It was around my son's 2nd birthday that I decided I needed to forgive my ex.
It had been almost a year and half since he told me he wasn't in love with me and didn't want to be married. Then he kind of took it back and said he wasn't sure he wanted a divorce and needed time to figure it all out.
I, being the supportive wife and wanting to save my family, said of course.
That was followed by him moving out, individual counselling, couples counselling, a trip to Mexico and many nights of me alone taking care of our son, and him at the bar with his friends. This year of limbo and lies ended in him wanting a divorce afterall exactly one year later.
I've experienced every emotion possible, depending on the day. Over time though I did begin to see how one day I could maybe forgive him. Life without him may not be so unliveable. I would start to feel better and then BAM. I'd find out something else that would take me right back to wondering who the hell I had spent the last 8 years with and wanting to torch his motorcycle. Anger and hostitlity kept weighing me down.
Being angry in itself is exhausting. I knew I needed to let go. I finally realized that I was thinking I'd forgive him when I got the apology, explanation or closure that I felt I deserved. Well this just wasn't going to happen, at least not now. That was my first forgiveness AHA moment...
Forgiveness can't be dependent on another's actions. It needed to start with my own actions.
I started thinking about him and speaking to him differently. I started thinking of this as the start of a new kind of relationship with the father of my son. The weight was lifted and I felt better. We started talking more comfortably and even went out to dinner with our son; something that hadn't happened in months.
That has been this last month. But just days ago I found out he's still lying to me and the anger returned. My intial thought was I guess I haven't actually forgiven him and who he is afterall. And then I had my second AHA moment...
Forgiveness, is a process.
It's a continuous act and effort. Just as I wake up everyday and commit (or at least try) to being physically active, eating well, being present with my son, finishing that book that's been on my night stand for 6 months, I have to commit to forgiving my ex.