Struggling with forgiveness
Dear Amy: My husband recently confessed to me that he was unfaithful four years ago. We had a great life, or so I thought. I was completely devastated and contemplated leaving him, but I was pregnant with our fifth child. Now I see him making changes to live an honest life.
I am trying every day to forgive him.
The problem is that he told his best friend about the affair at the time.
This friend, who is a pastor, stood up in our wedding and spent time with our family several times during the affair period.
He chose not to tell me, nor did he “force” my husband to confess to me.
We are people of faith, where forgiveness is something to live by, but I am having a hard time forgiving this man for keeping my husband’s lie a secret.
This friend has apologized to me. He reached out to me soon after my husband confessed.
I have accepted his apology, but forgiving him is harder.
I know the forgiveness will eventually come, but I want nothing to do with this man for now.
We don’t live nearby, so it’s easy to avoid him, but I know that eventually my husband will want to see him. They are best friends.
Part of me wants to tell my husband not to see him anymore, but I know I can’t do that. I definitely don’t want to see him, talk to him or look at him.
Am I wrong for not wanting to continue a relationship with this friend? Can I ask my husband to limit contact with him?
Trying to Forgive
Trying to Forgive: I’d like for you to imagine the extremely tough position your husband put his friend in when he confessed his affair. Your husband might have lied to him: “I’m ending it now,” or told him, “I want to tell her myself.” His friend might have decided that he would be most useful if he maintained the friendship and didn’t interfere in the marriage. Or, he might have been afraid. He might have lacked courage. He might have made a mistake.
He has apologized, and you accepted his apology (good for both of you). If you have further questions or statements you want to make to him, you should express yourself, perhaps by letter. He may be more remorseful than you realize.
Do not transfer responsibility for this affair from one man to the other. Most important, be gentle with yourself and try to release the burden of these relationships. Your faith counsels forgiveness. Forgiveness can be most powerful and healing when it is hardest to achieve. Let time do its magic, and let forgiveness liberate you.