Friday, September 11, 2009

Forgiving Infidelity, Part 2

What would it take to forgive infidelity? According to my stat counter, many people are searching for the answer and found my harsh stance. Hardly helpful, so I started thinking.What would it take? I think it takes commitment, strength, humility, vulnerability, forgiveness, and selfless love. Lots and lots of all those things, not to mention prayers, support, maturity and hard work. All the opposites of the act of infidelity itself.

My friend Shelby's husband cheated on her and then divorced her. She was willing to forgive and work on their marriage. He was not. She has never said a bad thing about him, ever. She loved him unselfishly. He was too in love with himself to love her. She is so strong and full of courage.

My other friend Leah's husband is an alcoholic, a pathological liar who is verbally abusive, violent without a work ethic or manly pride in supporting their family. He is a waste of skin. Yet there is something in him she loves and so is willing to work at their marriage. She puts them in front of herself. She is strong and loves unselfishly and without reservation or conditions.

I used to think it was strong to sever a relationship with someone who hurt me. Now I know that it is weak and cowardly. Not forgiving is easy. Pride and self have primacy of place and bar the way to forgiveness and truly loving another. I admire my friends for their strength and maturity. I want to learn from their examples and put others ahead of myself. I want to love even when it hurts and it would be easier to give up.

For anyone suffering from infidelity, you have my prayers, support and admiration for seeking a way to forgive.


Anonymous said...

Can someone PLEASE talk about women who cheat on men....... As I write this there is a man living in the house God allowed me to purchase for my family...... The agony is unbearable...... Please pray for me that I can endure this cross......

Janny said...

"I used to think it was strong to sever a relationship with someone who hurt me. Now I know that it is weak and cowardly."

Not necessarily.

While this kind of thing speaks individually to individual hearts, I get a knee-jerk reaction to any blanket generalization like this. Too many peopole use this as a way to punish someone brave enough to finally escape what would be a deadly situation, and to me, THAT's abuse as bad as what the poor person's escaping from.

What does one mean when one refers to "being hurt"? Too many women stay with men who beat them because there's something in him they find lovable, and they want to make it work. (And they often die trying.) Too many women stay with men who verbally abuse and denigrate them--who even make them physically sick--because they believe what you've said above. But nowhere anywhere is Christian marriage supposed to be equated with martyrdom; such a thing isn't marriage. It's masochism.

Yes, forgiveness is mature and the high road. But please don't leap from that statement, as true as it is, to saying that "severing a relationship with someone who hurt weak and cowardly." Sometimes severing a relationship is the only thing that saves lives, much less souls. Sometimes severing a relationship is the difference between life and death, sanity and insanity...and NO ONE needs to be "guilted" and told they're being cowardly because they're taking a step that may mean life instead of death for them, their children, or any number of people who are affected by abuse, neglect, and violence.


Mairin :o) said...

Thank you Janny for the comment. I can understand your reaction. I wasn't referring to abuse in anyway. There is nothing forgivable about abuse nor would I ever suggest someone weak for escaping an abusive situation.