…especially with my father.
She and my father have been married for well over 34 years. With all of the cheating, lies and making kids outside of their marriage (and expecting her to accept all of that) and abuse, my mother has yet to waiver in who she is- a forgiving and loving person (and a dutiful wife.)
She caters to my father-making sure his meals are made and his needs are met. When we go out, she orders him food or takes her leftovers. She always gets him a birthday gift and remembers their anniversary. She rarely raises her voice to him even when he yells. She just lets things go.
When I was younger, I used to think she was a complete doormat. “I don’t understand why she won’t stay mad at him!” I would think. In actuality, she’s probably one of the strongest women I know. As I got older she confessed to me why she stayed with my father. She said “He may not respect my vows but I do. I know when my last days are here, I’ve done my part in my marriage”. I can’t say I’ve grown that much as a woman. Besides the fact that my mother and I are from different generations, I definitely wasn’t there in my own marriage. If I was, I probably wouldn’t have gotten a divorce.
In terms of my own relationships (especially with men), I will say that my ability for forgiveness has grown leaps and bounds. I was able to eventually forgive my ex husband and grow a better friendship with him. I told myself that if I was able to forgive him, then I can open myself up, heal my heart, and be able to love again.
Someone recently accused me of being jaded (and even bitter). A few blogs, tweets and Facebook statuses, and people think they have you all figured out. Well...they are wrong. I am hopelessly romantic. I truly love men. I love love. I really don’t hold grudges too long. One of my fellow bloggers said it’s virtually impossible for Southern women to be bitter and unforgiving. I laughed but he might be right. I think of all of the hurt and pain the women in my family went through. Marriages to wife beaters, drug addicts, cheaters and liars. This isnt to say that they didn't have their own faults but they were able to forgive and eventually love again. I only have one aunt that is bitter, resentful and unforgiving. As a result, it has been nearly 10 years since her last relationship or physical contact with a man. Truth of the matter is, she is lonely and defeated. I definitely don’t want to be her. I want to love again.
So I say to the man I will love:
I already forgive you for the mistakes you will make...the chances you will take...the hurt you may cause and the human being that you are.
I already forgive you for the words you will say and the words you WONT say.
I already forgive you. Because I already love you
Now and forever more.