Forgiving the Other Woman

Forgiving the other woman

The storm has passed.  My wounds are no longer bleeding and I’ve walked the road to my family’s restoration.  I’m in a good place.

Except, there’s still one missing piece to the puzzle of my journey.  I still must face the one lurking demon.

I must forgive the other woman.

I’ve learned enough on my journey to personal freedom to know that I will never experience the fullness of life chained to the ghost of someone in my past.

Now, I’m not talking about a forgiveness where I forget about her until I meet someone with her name, then I secretly hope she loses all her hair.  Or this isn’t the forgiveness where I forget all about her until a dreadful memory is triggered, then I secretly hope her favorite puppy dies.

I mean the kind of forgiveness that hopes all the best for her in life.

Yet, how do I forgive someone I met three times and will more than likely never meet again?  How do I forgive a girl who betrayed the universal bond of sisterhood?

It’s so much easier to call her all those seedy names and let time erase her memory, but we all know nothing will be erased.  So, when I am tempted to cuddle my acidic teddy bear, Unforgiveness, and I want to stuff my hate in a closet of my heart, I remember my own story:

My first encounter was a professional one, well, all of our encounters were professional ones, but my heart was spinning and dizzy.  Matt and I were living in complete turmoil, but I couldn’t define the source of our angst, so I lived like a paranoid wife.  I lived in denial.

Immediately, my time with someone else stopped the spinning and his presence calmed my inner turmoil.  He made me laugh, he made my heart warm and secure, things I hadn’t experienced for a very long time.

Walking away from one of our friendly encounters, I thought, I wonder if this is how affairs start.  Good thing that will never happen to me.  I didn’t care if that’s how they started because, it wasn’t going to happen to me.

I continued to look forward to our encounters and I delighted in how I seemed to light up his world when I walked in the room.  It was a nice escape from my dark reality.  It was easier than facing the pain.

Every part of my being burned in shame as soon as I sent the text.  By all standards it was innocent, but I knew it was too friendly.  I knew I had crossed the line.  I knew I was standing on the edge of the other woman pit, but within days, the truth of my life’s darkness was revealed.  The truth of Matt’s affair jerked me back from the edge fast and furious, spinning me into a dark swirling chaos.

Nothing happened, but only because someone else in my life took that step into the other woman pit first.

So, now when I want to stand high and mighty, when I want to declare such icky behavior is beneath me, I remember my own story.  I remember how the fall from my rag of a righteous pedestal is a mere tumble.

Remembering this makes forgiving the other woman possible.

Post DividerYou can read more of my story here: The Day I Never Dreamed About

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18 thoughts on “Forgiving the Other Woman

  1. jonnie says:

    Charity, your transparency and willingness to accept the responsibilty of being a true Christian is just beautiful. People are going to hurt us…they’re just people. I pray God extends your reach into the unforgiving hearts of many. You definitely have no “log” impeding your vision. xoxojv

  2. Cristina says:

    You are braver than you will ever give yourself credit for. I can’t even tell you, how I admire you. So many deep, dark levels. I admire you. Really.


  3. Julie Jordan Scott (@juliejordanscot) says:

    You are incredibly brave. I know you know this.

    What I notice loud and clear is you give others permission to be vulnerable, transparent and say WHAT IS SO… I am reminded of a quote from poet Muriel Rukeyser who says something along the lines of how different the world would be if all women would speak as you are speaking here.

    You pave the way to forgiveness for yourself as well as for any other woman.

    Blessings, dear one.

    • Charity says:

      You’re right, I hope to give others the courage to be brave and discover who they are and believe they are worthy to live honestly in their world. Thanks, Julie!

  4. Mary says:

    Beautifully written. Our emotions are crazy things. As a psychologist I’m always fascinated by emotions and the “what would you do scenarieos” because so many people say they are so sure they know exactly what they would do, act or say in a not so flattering, or edge of the fine line situations. In reality most people don’t know what they would do because the circumstances leading up to them are different every time. The human mind is fascinating, and the more I realize how much we don’t know about it, the more I’m humbled by my own actions and reactions.

    • Charity says:

      I had plenty of people tell me “what they would do”, and I was included in that group prior to everything, but I’m like you, the more I experience in life, the more I realize, I have no idea how I would react in certain scenarios. I’ve definitely learned to extend grace to those walking different roads than me, because I just don’t know.

  5. Jen says:

    I haven’t made it to this point yet. I was with you through the whole story – could relate to every single post with true, absolute clarity. Not this one, though. I’m not there yet. To be honest, three years later, I’ve found most of my anger is buried in my memory of her. When I get upset, I am no longer upset with myself, or my husband, but with her. It’s a deeply-seeded anger that I just haven’t quite found the power to extinguish…yet. I think I may find the grace to forgive her. I hope I someday find the grace to forgive her.

    Thank you for having the courage to write about this. It is so, so rare to find someone who took a similar approach to my own….at least in my experience. You are a brave and beautiful angel and I’m so glad I found your blog.

    • Charity says:

      It’s a journey and don’t be too hard on yourself, some wounds are deep and take longer to heal than others. I’m so thankful that you’re another wounded dove who fought for your marriage and are now living the reward of the risk. {hugs}

  6. Ann says:

    Hi Charity, what I can’t wrap my mind around regarding the other woman is, that even as I try to forgive her and wish her the best (which the very thought it makes me choke), the fact is, she is still with my husband, and making plans with my husband, making friends with my kids. Its a continual assault, and as we make arrangments for him to buy my out of our family home, she will eventually sit in my living room, walk in my yard, cook in my kitchen etc. And her happy go lucky face on my husband’s laptop shows me, someone who can care less with the destruction she had caused.

    • Charity says:

      Ann, I understand you pain all too well. I wrote another post on forgiveness, and I’m a firm believer that forgiveness cannot take place until you heal from the wounds of this affair. You need to began to focus on yourself, and allow your broken heart to begin to heal, and until then, don’t beat yourself up for not being ready to forgive. Hugs to you on your broken journey.

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