Why I Chose to Forgive

Driving to pick up my dog from my ex-mother-in-law’s home, in the first snow storm of the season, after a long weekend in NYC with my best friend and the amazing Betty Dodson, it hit me like a rock, dropping right into my lap.  I needed to see “her” and be OK.  “Her” being my ex-husband’s girlfriend.  My relationship with my ex-husband improved greatly once he moved out after asking for a divorce.  But for a few months it was still extremely hard to see “her”, his girlfriend.  Now, to be clear, there wasn’t cheating involved.  But she was a very close friend of our’s.  I felt betrayed by both of them, but it was different with her.  I can only really explain it by saying that I always knew she was his friend, and I was more like “her friend’s wife”.

I don’t let these things sit.  When I decide I need to do something, I go do it.  That day I went to her house and we had coffee.  We didn’t discuss forgiveness.  We didn’t discuss anything but my son’s reading, which she was helping with.  I hugged her goodbye and told her to take care.  I knew I would be seeing her again and regularly.  It was what was best for everyone, including me.  Most important, it was good for our children.  quote-the-weak-can-never-forgive-forgiveness-is-the-attribute-of-the-strong-mahatma-gandhi-231131

We don’t avoid each other now.  She stops by the house with my ex.  She is welcome in my home.  I see her regularly to go over my son’s reading.  We drink coffee.  I tell her about whatever is happening in my life.  We talk about my ex and can relate about many of his quirks.  We have had the forgiveness talk.  I have done my best to show nothing but compassion.

Here’s the thing, this wasn’t easy for any of us.  Breaking up families isn’t easy.  I know it wasn’t an easy choice for my ex.  I know it must have been hard for both of them.  I can have compassion for that choice.  I wanted to make that choice many times over the course of my marriage but I wasn’t strong enough to do it.  My ex is a wonderful father.  He is a good man.  She is a kind person and she cares for our children.  I wish them all the best.  Most of all, I wish for happy homes for my children.  We, all of us, are setting an amazing example for them, on being mature and moving on.  sunday-photo-forgiveness-quotes-estilotendances-11

Does it still hurt?  Only in the ways of letting go of dreams hurt.  I have new dreams now.  But I still mourn the old ones.

Why did I do it?  Why did I make the choice to forgive?  So I could move on.

Leo says it best:

 

I didn’t need that part of my story any more.  I didn’t want to be the victim anymore.  And it feels good.  I don’t carry that burden anymore.  And hopefully they don’t either.  I just want everyone to live their best life.  This is mine.

 

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