I have experienced the utter miracle of being able to forgive my husband for looking at porn -for looking and lusting and desiring other women.
It used to seem so impossible, and it was! It was impossible for a very long time, but I always kept in on the radar. And one day, it came. It opened windows in my brain and let fresh air, sunshine, music, and beauty in. Life seemed lighter, more hopeful and lovely. It was a miracle -miracle is the ONLY word that even comes close to describing it, and even then it seems to fall a little short.
At the encouragement of my sponsor, I met with the Bishop yesterday. She encouraged me to have regular meetings with him. I couldn't figure out why, but since she's rhylly insightful, I always hearken to her counsel -at least to try it on for size and see if it's for me or not.
"How are you feeling about forgiveness?" He asked.
And I was stumped. I had no answer.
I HAVE forgiven him. I have! It was hard, but I forgave him for the porn.
But guess what? I'm still feeling anger, I'm still grieving. I'm still hurting.
I still have need of forgiving my husband for other hurts -for his Jekyllness, his anger, his outbursts, his taking of my safety... I don't even want to go on with the list for reasons I'll outline below.
It was an inspired question for me. My Bishop made it overwhelmingly and lovingly clear that he felt inspired to ask it and wanted me to know that he wasn't attempting to pressure me into something I wasn't ready for, and there was no shame in not being ready.
Forgiveness is officially back on the radar.
I'm not ready for it, and here's why:
#1) Needing for forgive means that I have been hurt which means I've been weak enough to let him hurt me again. And by weak I mean stupid.
#2) Needing to forgive means that I'm accusing someone of hurting me. Accusing people is not nice. It's unChristlike. I want to be Christlike, so I can't go around telling the Lord that his beautiful son hurt me.
I didn't realize I felt that way until last night.
Those are my forgiveness roadblocks right now.
I listened to an interview Polly and her husband did with The Mormon Channel, and I heard them talk about Jekyll. They described him as being an enemy of his spouse, and it really does feel that way. My husband loves me, but I don't feel love when the other side of him comes out. I feel... everything my enemy would WANT me to feel: unsafe, small, unloved, ridiculous...
And it brought to mind the words of Oscar Wilde. If inner peace simply isn't reason enough to strive for forgiveness, there's always this:
I've had a lot of honest clarity lately... it's becoming abundantly clear that I've got so much work to do. I've been working recovery for almost THREE YEARS and I have SO MUCH work to do. I want to be depressed about it, but because I've been working recovery for three years, I can testify that I've gained more than I've lost and in a funny sort of way, I'm excited to gain more.
Last night, I faced some honesty with regards to intimacy. It was no fun, and I'll probably cry a river into my bath this morning.
And then blog about it later.
Have I ever thanked you for always being there for me? You're a doll.