Friday, October 4, 2019

How to forgive the unforgivable

There's a photo and story circulating on the Web right now, featuring the brother of Botham Jean who was killed in his home, offering forgiveness to the police officer found guilty of murder. It's a striking image, emblematic of the power of forgiveness but also raising some uncomfortable questions, including about the nature of forgiveness
I struggled with the idea of forgiveness for years. Though I found myself impatient with people who held onto grievances for years – let it go, for gawd sake, I would think – I nonetheless couldn't move past the idea that forgiving my husband for what he'd done was letting him off the hook. It was somehow sending the message that it was okay, that I was okay and that we could leave it in the past. 
I hadn't yet forgiven my mother for her addictions, for actions that landed her in a psychiatric hospital right when I needed a mother. Though I loved her deeply and respected how hard she'd worked to achieve sobriety, forgiveness felt...wrong. It felt like dismissing my own pain, like minimizing the devastating impact that her alcohol abuse (and then my husband's cheating) had on my life. The impact it had on me. My health, my work, me
And yet...I wanted it. Forgiveness also tempted with liberation. I imagined how good it would feel to unshackle myself. 
Musician Nick Cave calls forgiveness "self-rescue", and I don't think he's wrong. 
"Forgiveness can prevent us from becoming the living definition of the injury that has been inflicted upon us – from being consumed by anger, pain, resentment and bitterness. But how difficult it is to sometimes forgive; how unfair it seems to reward offence with compassion. Yet, despite our intuitions, despite the seeming insanity of the enterprise, we must try, because forgiveness can be the way to self-preservation. Forgiveness is an act of self-love where the malignancy you have endured can become the motivating force that helps enlarge the capacity of the heart."

We must try, he tells us. We must try. Cave speaks not of succeeding but of trying. It's an important distinction. It is in the trying that the liberation, the unshackling comes. "Even the attempt to move toward forgiveness allows us the opportunity to touch the borders of grace," writes Cave. "To try is an act of resistance against the forces of malevolence – a form of defiant grace." 
Defiant grace. I love the phrase. And even more, I love that 'defiant grace' describes exactly what happened for me. Though I loathed the idea of forgiving my husband, I continued to move towards it. Because I loathed the idea of remaining bitter and small and afraid even more. Forgiveness wasn't letting my husband off the hook, it was releasing me. It was a refusal to allow my husband's choice to step outside our marriage to define me. 
Forgiveness isn't a single decision. It is a choice we make daily, whether to remain shackled to the offence – and the offender – or to practice defiant grace. I choose to try.


  1. I choose to try! How liberating that is!

  2. Love this. Thanks for the timely reminder. Sitting here staring out my front window - I have such a lovely view of the western sky - feeling infuriated with so many people, namely my husband who had an affair with my "friend", effectively obliterating our circle of actual friends. I felt like my list of people I needed to forgive was already extensive, long before I discovered his infidelity. Then he (and she) did this awful thing. And now - our circle of friends, bless them, they have all been wounded so badly as well. They've done their best to try and support when they can. It's crazy difficult to hold it all, I know. I KNOW. But I can feel some of these friends pulling away. Maybe bc they are still angry at my husband. Maybe bc they are overwhelmed by my grief. Maybe bc they are just so damn tired. But I need them. I need these friends with whom I have history, connection and trust. Them pulling away feels like yet more abandonment. The grief of those friendships shifting away from me is nearly immobilizing. And I feel I'll have to practice forgiveness with them too. So many to forgive. I don't know how to do it.

    1. Gracia,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. I hope you'll reach out, perhaps to one or two of these friends with whom you're closest, and tell them that you need them. You can acknowledge how hard this has been for everyone, how exhausted they might be...while still letting them know that you value and need their support. Friends pulling away is not uncommon. I think others do get exhausted by our pain. It feels bottomless and it feels like there's nothing we can really DO. But we don't need them to do anything other than sit with us in our pain. It's not bottomless. It will change.
      As for forgiveness, I think it's like that old adage about eating an elephant. One bite at a time. We forgive, sometimes, in increments. Slowly we release others from our wish that they were different, that they'd behaved differently. And, consequently, we release ourselves.

