Welcome to my blog. I’m a psychologist and the co-author (with Gary Chapman) of When Sorry Isn’t Enough. I share tips about What to Say When challenging conversations arise. I’ll check back in frequently to chime in on the conversation here.
“I wish I could get a simple “I’m sorry” from being mistreated especially from my family. My family does not apologize nor ask for forgiveness and the issues linger and it gets swept under the rug. They expect that I just forgive. They do not take any responsibility for their actions. Sending me gifts and calling me …with an attitude is not helping. This is no good and does not even begin to heal and restore the relationship.”
Can you relate to this woman’s feelings?
Here is my message to any woman in her shoes:
Dear hurting one,
Your family should not have mistreated you. Your home should be your castle, a place in which you feel safe and protected. A man has violated your trust. Whether it was a relative who abused you or a husband who left you, your pain is unimaginable. You try to put it out of your mind and move on with life but you are tethered to the millstone of pain. You are not alone in asking questions like these:
Why did he do this?
How could he be so selfish?
What is going to become of me?
Will anyone ever really love me?
Whom can I trust?
Am I safe?
Must I forgive?
How can he stand to live with himself?
How can he bear the guilt he should be feeling?
Why are others friendly with him?
To any woman whose husband has cheated, I’d like to say this:
He should not have acted on his impulses. He should have kept his marriage vows. You have done that for him. He should have kept his promises to you and to God. Please know that I understand your unanswered questions:
How could he ruin our intimacy for cheap thrills?
Aren’t I enough?
What can I do to regain his love?
Do I even want him back?
Why did he gamble with our security and health?
Am I a fool if I accept his apologies and forgive him?
What will others think of me if I work on this mess?
He talks a good game but is he really going to change?
Will I ever trust him as far as I can throw him?
What about our kids? I want to protect them from hurt.
Can I bear to stay with him at least until our kids go to college?
Can we ever be truly intimate again?
To everyone who is hurting, I wish I could collect the pieces of your broken heart and fix them. I wish I could turn back time and make things better. The answers to your important questions will come with time.
You might be tempted to withdraw into your shell but I hope you’ll reach out instead. Ask others for counsel. Ask people to pray for you. Reach out to friends, especially upbeat people who have survived their own hardships. Please accept my blessings, friend, as you continue on life’s journey.
Does this letter strike a chord in you?
If you are recovering from any hurt, what has helped you?
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