Forgiving my wife has not been so hard, for a couple of reasons. I can excuse most of the impact; and what I can excuse, needs no forgiveness. Jealousy really doesn't bother me as much as a normal person. She left me back in February, and initiated the divorce months ago, so she's only cheating on me in a rather technical sense. And I can certainly understand the loneliness and pain a divorced person feels; a new relationship slaps a band-aid on that. Still, I wouldn't have done to her, so some forgiveness was required; where you acknowledge that it was actually wrong but still forgive. But I love her, and that makes it much easier. I reminded her that we'd been talking about getting together for lunch sometime, so she'd know I wasn't holding this against her. (BTW, much thanks to the sexblogger world, especially Perverse Cowgirl and Rogue Bambi, for showing me that there is much better than her out there.)
The other guy is more of a problem. His offense against me was much smaller; he never made any vows. But my problem is I always had an instinctive dislike of this guy to begin with. He's got a fashion sense/style that I automatically dislike (oiled and saturnine). And there was always something about his conversation.
But, much more than that, I think he's hurting her. It isn't good for her to be in a relationship so soon. On his side of the balance, she and I became emotionally attached when she was still technically in her last marriage, and though I pretty much kept it from becoming sexual, now I know that the emotional attachment wasn't good for her either.
My instinctive reaction to this guy is that he is exactly the type to hurt a woman emotionally, so that instinct complicates my attitude. I still have a problem with him. There is a part of me that wants to irimi nage him into next week. Forgiving his sins against her is for her and God, not me. But I don't think I've even successfully forgiven his little sin against me.
Most Christian resources would tell me that I do not actually need to forgive anyone until they repent; in fact they go further and indicate I should not. These two are certainly not repenting (I haven't even pointed out the offense.) I don't buy that I should wait for them to repent though.
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified [Jesus] there, along with the criminals &mdash one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)Jesus didn't wait for them to understand their offense or repent. And He is my model. But I'm going to need to pray for help in offering this guy Christian love. (If you're a praying person you'll know how hard that will be.)
If I could allow myself to hate, it would be so much easier in the short term; it's a great temptation. If I hated her I wouldn't have to acknowledge my own faults so much; if I hated him, likewise. (Well actually I do hate him a bit, but I'm working on that.) It would hurt me in the long term though. Christianity is certainly not different in that, I think lots of religious, philosophies, and even self-help seminars could tell me that.