ForgivenessApril 2, 2014
Forgiveness, it’s a powerful thing. It relates to everything in life, and it’s something I haven’t always been great at giving. I’m typically a “burn me once and I start swinging” kind of guy, a reflex to keep me from getting burned twice.
But love superseded that–and the relationship I had with L was absolute love. Love in a way that makes you realize anything is possible, love in a way that grows as we both grew, love in a way that makes surviving the unsurvivable possible.
When I first found out about L and the other guy last June, I didn’t blink twice at forgiving. I wanted nothing more than to heal our relationship and make it stronger. We booked a trip to St. Lucia, I was ready to get away and move away from the past. A week before we were to leave for St. Lucia, I found out that the relationship was still ongoing and I forgave again. I only asked her to end it once and for all and to focus on us.
And then in August, after a wonderful trip to St. Lucia, after thinking we had moved on, having forgiven without hesitation the struggles of the summer–I found out that they were still communicating. Heartbroken, shattered, I asked for a few days to clear my head and I found myself forgiving again.
I was absolutely blown away when L told me she wanted to separate. It made me want to double down and fight more than ever for us. It made me realize what I valued most. At the same time, I witnessed L begin to compartmentalize (the same description used by several mutual friends), and go down this totally unexpected path of filing for divorce.
As the divorce proceeded, I found myself asking for forgiveness for what I actually did wrong, and what L perceived as what I did wrong. I’ve never claimed to be perfect, and I’ve written about my own flaws and faults and how they related to the stress of the marriage. But I also expected to have L be willing to forgive in the same way I had with her–willing to forgive.
But the look in L’s eyes last week when I saw her through the glass at mediation was pure hatred. The kind of hatred I can’t even have for those responsible for June 5, 2010. A hatred that burned the pit of my stomach and gives me chills when I think of it.
It’s sad, really. It’s sad that whatever is going on has gotten to this point. It’s certainly not how it has to be, and certainly not what I want it to be. I would love for some calmer heads to prevail in this, but it certainly doesn’t appear that L wants this to be civil. At all.