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Can never forgive

(99 Posts)
Jaffacake2 Sun 16-Aug-20 16:05:14

I am not sure if this is due to lockdown and alot of self reflection but am feeling bitter about the past and don't know how to let go and forgive.
My youngest daughter has announced her engagement and is planning her wedding for next year. Her father walked out on us when she was 7 and I brought up her and her older sister alone.The woman he was having an affair with he subsequently married and had 3 further children in America. She has since trained and now ordained in the church.
My daughter wants them to be there for her wedding which I fully understand and I will be cordial to them. But really I am feeling angry at the hypocrisy of being ordained and leading a church when she split up my family. I know he was also guilty and find it hard to think he may be walking daughter up the aisle when he wasn't there when she was growing up.
How do I move on from this ? I just feel so sad and angry.

Randomactsofpurple Sun 16-Aug-20 16:20:34

You’re right, it is hypocritical of her, but she didn’t break up your marriage, your husband did.
She might also have broken her own marriage up, or she may have been single at the time, but he was the one who was disloyal to you, he was married to you.
Not her. He was looking and he found someone, if not her then he might have found someone else.
Having said that, it won’t be easy for you at your daughters wedding and I hope you can rise above it.

moggie57 Sun 16-Aug-20 16:24:33

you can forgive but never forget... its your daughters special day .be there for her.the partner broke up your marriage the rat !! not her . ever tried praying ,god listens ,if he can forgive then so can you ,be the strong one here......

Missfoodlove Sun 16-Aug-20 16:37:19

Every sinner has a future and every Saint has a past.
Perhaps it was shame and guilt that took her closer to God

janeainsworth Sun 16-Aug-20 16:49:21

It is very hard for you jaffacake but I agree with random - blaming your ex’s partner won’t help you & will just make you feel like a victim.
In fact you’ve brought up your girls alone and you should take pride in your inner strength that has enabled you to do that.
So hold your head up high, look your very best, and enjoy your girl’s special day. It is up to your daughter who walks her down the aisle - you don’t say whether she’s close to her father or not, but she may prefer someone else in the family to escort her.

Personally I think the God thing is irrelevant. In my experience many practising Christians are no better or worthy of respect than anyone else.

SilentGames Sun 16-Aug-20 17:06:20

You may find this happens to many mothers who are left to bring up the children on their own and find when they grow up they want a father in their lives. We have to remember our children did not ask for any of this and be free to choose to do as they wish without feeling any guilt. What happened sadly happened to you and the children have nothing to do with it. I have two children and one wanted her dad in her life and the other didn’t. It made no difference to me as at the end of the day I had their most precious moments in my life and their father missed out that part. Take comfort that you did too.

Chewbacca Sun 16-Aug-20 17:27:50

You don't have to forgive jaffacakes; you only have to paint on a smile for the day and be happy for your beautiful daughter. You don't have to even have a conversation with him and his wife if you don't want to; there will be plenty of other people there to share your happiness with. But if your daughter has asked that he be there, on her happiest of days, you really need to "fake it, 'til you make it", just for one day. Look on it as another demonstration of your love for your daughter.

Illte Sun 16-Aug-20 17:30:33

Do everything you can to look absolutely gorgeous. Spend every moment being the happiest person there. Shower the. both with gracious acceptance. Let them see that their behaviour has only led to you having a great life.

I'm sure there's a bit in the Bible about treating your enemy well and by so doing you will be heaping fiery coals upon their head?

And even if that doesn't work like that at least you will have had a wonderful day??

AGAA4 Sun 16-Aug-20 17:31:13

I do understand your anger Jaffacake. Your husband and this woman broke up your home. The fact that she has been ordained into the church doesn't make her a better person. She must know that what she did was wrong.
In the end your husband has lost out over the years on your children growing up.
Most children want to know their father,that is natural but you have been their only parent in reality.
Don't let anger get the better of you. It will only hurt you in the end. Just feel grateful for the time you have had with your children that he missed out on.

sodapop Sun 16-Aug-20 17:43:47

I understand how you feel Jaffacake but time has moved on and the lady in question may well feel remorse about what happened. Now it seems she is trying to live a better life and help others. People can change.
Put what happened out of your mind, your daughter knows you were there for her all her life, her father missed all that - his loss.
Enjoy the wedding and be happy for your daughter.

Callistemon Sun 16-Aug-20 17:44:50

Jaffacake I can understand why you feel the way you do.
Your DD wants her father there, fair enough, but to walk her down the aisle and maybe to give her away - well he gave her away all those years ago.

I think you know you have done a wonderful job bringing them up alone so be confident and be the bigger person. I hope there will be other members of your family there who know the history too who will be there to support you.

I hope you can enjoy the day

J52 Sun 16-Aug-20 17:44:54


It is very hard for you jaffacake but I agree with random - blaming your ex’s partner won’t help you & will just make you feel like a victim.
In fact you’ve brought up your girls alone and you should take pride in your inner strength that has enabled you to do that.
So hold your head up high, look your very best, and enjoy your girl’s special day. It is up to your daughter who walks her down the aisle - you don’t say whether she’s close to her father or not, but she may prefer someone else in the family to escort her.

Personally I think the God thing is irrelevant. In my experience many practising Christians are no better or worthy of respect than anyone else.

Spot on, jane

Jaffacake2 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:11:05

Thank you all for your comments.Yes I will enjoy her wedding and have told her that I welcome her decisions .She knows I would do anything for her happiness. Just don't like how I'm feeling about wife's
When she was having the affair her parents were elders at the church we attended. The vicar asked me and my daughter to leave and join another church as it was embarrassing her parents. My old mum,Salvation army lady ,was furious and wrote to their church head. Still have my faith but bit shaken at present.

