After my own divorce I kept
thinking of that old Beatles song..
All at the same time, I felt numb, I felt pain, I felt bitter, I felt angry, I felt hatred, I felt blame. I constantly replayed in my head things from the past, how I’d lost my life time of investment, lost my house, car, belongings. I felt grief, I felt a failure, and I felt violated.
Why could I not get that damn song out of my head? because I knew from my training as a counselor that to start over would be a long process. It is for anyone! As I counsel women with similar feelings to the ones I had, and these feelings are very common, their recovery doesn’t really start until they can forgive, even if they can’t forget, the past.
To forgive someone for their wrong doings doesn’t mean that what they did to us was right. No… By forgiving we are not condoning their behaviour but we are hurting ourselves!! Forgiveness of ourselves is also essential. We mustn’t forget that we are co-creators of the marriage. A pancake is flat but there are always two sides to it!
Think about it, perhaps your resentful that your spouse may have got remarried, or he’s not burdened by having to be a full-time parent, he’s got time to spend with his friends and the list goes on. If we can’t forgive our ex for the past then these resentful feelings we have of the present will only be increased and add to our unforgiving feelings of resentment.
But the past is the past. It cannot be forgotten, edited, changed or erased, it can only be accepted and that only comes with forgiveness for ourselves and our ex to enable us to move on to accept the reality as it is.
We need to accept that we are not in control of our ex, and from now on, what he does is not our business. (Unless it seriously involves our children) I learned a little saying years ago. Acceptance is the pathway to happiness… In my experience and the experience of others, I’ve found this to be true.
We all have many assets to start us on that road to becoming fully recovered.
Our lives revolve around the physical (body,) the mental(mind) and spiritual (soul or spirit) in everything we do. Who we are and who we are to become, sometimes means making big attitude adjustments and learning to live certain spiritual principles which are real assets for any human being.
- An asset is Honesty (not being in denial)
- An asset is Willingness/openness
- An asset is Hope
- An asset is Courage
- An asset is Prayer
- An asset is Gratitude
- An asset is Perseverance
- An asset is having Support from family, friends, group
- An asset is knowing we’re not perfect but we try our best
- An asset is maintaining good health
- An asset is knowing we deserve to move forward
- An asset is helping others
- An asset is Forgiveness
Nobody can go back to start a new beginning, but anyone can start again today to make a new ending!
It’s really helpful to have a journal. Try to write in it everyday about all, some or just one of these assets that you feel would benefit you today.
Here is a letter I want to share with you, about a woman who talks about her forgiveness, faith and finally letting go of her ex.
I stayed together in my marriage for too long. We were together for 20 years and my home became a combat zone for many of those years. I didn’t want to listen to anyone that I was an abused wife. I truly believed if I kept my faith in him and in my marriage vows he would change but he didn’t, instead emotional, physical, mental and even sexual abuse escalated.
He would always make me and everyone around say it was my fault and never took fault for himself. He still does to this day. We’ve been separated now for over a year and my life has never been better. I finally found my peace of mind by keeping my faith, but instead of keeping my faith in a man, I found my faith back in God. I stayed for many years because of our 3 children. I never thought a broken marriage was better for the kids than to stay together and weather out the storms, but you are so right. It’s better for the kids to see healthy parents striving for their goals than a house of horrors.
I spent the last year trying to forgive much of what he did for 20 years to me. I do take blame for my part, since after 15 years I started into marijuana abuse and then into alcohol to kill and numb the pain. All it did was make things worse as time went on.
I’ve been clean and sober for a year and my kids see how healthy my lifestyle is and how happy I am doing on my own. My ex and I tried to be friends but I realized recently when he continued to try to smooze me, all the while he’s living with another woman and then sent something that reminded me of the toxic times we had, and made me realize I can’t be friends with someone who will still not take responsibility for his actions.
He never spoke all this smoozing with me for 20 years so why now? I know he’s trying what he would do whenever I was close to leaving many times in 20 years, he would make me believe he cared and was somewhat sorry just to reel me in then wham, the cycle started again.
So now I decided to keep my relationship with him to just if must need, about the kids and my kids are teens and an adult so not needing to much communication between us. He still can’t see his wrongdoings and this is why I can never look back and be ‘friends’.
I do pray for him and wish him well, I just know I can’t be a part of his life or I’ll never move forward. As long as my kids are happy and well-adjusted that is all that is really important to me.