Forgiveness is extremely liberating. It appears I've never truly had to forgive before now. I've written about the difficulty of being married to an abuser and the subsequent divorce. This past week-end I was looking for pictures of landscapes to paint. This involved going through myriads of pictures I've taken over the last 30 years. While doing so I relived a lifetime. The life I lived with Ronnie.
I didn't find a lot of landscapes, even though we had been all over the world, what was there was pictures of a life. There were pictures of us before going to a formal event, parties that we had given, family dinners at our house, barbeques with friends. Pictures of a life, one I no longer have. The sadness that filled my heart was extraordinary and unexpected.
However, in addition to the sadness, was anger. Anger that he allowed this 26 year marriage to die so easily and made no attempt to help save it. The divorce was his final hurt. For not only did he take away my life, he took all the assets we had accumulated over 26 years and truly left me destitute. (Fortunately, I've been there before and as hard as it is to go back to being broke, I made it.)
By Monday, I was so filled with anger and pain that I had to call and ask him why. Why he didn't want to save our marriage? Why he hid all our assets to insure that his way of life would not change? During that phone call I realized 2 things; 1. that we both still have extraordinary love for each other and 2. he couldn't help what he did because that is who he is.
He has remarried a very wealthy woman who has no children, has never been married and he doesn't ever have to work again because he hid all the money and assets we had and now he has her and her family money. Oh, and she is an only child, albeit no longer a child, but will inherit all the assets from her very wealthy family.
Ronnie has changed. Extraordinary, but true! I realized he treats her with respect because she has the "gold" and whoever has the "gold" rules. So he is respectful and different with her. At first I was conflicted. Why could he not be that way with me and our children? Then I realized, he couldn't because he had gotten away with it for so long.
That realization led me to different thinking. I am truly happy that he has, the life he apparently always wanted and that I could finally forgive him for all the past hurts. I read somewhere that "anger eats up the vessel it lives in". I no longer want to be the vessel for all that anger.
So I called him yesterday and told him how happy I am that he has the life he wants, that he and his eldest son are seeing one another again and he is spending time with our 2 granddaughters for the 1st time in 6 years. That phone call healed my heart. It is no longer filled with all that anger, it is filled with forgiveness.