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1Faith posted 7/11/2013 17:50 PM

Rick Reynolds shared this fable today on Affair Recovery....

The Magic Eyes

In the village of Faken in innermost Friesland there lived a long thin baker name Fouke, a righteous man, with a long thin chin and a long thin nose. Fouke was so upright that he seemed to spray righteousness from his thin lips over everyone who came near him; so the people of Faken preferred to stay away.

Fouke's wife, Hilda, was short and round, her arms were round, her bosom was round, her rump was round. Hilda did not keep people at bay with righteousness; her soft roundness seemed to invite them instead to come close to her in order to share the warm cheer of her open heart.

Hilda respected her righteous husband, and loved him too, as much as he allowed her; but her heart ached for something more from him than his worthy righteousness. And there, in the bed of her need, lay the seed of sadness.

One morning, having worked since dawn to knead his dough for the ovens, Fouke came home and found a stranger in his bedroom lying on Hilda's round bosom. Hilda's adultery soon became the talk of the tavern and the scandal of the Faken congregation. Everyone assumed that Fouke would cast Hilda out of his house, so righteous was he. But he surprised everyone by keeping Hilda as his wife, saying he forgave her as the Good Book said he should.

In his heart of hearts, however, Fouke could not forgive Hilda for bringing shame to his name. Whenever he thought about her, his feelings toward her were angry and hard; he despised her as if she were a common whore. When it came right down to it, he hated her for betraying him after he had been so good and so faithful a husband to her. He only pretended to forgive Hilda so that he could punish her with his righteous mercy.

But Fouke's fakery did not sit well in heaven. So each time that Fouke would feel his secret hated toward Hilda, an angel came to him and dropped a small pebble, hardly the size of a shirt button, into Fouke's heart. Each time a pebble dropped, Fouke would feel a stab of pain like the pain he felt the moment he came on Hilda feeding her hungry heart from a stranger's larder. Thus he hated her the more; his hate brought him pain and his pain made him hate.

The pebbles multiplied. And Fouke's heart grew very heavy with the weight of them, so heavy that the top half of his body bent forward so far that he had to strain his neck upward in order to see straight ahead. Weary with hurt, Fouke began to wish he were dead.

The angel who dropped the pebbles into his heart came to Fouke one night and told him how he could be healed of his hurt. There was one remedy, he said, only one, for the hurt of a wounded heart. Fouke would need the miracle of the magic eyes. He would need eyes that could look back to the beginning of his hurt and see his Hilda, not as a wife who betrayed him, but as a weak woman who needed him. Only a new way of looking at things through the magic eyes could heal the hurt flowing from the wounds of yesterday.

Fouke protested. "Nothing can change the past," he said. "Hilda is guilty, a fact that not even an angel can change." "Yes, poor hurting man, you are right," the angel said. "You cannot change the past, you can only heal the hurt that comes to you from the past. And you can heal it only with the vision of the magic eyes."

"And how can I get your magic eyes?" pouted Fouke.

"Only ask, desiring as you ask, and they will be given you. And each time you see Hilda through your new eyes, one pebble will be lifted from your aching heart."

Fouke could not ask at once, for he had grown to love his hatred. But the pain of his heart finally drove him to want and to ask for the magic eyes that the angel had promised. So he asked. And the angle gave.

Soon Hilda began to change in front of Fouke's eyes, wonderfully and mysteriously.

He began to see her as a needy woman who loved him instead of a wicked woman who betrayed him.

The angel kept his promise; he lifted the pebbles from Fouke's heart, one by one, though it took a long time to take them all away. Fouke gradually felt his heart grow lighter; he began to walk straight again, and somehow his nose and his chin seemed less thin and sharp than before.

He invited Hilda to come into his heart again, and she came, and together they began again a journey into their second season of humble joy.

SisterMilkshake posted 7/11/2013 18:18 PM

No offense intended to you, 1Faith, but I feel much of this fable is full of shit. Sorry! Really didn't get anything out of it except that it was Fouke's fault that poor, round Hilda cheated.

eta: The more I think about this fable, the more annoyed I get. This fable is telling us we should forgive right away. What is Hilda doing to be worthy of forgiveness? No, Hilda doesn't have to change, according to this fable, the BH, Fouke is supposed to change. WW is just a needy, weak woman and Fouke let her down. And these "magic eyes", what the heck are those? Are they the rose colored glasses we are supposed to put back on after they were so rudely knocked off our face by our WS's? I don't know what the heck this fable is trying to sell, but I ain't buying it.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 6:30 PM, July 11th (Thursday)]

Knowing posted 7/11/2013 18:27 PM

I got the same thing. "Blame the marriage! Blame the betrayed spouse!" Ugh

3kids30years posted 7/11/2013 18:40 PM

Nope, not buying it.

