Lesson #28: Forgive Everyone Everything

by bye2mrwrong

We often hear the slogan “Forgive and Forget”. Most people can’t do the latter, and maybe shouldn’t, to protect themselves. But what if, instead of forgetting we retold the story? Instead of telling the saga that portrays you as a victim and someone else as a villain, rewrite the script. Once you decide to change your story you get your happy ending.

Too often we keep telling the injury story. We get attention and sympathy by being a victim or by being right or by being wronged. We seek cheap payoffs that keep us stuck. If we’re invested in someone being our villain, we must love being the victim. We have to let go of both characters in the story.”

I kept telling myself my husband was the villain. He broke promises, abandoned US, and hurt ME. But what if I saw the story in a different light? What if I actually accepted that my husband had done the best he could, but for some reason wasn’t capable of giving more. He couldn’t tell me the truth, if he wasn’t being honest with himself. He couldn’t love me or accept my love, if he didn’t love himself.

I don’t know if I want to forget. If I forget, I might always make the same mistakes. That’s not an option. And I don’t know if I want to completely forgive. If I forgive then I allow him to get a free pass for what he’s done. But if I don’t forget or forgive then I allow him to live rent-free in the catacombs of my mind. Catch 22 isn’t it?

While I’m nowhere near forgetting, and I’m not even sure I’m close to accepting, I think I’m half way at forgiving (at least in some kind of shape and form). I feel that I am no longer raging with fury at his choice, but rather disappointed and sad. I no longer blame only him, but rather partake. It’s not resentment I feel, but something else. What that something else is, I don’t quite know. Maybe it’s just me, as usual not being able to let go of the past. Or maybe it’s me not having accepted it yet. How can I accept that he let me go? How can I accept that he didn’t love me enough to fight for our relationship? I guess the loss of love is not nearly as painful as our resistance to accepting it.

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21 Responses to “Lesson #28: Forgive Everyone Everything”

  1. Hey Bye
    You don’t forgive him for him, you do it for you. That is the way that you can finally let go of all the hurt he inflicted on you. He is broken and he dumped on you through no fault of your own. I befriended a muscian down on his luck. I took him in and fed him and took care of him and he dumped all over me. He was supremely narcissistic and self centered. I did not feel bad, I did a good thing helping him but he was so broken, he did not have it in him to reciprocate or even appreciate the help, in his mind he was OWED HELP.
    I threw him out and promptly forgave him because he is profoundly broken and did not give it another thought. It is not the same as a marriage of course but you get my point. Youj are still obsessing about the hurt that he inflicted on you. You can’t heal from it until you let him go as broken and forgive him because he is BROKEN not you.
    Blessings on you and yours
    John

    • John,

      One question I have for you since I keep hearing you say the same things over and over again to me.
      When you say “he is broken…” what doyou mean? Can you define broken?
      Is a narcissist broken because he is a narcissist? or is he a narcissist because he is broken?
      How do you know if someone is broken?
      And if they are broken, do we leave them that way? do we leave?

  2. “We seek cheap payoffs that keep us stuck. If we’re invested in someone being our villain, we must love being the victim. We have to let go of both characters in the story.” GREAT LINE! You and I have had similar responses to our disappointing relationships. Forgiving, forgetting, accepting, hurting. I feel like you crawled into my head and are writing my thoughts. Unfortunately our club has many recovering members and that is sad.

    Why do so few relationships get derailed from the “happily ever after” course?

    • That line is quoted from the book I’m reading. The one where I’m getting these lessons of life from.
      I just take the lessons and try to figure out how they apply to me. If they apply to me.

      If I could answer your question I’d be the worlds richest person, or maybe just another psychologist, or marriage counsler. So many reasons. When it comes to infidelity though i think the reasons are mainly, temptation and selfishness, among others.

      • It’s too bad cheaters don’t add their two cents in the comments section. I’d love to hear from the mind of an adulter. It would be nice to hear the truth behind their actions. A friend of mine has been divorced for 4 years and her ex told her yesterday the reason for their split. He blamed her father for not giving him the family business when he retired. As a result he had to leave their small town to find work, where his dick magically ended up inside another woman. Blame and selfishness go hand in hand.

  3. I meant to write, Why do so few relationships STAY on the “happily ever after” course?

  4. Good job, bye2. I think our exes who treated us so badly are wounded and broken themselves in one way or another. I agree with John that we forgive for ourselves not for them. I think going from rage to sadness is part of the process of forgiving, as you stated so well. As for forgetting–I know I won’t ever forget the pain but I can see already that time is dulling the sharp edges and the hurt is diminishing and I’m becoming more philosophical about it.

    Keep writing!

    • Time, isnt that the magical word in all this? The great healer.

      If, I mean when all this is behind me, when I’ve accepted, forgiven and maybe even forgotten I’d love to philosophise about it, write about it, counsel about it etc. I’d love to look back and say: This needed to happen, or there was a reason this happened (and know what / who that reason was), or I’m grateful this happened.
      For now I can only say: I’ve learned a lot since this happened.

      • I have three friends who told me recently it took them two years to get over their ex. I’m at the 6 month stage. Shouldn’t I get a coin or something? My point is, we all have a ways to go before we are put back together. It’s unfortunate that we suffer and the assholes keep on going like nothing ever happened. But then I think about Steve McNair, King David (he was naughty too), that adulter/pastor who they just found dead, Zachery Tims, and I think, maybe their actions will catch up with them one day. Not that I’m celebrating their demise, but there ought to be some equity in all this pain and suffering they caused.

