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Restoration is grand. I have a new life, a new home, a new woman, and a new beginning of all things. Many people have asked me if I’m happy. The answer is a resounding, and in my opinion obvious, yes. But many people have also asked me how I now feel about my ex.

I have in the past year experienced a varying degree of emotions– for the first month I was simply in agony. Sadness gripped me, an overwhelming sense of loss. I continued to move on only because I had committed to moving on beforehand- I had no inner drive at the time to do so, I could only rely on the decision I had made beforehand based on my faith and knowledge of God. Afterward I was angry– I felt betrayed (because I was betrayed). The realization of who this person truly was infuriated me. I had worked hard to provide for and love this person, and everyone saw it, including her. And yet this person had also stabbed me in the back, left a bomb for me at home and then blasted me to all my friends and family with her lies and rationalizations. But in the end I had, as I became more and more objective, sympathy for her. My ex had serious issues long before she ever met me, and she obviously could no longer stop them from erupting. It was equally obvious that she simply didn’t have the parts one requires to be a good spouse. Sympathy, compassion, forgiveness. Those are the things that followed.

But in response to such musings people often ask “Can you really forgive and forget?” Or “I would forgive but I wouldn’t forget,” and even “How could you possibly wish her well?” I have pondered these questions, and I believe I have an answer.

I think it depends on what you mean by forget. Clearly I will never forget what happened to me- it was a life-altering event, and has changed who I am, as all cataclysms do. But when we say “I forgive but don’t forget,” the statement itself insinuates that we are still harboring hostile feelings. Of course we cannot always cognitively erase things from our minds, even if we want to. But when I say I forgive and forget, what I mean (hopefully) is that I care for that person and will not incorporate whatever wrongs I have suffered at their hands in my future interactions with them. These kinds of statements really don’t have anything to do with forgetting I think- it’s really making a statement about how we now regard that individual who has wronged us.

As for wishing my ex well, I should preface before I assert. Terms like “Good” and “Well” have, in my estimation, been woefully twisted in this country. We have gnarled the meaning of words to a point where we believe “Good” is synonymous with “Whatever I like.” There are many good things that have caused screeching pain that did not seem good at the time. The exile into Babylonian oppression was a good thing because it brought the people back to God. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a good thing because it showed the world God’s zero tolerance policy on sexual sin. But these are all things that no “reasonable” humanistic American would call good.

I’ll once more give you that poignant and personal example. As some of you know, when Julie left, she decided to be a dear and send letters to all my close friends and family utterly lambasting me, telling them that I was abusive and that I had actually wanted her to cheat on me. I have never, and will neither at this point bother to answer these claims but at the end of each of those letters she concluded that “I can no longer live a lie,” and that “I have to stand up for what’s right.”

Let’s take a look at what she has actually done, rather than what she says she has done. She cheated on me. She hid it from me when I started to suspect her erratic behavior. She planned to leave me for the better part of a year and siphoned over $8000.00 of our savings into a separate account. She did all these things in secret, all the while acting as though we still had a healthy relationship (as healthy as she could make it seem anyway). The night before she left we watched a movie together; she told me she loved me and kissed me. Finally the day she left, she faked a stomach ache and told me to go to church without her. When I came back she was gone, and in her place was a letter. That was the first I knew of any of her plans.

I do not tell you this to evoke sympathy. I tell you this simply to show the discrepancy between what she DID and what she SAYS she did.

She SAYS that she needs to “stand up” for what’s “right.” But she and I obviously have different understandings of certain terms. By “stand up” she evidently means “run 2000 miles away”, and by “for what’s right” she means “for myself.”

At a very basic level her self-deception is no different from that which grips innumerable people including Christians– the very simple and sinister idea that if I like it, it must be the right thing to do. Or that someone is “well” when they have what we choose to regard as peace.

But whether I am well is not contingent upon my own perception of things, especially my perception of myself. The deciding factor is my status with the Lord. I don’t know when this truth became so widely forgotten, or when Julie herself forgot it, but I know that in both cases it was long before I entered the scene.

With those thoughts in mind, I will say, yes. I wish her well. Because even if she is happy as a clam right now (which I sincerely doubt) she is not well. She has lost all trust and credibility with her family, friends, and the man who loved her most: me. But most importantly she has lost her status with God. When she made her choices she wronged not me, but God primarily. Her battle cry is “I want to accomplish my own will, not God’s.” Of course she wouldn’t phrase it this way- like all narcissistic sociopaths she truly believes that whatever she wants always happens to coincide with what is right. She would say something like “No one is in charge of you but you!”

But the fact is she will one day meet the Source. The One from whom all good things, discipline, integrity, loyalty, and selflessness, flow. When I say I wish her well, I mean that I wish for her to find God again. Because the thing she is calling “God” right now is in fact the very antithesis of God. She is sacrificing wellness for happiness, and even still, I find what she calls happiness to be highly dubious.

