Tuesday, March 11, 2008

forgive or forget it

so I was talking to my girlfriend today for a little while. apparently she and her boyfriend broke up over the weekend. she thinks. she's really not sure.

right now she's feeling hurt about the things that were said, and a bit confused because despite hurtful things that were said, he's being very sweet on her today.

it's all rather confusing, actually. or not, if you know my friend.

anyways. does she forgive him? are they broken up? what do I think about this e-mail he sent?


something about either a - my age, or b- having 2 kids has made me have so very little energy for game playing.

I mean.. I heard her out, listened to the stress.. but when it was my turn, I told her point blank how I felt.

I asked her if she loved the guy and if she wanted things to work. (she said yes.) I told her that in any relationship.. one of love or of platonic nature... sometimes shit happens. sometimes... a person has other shit going on in life that causes them to inadvertently hurt the person or people they are closest to. sometimes one person hurts the other on purpose. when on the receiving end of the hurt.. you basically have 2 choices. you can either forgive the person and move on, or you can deem the hurt so heinous that the relationship is not salvageable to its original form. Assuming the hurtER is sorry for the hurt. also assuming we're not talking about physical abuse. mamma don't go for abusive relationships.

anyways. neither option is necessarily EASY... but in my own personal experience... having been on both ends of the spectrum here... taking the middle road just doesn't work. When you SAY you forgive someone... then do it. accept their apology and go about fixing things so it doesn't happen again. If the hurt is THAT BAD, and you're not willing to forgive.. then don't! Say the hurt is too bad and you are unable to forgive at this time, if ever.

It's that temptation to SAY you forgive, but carry a grudge or the hurt that sets up an imaginary realm of conditional forgiveness which will ultimately be more toxic to the relationship than the original misgiving.

Maybe this seems so black and white to me because my 2nd graders have the sacrament of Reconciliation during the year I teach. we teach these children that when we confess our sins and profess our true sorrow for having done them, that our God forgives us. He doesn't forgive us of our sins but hold a secret barometer that must be filled before we can be in good Graces again. Doing that would be equal to the apology followed by a "but..". you know the type.. "I'm sorry, but I had to do it." or.. ".. sorry, but it wasn't as bad as what you did to me!" it's like.. what's the point?

And don't mistake my words for claims of not being guilty of the conditional apology or forgiveness. I'm no God, that's for sure.. it's fucking HARD to truly forgive someone. It's also very hard to fess up when you're in the wrong and take accountability for your actions. I've done both. not truly forgiven someone and not given a true apology, that is.

when you give a true apology, it hurts to not be forgiven. But.. to give a true apology, be TOLD that you are forgiven, but constantly be TESTED or QUESTIONED or pushed off.. well, that hurts even more. I mean, sure.. after a hurt when trust has been broken, it takes a while to re-build that trust and love. completely understandable. But it's highly unfair to expect someone to be true to their word when your word is forgiveness and it's not really there. AND.. if this testing phase lasts too long, well, one might be likely to take the hint and just give up.

so I hope my girlfriend figures out what she wants to do, and soon. I know she loves him. she's in uncharted territory now because she has never loved a man like she loves him. I know she's confused and hurt, and depending on exactly what was said, she might not be willing to make nice right now. and I get that. there's definitely been times that I would have rather had Troy strung up by his balls on a barbed wire fence than play house with him. and I've held my grudges with him. thankfully, none of them have been long enough to dishearten him. if that ever happened, I doubt I'd be able to forgive MYSELF.


Susie said...

When I was in college my friends and I categorizedthese things as "grudge" "bygones" or "DTM" And the DTM is an acronym for Dead To Me. I burned a few bridges in my time for feeling that the wrong done to me was "unforgivable" therefore the person was DTM. Of course as years passed I wished I had been adult enough to work it out because a couple of those DTMs are people now that I cherish memories of and wish I hadn't burned the fucker down. In the heat of being burned it's, like you say, really fucking hard to forgive. And I believe a broken heart is the hardest of all. I hope your friend does what heals her heart best.

Christi said...

I have a friend who's now back on the dating scene after having been married just a little over a year (and basically b/c they had a kid together). She talks about her new relationships and all the stuff about dating, and I swear it's like she's talking in another language! I must be so old and married!

I agree w/you 100% on everything you said. Now, doing it, that's another matter!

Laura said...

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize the prisoner was you.

That would be my MySpace quote. I know. I'm a nerd.

But I SO get what you're writing about here it's not funny...