    2. Gracia, I had a similar situation with my friends having difficulty with my husbands infidelities. His affairs were with strangers - but during the fall out of my discovery, I told most of our good friends everything. They were there as a collapsed to the floor crying in the days following. I think seeing me in such a sad, difficult state was overwhelming for them. I was always the positive, happy go lucky friend. Ultimately, I chose to forgive my husband (or, I'm working on forgiving him). In the fallout they all told me they would stand by any decision I made - I believed them - and that helped me feel safe. Soon I realized that staying is the harder decision to accept for some friends. They didn't expect that and when faced with it, they didn't know how to act. It was almost just as devastating as the affairs, just in a different way - you're right, more abandonment though. I have grown apart from some of those friends and mourned the losses. At some point, I had to move on. I couldn't force friendships with people who couldn't support me or see my husband as human. I agree with Elle though, make sure to tell those you are closest to that you are hurting. I did that with my three closest friends who I felt the most hurt by. I told them that I couldnt manage their feelings in addition to the mountain of trauma i was working through. I needed them to understand that. I had to put myself first. Those few tried harder after that. While I did lose some friendships, others became stronger and I also became more open to new friends.

      Sending you hugs as you go through this journey. It will get better!

  3. Elle, it is so weird I was thinking about today. Today is my weird day. For me forgiveness was a process. It took me a long time. I think I just gave up fighting forgiveness and just gave into it. I really didn't feel any different but I thought differently. I thought differently about most everything when I forgave him. Some things mattered more others not at all. I didn't feel superior that is for sure. Right after you tell him, I forgive you, there are no rockets, fireworks, gentle breezes, there are dishes, laundry same stuff. It took me awhile to get the hang of forgiveness in my thinking. Hard to explain. My H had open heart surgery. I was a nurse and wife. I was there for him in every sense of the word. I'm ok. Two weeks after surgery, he takes my hand and says, I couldn't ask for a better wife. I'm not kidding. I really mean it. You have been so much" I look at him, the words I wanted to hear for 40 years. I felt nothing, not proud, not loved. I felt nothing. I hugged him, said thank you, it meant alot. I felt nothing. Is that forgiveness not want to say - Karma, yep. What you gave away-got you, yep. I felt nothing and I don't know why. What else is weird, my son and I set up a sitting room in the bedroom. Door closed because of the dogs. Tripping opening up your breast bone is not good. I stayed most of the time,in the living room, he was sleeping. I was really happy in the living room by myself. He stayed in the room for a week while he got stronger and got his balance. I felt so free. Maybe it was relief after taking care him but I deep down I don't think so. I slept with my dogs, ran around the yard, ate whatever, just really relaxed. Like I said, it is weird day.

    1. LLP,
      I'm so sorry for everything you and your husband have been going through with his health issues. I hope, even as you've been taking care of him, you're also taking care of you. Your sitting room sounds lovely. And seeking out that solitude sounds wonderful -- and healthy.
      As for feeling nothing, I wonder if that's part of trauma. I, too, have noticed that I don't have the deep moods I used to have. I was what my mother called "mercurial". I was either on top of the world, or in the pits. But I always felt something. Now...not so much. There are times, often when I'm out in nature, that I feel a deep contentment. There are times, most recently when my husband and I bought a vacation property in a place I love, that I felt at peace. But I don't have that wild joy I used to have, nor do I have those dark dark moments of despair. I've flattened out. EMDR helped put me in touch with some of my emotions. I had numbed myself completely post-betrayal. But...I dunno. I've been thinking a lot about this.

    2. I wonder about the feeling nothing too. I certainly feel things less intensely, but I suspect some of that is being more emotionally mature too. Stuff that would upset me in the past, now is a shoulder shrug, because I know I can handle it, even if it is uncomfortable. I think it is part of growing up, which apparently comes mch later in life than I realized. I feel joy in nature, I feel intense love for my kids sometimes. But the thing is, none of those feelings last. That doesn't mean they weren't real, or aren't going to come back and visit. But all feelings are fleeting. I can think about my kids and know that I love them, but it is not the same intense feeling all the time, like when I am listening to them tell me about something they are passionate about and I feel a flush of pride and love in my heart. And I think it is the same with romantic love. I remember what it was like to be young and in love, and I see young people around me getting married and being in that lala phase and I wonder if I am even capable of that anymore. I feel like maybe I ha dmy one shot and it has passed me by. So not that I can't find someone to love and be loved by, and it can be warm and comfortable, but it will never again be that first thing. But I also know that I just don't know what might be in my future.

