In my last blog I wrote about the tricky topic of forgiveness. It’s funny how everyone looks at forgiveness differently.
Someone commented to me that they find others aren’t as quick to give them forgiveness. Someone else told me that they don’t feel the need to forgive someone they have no use for any more.
I made the comment that just because I forgive someone it doesn’t mean I want to have a relationship with them.
I think it shows we all have different ideas about forgiveness and what we expect from other people. Point of view seems to add to the trickiness of forgiveness.
Some people don’t feel like people forgive them, but maybe people are just tired of their crap and even if they do forgive, they don’t want to be subject to any more abuse?
Some people refuse to give forgiveness because they feel it make them look weak, but others could care less because they don’t want to have a relationship with the person anyway.
I’ve been reading an old journal I kept when I first started the divorce process with the ex from August 2009.
I wrote about how I was dumbfounded that he would call me on the phone, angry with me that I was filing for divorce. He said things like “I don’t deserve this” and tried to convince me I was overreacting—“You don’t have to do this,” he said
He continued to bring up a topic he brought up a lot with me—I never forgive him, I hold on to anger and never let things go.
That was his point of view and there was just enough truth in that statement to make second guess myself.
Technically speaking, I didn’t HAVE to follow through on the divorce. I didn’t HAVE to walk away from a 17-year relationship.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t follow through. There were plenty of times I second guessed myself and I got weak.
There were many times when just filling out the paperwork in the attorney’s office was too much to complete.
When it came down to it, we were just two different points of view. He was of the mindset that things would be okay and that it was a waste of time to get a divorce. He was of the mindset that I should just forgive him and that everything would work itself out.
I was of the mindset that I could not waste another second of my life with a man who was fake—a man who only cared about his own wants and needs, a man who acted pious but was living a secret life and deceiving the woman who trusted him more than anyone else in the world, a man who was hurting his children by making their mommy a very sad person, a man who was hurting people who cared about our little family and hated seeing us miserable.
Sure, he said he was sorry. I have forgiven him.
But that doesn’t mean I want to be friends. It doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to be mad sometimes.
It also means my tolerance for other people’s shenanigans and drama is very limited. Life is too short to put up with other people’s problems—especially when they live with the point of view that they are not the ones with the problem.
When I decided to go through with the divorce, my former brother-in-law called me to see if I would change my mind. He desperately wanted to help us reconcile. I appreciated his effort.
I explained that I had spent six months working on things and saw that the ex was never going to change his behavior. Not only was he not going to change, but he acted like everything was my fault.
I told him that I finally realized that God did not create me and give me life so I could live like that. Not only did I not deserve to live that way, but no one deserves to live that way.
No one deserves to be miserable.
But it’s not up to other people to make you happy either. You have to find it and sometimes it’s really hard.
Sometimes it means you have walk away from toxic relationships. Sometimes it means you have to look in the mirror and change your point of view. Sometimes it means you have to accept that you are the asshole in a relationship and sometimes it means you have to be the asshole and end an abusive relationship.
I think one of the hardest parts of walking away from my former life was accepting the fact that once I walked away, there was no turning back. That old life would be gone. And even more frightening was the fact that I would have no one else to blame for anther failed shot at life except for myself.
But nothing in life that is worth having and fighting for is easy. It’s really hard.
Not knowing if I would have to live the rest of my life alone was hard. Being away from my children these past weeks has been hard. Starting over financially was hard. Trying to restart my career at 39 is hard.
It’s humbling, it’s frustrating, it’s exhausting…
But walking away and cutting those ties is also exciting because you get the chance to do things again—do them better, make things better, make life better, make yourself better, make relationships better.
And no matter what your point of view is, when life is better, you know you are doing what is right and living life the way God meant for you to live it.