MarianHaste Sun 16-Aug-20 18:15:02

I hate to be harsh, but this day really isn't about you: it is about your daughter and her choices. It is her day.
You cannot change what happened and you need to rise above it and stick it in a box in order to give your daughter the event of which she has dreamed.
You can - and will - still feel the fury and be livid at the sheer gall of the man, but you must bite your lip for the day. Your children are grown up and will already have made their minds up what they think of his actions.
Buy yourself a killer outfit with killer heels and the biggest hat you can muster (forget this new-fangled fad for fascinators) and hold your head high. The best revenge is a life well lived - and even if you don't feel it, you can put on a damned good show.
And here is the bottom line: anyone who would do that to you was not worth having in the first place. If you had survived this particular taradiddle, there would have been another one.
But on this particular day, it is not about you, him or her. It is about your daughter.
Now go seek out those heels.

seacliff Sun 16-Aug-20 18:20:59

In the past he caused you much pain and broke up your marriage with his bad behaviour. That was then.

Please do not give him power now to spoil this very special day, which you should revel in. Your daughter, who you brought up single handed, is having her special day, and your thoughts should be all on her and you. I think you'll regret it later if you let thought of your ex spoil the day.

He and his wife are actually a quite insignificant part of the day and of her life. One suggestion I've heard before : Try to visualise putting all your angry, upset and bitter thoughts in a box, mentally tape it up securely and put it in the attic, and forget about it for that day. . You can revisit it another day if you must. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Ramblingrose22 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:22:42

jaffacake - I too have wrestled with this in the past, because of destructive behaviour and bullying by my late mother which started in early childhood and continued till she died 7 years ago. I felt enraged even after her death as well as like a victim.

People say that if you can forgive people you'll feel a whole lot better. I found this hard because to me, the very word "forgive" conjures up the idea that you are excusing or condoning the bad behaviour and are willing to forget it. It also feels like the perpetrators have "got away with it".

I managed to come to terms with what my mother did after a chance event. I still get angry when I talk about what she was like but I realise now that none of it was my "fault". It was all due to her being angry about her life when she was young. She resented me not going through what she went through so she saw to it that I would go through other things that would hurt and upset me.

She was a very damaged person who also needed to come to terms with (I prefer that to "forgive") what had happened to her but never found a way to do that.

Feel free to PM me if you think it would help.

Luckygirl Sun 16-Aug-20 18:27:21

A close friend was married to a vicar, who left her and cheated on her in rather complex but entirely appalling circumstances. He went on to behave appallingly towards her and their many children in terms of financial support and was generally unbelievably mean-spirited.

All through this he continued to preach and pontificate and hid from the church authorities many of his misdemeanours - makes me sick.

However.......I agree that you have no choice but to grit your teeth and paint on a smile for your DD's sake. Good luck.

Grandmabatty Sun 16-Aug-20 18:36:38

I sympathise with you so much. This, to an extent, was my situation minus the religious aspects. My dd had her dad and his sister at her wedding despite him being vile to us. What did I do? I had an amazing outfit, got my makeup professionally done and had a ball. Some of my dearest friends were invited and we danced all night. I was polite to exh and made a point of speaking to his sister. Although I was dreading him being there, he didn't matter one bit and he left early apparently upset. My ds gave his sister away and made a lovely speech. Exh saw quite clearly what he had given up and that was revenge enough for me! ☺ So go and thoroughly enjoy the day

Cabbie21 Sun 16-Aug-20 19:12:58

Difficult for you but you have to rise above it for one day at least.
My daughter invited her father to give her away. His wife sat at the back of church. At the reception only the bride and groom, bridesmaids and best man were on top table. I had a table For my family and my ex had a table, as did the groom’s parents, so it worked out that I had nothing to do with my ex’s new wife.

ali2810 Sun 16-Aug-20 19:34:08

I just had to 'put on my big girls' pants' and rise above it too! My dd invited her father and his 3rd wife (I was his first wife). However, she asked me to give her away (dad was not present throughout her childhood - had several affairs during our short 5yr marriage and left us when I was pregnant with our 3rd child). I also gave a speech at the Reception. We seated them with some very good friends who we knew would be polite and friendly, but were very supportive of me. We had a fabulous day!

geekesse Sun 16-Aug-20 20:42:57

I think you are to be congratulated, Jaffacake2. Despite having your own very good reasons for being bitter about your ex and his wife, you have allowed your daughter to feel warmly enough towards him that she wants him to give her away. You must have shown amazing restraint and generosity over the years to allow that to happen. Just try and muster enough of those qualities so that you can maintain a dignified and generous role at the wedding as that most significant person, the mother of the bride.

Luckygirl Sun 16-Aug-20 22:10:12

Well said geekesse

Peardrop50 Sun 16-Aug-20 22:16:05

What a difficult time for you but it's your daughter's day so be brave, take your courage in both hands, plaster on that smile and enjoy it for her. Feeling bitter only hurts you.

Hithere Sun 16-Aug-20 22:36:32

Agree with illte, be gorgeous and enjoy the day.

Did you ever get over his betrayal and having an affair? It was all his fault, he chose to cheat. He was married to you, she wasn't.

No need to spend the rest of your life hurting for what happened many years ago.

Oopsminty Sun 16-Aug-20 22:39:21


You are an amazing woman

I would not be behaving anywhere near as well as you due to the fact I can be bitter and twisted

Well done and have a lovely day!