I sat there, asking myself if I really drove 2 hours to listen to this.

“Ugh, this picture is terrible. “
“Do I really look like this?”
“I can’t post this!”

My ex had just finished taking some pictures outside with my daughter and now she was engaging in two of the many obnoxious habits that remind me why we’re not married anymore…bitching incessantly and playing with her fucking phone.

“Just delete them and do them again. How hard can it be, it was ten minutes ago?”
“Did I ask for your fucking opinion?” she snapped at me and left the room.
Face palm
Happy fucking Easter.

My daughter came to the rescue.
“Dad, it’s a holiday. She’s always nuts on Holidays, remember? I’m still happy to see you.”
She wasn’t lying. She was. She’s the best. And soon my youngest boy will be back from his girlfriend’s house and soon after that we will meet my oldest daughter and her boyfriend at the restaurant. Despite my oldest boy not being able to make it, which I was bummed about, I will have plenty of people to distract me from her.

I really hoped that the fireworks were over with her but that would not be the case. The dinner conversation was mostly fine, I enjoyed seeing the kids and the meal was great. But she dropped a couple of cracks during dinner about me that stuck with me for the last week. The first one was when she claimed I didn’t love her and wasn’t attracted to her when she was heavy, early in our marriage. I was floored. First, I have no idea how that subject even came up, and I was further incensed that it wasn’t true.

The second comment came when my youngest daughter said that I was a nice guy. The ex made a face. When pressed by my oldest daughter as to the reason, she said “he is now, not so much when we were married.”

I was annoyed at the first one, I was downright pissed off at the second one. My appetite was gone and I wanted to go home. I didn’t, of course, and the rest of the day was ok. I had a cigar with the boys, the daughter’s joined us outside and enjoyed the weather with us, and I largely avoided the ex until it was time to leave.

I do my best thinking while driving, but that particular two hours was spent fuming.

With regards to the weight comment, I never had a problem with her weight. I always found her attractive. It’s she who was never happy with herself and always struggled with her self-image (the selfie thing is case in point). It got to the point where she was so critical of herself she shut off the sex spicket for good.

The nice guy (or not, as it were) thing? I will admit that I had my moments but it was never unprompted and in my recollection pretty warranted. We began fighting in the second year of our marriage and by the fourth child we were struggling maritally and financially. Money destroys marriages and ours was no exception. Add to the equation her complete hypocrisy as she bought whatever she wanted yet bitched about my career struggles and dropping income…yea I’m not going to be so nice.

But I was quick to apologize. I tried to learn from it and genuinely worked towards doing better. I accepted fault as graciously as I could.

Until I realized I was the only one.

Towards the end, I can honestly say that I gave up on us and my only focus was to salvage my relationship with my children. As for her and I, we tolerated each other. When we finally divorced, we were passive and civil. We went our own ways and it really seemed as if everything was cool. I set out to reconcile my anger and one day I decided to just forgive it. I forgave everything. It would be trite to say that I forgave her in particular, instead I did it for me. To unload the terrible baggage weighing on my shoulders. To sleep at night. To move towards a place of healing and to become the man I’ve always wanted to be, with the benefit of a fresh start.

Forgiveness is not as easy as it seems. Ole’ Superman thought that by snapping his fingers and taking a super breath, he could wash years of anger and frustration and be done with it. But it just isn’t that easy. Her bullshit comments of that day made me want to scream at her,

“Do you have any idea how much of your bullshit I let go!?”

But it wouldn’t have mattered. I was a fool to think that it was going to be that simple. Such a volatile, tumultuous relationship cannot just die out like an ocean storm, there has to be the inevitable ripple effects on the shoreline. I may have convinced myself that it is all good and forgiven, but it is not forgotten, despite my wanting more than anything for that to be true. 

I can’t just forget being screamed at and told to “go and die of kidney disease.”
I can’t just forget sleeping on the sofa for 15 years.
I can’t just forget being nagged constantly about money when I was doing everything that my skill set, physical limitations and increasing illness allowed.
I can’t just forget being replaced by her best friend as a support network.
I can’t just forget being in a loveless, sexless marriage and how I managed to stick it out for ten year after the fire was completely out and still remain faithful when no man ever would do so.