God is love. But God is wrath as well. And the answer to her sickness is not to continue in it. But I honestly believe she will, because she is obviously either unwilling or unable to come to terms with what she has done, and instead has begun to redefine what she has done.
 

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Got to be honest the concept of forgive and forget has never entered my thoughts ever in my life

When anybody has screwed me over in some capacity Ive always remembered and never forgiven it.

Why the hell should I ?!?

Somebody decides to screw you over deliberately hurt you and you should say "Oh okay a bit of time has passed now and yeah what you did was okay" ??

The fk it was

I've never sought revenge but never simply forgotten about it

A strange concept in my opinion
 

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You don't forgive a person for their sake. You do it for yours. To not forgive is to harbor anger and resentment, and quite frankly, that requires a lot of energy. I don't think of someone who's wronged me as "deserving" my forgiveness. They ***t me over, they "deserve" my hatred. But, that requires a lot of work on my part, to stay mad, to keep hating them. And they don't deserve that much effort from me. So forgiving them isn't about condoning their actions, or letting them get away with anything. Not for me, anyway. It's about letting them go because they're simply not worth the effort to feel anything for them. Forgiveness is never for the other person.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And I'm not saying you should forget. Maybe don't dwell on it, but don't forget it either.
Yeah. I mean, there's no way we can forget. But you can forgive them.

But when people say "I forgive but don't forget," that usually means they haven't really forgiven. Usually.

Hate never hurts the object of our hatred as much as it hurts things that are important to us.

1) Hatred hurts us more than the object of our hate. When I was little I got picked on mercilessly. I hated those kids so much, but the fact is that my hatred for them never actually caused them any pain. Only me.

2) Hatred hurts the ones who love us. Usually our family and friends feel the sting of our bitterness, and it makes them sad to see us in such a state. It also eventually forces them to take a step back from the black hole we've become.

3) Hatred hurts our relationship with God. Of utmost importance, hatred separates us from God, which is the gate to emptiness.


Hate is like an animal. Caged and frothing. And just like an animal, the solution is very, very simple.

Stop feeding it.
 

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Forgiveness is never for the other person.
:iagree:

TIM, you are absolutely correct to say that forgiveness is for YOU and not the other person. Life is too short to spend it being bitter at your ex.

In my case, I have to interact with her every week because of the kids. I'm cordial and never hostile towards her because I realize that she has a lot of issues that she needs to deal with. Also, I know that she has to live with the aftermath of what she has done every night that she goes to sleep in her apartment without seeing her kids.

Interesting aside: The ex and me, along with my daughter and her friend drove forty miles to look for a car for my daughter. We didn't buy but on the way back my daughter needed to stop by the bookstore to get a book for school. You would never guess which one:

THE SCARLET LETTER

I didn't react - and neither did my ex - but I couldn't help but laugh (on the inside) at the irony. :rofl:
 

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^ So what about when you just don't give a sh!t about them?

In terms of my ex fiance I am completely apathetic. not resentful or hateful, but I could care less what she does with herself, I've moved on.
 

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My dad gave me some phenomenal advice the other day. Unlike me, he's a man of few words. Happy to be there to let you lean on him, but doesn't say much. He offered up, "son, sometimes the best revenge is living well."

I've never appreciated his inner philosopher before.
 

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Believers know that God forgives first.

Next we forgive ourselves.

Lastly, we forgive the other person.

It never mean we don't forget (unless we have dimentia).

But sometimes it makes people feel better to say "forgive but not forget" & that is OKAY.
 

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Whitemouse, that is a moving and inspiring post. I am not religious, and I read the god and church stuff out if it. Still. I am happy for you and happier and a bit more optimistic for having read it. Thanks.
 

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The best revenge may be lovng well, but a satisfying revenge can be hunting down your cheating spouse and her AP and using all your passion, creativity and resources to make both of their lives living bells for as long as possible.c
 

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The best revenge may be lovng well, but a satisfying revenge can be hunting down your cheating spouse and her AP and using all your passion, creativity and resources to make both of their lives living bells for as long as possible.c
I would not be able to say they don't deserve it.

I've said this before but I'll gladly say it again- unfaithfulness is an abomination before the Lord. Both adulterer and adulteress were destroyed for their actions under the Mosaic Covenant.
 
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For me, I suppose that I will eventually forgive her, but forget everything? Never!!! Right now, everything is recent and I'm still hurting, not as much as the first few weeks though.

I am still very upset about what she has done to our family that if the cops showed up here, to inform me that she had a car accident and the vehicle was crushed by an 18 wheeler transport, my only comment would be "Oh well... Sucks to be her, she got what she deserved".

I know, it's mean and not right, but this is how I feel at the moment. In time, as the pain will diminish and my healing will progress, I will probably change my views...
 
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