Forgiving your abuser

This weighs on my mind daily. I was raised in a very Christian household (my father is a pastor). It is important to me to instill these values in my children. The exN of course could not wrap his head around organized religion and even went so far as to try to stop me from having our children baptized. (Why go to church when he is "God" - right?)

Anyway, I have been in a relationship with my current boyfried for 2 years now and he is a wonderful man - very caring, very compassionate, very affectionate with his kids and a great role model for my kids.

We attend the same church each week. The sermon this morning was about forgiveness. It was about ridding your soul of the toxic burden of grudges or regret. I have a very hard time forgiving my exN for the hurt he caused me over the years. I find that even after being divorced for about 3 years, that I was just a shell of my real self the entire time we were married. I was just going through the motions of wife, mother, boss and employee. I was not able to have my own desires or dreams realized, and was not able to even have time for myself. My divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me freedom. My children even noticed the difference.

However, my resentment for the former spouse has not disappeared. He is awful with the way he treats my children (as compared to his new step children) and when my kids are involved, the gloves come off.

When cirucmstances bother me about my children and their father, my current boyfriend thinks that I still carry a torch for the former N. (Ick) I tell him that I will always carry a torch for my children. He gets that. But he says that there is always something that he does that bothers me and I am always in fear of what he will do next. He said that he still has a hold on me - to the point that no other man can...

I want to be able to forgive my exN and rid myself of this burden of resentment. I don't want it to kill my joy going forward. I just don't know how that is possible when my children are suffering and I have to sit back and watch as they learn what a psycho their dad really is. Plus, I am in the middle of litigation with the exN to get him to finally man up and handle more of the financial obligation for the care of his children.

Any advice?

narcnarcwhosthere's picture

-----i think what is so overlooked in this situations concerning forgiveness is that THEY ARE NOT HUMAN. forgiving a Narcissist is sort of like forgiving a train that ran over you.The train doesn't care about forgiveness and you shouldn't care about forgiving the train.
Barbara's picture

I do NOT Believe in forgiving them. This has been discussed MANY MANY times on the board and is on the Message Board (yes - even the Christian angle) start reading: YOU CANNOT FORGIVE A CRIME THAT IS STILL IN PROGRESS! ~~~~~~~~~ The world is a dangerous place, not only because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein Visit My Info. Website for Abuse Victims
Amazed's picture

I was reading up on Aruvedic studies, and the tradition calls for forgiveness, as do many backgrounds,,it is the letting go,,,something within me is reaching a point of letting go,,but it is bizarre,,it is as if I cannot imagine my life without him. I am so happy to be free of his controlling stress, and all the anguish, true anguish it caused me. The hurt, the loss, the evil that caused psychological and spiritual hurt is caused myself, family, environment, is disgusting. It is like I am contemplating "letting it go" and asking forgiveness from all those I have been in contact with. I think it is the path of self forgiveness I need to take, forgive me for being so attached to this person, who I entrusted my soul, my love to. I have asked for forgivenss for being involved with him, and be free to move on. It is the strangest experience,,to not be able to imagine a life without his torment...yet I have at some point to trust that he, nor anyone else will hurt me like that, ever again.