I wonder how long it takes to get to “forgiveness” ? The last couple of years have been difficult for us as a couple, there have been some major foobar situations which have caused us angst. We’ve both done them, but how do you forgive.
I was never one for taking on religious ideological concepts. I have no concept of g-d, whether singular or multiple, a higher being or anything spiritual. Its quite difficult to explain, as many say they just Know that there is something spiritual, I just know that there isn’t. I suppose that is the belief mechanism at work. No amount of telling me to accept g-d into my my life, will work as its just not there.
Trust and respect have been eroded in our relationship and that’s from a mutual perspective. It will take time and behaviour to regain them. I want to get to that place where the nagging thoughts of “do I trust what your saying” are no longer there, and I can take verbatim what is being said and not have questioning thoughts. DW wants to be respected and trusted, but she doesn’t seem to understand that she has to do a lot of work on her part to help me get there.
So forgiveness, letting go of the need for revenge, its not about revenge, I don’t want her on her knees chanting some liturgy. I don’t want to be paid reparations for damage.
The text below is copied from Psychology today.
Forgiveness can be a gift that we give to ourselves. Here are some easy steps towards forgiveness:
Acknowledge your own inner pain. Express those emotions in non-hurtful ways without yelling or attacking. Protect yourself from further victimisation. Try to understand the point of view and motivations of the person to be forgiven; replace anger with compassion. Forgive yourself for your role in the relationship. Decide whether to remain in the relationship. Perform the overt act of forgiveness verbally or in writing. If the person is dead or unreachable, you can still write down your feelings in letter form.
What Forgiveness Is Not…
Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending it didn’t happen. It did happen, and we need to retain the lesson learned without holding onto the pain. Forgiveness is not excusing. We excuse a person who is not to blame. We forgive because a wrong was committed. Forgiveness is not giving permission to continue hurtful behaviours; nor is it condoning the behaviour in the past or in the future. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. We have to make a separate decision about whether to reconcile with the person we are forgiving or whether to maintain our distance.
So the key point l’ve taken from that the above text is, at this moment we need to “understand and replace anger with compassion”. So I now have to replace anger, often I’m reminded of the things that made me angry. DW’s lying about drinking, we had a situation on Monday, when she lied about drinking. The thing is with lying we are making a conscious effort to construct an alternative reality. The effort that goes into constructing a lie and maintaining the pretence is too much.
Like with religion, for me its (to a religious person) “I know you have it, I don’t have it, please treat me with respect and don’t evangelise at me” the same applies to lying, “I know you do it, I can’t do it, please respect me by being truthful”.