Saturday, February 02, 2008

Forgiveness

First of all, I need someone to teach me how to forgive my new laptop because there is some configuration of keys, or maybe my sleeves need to be rolled up, or maybe my feet aren't being held just right - whatever it is - that makes everything I've been typing just magically disappear. And it's REALLY starting to IRK me! Blogger autosave was not fast enough for the brilliant thinking that was coming out of my fingers just 10 minutes ago before it ALL disappeared!!!! ugh. ugh. ugh.

back to the real post....

I've been thinking about forgiveness lately because it seems, now that I think about it, forgiveness or the lack of it drives almost every situation in my entire world. So many folks marveled (ok, they didn't use the word "marvel" ) at the speed with which I was able to forgive Tdub for leaving the marriage. Heck, even I marveled at it. On reflection I can see clearly that I had forgiven Tdub for leaving the marriage a LONG time ago. Years ago, in fact. Now, lest you think I really AM a saint, cause I'm NOT, that forgiveness was a slow and arduous process. Tdub could, if he would, attest loudly to the fact that I was a pretty angry and bitter little camper in that marriage for about the course of one year. That was before blogging. But having a right to be bitter and angry still doesn't justify it when you're a Christian. I remember when I came out of the anger and the bitterness. For me, it was a matter of acceptance. I actually accepted the hurt and disappointment - embraced it, if you will. I was disappointed that I didn't have a "normal" marriage. You know, the kind where the guy is attracted to the girl in a fundamental way. So, in that way, I embraced Tdub's gayness. I determined that I, yes indeed, was married to a gay guy. What now? Well, since the gay guy was determined at that time to stay married to me, my best course of action seemed to be to just love him exactly the way he was and get over myself. Which was a constant battle that I probably won about 75% of the time. Those are pretty good numbers in a situation like that. I would hope that Tdub would concur with them, and because he's learned alot about grace from the whole thing, he'd probably give me an 80. For me, the most difficult part was the sexual part. I've not blogged about that too much. We don't talk about it. The wives of guys who struggle with their sexuality, I mean. It's fundamentally painful to be married to a man who fundamentally doesn't desire you. We did have an active and great sex life, don't get me wrong. I even blogged a little bit about that fact. There were great times. But still, it was there. It was always there, and each great time made me hunger for more while it seemed to him more like another thing he'd checked off the calendar for the week. I knew his same sex attractions weren't ever going away and so my expectations and hopes were that they would simply be lessened to the point that our marriage would survive. His expectations, on the other hand, were that he would finally be completely free of his same sex attractions. He made no bones about that. He wanted it GONE. He did not want to be gay or homosexual or whatever word you choose to use. And, when it came down to it, and when enough people began to know that he struggled with his sexuality, I believe it was at that point that he finally began to accept himself for the way he was. And for him, to accept the way that he was meant to live within that framework. If everyone is going to know that I'm gay, then I'm going to BE gay.

So the forgiveness happened years before the marriage ended. The end of the marriage simply caused a huge chasm of pain. It felt like it swallowed me whole. Which, if you think about it, is a better way to be swallowed. I'm glad I didn't feel chopped up into pieces and chewed. I believe that if I hadn't already forgiven Tdub long ago, that's how it would have been. I just didn't have nearly the amount of crap to deal with regarding him personally because I'd dealt with it already.

I've also decided that this is a good strategy for life in general. When possible, forgive people before they hurt you. That's what Jesus did.

And so boys and girls, there's Ms. Pam's life lesson for today. Brought to you courtesy of years of pain and anguish! ha!

love and grace,
pam

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4 comments:

Mark and Patrick said...

Bravo Pam! Forgiveness is tough, and it is a process......in the moment we don't always realize that is exactly what we are doing.

....."forgive before you are hurt"......WOW! That can be so hard, but how much less physical and emotional self pain we can eliminate if we do that!!

Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts.

seithman said...

Forgive before you are hurt.

What a hard lesson to learn! We're a society that prefers to do anything we can possibly do to prevent ourselves from being hurt in the first place. So the idea of not only opening oneself up to the possibility of being hurt but forgiving people for that hurt before its even a reality must be a frightening thought.

-- Jarred.

Bill said...

Excellent thoughts, Pam. Still, I'm sorry you had to go through so much pain so that you could see this so clearly. You remain in my prayers.

Blessings,
-bill
Spiritual Oasis Blog

Journeyman said...

When I read this, I was tempted to rush in with a comment about how amazing a post it was and how much I admire you for writing it. And while that is still 100% true, I also noted my own rush to feel comfortable because you had come out the other side of the pain and anguish, and I failed to fully observe the long long long journey you went through to get here.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. It's really quite incredible.