    3. Elle, you described it perfectly. I'm so happy that you responded. I feel the same way. I also worked in therapy about making the highs not so high and the lows not so low. Like you I'm almost a flat liner. I used to be full of crazy fun, talked fun, thought of really fun stuff to do, that made no sense but now I just look at my kids when they visit and I'm pretty bland. I wonder if they noticed? I just can't let this take life out me long term. SS1 you echo my feelings. I think I'll go to therapy and talk this out. Is this normal? Anyone else?

    4. LLP, Elle, and StillStanding1,

      I have been turning this over in my mind for a week now.

      Like you all, I notice that I don't swing as widely one way or another as I used to (toward despair or towards giddy fun), but I don't think it's the trauma itself that has caused the change. I think it happened because I used the pain as rocket fuel and propelled myself into a state of being more deeply grounded now than I ever was before. I think that the wide swings I knew before came from anxiety. From not trusting my deep self. From seeking external validation -- not just validation from people but validation from experiences.

      I was sitting around a kitchen table the other day with two other moms who experienced betrayal by their partners -- not infidelity but rather the slow erosive kind of betrayal that is on full display: where someone vows to be your partner in parenting, and then quietly and consistently fails to be. These two women are divorced. Without me bringing it up, one of them described this exact same feeling of emotional flattening out I read about here. The other woman said she experienced the same thing.

      Could it be that this is a normal consequence of maturing? Maybe it's a bad sign if this emotional restraining *doesn't* happen? I know women a generation older than me and who have clearly not experienced this flattening out -- they remain mercurial, but it now has an whiff of the unhinged. These women have actively chosen NOT to know themselves better when given the chance. When things fell apart and a door opened to the places that scared them, they slammed the door closed, screwed up their eyes, and pretended it wasn't happening.

      Speaking of "The Places That Scare You", I was reading Pema Chödrön yesterday when I came across this line, and it made me think of this thread: "Authentic joy is not a euphoric state or a feeling of being high. Rather, it is a state of appreciation that allows us to participate fully in our lives."

      Despite all the pain -- or maybe because of it? -- I do feel this state of appreciation.

    5. Chinook, I'm with you. I think it is a sign of maturing. I am still capable of feeling great joy, especially in nature or a beautiful work of art. This week I got on a facetime cal with my daughter and I was overwhelmed both with love and how much I miss her when I saw her face. Those things are not flat at all. I think the places where I might feel "flat" are places where I no longer have any shits to give. I recognize that getting keyed up over something that is small or petty is not worth my energy.
      And I love your examples of the women who do not mature. Who are thrown off by any little thing and make it the problem of everyone around them, they are the centers of constant drama and yes it has a skunky whiff of being both bats and selfish. I would so much rather become the warm, safe, crinkly apple faced, old wise woman that people feel calmer around and will hand their babies to to comfort, than be the unstable, high maintenance old lady that is a lot of work to be around.
      Yes I know there is soooo much judgement in what I wrote and people are who they are and doing their best. I think I am just trying to get clear on what I want my best to look like.

  4. Forgiveness feels easier for me when I think it brings some detachment from my spouse. I thought he was my everything and found out I was wrong. I forgive myself for believing that about him. I now work on forgiveness of his choices because that helps me detach from the man I thought I married and see the one I actually did marry.

    1. I also experience a profound sense of flatness/dullness when I look at my husband and think about my marriage. The rest of my life is much better including how I think about my family and friends and how hard I've worked to acknowledge that I am not faulty with regard to his choices. I have my faults but none of them caused him to make his choices. I can't imagine getting married again but I would definitely make space in my life for a variety of relationships if or when the time comes. Without the glossy veneer I saw my husband through, he is just a simple man whose life was hard yet he survived making terrible and destructive choices that preceded me. We will remain together as long as he can maintain his comittment to live an honest life but I really do not see forgiveness as a necessary piece of this marriage. Trust is limited but overall I am still okay with how this is turning out. I am open to the possibility that my heart will open and be more accepting moving forward and only time will tell.

  5. Forgiveness is easier said than done. I’m 7 months from D-Day #1 the affair and #2 the baby with the OW. To date I have forgiven my H for having the affair. Once I was able to truly process it was not about me or my fault; I was able to let some aspects of the affair go. But there are so many other things that I am still “trying” to forgive. Is it possible to forgive some things but struggle to forgive others? Maybe that is why I feel so stuck.