  5. Interesting discussion you have here bye2! Time is the healer – but each of us is unique and it takes as long as it takes! I’ve been doing this for 30 months now!

    I think our EXs are probably broken because they are unable to truly love themselves. If you don’t like who you are then the easiest route is to lash out at those around you. Why else is the statement so often wheeled out: “You hurt the one you love”. Maybe that is the best way to deal with all this – to actually forgive them and feel sorry for them as they’re the ones who are really lost and who have run after the glittery baubles in the street as they feel they are the answer. The baubles will tarnish with time as the gloss wears off – they will then make the same mistakes again.

    So I don’t believe the adulterer wins in the end (well statistically not often).

    We all want our happy ending – and we’ll get it of that I’m sure – we just haven’t opened the right chapter yet – and unfortunately we can’t have a sneaky look at the end of the book to check things turn out OK!

    • I do believe that much of the reasons cheaters cheat is because of something inside of them, and not necessarily because of the other person.
      And although I know that many people are good at hiding their insecurities, it’s hard for me to beleive that my ex did not love himself because when you see him, he seems like the most confident person with an “I know it all” attitude. So how can a person like that not love himself? Sometimes I think he loved himself more than anyone else. Thats why it was so easy to be so God damn SELFISH.

      As for feeling sorry for him, I do. I think he missed out, lost the most loving and caring girl in the world. A girl who looked up to him, who loved him like crazy, who adored every word he said. A girl who would have stuck around forever had he just let her. A girl who came from a higher status, higher education; but never looked down on him, never thought of him as less, always pushed him further, alwasy supported him.

      But I also feel sorry for myself (and here lies the problem). Because I feel that i lost, and I still feel like a failure. And i still have trouble looking people in the eye when I say that I am divorced. I still feel like the victim, although I no longer make him the villian. I no longet tell anyone of the reason I divorced. That is something that i now keep silently to myself. Which sometimes makes me feel even more like a victim because i dont get the sympathy that i would have gotten otherwise. Because no one understands what i went through.

      Finally, yes we all want the happy ending. I still hope for it even though i find that I am becoming more and more pessimistic by the day. Its almost like a phase I need to and am going through. But the fact that we want it doesnt say we’ll get it. After all we all already have experienced on our own skin that there are no gaurantees in life. If there were we wouldnt need or want to take a sneak peak at that ending, cause we would know.

  6. @ Athena: Now you’re talking about KARMA. I’ve written about that before https://divorcingmrwrong.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/karma-or-luck/
    Actually looking back at my posts I’ve written and wondered about it quite often.
    But the truth is I dont believe in Karma. Life just isnt fair, and there isn’t a right for every wrong.
    So will there actions catch up with them? Will the bad that happens to them be directly correlated to the bad that was inflicted by them? Will they even know that one has to do with the other? and most important will it matter?

  7. Yes it seems blame and selfishness do go hand in hand. My ex also blamed me, and my family for his unhappiness. It seems the one person he forgot to blame was himself.

    Speaking of broken people, I wonder who is more broken now, me or him?

  8. I told Alex that no-one would ever love him as much as I did – they couldn’t – as my love and commitment was total. I still feel that. And that’s what’s so tough. so I completely understand where you are. But we will get our happy endings – we have to!! We deserve them

  9. Goodness, thank you so much for this post. You have written what’s been in my head for a while… It is exactly how I feel, spooky. Somehow, it really, really helps.
    And thanks to Looking For Buddha Again for pointing me in your direction.
    Take care x

    • Thank you Lady E for dropping in.
      I’m glad my post helps you. I’m not really sure it helps me…but I try to just get it all out of my system.
      Hope to see you here more often.

  10. Bye…do you you go into my journal and steal my thoughts?? Again, so much of what you write applies to so many. I know that X has insecurities that drive her to question why she is not doing more, being more, expeiriencing more all the time. She was helped in this insecurity 5 years ago when J would tell her that like him, she DESERVED so much more. This was his narcissism calling out to her insecurities…and when I would come along and say that while she was busy envying others, they were busy envying her/us. She would realize this sometimes when she was told how much they longed for her life (by them)…but most of the time she just didn’t feel good enough. She then blamed the person closest to her (me) for her “bad” life.
    Now, I am nowhere near perfect. I have sometimes worked too much. My sleep habits are atrocious and I did get caught up in the struggle of life trying to keep a roof over our head during a career transition change. But I loved my family with all of my heart. After her 1st affair, I proposed to her again. (this time much more romantic than the frist time). I thought we were on the path of renewing the strengths in our marriage.

    In one of my past posts, http://divorcedandangry.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/my-anger-keeps-me-invested/ , i commented on something that you touched on too. That the anger makes us right but also keeps us invested.

    Lady E, Caroline, Struggling Dad, Me, (even Morningwood in his pirate way)..many others are all going through the same maze in different GPS coordinates. Funny….we are all the same. Timelines, thoughts, healing properties, anger, sadness, all common themes.

    Thank you for posting and sharing.
    Peace to you
    LFBA

    • You got me LFBA. Since I became a spy (due to ex husband’s cheating) I’ve been great at going through other people’s journals and stealing their thoughts. Seems yours were on my list. Yours and everybody who has been in our situation.
      I truly think we all go through the same emotions, the same pain, the same suffering, the same anger, the same sadness, and the same mood swings. We all wonder the same thoughts, ponder over the same questions, and doubt the same actions. The only things that differ are some minor details, the name of our villian and the victim in our stories.

      Hopefully, we will all go through the same phases of healing, acceptance, forgiving and letting go, and finding a new path.

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