I did nothing to my M, WH did. he needs to do the work, I don't need "magic Eyes" to see him. I see him just fine. I just don't like what I see, at least not all the time.

Keep your rocks stupid angel.

Rebreather posted 7/11/2013 18:45 PM

Yeah, for sure not my concept of forgiveness. At all.

1Faith posted 7/11/2013 18:50 PM

Okay... I see where you all are coming from.

I read it from helping heal the hatered and anger in one's heart as we work through R.

At some point forgiveness is necessary and if we really want to R we have to start seeing our WS in a new light other than just the betrayer.

Not an advocate of the blame game on the BS at all.

Sorry for it not being the inspiration I had hoped for.

(((Hugs to all)))

Rebreather posted 7/11/2013 18:52 PM

It's ok 1Faith, I hope you didn't take offense. It's one of those "in the eye of the beholder" things. I don't believe forgiveness is necessary, and certainly here I don't see any actions on Hilda's part to be worthy of forgiveness.

[This message edited by Rebreather at 6:53 PM, July 11th (Thursday)]

Flatlined123 posted 7/11/2013 19:55 PM


You can assume she was doing nothing, or think she was doing everything in her power. The choice is yours.

If you look at it from the point that she WAS doing the very hard work, then the lesson is clear: You can't R if you're holding on to he hate.

It's very easy to get stuck in the sanctimonious thought of "at least I didn't cheat". Not that it's any justification, but I have to accept my share for our M going downhill. I think almost every BS here has a share of their M taking a downward turn. Let's face it, if everything really was great, wouldn't the communication have been there? How many of us say "I saw the signs, but I didn't realize what they were." I know it was that way for me.

Sal1995 posted 7/11/2013 20:18 PM

1Faith, thanks for sharing that. I get the message, completely. If inspiration is what you were going for, it hit home with me.

SisterMilkshake posted 7/11/2013 20:19 PM

The fable sure pointed out all the BH's faults.The fable made it very clear all the BH was doing or not doing. Why is the WW not portrayed in a negative way? The reader can not be expected to make anything but the assumption that Hilda was doing nothing to change because it was only when

the pain of his heart finally drove him to want and to ask for the magic eyes that the angel had promised. So he asked. And the angle gave
Soon Hilda began to change in front of Fouke's eyes, wonderfully and mysteriously..

I feel it does make a difference in this fable to point out what Hilda was or wasn't doing, otherwise it just is offensive to just about every BS. And, we don't get the "moral" of the story except to suck it up, rugsweep and forgive.

Sal1995 posted 7/11/2013 20:24 PM

Sister, Hilda is the cheater. Her sin is clearly exposed. I think it's assumed that she was remorseful, otherwise the fable wouldn't make any sense. Why would anyone be called to genuinely forgive someone who has no remorse?

AFrayedKnot posted 7/11/2013 20:45 PM

To be vague on this to follow the rules...

There are certain faiths that teach forgiveness should be given with or without remorse. Where in fact the forgiveness is the driving force of remorse and the growth and change that goes along with it.

This fable has those overtones.

SisterMilkshake posted 7/11/2013 20:45 PM

There are many stories, bible, fables and whatnot, that tell to forgive even when they are remorseless.

Assuming things gets a lot of people into trouble. FWH assumed a lot about me. With out clear communication and spelling things out, there is plenty of room for all kinds of wrong assumptions. You are assuming Hilda made changes, many of us here are assuming not, who is right? It is the fables fault for not being clear.

But, putting aside the whole forgiveness factor, it is quite clear from this "fable" that the BH is being blamed for Hildas sexual infidelity. That is my biggest complaint of this so called fable. Why didn't the fable portray this Fouke as a really nice, kind, charming guy who had a really hard time with forgiveness? No, this fable clearly portrays him negatively and Hilda had every reason to betray him.

Lionne posted 7/11/2013 21:22 PM

Slight t/j @flatlined...

