Tag Archives: forgiveness

A little worse for wear

Dear globalcounsellor,

It’s been a tough holiday season for me. My husband of 25 years has finally moved his second wife with their five children close to where I live.  Since we belong to the same community, I have been running into them or avoiding accepting invitations to where I know they will be present.  My heart breaks to see this young woman about 30 years my junior and her brood frolicking around with  my husband whom I had spent the better part of my life with. We were a respected couple in the community and now I am this bitter old woman battling Lupus all by myself with the help of my children but I cannot depend on them because they are raising their own family.  My husband ought to have been here to help me that is what our vows said “for better or for worse.”  I was such a good wife, my friends often chided me that I did too much for him and this is what I get in return…. a slap in the face.”  How can I move on, how can I forgive this man?  I know I am killing myself with rage and I want to stop.  I have my own children to think about and they want me to be around. Please help me stop the hate.

Help me

Dear Help me

Holidays are indeed tough when there is so much togetherness and family love in full display and then there is you.  It feels terrible and you want to burrow a hole in the ground and curl up or you feel like taking an ax to the head of that object of your disgust and sorrow.  But none of that helps nor are they constructive.  This may sound trite and even corny but like the good old book says, you have to find a way to forgive, not to set your ex free from responsibility but because you need peace in your heart. When you think of him see him as someone who needs to seek help for himself.  For a man to do what he has done to you and to himself – I assume he is past 60 – starting a new family at that age, he has to be out of his rockers. Send him your compassion, see him as someone broken and he is trying to fix himself by going out and having sex and children with a woman who could be his daughter. A man in his right mind will not do such a thing.  Summon all your spiritual beliefs to help you through this gateway of hate. Hate is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it Stop taking the poison.

The first step is to make a commitment that you will love yourself enough to stop torturing your self.  This will not happen overnight, be patient with yourself, take it easy.  It may be helpful to write down how you feel each day and note your progress.  When you find yourself getting into that zone of hate what can you do to distract yourself?  Maybe call a friend and have a chat, do a chore you’ve been putting off for a while, go for a walk, take up a physical activity you like, volunteer at a place where you will see people ten times worse off than you, if necessary speak to a professional counsellor. Maintaining hate is bad for you physically and spiritually and mentally.

Join a group where you can meet new people, read self-help books and whatever it takes to pull you over the hump. Each day as you set your intention to forgive you will find the weight slowly being lifted.

It is going to get better but you have to do the work.

Until we meet again.

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Betrayal causes heartache

Dear global counselor,

I am tearing up with guilt because I betrayed my girlfriend. She has this cute boyfriend who really likes her and he thinks she’s so special. He always says nice things about her to me and my friends. He thinks she is so great. My boyfriend does the opposite, sometimes I think he doesn’t care about me. I am jealous of my girlfriend. I asked her boyfriend if he would think she is so special if I told him she had an abortion two years ago. He was stunned; he looked like a lost dog and I felt my stomach hurt.

I begged him not to tell my girlfriend, to keep it a secret. “Why are you doing this?” he asked me. I thought you guys were friends,” he added and walked away.

I feel like a rat. I feel so horrible inside I cannot begin to tell you how much I wish I had kept my mouth shut, how much I wished I was not so jealous of my best friend.Most of all I feel ashamed of myself and sad because I know I have lost some important people who were in my life.

Please help me

Rat

Dear Rat,

Jealous is said to be one of the deadly sins. You’ve said it yourself, you have betrayed a friend and most of all you’ve betrayed yourself – the good part of you. You’re a good person who gave in to your lower self.

There is nothing that is beyond repair although some repairs take longer than others. This one might be one of those.

Because your boyfriend does not pay you the compliments that your girlfriend boyfriend does that made you jealous.

You misplaced your anger from your boyfriend and placed it on your friend.

Perhaps you might want to rethink your relationship with this boyfriend of yours. If he is not meeting your needs, find someone who does.

Remember when you gossip about othersyou’re hurting yourself, you’re showing yourself to be someone who likes to gossip and thereby putting yourself down. Give in sometime and confess to your friend and ask for her forgiveness.

