So you’re looking for the yellow brick road? You know that long, narrow winding road, a path to follow, one that leads you to the door of forgiveness. Maybe you’ve been looking for a very long time. Maybe you’re actually on that road but you encounter major road blocks and detours keeping you from your destination. You feel like you’re so close; why or why are you stuck may be the key to removing those road blocks and allow you forgive your spouse for infidelity.
There I was wearing my ruby slippers. (not really) standing at the start of my yellow brick road. I had decided to forgive my husband for his infidelity I decided something that for many is unthinkable, and may scoff at me for even suggesting this. Scoff as you may, I’ve made my decision and a realization that, in dealing with a spouse that is a narcissist, that I really do have to approach my situation differently if I even think that I can repair my fractured relationship.
Many of the articles or blogs I read state that you forgive for several reasons the first is you!, you forgive to release yourself from the ANGER of betrayal and to move forward in your life (whether your staying together or ending the relationship). You forgive so YOU can heal and in my case so WE can heal.
I sat next to him on the new sofas we had recently bought watching his eyes, his face for his reaction. I just finished reading to him my letter of forgiveness (see post 1/21/2014 chisled on a stone tablet), my offer of forgiveness, in hope that it will take us to the next level in repairing our dysfunctional and broken marriage. And I sat and watched, it was amazing- It really was like watching a light switch flip on. His face just changed from a sullen, injured little boy to a beaming smile with eyes that lit up and a very endearing and amazed look that appeared on his face. He took my hands into his and kissed them. He looked at me sheepishly as he replied “really? you really mean that?” I assured him that I meant EVERY word and that I was willing to work on myself, the areas that I had neglected for many years due to unrelenting, toxic emotional abuse, and that I expected him to do the same . He agreed to try. I knew I had to taken back my power, and that I was on the right road. I felt hope for the first time that our marriage could survive and hopefully improve. If I was going to be able to help my narcissitic husband overcome his past and his mistakes, as well as my own, I needed a “yellow brick road”.
I know some of you are probably laughing or crying at me because you wonder ” why can’t I forgive?”, ” why am I stuck?”, ” I want to find my yellow brick road too!” There are two really good articles on this that I refer you to: http://affairadvice.wordpress.com/2012/11/28perceptions-on-why-spouses-can’t-get-over-affair & http://www.narcissismdailymirror.com/2011/09/secret-to-love-and-success.html
So I’ll tell you about the FIVE main reasons (at least in my opinion) that most betrayeds are stuck and unable to truly forgive :
#1: Worrying that spouse isn’t really sorry about the affair . Sure they begrudgingly admit they were wrong maybe even say those words, but it either feels hollow or their actions don’t fit with the words. “Yeah sorry he got caught!” “He cheats on me and I see no remorse.” Many men have difficulty in displaying any emotion, outwardly, especially a narcissist. I discovered that every time my husband looks at me, he feels extreme pain, because he is reminded how much he has hurt me. Some (spouses) are really just jerks, and may never change, but if you want to stay married, give them a little bit of leeway here. Believe it or not they are hurting too and feel it deep down inside, just not outwardly.-
#2: Still angry about affair because you resent that they have not suffered any repercussions for their actions. It seems like “oh they go and have an affair yet they go on with their life like nothing inappropriate ever happened”. Yet you live with the pain everyday. I felt like this at first but then I realized all I had done (or failed to do) that contributed to our marriage coming apart. Oh and this DOES NOT MEAN THAT I FEEL THAT HIS AFFAIR WAS MY FAULT AT ALL- He has to own his actions. When I was really unhappy, like the emotional abuse would never end, I simply shutdown (for almost two years), I had nothing left to give, to anyone but I would NEVER have an affair. However, looking at my boys made me snap out of it. Well as for consequences probably nothing that seems fitting -except the life sentence within themselves that they are really despicable in their choice to pursure affair. This was probably the hardest for me, I decided oh he would have repercussions alright if he didn’t work to repair what he has done then I WILL leave him and then everyone will know how immoral he is. (I don’t threaten to leave anymore, NO BLINDERS ON, but that doesn’t mean that it will never happen. More on trust next post.) Yours may be a big pompous ass and nothing will phase him- but give it time.
#3 Still angry because no positive changes seem to be happening. Again, I say give it a little time. If you have taken back your power and are making the changes you need to make, then time will tell as changes slowly materialize. This was me for sure, it felt like nothing changed ,I wanted it to be instant. But I realized that change of this nature begins gradually and patience has rewarded me in being able to see his treatment of me improve.
#4 You worry that the affair may not really be over: When you really feel like there’s no changes, no remorse, no repercussions. You begin to wonder, with no outwardly display of transparency, no guilty look, no pleas for forgiveness, you wonder even more, is it really over? Don’t trust blindly -eyes wide open so you won’t be run over by that 18-wheeler again.
#5 Unable to take that leap of faith towards forgiveness and get the life you want: Some betrayed spouses can never make this leap. They don’t see that there a better outcome than what is currently happening to your relationship. I mean end the blame game, if staying together is what you want then WTF have you got to loose! Give it a chance, let go of the anger it will eat you alive. Instead look to the future make plans for a positive, happy life together. Then time will show you if you’re on the right road. This was very hard for me to accomplish, at first. I wanted to see those changes instantly and they were slower to see than I wanted them to be. But in the long run I am seeing the beginnings of positive change. BE A LITTLE PATIENT if it doesn’t turn out the way you planned then you can leave, leave with your head high knowing that you did all you could to repair your marriage. After all it probably took many years to get to this point -take the leap and FORGIVE but learn from these lessons.
These are my personal opinions, I am no expert, I can’t guarantee you that you’ll make it to the emerald city. I can only show you where I found my “yellow brick road” at, and that I choose to walk on it -I don’t want to end up, under a house in some Kentucky corn field just because I was too afraid to journey down the “yellow brick road”.
in fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. Anne Lamont -Traveling mercies-some thoughts on faith