Reference Helps

By Rick Reynolds

Long ago when I was a child, I had a friend who abused and misused me. The circumstance was simple (as is most of what happens in childhood). He told me he had a new best friend, and in the blink of an eye, I was on the outside, crushed by the fickle state of relationships. What I felt then was not much different than what many feel at the stage of discovering what their mate has done to them. At first I felt devastated and alone. I wondered what was wrong with me that he would choose another? My pride felt destroyed and shame washed over me like a roaring river. Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity were my constant companions, and although during my childhood, I knew enough to understand I hated what I felt and wanted nothing to do with him, or the feelings now associated with him. Would I ever have another best friend? Would anyone ever want to hang with me again? Similar to forgiving infidelity, I didn’t know where to start. Certainly, forgiving infidelity is “no easy road”.

Then I began to catch my emotional breath and gain perspective. No one was going to treat me that way. I found that each time I rode by his house anger flooded my soul. I imagined hurting him in the same way he’d hurt me. I’d ignore him when we met in public. If we were both outside, I’d move to the other side of the street. If I encountered him in the store, I’d leave. If I saw him at school, I’d move to the other side of the room and pretend he wasn’t there. I wanted to make sure he’d pay for what he’d done. I was going to make sure that I would never be treated that way again. If someone had suggested that I forgive him, I would have laughed, cursed or even thought them to be insane. In my mind he didn’t deserve forgiveness! He deserved death, pain and suffering! I wasn’t interested in getting even- I wanted to get ahead. I was sure that the antidote to bitterness was revenge.

I find that to be a common belief, even for adults. The incredible pain of the betrayal may create a near impossible situation for the betrayed. To forgive or not to forgive, is where almost every betrayed spouse ends up.  (Forgiving Infidelity – Read More)