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How do you forgive?

(157 Posts)
FridayIsComing Wed 30-Dec-20 00:52:49

I find myself in a deep black hole. My in laws caused me a great many problems which were led by my now deceased mil and accepted by my dh. Sometimes he stood his ground and did not allow them to get their way. But often they did. Primarily because mil was terminally ill and dh was torn.

I thought i was passed all this. But watching those around me go through the happy exciting stages in life such as announcement of engagement, new baby and house purchase just takes me back to how those precious moments were a warzone for me and dh because of in law interference.
Now this has all stopped. We are finally free. Dh has apologised and explained his guilt due to his mothers illness influenced his decisions.
But in my moments of darkness and despair i cannot forgive him. Nor his deceased mother.
Please advise me on how to move forward. Its confusing as i thought i was passed this but watching my loved ones hit milestones has triggered so much in me.

Hoitytoity Mon 18-Jan-21 09:45:13

You have to give yourself the space to heal. Your current black hole suggests trauma so it's not as simple as flicking a switch to forgive, there's a lot more to it. I would suggest a therapist to work your way through it - sometimes the only way out is through ❤️

Greeneyedgirl Wed 06-Jan-21 15:45:43

To be a nurturing parent it helps if you in turn have been nurtured lovingly. It is so sad that many haven’t and this can cause ongoing problems, which it is possible to overcome with help and awareness, but can be difficult.

I have observed that those who are consistently unkind to others may have unresolved difficulties themselves.

If you are the recipient of bad behaviour it can be very hurtful. From my own experience I have found that if I try and understand, and yes forgive the behaviour (bearing in mind I am far from perfect) it is the least damaging route to take, and helps my own mental health.

Kate1949 Wed 06-Jan-21 15:31:22

Just to add, we were fed and clothed.

Kate1949 Wed 06-Jan-21 15:29:50

Thank you Sparkling. I've posted some of it in here from time to time. Gransnet is the best therapy! My parents had children because they were Catholic and didn't practice birth control. For no other reason. No love, affection, encouragement, as well as violence and neglect. Some people should never have children.

Sparkling Wed 06-Jan-21 15:10:42

Kate1949, I don’t know your story, but you say your childhood was horrendous, I am very forgiving I know that. , however children being neglected or abused makes me feel sick and angry. To take a child’s childhood away and replace it with fear, I too would find unforgiveable as well. Animals look after their young it’s instinctive to protect those we give birth to and love. I do so hope you have found happiness and confidence in yourself, despite your awful start in life. I think the best way of dealing with such abusers, is not give them any thought time, hard I know, to rehash makes you relive, despite counsellors wanting to keep talking it all out, it’s like picking scabs. They were in the wrong, big time, shame on them. 💐,

Oldbat1 Wed 06-Jan-21 13:40:43

I’m an elephant! I cannot forgive or forget things.

Kate1949 Wed 06-Jan-21 13:38:41

It's not easy. I will never forgive my parents for my horrendous upbringing. It's left me with physical and mental scars.

Sparkling Wed 06-Jan-21 08:54:29

Try not to rake over the past, that's gone. Your husband has changed and realised his mistakes. his mother was ill and he was torn, he couldn't just walk away from his dying mother so made some wrong decisions, what sort of man would abandon her. He must gave been in turmoil. Just because she was difficult and unlikeable he loved her.We all make wrong decisions at some time, but can learn from them and be happy.

FridayIsComing Tue 05-Jan-21 21:23:06

I did not go along with it. I tried to make things work. I tried to show compassion to DH and MIL by putting their needs before my own.
I doubt many people would prevent a terminally ill mother in law from visiting her grandson. Would you?
After i had given birth, it was not a case of not being brave enough. I was busy being a mum and putting MILs needs before my own. My issue was her needs were overwhelming me.
@Parky- i think your post speaks volumes. Thank you.

Dinahmo Mon 04-Jan-21 22:35:56

I've only read the first page of this but what struck me was how many people are complaining about the hold their MIL has on their DH. There are also many on here who complain that they are not getting enough attention from their DS because he takes more notice of his wife.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 04-Jan-21 22:30:06

I’m sorry, but I can’t understand why you went along with all of the things that happened.
If your DH didn’t stand up for you then you should have voted with your feet and not allowed your MIL to run your life for you.
Why visit her or let her visit you? You were a partner in your marriage and should have had your say, you say have missed all of the milestones that you mentioned in your OP, but in the end you went along with it.
Time to get over it, forgive your DH and maybe understand your part in it all.
Sorry, it seems harsh but you have to have a clear view of it by now, you say that you are not brave enough, maybe that was part of the problem.
If you had been stronger maybe your DH would have been stronger too.

Bridgeit Mon 04-Jan-21 21:44:35

It is ok not to forgive them. You just need to allow yourself to accept that you will not & then let it go . If on the other hand you are continually thinking about them & reaffirming your thoughts you are actually hurting yourself . Decide to let it go & then let it go, don’t let those thoughts & feelings invade your space. Best wishes

overthehill Mon 04-Jan-21 19:43:11

Not your situation but similarities. My mother didn't treat me as she should and my father although I loved him, did nothing to help me as a child.

