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Sadly you can’t go through life without hurt. Oprah says ‘forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different’ and she is right. She also told us that forgiveness is for ourselves and not the person who hurt us. But just how do you arrive at this peaceful place of letting go?
What about when you are tied to the ‘injurer’ by marriage like Rahel in the video?
Here are some steps that I have found helpful:
What was taken away from me?
This question will help you to articulate the actual damage. It can be hard to name your hurt and it might actually take months, but this is a great place to start. Do you feel like you were made a fool of? Do you feel conned out of something like a good marriage? Was a promise broken and now you view your partner differently? Are you upset with him for not being ‘the man of your dreams’ (whatever that may be)? Writing down whatever comes to mind in a journal will help with this. Just write, some of your thoughts will be inaccurate, some will be true and when you hit on your real ‘damage’ you will know it.
Would I have done the same thing?
It is lazy to say ‘I would never…’ chances are that if you walked in the shoes of another, and knew what they knew at the time, you would at least consider their course of action with some seriousness. This realisation is the beginning of compassion. Who knows what Rahel might have done with that business if she had all her husband’s information, insecurities etc.
Am I responsible for any of this?
So someone cheats on you and no, you are not responsible for that, BUT you might have played a role in creating a lonely marriage…a home where your partner felt criticized or unseen? Could Rahel have ‘interfered’ in the business and spared them both all the debt they are in? Just be honest with yourself.
How long do I want or need to be upset for?
Regardless of what has happened, it is now a part of your history as a couple. This event can hold you both hostage, or you can learn whatever lessons are present and look forward toward a future you create together.
Do you need 3 months? 6? Setting an actual date to surrender your hurt and ‘upset’ behavior is a great step to take… when we are angry, hurt and upset, we speak badly, we lash out, we cry, sometimes we take to our beds and refuse to get out… all this is ok… you need to convalesce but you cannot be ‘healing’ forever and setting a deadline prepares you mentally for something else.
This does not mean you will never cry again or get angry about this issue, but it does put an end to wallowing and lashing out which can destroy whatever good stuff is left in your marriage.
I am grateful for…
What in this situation are you grateful for? Did you walk away disease free? Do you have some kids that are the happiest part of your life? Have you learned to work together as a couple? It might feel like you are sifting through garbage, but you can come up with 3 things that you are grateful for.
After your ‘date of surrender’ passes, say them out loud to yourself whenever you start to get upset. It will feel contrived and even fake when you first start, but you have to train your brain to move on and you can only do that by dwelling on the positive.
This too shall pass
You knew yourself before this and you will know yourself after this. It might feel like the biggest and hardest thing you have ever gone through, but it shall pass. Picture yourself a month from now, a year… 5 years…
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