Forgiveness

Coming out of a 32 year marriage and suddenly becoming single was certainly a big change, to say the least. You go from being a duo, a couple to solo, single. Since my marriage had become very toxic in the last 5 years prior the divorce, I savored every moment of being single. I became calmer, relaxed with alot of time on my hands. The first 2 years were years of adjustment and transition. Many times I pinched myself with euphoria that I was no longer in this relationship. I felt that I was freed from prison after serving a life sentence. New adventures and experiences were on the horizon.

I started by taking back my maiden name. It took alot of work. I had to change all my personal documents to reflect my maiden name, ie: Driver’s License, medicare, SIN, passport, life insurance, the list goes on . A new Will and Testament had to be made. It took over a year before all the changes were done.

I went around the house and started to pack away family photo’s of him and any small personal items he left behind. Painters were hired to repaint the master bedroom. I redecorated it to become “my room”.

However, I was still living the drama of my failed marriage. Everytime I met up with friends we would talk about it. Family occasions were difficult; the kids now had to share their time separately between Mom and Dad.

I needed to understand when and why the marriage started to break down. It was an obsession. I spent countless hours revisiting our past conversations, his changed behaviours, pouring over letters and occasion cards he had written to me. I also surfed the internet to read up on narcissism. My therapist had suggested he might be a narcissist, based on what I used to tell her about my relationship.

When I finally discovered who his long time mistress was, I was shocked and angry . It was someone I knew! She became another of my obsessions. I needed answers!

My ex sister-in-law advised me to confront her, to have a physical altercation with her. Actually her words were something like this, “you need to defend what belongs to you and you must grab her by the hair and show her that no one touches what belongs to you.” Yes of course my basic instinct was to do just that and obtain revenge . Instead I chose civility; revenge was out of the question.

I did confront her to obtain answers, which of course she refused to give me. With great calm and dignity I told her what I thought of her. I know after our interaction she was not too proud of herself.

This confrontation was something that I needed to do for my peace of mind. It felt as if I had a sense of control over the betrayal. Does that make sense?

As a side note the Mistress did not end up with my ex; he has another woman in his life.

Three years ago I happened to cross paths with the mistress. I said hello and asked about her. She was happy to see me. After a brief exchange about our present lives she paused and asked for my forgiveness. That was something I wasn’t expecting. I accepted her apology. At that moment all the shame she felt evaporated. I saw it in her demeanor. Her face lit up and she asked to hug me. We hugged. It was healing for the both of us.

I no longer carry any anger towards her. That too is quite liberating.

A quote from Josh Billings:

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

6 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. I believe at times we fall in desperation and do stupid things unintentionally or intentionally hurting others in our path. This may have been the case with the Mistress. She asked for forgiveness, and I think that is a big deal! and you forgave her that is even a bigger deal! Forgiving frees you of negative emotions. Quoting a passage in the Bible ‘Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone’. Nicely written Carol

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  2. Le divorce est un traumatisme de la vie , tout comme un deuil , une faillite , un handicap, une maladie incurable….Et il y a des étapes qui sont tout à faites normales à affronter. J’ai passé à travers un divorce qui ressemble un peu au tien et j’ai eu les mêmes moments difficiles. Mais aujourd ´ hui , après 18 ans , quel bonheur de vivre ma vie et d’être moi -même , entourée de gens qui m’aimes , m’apprécies et me respectes.
    Je considère qu’il n’y a aucune vengeance ou pardon à donner. Nous nous sommes aimés , mais après un parcours de 25 ans de vie commune , nous avons évolué différemment , et avons perdu cet amour. Ilest normal que nous cherchions l’amour ailleurs, quête fondamentale de l’être humain.
    Je dirais que dans toute cette aventure ce qui m’a fait le plus mal , c’est son manque d’honnêté et de respect envers moi et ses enfants, il n’était pas capable de mettre fin à notre relation, qui était malsaine pour tous.

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  3. Thank you for sharing! Can I ask you a few questions and reply only if you feel comfortable. Do your daughters respect their dad? I am sure it was hard for them to accept the truth as well! Also, there are a lot of mistresses out there, what would you say to them if they read this right now? I put myself in your shoes and I can say that you handled yourself like a classy woman you are. 🤗

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    1. Hi . My daughters love and respect their Dad. They were upset with him for a while but at the end of the day it s their Dad. They were grown women. I explained to them that what happened was between him and I. As for the mistresses I would tell them to run away from their married man. Those men only provide heartache. I ll be honest, I too was involved with a married man shortly after my divorce. It was not intentional, he broke my heart. I guess it was this experience that helped me forgive my ex s mistress. I was able to see the other side of the coin.

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