    1. I think it's absolutely possible to forgive some things and struggle with others. There are aspects of what my husband did that I don't know if I've fully forgiven. His disregard for my children's health (I was breastfeeding when he was cheating...without protection), for one big thing. Mostly, I don't think about it anymore. But I suppose if I were to catalogue everything, there would be things on that list that I can't say I've forgiven.
      I've chosen to try, though. And to keep moving forward.

  6. I am 11 months out from Dday. After countless affairs that began shortly after our marriage and continued for 15 years with several women, I am trying. We are separated and he is wanting to reconcile and has from DDay. I am closer to forgiveness than I ever thought was possible. What I am struggling with is all the things he lied about and said horrible things about me to other women in which I was told and he admitted. When asked why, his explanation was that he wanted to make other think he had it bad and feel sorry for him. I guess that made it easier for him to get what he wanted or needed. How can I try to work on a new beginning with a man of almost 2 decades that always acted like I was the love of his life and was all a lie. I'm trying...

  7. One of the hardest things for me to forgive is the pain that he caused her teenage children. I remember the night I found this site and all the comfort and support it has offered me the past 3 years. The first year our children would not even speak to my husband. baby steps forward they communicate now but there is still a lot of brokenness in their relationship especially with my son. He is angry and there's a lot of pain and distrust. They have both been in counseling but my son is less responsive to it. In my ongoing search for answers my internet searching is frightening when it comes to the effects of infidelity on children. This weighs so heavily on me.

    1. Anon 10:44, I don't know if this helps but the therapist told me I can't be responsible for how my kids feel. I can't change it. I can't fix it. I was in an affair-divorce-backed marriage it took me a long time to figure out adult relationships because I wasn't adult or had experience in relationships. I lost both my parents when the affair came along. I never got them back.

  8. I love this this site that never stops to amaze me. I used to read this site 10 times a day.

  9. Great post, Elle. I've been reading it and the comments of others over and over since you posted. I love the phrase "defiant grace". It says it all for me. I don't want to be that bitter old lady either but forgiving is HARD. But then I think how hard the last four years have been and I really don't want to be defined by this affair for the rest of my life either. So I will try to forgive ...a little each day and keep inching forward. I found all the comments about a change in the depth of emotions/feelings post-affair very interesting. I have been experiencing that too. I hate this flatness that has crept into my life. I had wondered if it was just the aftermath of all the trauma, the roller coaster ride, the tears, the trickle truth - it's truly exhausting and my brain is just weary of trying to process it all. Thank you to all who share their stories here. It's amazing how just hearing another "me-to" can help us move a little further along in our healing journey!

    1. Jenna,
      Yes, I think that flatness is a consequence of the rollercoaster, the trauma, the stress. And I don't know that I'll ever be that mercurial person I was before. But, then again, do I want to be? I could turn a house upside down with my moods. That's not healthy. For me or anyone.
      So, I view this new me as more mature, more able to have perspective about my wants/needs, more able to provide for myself than demand that others do. It took me a full five years to really feel past this so you're not quite there.
      Forgiveness remains a rather prickly thing for me. I don't really call it that so much as I consider that I've given my husband space to become a better man. Which he's done. I can honestly say I'm happy. I love my life. Love my family. Love my husband. Fought like hell to get here I am.

  10. I see myself in almost every situation I've read. My marriage has been a rollercoaster. I have forgiven twice, been able to move on. But this third time with the same woman from one of the previous affairs has changed my heart. It's been 4 months since I found out, and i don't feel like forgiving him anymore. I look back at everything he has put me through in these past 10 years and that I have fought against, forgiven, and moved on. And now I continue by his side because he won't leave me, because he tries to be better. But it's not enough anymore. My heart is shattered, I don't want to try I don't want to be weak, I don't want to think he will do it again. I'm stuck between let me live in peace and Damn it try harder. I'm stuck.

    1. Unknown,
      I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. I saw in another post that you've also been there through alcoholism.
      I'm curious...have you had any support through all this? Therapy? A 12-step program? Has he? I have a whole lot of experience with addiction and, from what I can tell, it takes a long time to get healthy. The addiction is usually self-medicating for a laundry list of pain and trauma, that I'm wondering if he ever addressed. And, of course, living with an addict is traumatic for you and your kids.
      I imagine, too, that the separations/addiction have created pain for your children.
      I would urge you, at this point, to focus less on protecting your marriage and more on individual healing for your whole family. I wonder, if each of you has the chance to work through all the pain and mistrust and the betrayals, you might be better able to discern whether this is a marriage that's worth rebuilding.
      And please, Unknown, you are NOT weak in any way/shape/form. You are a warrior who has fought like hell to keep a family together.
      But you are exhausted and traumatized. You need support and help.
      You can't single-handedly do this. He has got to deal with his demons on his own and figure out why he keeps blowing up his life.
      In the meantime, you and your kids can work through your own pain.
      I hope you'll consider it, if you aren't already.
      And...I'm glad you found us. You're among an incredible group of women who know your pain.

