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Forgiveness


As I was waiting for my coffee to brew this morning, I scrolled through my newsfeed on Facebook, getting caught up on the latest Grumpy Cat memes and status updates. I stumbled across a post a friend of mine shared regarding forgiveness. More precisely, unforgiveness and how it can affect every aspect of our lives.

I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately and am not really sure how to go about forgiving my ex. It seems like every post on Facebook or scene in a movie that pertains to marriage or anniversaries or break ups just send me into a fit of rage to white hot I fear I might explode. Or take off like a rocket into space which might actually be cool.

So how do I go about forgiving someone that hurt me so badly? I feel like my insides have been ripped out and stuffed back in all backwards. When his name pops into my head I snarl and shove it off to the side. Or fantasize about him crawling back to me and I stare at him and tell him no way in hell are we ever reconciling this time. And the really sad part? He probably doesn’t even think about me at all. I bet he’s just counting the days until the divorce is final so he can go out searching for the new perfect wife that will be everything I wasn’t. I think that’s the hardest part of all. How can you forgive someone that doesn’t care that they threw away 13 years together like it was nothing?

What does it mean to forgive anyway? Is it just saying the words, “I forgive you” and off you go? Is it something done in person (never gonna happen as I don’t ever want to see his face ever again) or just in your mind? Does it mean you have to wish good things for them in their future? Cuz….uumm…no. At this point, I don’t wish anything good for him. I hope he is miserable for the rest of his life and looks back on leaving me as the biggest mistake he ever made. I hope he marries a woman that cheats on him and leaves him because she doesn’t think he’s good enough. I hope he dies alone and miserable and regretting leaving the woman that was the best he could ever hope to get. Hey, if you’ve been reading my posts, you know about my temper. I can’t help that this is the way I feel. I’m being honest here.

If forgiving means that we have to be friends again or that I have to pray for him to have major blessings, then I’m just not ready to do that yet. And I don’t think I ever will be to that point. I truly believe that exes belong in the past. I am not friends with any of mine, I don’t see them, don’t talk to them, don’t pine over them, don’t have secret relationships with them, don’t keep pictures of them (and yes, the ex hubby did all of this). I put my exes behind me and got to a point where I didn’t think about them. And if I did, I didn’t have any feelings of hate or regret. Not saying I had warm fluffy feelings either. It was indifference. I have run into several of them over the years and I just gave a small smile, much like you would do if you saw a stranger, and never looked back.

And that’s the best case scenario for me and the ex. No hugs, no reminiscing, no chit-chat. There will be nothing, as if we never spent time together. Does that make me sad? Of course it does. So much so that tears are spilling down my cheeks at this moment. But I wasn’t the one that chose to walk away. I fought for this marriage with everything I had. And it wasn’t enough.

So how do I forgive that? It’s horrible to be made to feel that you aren’t good enough, to have 13 years just tossed aside like garbage. And to not even hear a single, “I’m sorry”.

The post I spoke of earlier really hit home because I can see the changes happening in me that I don’t want to happen. I don’t want to be an angry bitter old lady that has walls up so high that no one stands a chance of ever getting into my heart again. Even if I get this whole forgiveness thing down, the walls will still be up, I can pretty much guarantee that. At this point, it seems impossible for me to even imagine being with someone else, to trust their words, to believe it when they say they love me. I fear there will always be a part of me that will question anything a man ever says to me. I will be suspicious of every little thing, worrying that he is messing around, wishing he was with someone else, regretting being with me.

The post ends with several verses from Scripture and a prayer at the end asking God to take the unforgiving spirit in your heart so you can heal. I felt better after reading this blog as it made me realize that the only person I am hurting is myself. I need to give myself the time to slowly get rid of the anger and regret by giving the feelings to God to take from me. I am not strong enough to do this on my own. I need the strength and grace of my Father in heaven to take this burden of unforgiveness and anger from me so I can be the person He wants me to be.