I think almost every BS here has a share of their M taking a downward turn. Let's face it, if everything really was great, wouldn't the communication have been there? How many of us say "I saw the signs, but I didn't realize what they were."

No. Not always. Not if they were great liars and amazingly good at hiding their addictions...

End t/j

And btw, I get that we eventually have to forgive if the WS is remorseful or just for our own peace of mind, but I think this story is WAAAY too simplistic.

RidingHealingRd posted 7/12/2013 02:56 AM

At some point forgiveness is necessary and if we really want to R

Not true for every person. I believe that at some point acceptance is necessary for R but not forgiveness.

Flatlined123 posted 7/12/2013 05:02 AM

Red, I don't think I could R with my H if I didn't forgive him.

HoldingTogether posted 7/12/2013 06:31 AM

How's about this:

In the village of Faken in innermost Friesland there lived a long thin baker name Fouke and his short round wife
Hilda. Both were imperfect people, who interacted imperfectly with one another and had imperfect coping mechanisms. They were both so lost in thier own imperfections that they were less than perfect in communicating about these issues with one another and so they had a less than perfect marriage.

Fouke loved his cheery round wife, cared for her inspite of her imperfections; but his own imperfections made it hard for him to show this to her in a way that she could understand. Hilda loved her stern thin husband but was unable to see his love for her beneath all of his personal imperfections. Hilda felt entitled to have more from her husband and there, in her bed of entitlement, lay the seeds of rationalisations and betrayal.

In her heart of hearts, Hilda could not forgive her Foulke for being a less than perfect husband. Whenever she thought about him her feelings became sad and angry, she began to despise him as if he were a cruel enemy. When it came right down to it she hated him for not making her feel as loved as she felt she deserved, for not fulfilling all of her emotional needs. And so she began to only pretend to love her husband so that she could continue to think of herself as a good person and a victim of her husbands imperfections.

Soon Hilda began to seek her emotional fulfillment elsewhere and each time that she did a small pebble of betrayal, hardly the size of a shirt button, dropped into her heart. Each time a pebble dropped Hilda felt a stab of pain and guilt for her actions. But in order to sooth that stab of pain she would simply think of all of her husbands personal imperfections and her heart would become a little harder.

Hilda's betrayals did not sit well in heaven, and so an angel was sent to bring to her the miracle of magic eyes. These eyes would allow her to go back to the beginning of her hurt and rationalizations and see her Fouke, not as an enemy that did not love her enough, but as an imperfect man who loved her as best he could and who could be all of the husband she needed if only she could find the courage to ask it of him instead of simply waiting passively for it to happen on its own.

Unfortunately, the angel got stuck in traffic on the pearly gate expressway and made a left turn at limbo instead of the right turn he was supposed to make. Isn't that always the way it happens when you are in a hurry? And so he got there about 2 months too late to stop Hilda from having an affair with some scumbag jerk and publicly cuckolding poor old Fouke.

Still, the angel had come all that way, and he still had the magic eyes with him....

So he gave them to Fouke instead. Hey, what's the difference? Six of one half dozen of the other. As long as the relationship ends up fixed in the end I guess.

Shame about all that pain, humiliation and anguish Fouke had to endure, but hey, what are you gonna do? Traffic in heaven sucks, am I right?

The End

DixieD posted 7/12/2013 07:04 AM

I like HT's version of this story.

I read an article in the healing library a long time ago about a WS with reference to a stone in his heart. I've not been able to find that article again. Anyone know where I can locate it?
end t/j

aesir posted 7/12/2013 07:45 AM

I have to accept my share for our M going downhill. I think almost every BS here has a share of their M taking a downward turn. Let's face it, if everything really was great, wouldn't the communication have been there? How many of us say "I saw the signs, but I didn't realize what they were."

Accept their share certainly, but don't be greedy. We must not assume that just because marriage is a partnership that each person is entitled to 50%. Effective communication in a relationship goes both ways, otherwise it is just lecturing. The other day I was in a store full of mannequins, and while I may not be the best conversationalist, I feel our inability to solve the worlds ills was hardly my fault at all. Those mannequins can be real dummies you know.

I bet there are plenty of members here that can say the same of their marriage, regardless of which door they checked into first.

This story could also be seen as an allegorical tale cautioning against jumping to forgiveness and R just because it is the thing to do. Of course I hate allegory because it is, as Tolkien described it, subversive. Most often employed when reason and facts do not support the argument being made.

