Today I finally told my ex that I forgive him. More than a year after our breakup he emailed me to tell me how sorry he was about the way it ended and he asked me to forgive him. I had been carrying my anger and disappointment throughout that entire year. The bitter side of me wanted him to suffer longer but the sensible side won out. It was time to let it go. It was time to move on with my life and if he needed my forgiveness to move on with his, then why not give it to him?
But in forgiveness also comes humility. One can’t truly forgive another without admitting that some, perhaps much, of the blame lies within himself. My ex said some pretty nasty things to me when we broke up. They hurt me deeply. But the truth is that I was the one hurting myself. Because it wasn’t what he said that hurt. It wasn’t even the fact that our relationship was ending. It was the realization that I had been living in a fantasy.
I wanted so much to be in love. I wanted the security of knowing that I would not spend my life alone. I wanted someone to share my dreams with and someone for whom I could act as a safe harbor. I wanted these things so badly that I was willing to overlook every obvious sign that the relationship I was in was not the relationship I wanted it to be. When it ended, those illusions were shattered. I was hurt and angry but not surprised. The rational side of me knew all along that it wasn’t going to work.
Well, that’s all in the past now. I have let go of my anger and perhaps even my disappointment. No relationship is all bad or all good. I still have fond memories of many wonderful times with a man who was, on his good days, friendly, fun, charming, affectionate and very attractive. I had a preview of how wonderful life could be with the right person. I learned how I could change some of my behavior to be a better partner.
Maybe some day I will meet someone new and have another chance to get it right. Maybe not. But I will always have the memories of the happy times I spent with my ex while the rest fades into the confusion of my past. Forgiving him has allowed me to forgive myself. That has made this bitter old queen a little less bitter and a little less old today than yesterday.