  11. Unknown: I can empathize with where you are, and how the concept of forgiveness really doesn't even seem available when dealing with a H who has strayed previously, done a lot of work on himself, seen the trauma he inflicted and then, years later, chosen to stray again. I know that forgiveness is supposed to be for me and to release some of the anger and pain I feel, but truly it is a lift that I don't believe I have inside me. He saw what he did before, he saw what he did to me, he worked on himself and he did it again. This seems beyond my capacity to forgive. I have certainly reached a state of equilibrium with him these last 20 months since D day, and I have accepted his choices as part of the story of my life. He is a better man each day. But this may be as far as I am able to go with absolution.

    1. Loner, I wonder and worry I am in the same position as you. I am slightly beyond 20 months from the most recent D day (the shock discovery was June 2017 but then it did drip on for another 6 months after that, and I finally had every piece of information in Jan 2018). But this was a D day following countless previous discoveries and confessions covering from the very start of our relationship. We met aged 18, married age 21. Im now 37. I never knew another partner than him, and worshipped him at the start, with all the insecurities that came with being cheated on at such a young age….
      Looking back, we had built a relationship which was almost used to him treating me badly such that I learned not to show my hurt, and he showed a few days of remorse, then secretly returned to his old ways. I forgave him, or so I felt, but also over the years, withdrew from the relationship. So while I rarely became angry and definitely not acting in the ways that the article “when fear keeps you furious” discusses, I don’t know if I have ever really forgiven him either. If I have, then that forgiveness isn’t enough.
      I am still remembering the hurt and pain and can’t bring myself to feel love, loved, or a connection any more. I feel like I have distanced myself now. I too, like so many replies above, feel fairly numb a lot of the time. I keep reflecting on whether or not I have forgiven him, and if not, what that looks like or feels like, and honestly, I don’t know any more. I don’t know what I should be seeing from him for me to say “he has done the work”. He isn’t acting out any more, but that’s mostly it. Not much else has really changed. I don’t have the energy or enthusiasm any more to try and force us to talk, to try and laugh or feel happy with him. That feeling of “let me live in peace” comes round frequently and I withdraw even further and can snap at him, so I think I cant have forgiven him, as I can still feel anger at his presence, even if Im not thinking about WHY Im angry with him.
      In one of my old replies, Elle and Chinook told me to look harder at the progress I have made, to stop feeling like I have failed in my recovery. I guess I can see that, and I don’t think I could have done anything different. I suppose I am just frustrated that I have felt the same way I do now, for about 12 months. I have seen therapists, had EMDR. Nothing is changing. So do I just accept this is it, allow life to carry on but feel numb and distant in my own marriage…. I don’t want to divorce. I want to feel happy. But Im not, and I cant figure what needs to be different for that to improve.

    2. Ali - I felt like I was reading my own story reading your words. And I, sadly, feel the exact same way as you in your final words.

      But I'll be honest. I've spent more and more time lately revisiting the idea of divorce. I actually believe that it's the only way I will be able to heal. My WS may not be acting out - but I don't feel the safety of that as I feel like he's just gotten better at hiding things. And I will probably always feel that way as he did little in terms of his own recovery and refuses to do anything that involves therapy.

      I broached the "plain of lethal flatness" with my therapist last week. She relayed that this is probably the beginning of the indifference that happens after a breakup. Except it's happening before the finality actually happens.

      I'm sorry you're in this same boat. It's no way that anyone should have to live.

  12. I found out my husband was cheating on me with another married co-worker on Christmas day. The worst Christmas of my life. I always had my suspicion but often "gaslighted" and insisted I was going crazy. How could he with a woman with 3 teenage kids? And we had toddlers ourselves. When I saw a text message from the OW, I threatened to leave him but his mother begged me to give him another chance. It was after all nothing more than maybe a little flirting. I cannot forgive myself now although I'm trying to, for actually believing. It went too far a few months after he promised me he wouldn't hurt me and his mother. But I'm in the process of healing. Thank you to this blog for helping me vent.