It’s not bad enough that I’m broken to the point where I will never find love again. I also have to shoulder the burden of so many painful memories and constantly asking myself a endless series of “why’s” and “what-ifs.” I have to remind myself that I chose to forgive everything for me, as my way of handling and coping. I can’t speak for her. It’s beyond my control and it is naïve to presume how she is to handle it on her end. I need to be, and I am, at peace with my efforts in this approach.

The big question then becomes… why do I even care?

25 thoughts on “Forgiveness”

  1. Clearly “why do I even care” ( other than you are human…) is this-
    Your kids are and always will be your main priority. You certainly don’t want them witnessing you being upset, due to their Moms actions or words. Or anyone elses for that matter.
    3 of your 4 kids were present on Easter & being perceptive adults knew that their Mom “pressed your buttons”.
    Your youngest even stayed,” you are a nice guy” to build you up.
    The kids don’t wanna see you upset any more than you want them to see you upset. THATS why you STILL care!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately the second comment about my typo had a typo….. duh….
        Fat fingers & auto correct ain’t helping me….
        I meant to say,”Your youngest even stated, You ARE a nice guy.”

        There, now I am happy.
        Oh, & I concur with your youngest!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Are my posts to vulgar for your ex’s delicate sensibilities? I see that you didn’t approve either of them. Sorry if I get offended on behalf of good, decent, dear friends who are entirely too hard on themselves and speak out of turn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it wasn’t that big of a deal the way she said it. We’re a pretty open family and they have all heard worse. It was the context that bothered me. She’s allowed to feel the way she does

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The last question is probably the most frustrating. Why would any of us continue to care, especially after you’ve so excellently diagnosed these hold-over feelings as being toxic? I wish I had an answer. I’d feel the exact same way. There’s something satisfying about being so indignant and incensed over your ex’s clearly ridiculous attitudes and behavior, I suppose. I’ve done the same thing more times than I can count.

    I haven’t been here in a while, and it’s mostly because I’ve been engaged in goodparenting, but I’ve had a shit couple of weeks. I appreciated reading your post, not because it made me feel better about my life, but because it was a little therapeutic to read someone working through such intense emotionality and frustration. As always, you strike me as a remarkable father.


    1. I do care. I can’t help it. The important thing is that I stayed long enough to never have to go through the possibility of having my children played against me in a nasty divorce. We stayed together long enough that they were old enough. I took that time as a deadline to cement my relationships with them. And I never encourage bashing her when she’s not around, And to my wife’s credit, she said it to my face.
      I’m no better a father than anyone else, I just made it a huge priority in my life


  4. Forgiveness is the hardest thing ever. And yes, money and a lack of self-esteem do destroy a marriage.
    I don’t know why care. You move on. You know that song-we found love in a hopeless place? Sounds like candid camera- when u least expect it, you’re elected.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. She’s not deserving of all that. While I vented some anger in this post, the overall point is that I shouldn’t be so naive to think that so much turmoil could just be washed away.
    Forgiving sounds like a good idea but it’s hard.
    But don’t think for a second that I blame her for everything, I had a lot of fault in the decline of our marriage. And her BPD is certainly a factor, you know all about that

    Liked by 1 person

  6. She’s the mother of your children, but not your wife anymore, and from where I’m sitting, you’re well rid! There were no kids from my first marriage, and I ‘inherited’ a couple when I took on a ready made family in the 80s. He liked his drink, though it took a while to really hit home just how much (!!!) and was forever going on about my weight, my hair, my makeup, my clothes and when he said who I could have visit as friends in my own house, well, he got a hot cup of coffee in his lap!
    Sadly we can’t forget the bad stuff, but by the sound of it, you have a pretty good relationship with your kids. That’s a big plus.
    If I may, this might raise a smile


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