My past has paid a visit

Dear globalcounselor,

A man with whom  I have  had an  intimate relationship that ended terribly, because violence was involved,  has made contact lately. This is after 20 years of silence. I must say I have never forgotten him. I have never had a relationship like the one I had with him on both the good and the bad fronts. At the time of our last meeting, I was so angry, I wished him dead. I thought I hated him but when I heard his voice over the phone three weeks ago, my heart melted like a teenager.   He invited me to dinner and it is strange how easily I accepted and agreed and met with him.  The first meeting was strained as we try to get over the bridge of the past. Since then we have had coffee a couple of times and even though these meetings are not anything like those of the past, I find myself looking forward to his calls. I am so afraid that I am being drawn into this man’s web again. He has caused me so much pain that I am surprised that I have succumbed so easily to his wiles again. Am I being foolish. Can a person ever change?

Foolish

Dear Foolish,

We all change with time. If we do not change of our own accord, time changes us. With age comes all kinds of illnesses and challenges that we are forced to make changes to adapt. Maybe you have allowed time to remove the hatred and anger you had towards this individual and that is a good thing. When you carry around anger and hatred towards another, you are hurting yourself and bringing yourself down and allowing the abuse to continue through your own thoughts. 

I don’t think you are doing anything wrong, foolish or stupid.  As humans we need affection and to interact with others and if you find some joy or comfort in seeing this man, that’s alright but you are wiser now and if you use your wisdom correctly then I do not think you will allow the same kinds of mistakes to happen.  Trust yourself, be open and expect the best of the other.  If something does not feel right listen to that feeling and respond to what you feel and see not what you are told and you will be fine.

My guilt is killing me slowly

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 58-year-old divorced woman.  I have four children whom I love very much.  My marriage was arranged and was a challenge from day one. I could not walk away because of our East Indian custom. In my community divorce is frowned upon. While a man receives support from the community, women are shunned the most by other women who become like rabid animals.  They give you dirty looks, you stop getting invited to their homes, you are isolate and you begin to withdraw.  My husband was abusive and an alcoholic.  I was so unhappy and I had nowhere to run. My immediate family are all living in the USA and England. I was isolated. I stayed in the marriage until I could not take it anymore.l I asked my husband to leave and he left without giving any support to our children,  I worked two jobs to support my children.    They were left on their own many times.  Unfortunately, my children’s fate seems to follow into my pattern.  My eldest daughter’s marriage ended because of emotional abuse.  My second son’s relationship ended after 4 years and he is left hurt and feeling all alone. My younger daughter is in a faltering relationship and my youngest son, he is the only happy camper in my family.

Globalcounselor, I am feeling like a total failure, I am riddled with guilt and I am at my wit’s end. My job is adding to my already overstressed life.  Some days I feel my head would explode because I have a demanding, overpowering boss.   My question is how can I get rid of feeling so guilty about ruining my children’s lives because of my actions.

guilt-ridden

Dear guiltridden,

Your load is heavy.  You’ve carried it for 25 years.  It’s time to put it down. Put it down today, this minute.  It does not belong to you. You did what you needed to do to survive and that is the cardinal rule.  When you’re in an aeroplane, the hostess will tell you when there is  an emergency landing or cabin pressure drop, place the mask over your nose first before trying to help anyone else. You had a right to take care of yourself and you did that by leaving your husband to save yourself and your children. Who ever told you that you have to stay in a loveless, abusive relationship is wrong. For better or for worse, in sickness or in health, till death do us part, says nothing that you have to stay in an abusive situation. For better or for worse means that if your partner loses his job,  it would be against your vows to leave him.  Together you have to find solutions to keep your family going. Guilt is a stubborn emotion that makes no sense a lot of time yet we feel it deeply. We feel guilt when we feel we have done something terribly wrong and the guilt that tears us up inside is like punishing ourselves for that wrong.  Societies and close-knit communities regularly use guilt and shame to control their members behaviour.  They use guilt to make you feel worthless and a bad person.  It is when you internalized their judgement of you take their side against you and you like them begin to hate yourself.  Do you see where this is going – self-hatred.  If you hate yourself, how can you love your children.  If hatred is what’s inside of you, it is that which will come out.  If you want to live your life fully, you have to find a way to forgive yourself, to embrace yourself love you and all your imperfections.  When you inside that is what will come out and people will be attracted to you. Your perspective will change and you will slowly emerge from the fog of 25 years to reclaim your life from your husband and your community.   Release guilt, forgive yourself, that means give up judging yourself harshly for doing the right thing when you did it.

Life gives us lessons so that we learn and grow; accept them graciously.