    1. Olivia,
      I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. This is a good place to vent -- you'll discover a whole lot of women (and a few men) who know exactly what you're going through and have experienced many of the same feelings.
      What are you doing to heal from this? Do you have support? Do you have a safe place to work through all the pain of betrayal? What is your husband doing? Is he absolutely NO contact with this woman at work? Does her husband know? Is your husband in any sort of therapy?
      What most of us have learned is that it's very very difficult to heal from this and rebuild a marriage (assuming that's what you want) without any sort of outside support -- marriage counsellors, therapists, support groups. People don't cheat because they feel like it, generally. It's often a symptom of something inside of them that they're trying to avoid -- uncomfortable feelings, sometimes addiction. Affairs are about fantasy, a distraction from day-to-day life. I hope you know he didn't cheat because there's anything wrong with you. He cheated because there's something wrong with him. And the only way HE can heal, and your marriage can work, is if he figures out what that is and takes steps to deal with it.
      In the meantime, your task is to process all the pain of betrayal so that it doesn't just take up residence in your heart. You need to learn, first of all, to forgive yourself. You are not crazy. You knew something was wrong. Your instincts are right on. Trust yourself.
      I'm glad you found us, Olivia. You're among friends.

  13. Thank you so much, Elle. We are both working on this. To his credit, he revealed everything after I discovered he had been at a hotel with her during the day. They always did their thing during the day so I wouldn't suspect anything. We spent our entire Christmas break just talking about How it all happened down to the most hurtful details. He broke it off with her the day after which was also his last day at his work. It was indeed a toxic work environment and the affair was his escape from the bad situation he felt he was in. You see he was laid off then had to settle for this crummy job. While I was promoted big time. He couldn't accept that I had overtaken him career wise.
    I didn't turn to anyone except our priest. I urged him to confess his adultery a few days after discovery and we even went to confession together. We have been going to church regularly ever since. I have to say without the spiritual healing, we woudlnt be where we are today. Zero contact with the other one and stronger than we were before. However there are days when I still remember and wonder. And sometimes I have the urge to make my feelings known to the other woman. But I know that's not the way to go.
    I do worry sometimes that he will go back to his old ways once he loses this new job that he has now. He puts so much of his self worth on his ability to earn money. That is actually the root of all this. Thank you for listening and offering great advice.

  14. I have been searching and reading a lot of the articles/entries/comments about forgiveness and wanted to chime in as someone who is no longer with my cheating (ex) husband, yet has recently realized how important it is that I find it in myself to forgive him anyway. My anger and bitterness towards him, and how he blew up our family life, is poisoning me.
    I began my first real relationship 2 years after Dday and thought that I had spent enough time and waited the proper amount to get serious with someone, etc. But I never forgave him for ruining our life and then promptly beginning a new one with one of the OW. Watching them flaunt their new love made me physically ill at times. But I waited and kept men at an arms length and had my fun, and thought I was doing it right and getting over it all.

    But the anger was always there, simmering, and I didn't realize how toxic it was until the man I fell in love with broke up with me last week after a really bad night where a perfect storm of a bad day, a drop of suspicion, a recent weird dream about my ex, and about 2 bottles of wine came together and destroyed my relationship in a short 4 minute drunken phone call.
    All of the old fear, anger, pain and lingering mistrust poured out of me aided by the wine, after one weird miscommunication over the phone. Apparently I called him by my ex's name and told him it didn't matter because "you're all the same". I was awful, but that's the poison that comes out when it sits festering for too long. I ruined the first great love I had post DDay and it's because I haven't found it in me to forgive my ex husband and free myself of it all.
    So now I am alone again and on a dedicated journey to forgive my ex husband. We coparent and live only blocks from eachother to make it easy for the kids. I am already noticing small changes I am making just in the last few days, such as acknowledging him and his gf as a unit when speaking to or about them. Saying her name (that's been a tough one for me, she's always been "that chick" to him or "your dads gf").
    And it's weird how in making those small changes, I already feel a little better. They are right, choosing acceptance/love/positivity does feel better than choosing anger/hate/negativity... hate might be satisfying in the moment, but love is so freeing in the end.
    I doubt this will be simple, but it's already easier than carrying the heavy load.

    Much love to all of you BW out there, it's a rough road we're on, but we'll be stronger for it.



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