[This message edited by aesir at 7:55 AM, July 12th (Friday)]

1Faith posted 7/12/2013 09:32 AM

Holding Together - thank you for your edits to the fable.

To note:


1. a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters; apologue

2. a story not founded on fact

So with that being said I feel compelled to state why I chose to post this and post it in the reconciliation forum. The story to me wasn't about Faken or Hilda so much as the gift of letting go and learning to forgive.

In my simple view, forgiveness is an act of caring for myself. When you've been hurt by someone, in this case the WS, it can take an almost superhuman effort to move forward. We all know that.

But I've learned that if I only dwell on that past events, the affair, I'm surrendering and giving over my serenity and peace of mind. I cannot change the past as much as I would like to.

Of course, we want the WS to embrace accountability and repentance, but we can't make that happen. I am fortunate because my FWH has and is truly remorseful and we are working hard toward a full and healthy R. It has not been an easy road at all but we continue our journey toward healing.

For those open to healing, and I realize not everyone might be in the stage yet, so my apologies if this seems too simplistic or pollyanna for some. It has taken me 18 months to find myself in this place and state of mind.

I want to share five gifts of what I have come to embrace through forgiveness.

Gift #1. Forgiving is for giving yourself the freedom to be happy again.

As long as you bear a grudge against someone you will be unhappy—feeling frustrated, bitter, or angry. You will be suffering, while the person you resent might not even be aware (AP) that you resent him or her . . . or care! When you forgive, you stop giving that person power over how you feel. You break that negative emotional tie, and free yourself to be happy again.

Gift #2. Forgiving is for giving yourself the ability to be attuned to divine wisdom.

When you harbor resentments, you are in ego—that judgmental state of mind that not only causes you to feel separate from others, but also causes you to feel separate from any kind of Higher Power. (sorry to those that are not spiritual...I am) When you forgive, you reconnect with that Higher Power—returning to a state of mind that is once again open and receptive to divine insights, inspiration, and intuitive direction.

Gift #3. Forgiving is for giving yourself valuable insights about yourself.

Sometimes the person whom you need to forgive (WS) is actually “mirroring” a behavioral trait that you may have, but don’t want to consciously admit. If you are willing to “look in that mirror,” you may see something within yourself that needs healing. For instance, you may discover a long-neglected emotional wound that has been causing you to behave in unproductive ways. But now that it’s revealed, you have the opportunity to heal that wound through a little self-love . . . as well as the opportunity to see that person who is your “mirror image” in a more compassionate light.

Yes, as the BS we have been hurt immensely but we are not without sin either. I can't seek forgiveness from others if I am unable to give it.

NOTE: Now, again, this has taken 18 months. I was no where near forgiveness for some time. The hurt was too immense.

Gift #4. Forgiving is for giving yourself the ability to enjoy the peace that exists in the here and now moment.

Whatever it is that is causing you to feel resentful (the A), happened in the past, right?

NOTE: This again is assuming that your FWS is truly committed to reconciliation and is doing all they can to recommit to your relationship and help you in your healing process.

By harboring those negative feelings, you are keeping the past alive. Generally, the now moment is pretty peaceful. But you rob yourself of that peace by dwelling on something that is not actually happening in the here and now. If you want to be able to enjoy the peace of the present, by attempting to let go of the past through forgiveness you can free yourself.

Gift #5. Forgiving is for giving yourself the power to create a different future and in the end isn't that what reconciliation is all about? Creating a better future with your spouse?

The future is formed in the present, through the thoughts and feelings that you are having right this minute. If you have dragged the past into the present through not forgiving, then it is highly likely that you will create a future that is just like the past. If you want a different future, forgive what happened in the past—let go of it—and open yourself up to the infinite possibilities that exist when your mind is free of all prior influences.

There you have it, my friends: Five gifts of forgiveness. Why not give yourself every one of those gifts today?

So through the Magic Eyes, poor Fouke was given the gift of unburdening himself with holding on to all the hurt, bitterness and hatred in his heart and he was able to see his wife as a person again not just a betrayer.

That's my goal for my reconciliation.

Thanks for all the posts.

Good luck on your journey of reconciliation. God bless.

[This message edited by 1Faith at 11:05 AM, July 12th (Friday)]

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