Finding forgiveness really is the key to peace.
When he left me, I was destroyed. I envied him and his ability to just move beyond me like I meant nothing to him. For reasons beyond our control, our relationship had to end.
As recreation and variety, he found several lovers to replace me. Beautiful, intelligent, successful women that by the algorithms of Facebook, scrolled across my screen and names and faces and bodies were assigned to the anonymous ladies who took my place. My heart was crushed, my mind tormented with visions of them doing the things that he and I shared, the things that I missed every moment of every day, the dinners, the texts, the laughter, the conversation, the flirting, the sex.
Months of anguish trudged on and eventually he told me that his love for me, his feelings and his attraction for me were now in the past. I was no longer needed in his life.
What started as not wanting a “situation” became not wanting me. It was a personal rejection that I didn’t think I could survive.
It destroyed my heart, tortured my mind and shattered my confidence. I hit rock bottom. I didn’t think it was possible to hurt that badly. It’s forever changed me.
I lashed out at him many times over his callousness with my heart, flaunting details of his new lovers in my face. These admissions designed to make me feel inadequate; he said that their titles meant nothing to him, but why else tell me then, other than to make me feel belittled. It worked. I withdrew from dating altogether. I lost confidence. I felt worthless. The self-deprecation was a reflection of the value I believed he now placed on me.
I couldn’t understand why he felt the need to hurt me. I didn’t reject him. He rejected me.
Many times he told me that I had no idea what he went through and how it wasn’t his choice to leave me. He said that he missed me and was in pain, but I didn’t listen. We all have choices and he chose this; if he didn’t like his choice then that was on him, not me. I lost my right to choose.
As time passed and the hurts began to heal, I gained a new perspective.
I know that the picture that was in my mind didn’t truly represent the picture he was viewing from his side. I recognized that we were both saying the same things to each other, the lash outs of jealousy over new lovers, the blame, the hurt, the pain. He acknowledged my pain and I never acknowledged his, because I felt that because he chose this path, he had no right to hurt. I was wrong.
When I take a step back and recognize him as someone I loved deeply with all my heart and soul, a man that I was honored to know and love, a man that still haunts my mind and dreams and I miss him terribly, a man that I shared the deepest, darkest, and brightest parts of myself with, a man that I will spend a lifetime regretting losing due to my own misgivings and mistakes, I am struck by how misguided I was in my feelings about him and his pain.
I should have listened to him when he told me that he was hurting too. It did hurt him to have to let me go, it broke his heart and in addition to loss and mourning over losing someone he enjoyed and loved, he felt forced, which could not have been an easy thing to recover from. With that decision, he was also forced to destroy a woman that he loved. It wasn’t easy for him to hear my pain, to see the devastation in my eyes, to hear the impact his choice had on my world. I would be stronger, I would survive, I would rebuild. He was right, I would but in the meantime, I was crushed.
The arguments were frustrating. In hindsight, we were both lashing out, in different ways, over the same thing. The arguments centered on our new lovers and how both of us felt replaced. We assumed any new lovers entering the other’s life got what we had, had with each other.
Logically I knew this was false. I had several lovers after he left me and it was never the same. Sex is fun, yes, as it should be, but the lack of intimacy makes it meaningless. I assumed that the lover he was with me, was the same lover he was with others, but from my own experience with new lovers, I knew that wasn’t true.
And if that was the reality for me, why would I assume that it wasn’t the reality for him? I resented that he discarded me and insisted I move on and find new lovers, as he had done, but then used it against me at every turn. It became exhausting to have a conversation with him as it was always sex-centric, something we both said was without value held so much weight in every conversation.
Our assumptions blocked our path to friendship. Making assumptions means believing that things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct. This can lead to serious trouble. Jumping to assumptions is not actually an exercise but can it ever leave you exhausted and sore.
Like moths to a flame, we always found a way back to each other. Despite the hurt, despite the angry, bitter, grief inspired words, we found light in the darkness. The respect and friendship and genuine “like” that we felt for each other prevailed. The attraction and emotion he said were in the past, renewed. Despite the replacement lovers, the hurt, and bitterness, we find a way back, because we always will matter to each other.
I forgave him and the hate and bitterness melted away. I regained my self-respect and my dignity, my confidence and the light in my eyes returned through forgiveness. I started dating again, to a limited extent, my heart still bruised.
I forgave him because I realized how much he had hurt too. He was someone so precious to me and he hurt too. My heart hurt knowing that he also hurt.
Hurt people, hurt people. The hurting had to stop.
Nothing can be forced or contrived, it’s unnatural and because of that, what’s forced is destined to fail.
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if what we share is enough to sustain any kind of friendship, but I know that I am willing to try because important, special, precious people that touch you and change you on such a profound level are rare. He is my person, even if I’m no longer his.
More from DivorcedMoms
- Forgiveness: An Attribute Of The Strong
- When Forgiveness Isn’t Possible: Accepting The Unforgivable
- You’ve Forgiven Him But, You Can’t Forget
- Check Out DivorceMag For Divorce Resources