Today’s contributor, Alejandra, and I are coming from two different sides of the same coin. I betrayed people I love; She was betrayed by someone she loves.
What I’ve discovered as I’ve talked with men and women on all three sides of the triangle is that there is no one solution. Love them and leave. Love them and stay. Hate them and stay. Hate them and leave. There are a thousand shades of gray between these points. There is no one right answer. Healing, forgiveness, and recovery is not a straight line. The only path to healing is intention and vulnerability.
Through her efforts today’s writer has found renewed self-respect and power. I’ve come to really appreciate Alejandra’s truthfulness, recovery, and directness.
Read more about Alejandra and her thoughts and experiences at Not My Weekend.
Let the pain have a purpose.
About the Author
42 Separated, soon to be divorced woman living in Miami. Engineer turned teacher after 10 years of being a stay at home mom. Learning the ropes of her new life as a single mother of two. She recently picked up on her lifetime passion, writing.
Forgiveness is very strong word considering all the hoops you have to jump to get to that state. For me was a pill very hard to swallow. My husband of 12 years told me one night before bed that we needed to spend some time apart, that he could not be married to me anymore. The following months were a blur filled with therapist visits and his recriminations and judgments about all the things he kept to himself God knows since when. The torture was over when he left, even though I loved him, I felt relieved. My self-esteem would not take any more punches. I was hurt, lost; but all that turned into anger the minute I found out the real reason why he left, an almost three-year relationship with a woman 12 years younger than me.
At that moment I knew I would never go back to him, for anything. I didn’t want to know why. The only thing I could see was that he stopped choosing me as I chose him every day for the past 12 years. At that point, I decided to choose me, my daughters.
Ironically, I knew that we share a bond that would not be broken, our daughters. I wanted him to be their dad, to me not because he deserves it, but because they deserve it! How was I supposed to raise two daughters along with him if I could not stand looking at him? I had to let go of the anger, I had to do the unthinkable. Forgive him.
I did my research and I found out that forgiving did not mean get back together, hell he did not even felt the slightest remorse! But I understood what has become the key to my happiness today, forgiving only means that we don’t let the anger control our lives anymore, means that we won’t let the hurt be at center, it means that you are no longer seeking revenge. Forgiveness is a conscious decision, a decision you make every day.
Forgiveness has opened my eyes, and don’t get me wrong, in no way I condone or justify what he did, but today I am aware that I had something to do with the downfall of our marriage. I learned how to examine myself and not to only assign guilt outside of my persona. I learned how to recognize my own shortcomings and work on them so I get to be a better human being. I learned to see the other as a flawed as I am.
After two years, I started seeing the results of my decisions. I am happier, I feel myself again, I am stronger because I let go of the weight that anger puts in your life. You have no idea how much energy you waste by being angry. My little ones can enjoy the occasional lunch with mom and dad, they don’t have to celebrate birthdays twice. As per the holidays and Christmas…
Well, I am not that evolved!
Forgiving someone is not easy, is an everyday task. And that hard work starts from the knowledge of yourself. That’s exactly why is so hard because to forgive we have to acknowledge first the fact that we are not perfect. Looking at a mirror and accepting your flaws is one of the hardest, but most rewarding, things you can do for yourself. Once you own your mistakes is way easier to accept everyone else’s shortcomings, and ultimately telling them, “You hurt me, but I am strong enough to let go of it and go on with my life without you.”