This week we’re talking about forgiveness. You’ve been through a situation recently that put you in a position of forgiving or not forgiving, right? Who was it and what happened?
“Yes. It was my ex. And honestly, there are so many things I could go into over 5 years, but the last one is good enough. Cheating is one thing, but when you are having a second, whole life behind someone, and leading you on, that’s just awful in my book. And I’d like to say up front, there are two sides to every story and I believe the truth is somewhere in between. That being said this is my story. He and I were having some issues, as every couple does, so he went to stay at his dad’s for a bit. What I didnt know, is that for months he had taken back up with his ex-girlfriend, got an apartment and planned marriage (with her). All the while telling me a whole other story.”
How did you find out?
“During the month all this was happening, we had planned our family vacation for the end of that month. He was “keeping the peace” with me so not to miss out on the vacation. About half way through, I had the gut feeling that all women have and he left his phone alone and I looked. Not something I would do since we had gotten back together. But I did, and it was all there. I had gotten to the shore on Saturday and he was going to come on Sunday due to his son having a game. Truth is, Saturday was the day they moved in the apartment.
Needless to say, it was a very difficult rest of the week but I somehow kept it together in front of the kids and his mom and dad. It wasn’t until later that I realized he was basically using me so his kids would have a vacation. I paid for it. There were some issues with his kids and I because they are not very nice, and have been brought up with entitlement issues; what they want, they do; whatever is necessary to get. Just like their dad. They also knew all of this was happening and didn’t lead on a thing. I will not let anyone that is a child act, speak or do some of the awful things I endured the entire time I was with him and just let them get away with it. That was the issue and his reason for us splitting. His kids liked the other girl and they wanted him to be with her.”
That’s terrible. Do you have any children with him?
“No, I have two, (my daughter was really not around because she is older and was away at college) and he has 5.”
When and how did you tell him you knew what was happening? And did his parents know?
“I told him right away while on that vacation. His dad was aware and his mom found out because I told her. I love both his parents very dearly. His mom and his sister are not fond of “her” at all and all his mom kept doing was apologizing for her son being a womanizer.”
Had he cheated on you before this?
“Yes, during our whole relationship, there was cheating. It got better about year 3. We were on and off for that 5 year period, and the time we were apart prior to the last time we got back together, he had met the other woman and they were dating for about 9 months, then he came back begging me to reconcile. They were actually engaged. So, he basically cheated on her with me and then did the same thing the other way around. We also worked together and still do.”
May I ask, and don’t take this in a bad way please, why you thought he wouldn’t do something like this if he had done it before?
“I take no offense at all. This and every decision I made was my own and mine to make, even with the urging of my family and friends to “open my eyes”. My mom always says “A leopard never changes his spots”. But to answer… we had been together and split up a few times. We took our time getting back together, and really talk A LOT about what went wrong before and what we needed from each other, etc almost like counseling, but on our own. I told him: if we are going to do this, this is it. It is either going to work or we just are not meant to be together. So I thought we were both going back into this leaving the past in the past, having solutions to the problems we were aware were going to come our way etc. I forgave and forgot and gave it my all to make it work. I truly believed, from the moment I met him, he was my soul mate.”
How are you still able to work with him?
“The fact that we all work remotely, we do not have to see each other on a daily basis or at all really. And honestly, no matter what was going on in our personal lives, work was one thing that never was a problem keeping professional, for either of us. It is more difficult now though because since he got back together with his (now) wife, she knows he will always love me in his twisted way and I am a huge threat to her because I am alive. So she keeps him on a very tight leash, especially because we have had personal conversations since the split and she found out.”
So, since the subject is forgiveness, have you forgiven him?
“Forgiveness: I believe there are different layers to forgiveness and it comes with time. It took me a long time to even think about forgiving him. But the easiest way I can explain it, is that he thinks he was doing the right thing for his kids. He has always felt that he wasnt a father because he lost them to his ex-wife and is now trying to make up for that time. I dont agree with his logic, but becasue I understand him, and trust me…no one does, I get why he did and is doing what he is doing. For me, I need to keep my distance from him because we do have some sort of pull towards each other that is indescribable. But so long as I dont see him or spend time with him it’s ok.”
Teaching kids dishonesty, and taking advantage of people, isn’t the best way to parent.
“You don’t have to even go there. Oh man, the shit I could tell you about that! That in itself is why they disliked me. I would, and did say no.”
It sounds like you have forgiven him, for the most part. Would you ever take him back?
“Would I take him back? Honestly I want to be able to say with resounding confidence, “hell no!” But I can’t. There is and always will be this strange connection we have and again I dont know what it is or why. I just know that I have never had it with anyone. But the reality of what I might lose by taking him back is a strong force that helps me say no to him. He has tried to be in my life in the last year and a few times we tried to be friends, but we can’t. We dont know how to be just friends.”
It you took him back, would you be able to trust him after what he did?
“I dont know, I really dont know. It’s a hard question and it may be because of the history we have and I am a hopeless romantic and always want to prove people wrong. But I think I could only really answer that question if I was put into that position again.
To give you a loose quote, maybe to help you understand, he tells me he loves me, will always love me and believes in fate. He says that not until the kids are on their own, could we be together. So he is using her to keep his kids happy. I know he loves her, but it’s not the same. I think it is because she represents the mother he never had in his life, because that is how she treats him as well. He tells me that his future always will be with me, it’s just time. And to further his logic, a few months back, he started giving me money each month to put aside and save to prove that we have a future. I stopped doing that though because it just isn’t right and I gave it all back to him.”
To be able to forgive someone and even entertain the idea of taking someone back that habitually uses women to benefit his life or even his kids life, is difficult to understand. You are a very forgiving person.
“I think I am just a moron usually, but thanks. I want to believe there is good in everyone, you just have to endure some people to actually find it and help them find it for themselves. I have always been this way. I find the damaged ones and think that I can save them. And my record is 0.”