Fifteen years ago, my wife had an affair. Our children were 1, 3, and 5 years old at the time. We had recently moved from the city into the suburbs and purchased a house. She had taken a job at night as a waitress to make extra money. All her coworkers were young and free. She later told me she felt trapped at 28 and wasn't ready to be a "soccer mom." I was devastated, but the truth was that I had not been happy either. Fortunately, I had supportive parents, a couple of really good friends, and a great therapist who helped me take responsibility for my own role in the split. It took two years of being angry, jaded, and miserable, but I finally forgave her. I learned that forgiveness is for you, not the other person. In fact, I didn't tell her anything, she just sensed it and one day she came to me and apologized. We both agreed to put all that in the past and we were able to be friends. She eventually got remarried to a great guy and I remarried to the woman of my dreams. But, what was most rewarding was what happened at our oldest son's high school graduation party, which took place at my ex-wife's house among a large group friends and extended family. My son surprised us all with a speech to honor his father and mother and step parents for being such great role models and how he was so fortunate to have had the childhood he did.
I know my story is rare, but I am living proof of the power of forgiveness. I don't condemn what this guy did, but if I lived in his neighborhood, I would reach out to him. He could probably use a friend who has been down the same road...
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley
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