  so i'm making progress and I know I'll get to that point someday. 

I think just the fact that you are thinking about this is a very positive thing.  I give you lots of credit Ms Lonely. 
 


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

Wed Oct 11 10:47 am  #5


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

I'll throw my 2 cents in here....I don't like the word forgiveness in certain situations.  I don't understand the concept that people say the forgiveness part is for you.  The way I see it, I don't have to forgive him for anything.  To me, forgiving is for minor actions: someone forgot your birthday, someone got angry and said something they shouldn't (even that one is limited in my scope of forgiveness depending on what was said).  I reserve forgiveness for the more inconsequential things in life, accidents, or people who you can tell did something wrong and were immediately like oh crap that was the wrong thing to do, and they are genuinely sorry.  That's where my forgiveness is.  I don't "choose" to forgive those kinds of things, it just happens naturally because you know it's usually the right thing to do.  Does that make any sense?

The part I do have a choice in (when it comes to the big stuff) is whether or not I want to forget about it.  And forgetting it doesn't mean I have to be nice to him or be friends with him, it just means that after a while it no longer enters my mind.  It took me a while to get there, but I did. I just....don't care anymore.  (For reference, I think it's been 8 years since the main turmoil started and five years post divorce).  I would say that the not caring and not even having it enter my mind anymore started about three to four years ago.  And in that state of (I hate this phrase but it applies here) "it is what it is" I find the ability to be acquaintances with him.   We text every once in a while or he will help me out if I need something with my house that I can't fix, etc.  Now, that said, we didn't have children whose life he ripped apart.  I'm not sure I'd ever speak to him again (on a friend basis) if that were the case.  But it would still be my choice to forget if I wanted to.  So, Mrs. Lonely, don't put this on yourself so soon.  It took me about four years to get to this place.  You're right to be pissed right now.  All kinds of pissed.  And if he continues to act like an ass hat then you have every right to be pissed for as long as he continues the behavior.  And, if one day you just don't care anymore and you find that you've just forgotten about him then that's a pretty good feeling.  And still, even then...you don't owe him forgiveness.  They are two very separate things.

That's how I approach forgiveness in my life.  Maybe it will work for someone else too. 

 

Wed Oct 11 11:06 am  #6


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

I don't think you can attempt forgiveness at this point - he's still actively, purposely, vindictively attempting to hurt you all the time.  What you can do though is adjust your expectations.  This does not mean that the things he does won't affect your life.  It just means that you'll know to expect that of him.  It kind of takes the sting out of it.  Think of it like a dog that is terrible to you each and every time you walk by their fence.  It's snarling, growling, barking, acting like you're coming for its family.  If you were to walk by that fence every day, you wouldn't enjoy the dog's behavior.  But you'd expect it.  It would be much less jarring than if you suddenly got that behavior from what's usually a friendly dog.  You can literally steel yourself for the bad dog - tell yourself, "Okay, I'm getting close to that dog's fence.  He's GOING to act like he wants to kill me.  Just ignore and keep walking."  It's still annoying, even scary.  But not as much as if you weren't expecting it.

The other thing that can help is to look at it from a different perspective. Clearly he feels no obligation to be good to you.  Then you owe him nothing in return, either.  You don't have to go out of your way to purposefully hurt him - because a) that's not you, and b) that's spending too much of your energy on his sorry ass.  But you can make up your mind that you're not cutting him any slack or giving him any favors when it's time to make your decisions.  I used to do favors for my ex all the time right after we divorced.  If he was running late, I'd tell the kids, and give them something to do for a bit - so that they were distracted and it didn't affect them as much.  Then I realized that it not affecting them meant that they'd never complain to HIM about it - therefore affecting him.  So he'd call me close to when he should have been at the house, and I'd just not answer.  I knew what he wanted.  That left him to contact the kids himself and he got to be the bad guy - not me.

