Live in joy, in peace, even among those who hate.
A few months ago I gave my husband a gift of fortunes. Every week or so he picks one out and places it out on my bedside table. The other day I noticed he had chosen a new “fortune” and the quote from Buddha (above) was resting there for me to read. I am not sure how he picked it or if he knew this was the comfort I needed. Sometimes, the significance of a small gesture cannot be measured.
Much of my healing from my husband’s infidelity is dealing with hate. I felt so much hate for what happened, for my husband’s actions, for his AP and her egocentric agenda. I think I spent the first forty-eight hours after my discovery screaming that I hated my husband. I would drive in my car alone and scream at the top of my lungs while tears ran down my cheeks. It was my first reaction but it didn’t last long. In our first couple’s counseling session I told our therapist that I hated what my husband did but I did not hate him. My husband hated himself at that time and couldn’t understand how or why I did not hate him. The hate shifted through the year and then dwindled, although I knew an element of hate for Bat Shit had lingered inside me.
Betrayal breeds hate. Even a year later, there is so much that I have made peace with but I haven’t been able to abandon my hatred of Bat Shit. Possibly because I haven’t been able to get closure with her—really give her a piece of my mind. I have so many imaginary conversations in my mind where I tell Bat Shit everything stored up in my brain. In reality, I know speaking to her would be a waste of my breath but I often forget that she doesn’t have the same set of emotions or the conscience of a healthy-minded human. Also, I am just not a mean person. As much as I think there would be some satisfaction in being able to hurt Bat Shit with my words, I am choosing to walk away with my head held high. I won’t lower myself to her level.
The hatred I first felt was born from my pain. Just like a wound that scabs over, my pain has been healing and the scab is barely visible now. Sometimes I forget the wound is even there. Instead of reopening the wound I need to move forward. I need to accept that there is hatred in the world and choose not to be brought down by it. I will protect myself and my children from the hatred.
I realize that I was blissfully unaware of the hatred that existed around me before the affair. I could only see what was in my life. I couldn’t imagine that anyone would ever disrupt my joy or happiness. I forgot that evil exists in this world. I forgot that wolves often dress in sheep’s clothing. I forgot that my husband exists separately from me. He can succeed or fail of his own accord. As the U2 lyric states: We are one but we are not the same. Each of us possess the power to f*!$ up. It’s up to those who love us to determine if they can forgive, heal and move on if we do screw up.
I’ve entered into that moving on stage. Part of moving on for me will be accepting my hatred of Bat Shit but not allowing that hatred to penetrate the rest of my life. About ten years ago I had to let go of a friend because she was mean (for lack of a better word). She used to put me down to make herself feel better. For years I allowed her to say nasty things to me because I felt bad for her. She was the type of friend you were never sure what you were going to do that might piss her off. My point is, there was hatred that exuded from this friend and whether I saw it or not, it was having a negative effect on me. Our friendship ended silently. There was no fight, no discussion. Nothing happened, it just ended and we went our separate ways. It was a relief when things ended because she had been slowly stealing from my happiness. I look at Bat Shit very similarly. My husband said he was relieved when I found out about the affair. Bat Shit was a predator of his (and our) happiness. I get it now. There are just some people out there in the world that have the power to suck the life out of you. I have been allowing Bat Shit to prey on my happiness by preserving this hatred. I am cutting the cord. I am releasing my hatred and anger and sending it back to her. I am not going to Google her name or care about what she is doing. I am done caring and wasting my energy on her. She has no power over me now.
My life needs to be focused on all that is good and brings me joy. This is where I will find peace. (Again.)