Was it because of lies that he told you about me? Did he play a victim? What could he have possibly told you that made you forget that I was an actual person and his wife? How did he change me from a real living, breathing, human being with feelings to an object? An object that you cast aside, an object that you didn't feel you should respect?
I think of the many times that I wanted to go to where you worked and ask about you. One of you worked at a library. How easy it would have been. I could have even approached you with a question. Maybe I would have gotten a glimpse of you that might explain why my husband would abandon me for you. Were you kind? Beautiful? What allure did you have? I wanted to compare you to me, trying to understand how this could be happening to me. In order for him to ruin our family, to take that risk, you must be really special. A real show stopper. Right?
My heart was breaking. I wonder, was yours fluttering with excitement?
When I was laying on a tear-stained pillow, suffering more than I ever imagined possible, my heart breaking and deeply wanting the pain to stop, were you laughing on your pillow giddy about the man who you were falling in love with?
Did your mind ever stop to wonder who the woman was on the other side? Or did you swat the thought away like you would have an annoying gnat?
Did you think about our children or did he tell you that he didn't have any? We have little boys who laid in my lap and cried themselves to sleep when their daddy chose not to come home. Or were you so wrapped up into your wants and needs that you ignored their existence too? They were innocent.
I wonder if your laughter could have drowned out their weeping. Did you ever stop even for a moment to think about them?
I wanted to hate you. I wanted to call you all kinds of horrible names. I wanted to make you see and feel my suffering and the pain of my children. I didn't understand why you would hurt anyone the way I was hurting. I wanted you to suffer too.
Then a small miracle occurred. A grace from God that helped me not only forgive you, but to understand that maybe we weren't so different. You saw me as an object, but I saw you as one too.
I had to face that you probably were beautiful, and kind (aren't all God's daughters) and I'm even betting that you are not selfish. Oh how I wished I could label you with some horrible terms, but I couldn't. Although this recognition was painful it is also what saved me. I stopped seeing you as an object and decided to see you as a person. If I saw you as a person I could not deny that maybe you were good and genuine. I realized that we are both broken, that is what we have in common. There was a chance that the night before you had been the one with the tear-stained pillow. You may have been the one that just wanted to pain to stop.
I recognized that I was not that far from you.
Are you hurting? I am!
Are you broken? I am!
Did you want to be loved, valued, and cherished? Me too!
Maybe we are not that different. And because of that, I forgive you. I forgive you for the pain that you caused me and I am so sorry for the pain that you suffer from.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Roots To Hold Me. It has been modified and republished here with permission.
Norma Zaugg has an MA Degree in Education from Boise State University. She is the author of rootstoholdme.com, a faith-based blog about her healing from infidelity, codependence, and divorce. website: www.rootstoholdme.com Email: rootstoholdme