I've carried this hurt all my life and when I read similar stories it reminds me of my miserable childhood.

I found the way to cope was not forgiveness, as she never asked forgiveness, but I count my blessings. I have a wonderful (2nd) husband of 46 years, 2 lovely children and 2 beautiful grandchildren.

I lock it away in my mind and get on with my very nice life. Now and then I exam it and feel a bit sorry for myself, but then stick it back in the box for the time being.

Nothing is going change anything and others have had much worse to deal with.

Smileless2012 Mon 04-Jan-21 16:31:21


Parky Mon 04-Jan-21 14:01:58

This is probably too late to help. If your mil had a terminal illness she would have found it extremely hard to be interested in the joys and happiness in other's lives. I know this from personal experience. The toughest thing when you are fighting for life is to put on an interested happy for you face. I do but inside I'm shouting "What about me, who just has fear and pain". Maybe your mil wasn't strong enough.

Forgive her and your husband's weakness

Smileless2012 Sun 03-Jan-21 10:12:53

As powerful as the feelings of fear and dependency are, it is love and affection that can facilitate forgiveness and understanding if not acceptance, of behaviour that at first seems unforgivable.

You posted FridayIsComing that your H is your "support system especially as (you) deal with mobility issues" and that if your H didn't want custody and that if you were in full health and financially secure, perhaps you'd have left.

So what you appear to be saying is that apart from not always standing with you against his parents, your H has been and is a good H and father. What about love? I don't remember seeing in any of your posts you saying you love your H.

If you no longer do then going your separate ways would be in the long run better for both of you.

OceanMama Sun 03-Jan-21 04:40:40

Sometimes separating is just swapping one set of stresses for another. FridayIsComing, have you considered individual counselling? It might help you work through some things and find a more peaceful way for yourself forward.

FridayIsComing Sun 03-Jan-21 01:11:05

OutsideDave, i am not brave enough for that. 😭. Rather pathetic really.

OutsideDave Sun 03-Jan-21 00:30:03

So you stay not out of love and affection but out of fear and dependency? I can understand how frightening that might be, but as having supported many friends facing similar situations- even the scary/hard aspects of divorcing can’t compare the the happiness they feel when on the other side with their sense of self restored. A ‘broken’ home with one happy parent is definitely better than a home with one parent resentful and angry. And you have every right to be resentful and angry. Pretending otherwise and attempting to force yourself for give unforgivable behavior just keeps the wound open and festering.

Smileless2012 Sat 02-Jan-21 17:31:02

Guilt and anger are natural emotions when we are grieving. Have you considered the possibility that despite the difficult relationship you had with your m.i.l. you are grieving her loss?

"Perhaps she was this way because she was unwell and desperate to have her own way as it meant she had some control in her life at a time when she had no control over what mattered ... her health". That's an excellent and insightful point and if you could hold on to that, it may help you to let go of some of your anger toward your m.i.l. and your H.

Perhaps buylocal has a point and that the way you feel about the relationship your H had with his mother, and the way that impacted on your life, is a symptom of your unhappiness rather than the cause.

You've said your H wont go for couples counselling, have you considered counselling for yourself?

buylocal Sat 02-Jan-21 16:13:53

I find the idea of forgiveness a bit strange - it places you in the position of victim first then one of moral superiority. We are all adults who constantly make choices about what we do and who with etc and we should not then expect others to take responsibility if we then feel bad. It seems like your husband has indicated it was also difficult for him to be 'between'. Does he need to beg? Maybe you are just no longer happy in the marriage? it's best to try to identify the real causes of negative feelings then try to find solutions that you can take responsibility for and are not dependent on others bending to your will.

FridayIsComing Sat 02-Jan-21 16:13:39

Broken / Torn what does it matter. It wont change the past.
I did go to MILs grave. I felt nothing but guilt for the fact that she lay there when she had so much left to see in the world. My son was running around and she missed it all. I felt ashamed to be feeling angry when she has gone. What did it matter if she was driven my her wants? Perhaps she was this way because she was unwell and desperate to have her way as it meant she had some control in her life at a time when she had no control over what mattered... her health.
I live between two places. Resentment and guilt. I am so exhausted. Its like i get through each day and wonder at night how i will get through the next day. Many of you may say to leave dh. In exchange for what? Custody battles, finance battles, lack of support system when raising my child. Yes DH has issues, but he is also my support system especially as i deal with limited mobility. Maybe if dh didnt want custody of our child, i was financially secure and with full health i would have left.

Hithere Sat 02-Jan-21 15:12:23

Still polar opposites

Smileless2012 Sat 02-Jan-21 15:10:33

"Sometimes he stood his ground and did not allow them to get their way. But often they did. Primarily because mil was terminally ill and dh was torn".

Torn Hithere, not broken; torn.

Smileless2012 Sat 02-Jan-21 15:03:00

We usually are Hitheresmile.