If you are dealing with the same issues (not necessarily the divorce part but the unforgiveness, anger, etc), then I urge you to read this post and find someone to talk with. We can’t do this alone. And the great news is, we don;t have to πŸ™‚

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10 Comments on “Forgiveness”

  1. Christy West July 27, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Shay, I know exactly what you are going through. My divorce has been final for 3 yrs, and I have “forgiven” Bill long ago, but even still recent events (the death of one of his sisters), has brought up all the old emotions of anger, despair, etc. We have no contact, but he wasn’t even going to let me know that she died. Also, my oldest stepson just got married last month, and I wasn’t invited, because apparently Bill said he wouldn’t go to his own son’s wedding if I was there! Keep in mind this is a man that left ME for another woman (whom I’ve heard he is no longer with), but has treated me like I was the cause of the divorce! To estrange me completely from his side
    of the family has torn my heart to
    pieces and is just wrong when I spent 8 yrs helping to raise his 2 kids. Step parents have

    • Christy West July 27, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      no rights at all. Thank God that the oldest stepson has come to realize that it’s his own decision of whether he maintains a relationship with me, and has visited a couple times in the past month. I am so proud of him! Anyway, just know that what you are feeling is completely normal and that time (and God of course) is the only thing that will heal you. Don’t be in a rush to try to
      fill your loneliness with another man,
      that will not be healthy. Take time to
      just allow yourself to go through all the
      feelings you need to, in order to grieve the loss if your

      • Christy West July 27, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        marriage. Divorce to me was worse than death, because it was a decision that the other person made to say I don’t love you, or I think I can do better, or whatever. You need to grieve & that takes time. Forgiveness will come, but worry right now about taking care of YOU. You will soon realize that the other person needs praying for. They are not fulfilled & that is sad. They just don’t gave a strong enough foundation to realize that they will never be fulfilled by running to another person. They can only get that from God.

        • drshaywest July 27, 2013 at 11:08 am #

          I love you cous! Thanks for sharing that πŸ™‚ It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that all of these negative thoughts and feelings are a normal part of the grieving process and that it’s perfectly okay for me to FEEL them and not try to hide it behind a fake smile.

  2. Brandi July 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    I don’t think there’s a timetable for forgiveness, any more than there is one for grieving, which is sounds like you are probably still doing. So, be gentle with yourself, acknowledge and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. I think it’s good that you recognize the need to forgive, and you’ll get there when you’re ready. I don’t have a clue what it’s like to go through what you’re going through, so I can’t offer anything more than that.

    • drshaywest July 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      Thanks Brandi πŸ™‚ I think a lot of this comes from my impatient and control-freak personality πŸ˜‰ It’s so hard knowing that I have to go through the stages of grief and allow time to heal my wounds when all I want is to be okay NOW and be ready to tackle the future NOW and find out what God has planned for me NOW. It’s difficult knowing that someone elses decision can wreak so much havoc and yet there’s nothing I can do but just take it one day at a time. And I pray that you never have to go through this. It’s horrid and emotional and just…..awful.

      • Brandi July 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

        Well, ya, I can see how that might cause you some problems… Ha!

        And, I hope that you are able to move through things quickly, but more than that, I pray for complete healing, you will always bear the scar, but eventually, it won’t hurt when you poke at it. My sister once told me that this is the true test to see if you’ve forgiven…. Poke the wound and if it hurts, you haven’t totally forgiven. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re good to go. I am surprised at how often I *think* I’ve forgiven someone and then, bam! *sigh*. Life can be such a pain in the ass sometimes, eh?

        Be strong, be courageous, and be gentle with yourself! And remember that eventually, this too shall pass and you will survive.

        (And I hope I don’t either! )

        • drshaywest July 30, 2013 at 8:30 am #

          Life DOES tend to throw us some curve balls πŸ™‚ Thanks for all your kind words. It helps knowing I’m not alone in this struggle

  3. taterkates August 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I literally laughed out loud when I read your comment about wanting to be done and okay NOW because I was completely like that too! I didn’t go through a divorce, but an incredibly painful break up and having worked and studied hospice and palliative care I definitely know the five stages of grief. I kept asking my mom why I couldn’t just get there since I already knew what I was supposed to do with each of the stages. But, it definitely doesn’t work that way (dang it!) and you do have to give yourself the time to heal. Definitely be gentle with yourself – everything you’re thinking and feeling is normal and has been thought or felt by someone before you. I think the best piece of advice I got on the topic of forgiveness was that forgiving someone doesn’t mean you condone or agree with their actions, but instead is a way for you to let go and move on. Sending lots of light and love your way.

    • drshaywest August 28, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Each day brings a little new healing. Just gotta plow through the icky crap LOL

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