We try to do a writing exercise every night in which we have a question and how we feel about the question or the answer to the question. Some are somewhat lighthearted: what was the biggest feeling that you had today and how do you feel about it? Some are very serious. The way we do it is that one person picks the next question, the next night (or the next time weíre able to get to it) we do our feelings exercise, and before we get up from the table, the other person picks the next question for the next night.
Our question last night was ďIs there anything that you have not forgiven your spouse for and how do you feel about that.Ē Definitely on the serious side.
We didnít get to it for a couple of days, with a dinner party and us being down for a day doing other things. So we had a couple of days to think about it and think I did. A lot. And struggled with it.
When it came time to write and to exchange our letters to each other, I was happy to note that my FWH said that he had let go of all resentments and grudges towards me. That the issues in our marriage that I admittedly owned and performed, that were not supportive of our marriage he had reconciled and forgiven me for.
I could not say the same. You see, I have forgiven him the ONS. I have forgiven him for the nights that he sought satisfaction from the internet before. I forgave him for the strip clubs and his EA with a stripper. Doesnít mean that Iíve forgotten nor that I donít trigger about it upon occasion, but I have let those betrayals before DDay go. They are in the past, nothing can be done about them, and I accept his repentance of those actions.
I cannot let go his lies post DDay. I cannot. They still are like sandpaper on my soul. I want to, and I hope to be able to at some point. But now, I cannot. Perhaps its pagan superstition, if I say all is well, what disaster will befall me from challenging the gods? Perhaps itís just self-protection it was so very, very painful and crippling to go back to that agony when I found that he could still, look me in the eyes and lie that my whole being is trying to protect me from those immense emotions. Perhaps Iíve lost the ability to forgive him from this and I will never be able to, no matter how much I would like to lay that burden down. Perhaps my initial forgiveness was given too cheaply perhaps I was too arrogant in how ďwellĒ we were doing. I donít really know. I just know that I still carry those scars of lies, omissions, and panicked blaming with me. And so, I told him that and I told him that I felt like I was adrift in a sea of trust. All I had to do, was to put my hand in the water and drink, but I was dying of dehydration because I feared a shark grabbing me by the hand and dragging me down to drown. Better to float in the boat, watching the water vigilantly.
I really expected him to be upset at this. I was. I twisted and turned, trying to put my hand in the water, but I Could Not Do It. It would have been a lie. But while he was sad, he wasnít upset at me. We took a break for dinner, because I was starving and shaking, and it wasnít a good idea to talk then. After dinner, he took my hand and held it, and told me that he could see that this was very upsetting to me and that I felt very strongly about this. I said yes, that I had tried every way I could think of, to make it so I could say yes, but if I were to be truthful to both of us, I just could not forgive those lies now.
And I saw what appears to be the new man that I am married to. He assured me that it was OK. That I needed to take the time that I needed, before I could forgive with all of my heart, if I could forgive. He told me that he wanted forgiveness from me and that he hoped that I would be able to, at some point. I told him I wanted to forgive him too and move past this hurdle, but it was going to take time. He thanked me for wanting to be able to do this, but added, and I quote, ďbut whatever else you do, donít forget. Donít forget what I did.Ē
Iím really starting to like the man that was beside me last night. Yeah, I love him, but Iím REALLY starting to LIKE that man.