But why is it so hard?
There is a saying- “Just forgive and forget.” Whoever came up with this may not have ever been married. Plus, anyone who says marriage is easy probably has never been married before! Being married is one of the hardest things EVER! This coming from someone who’s been to med school, residency, taking several standardized tests and had a baby while stranded during a snowstorm (that’s another story for another day). What I find so terribly hard is that you get no days off in marriage. At least from work you get the weekend to regroup. But not in marriage because in marriage you make the decision to show up every single day.
It’s as if someone is holding up a mirror showing you your reflection all of the time. The mirror shows your imperfections, your flaws, and your hang-ups. The one holding the mirror may choose not to harp on your imperfections but YOU see your reflection in the mirror and you know what’s there. Which makes the forgetting of the “flaws and all” rather hard.
Can we hide all the mirrors in our marriage?
The imaginary mirrors show you that you are not perfect. No matter how perfect you would want the rest of the world to think you are. It reminds you that because of your hurt that there are visible scars. These scars are only visible to you. If your partner has hurt you, you may have done a great job hiding the scars and acting as if things are all good now. Only you can see the bandages on your heart that keeps you from bleeding out profusely at the thought of your hurt. Unforgiveness is wrapping imaginary duct tape over your mouth that forces you to not bring up the offense over and over. The result of unforgiveness may be what your concealer can’t even hide from all those sleepless tearful nights.
How do you deal with the [Wo]man in the mirror who’s bruised and battered on the inside but is at the top of her game in her career and can do no wrong in her kids’ eyes? You get help…. you realize that superwoman/ wonder woman (whoever your alter ego is) has her own kryptonite (unforgiveness) that will eventually crush her from the inside out. Find someone to help you get to your next. Find someone without biases who can help you forgive him, forgive yourself, and learn how to compartmentalize so you can ‘forget.’ Though you never 100% forget you learn the right coping skills in order to live a healthy life mentally and emotionally.
So cheers to getting help. You can no longer be ashamed of the reflection you see when your spouse holds up that invisible mirror. Remember forgiveness frees you so that you can free others. Be free indeed! What have you been harboring that keeps you from forgiving others? Share what has been hindering you from getting to your next.