The other thing that may or may not work is telling him directly how his behavior has affected the kids.  Instead of saying something like, "How could you DO this?  Don't you know that now they'll be up until all hours of the night and I'll have to be up with them?" (which tells him that he's getting to you), say "Because you let the kids sleep so late yesterday, they couldn't get to sleep on time last night, and they're exhausted today.  It was very difficult for them to get up and moving for school this morning."  That puts the focus of the affects of his behavior and decisions on the KIDS.  Which SHOULD make him think twice about doing that the next time.  Maybe not - but if that won't work, then nothing will anyway.

As for the medical insurance - that doesn't even make sense.  Usually you can't just drop someone off your insurance outside of the enrollments period unless you can prove a life change - with paperwork; marriage, divorce, birth, death.  So I'm not sure how he legally did that.

As for shared debts, you should be able to get somewhere with this by working with your lawyer.  Have you already talked to them about this?  He can be ordered to pay more per month to you if he's not going to make payments as ordered by the court.  Let the court system handle this part.  Don't call him and tell him you're doing it - just call your lawyer and get the ball rolling.  Let him find out by receiving a court date.  Now you're teaching him that you are not to be f*cked with.  You're not even going to make noise to him about it - but you WILL stop.it.  It's a powerful lesson for him.

Best of luck.

Kel


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Wed Oct 11 8:03 pm  #7


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

Thank you everyone for your response.  

As it is, I have been hurt a lot by a lot of people in my life and forgiveness was always my choice.  Not always right away depending on what the issue was, but I always free myself of nurturing unhealthy and negative feelings.  I choose to do so and over time forget it.  I always know that when I look at a person and do not remember what they had done, I had forgiven completely.  I suppose this time the hurt run so much deeper and the betrayal is so big that it will take more time.  

Kel, I get what you say about expecting him to be a bully.  I had this conversation with a friend a while ago, but it seems though he and me said the words, I still did not fully grasp what it meant.  I was furious about the medical aid and how low that blow was so I vented to my friend after my spit with the ex.  I said to him:  What else does this man need to do before I believe that he is not the good person i believe him to be?  How low will he go to break me?  And his response was:  But you just refuse to break, don't you?  His done his worst and you still see the good in him.  Now at that point in the conversation I agreed and thought myself the world's biggest fool.  I still do.  Because like you said, I was still doing him a lot of favours though he gave me no thought.  So I stopped doing that and ever since then his behaviour's grown worse.  And every time I am amazed by it.  I do not understand where his dignity is. I keep expecting him to man up and take responsibility for his post divorce life.  Thus, the endless disappointments. I had hoped to be free of him at this stage, but it seems the more I withdraw from him, the more he comes for me.  
I have been in contact with the necessary people about the financials and hope to have that sorted asap. I dont even care about the medical aid, I am getting around that too. Thing is, the more I cope with what he throws at me, the more he throws at me.  I am getting to know the real him now.

     Thread Starter
 

Wed Oct 11 9:19 pm  #8


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

You might find a few helpful ideas in this article. This isn't specifically written with the Straight Spouse in mind but many parts are still applicable to those either still married or sharing parental duties.

https://www.marriage.com/advice/counseling/dealing-with-narcissists-setting-boundaries/

 

Thu Oct 12 12:02 pm  #9


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

I read this topic with interest..   I'll admit  that despite the abuse and how horrible my ex was in the end...if she called me with a desperate request for some sort of help  (she won't).. I would probably help her as I'm fundamentally a decent person and she knows this (deep down).

In that sense,  despite her treating me cruelly  I do not have the intense hate for her I properly should.   In that sense,  you can say I have some forgiveness or maybe it's remnants of trauma bonding/ (insanity)/love.    I still have sadness and revelry that can be triggered.

But I will say my love and loyalty of her has been replaced with fear..  And that is not really forgiveness either.

I hope in time to forgive enough to forget and move on.

 


"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7
 

Thu Oct 12 12:53 pm  #10


Re: The thing called Forgiveness

Mrs Lonely, I just wanted to pick up on what you said about not being able to get tested. It took me 9 months to get tested and I had already sent him for a test and they were all negative. But I was still really scared (there is the 3 month window after infection).

But I realised that not doing it was contributing to my anxiety and holding me back. After I’d been I felt less weighed down and I felt like I was owning my own life again.

Just something to think about, I think you’ll feel better after you’ve been.

 

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