How comfortable do we need to make others?

Actually, I was going to title this thread, How terrible am I?

I try to be kind. I try not to judge others. The decisions others make are between them and their God and I usually stay out of it.

HOWEVER. (There is always a “however,” isn’t there?)

I was betrayed by a long-time spouse. It hurt beyond belief. It hasn’t been all that long ago. (I have heard it takes at least half as long as a relationship existed to get over its failure – in which case I still have 12 years to go . . . ) My children were grown, and I do not need to interact with my ex-spouse or the woman he is with.

Sometimes (like tonight), I am in a social group, and the topic turns to life experiences. I tend to be fairly glib by nature. In telling “my” story, it became apparent I was really making another person present very upset. It appears he and his spouse were both married to others when they met, and their relationship began illicitly – although their marriage has since been convalidated.

I would never have chastised them. I would never have judged them. And, yet, obviously, by my comments he felt judged.

So, how wicked am I? Should we try to make people “feel okay” about themselves? I am certainly in no position to judge the sins of others – I have enough trouble with my own failings.

I like this person and I really feel badly about what happened.

If I am at fault, does my sinfulness lie in not being kind and generous in spirit to my neighbor? Is my sinfulness in basically gossiping about my life? Or has the whole thing just raised up some deep pains because of the infidelity of one I loved?

Something is wrong here and I’m having a very hard time working through it. Do I need to go to Confession (I’m not typically scrupulous, but if I show up again, since just going yesterday, the good Padre will certainly raise his eyes); or just need to take a deep breath and let others resolve their own relationships?

Your opinions are respected. Let me have it – I’m a tough old bird . . . :o

Sometimes we say things that offend others without intending to offend. In such a case, there is no moral weight to the situation. In other words, there is not sin, because charity was not violated.

If it’s people that you’re going to meet again and with whom you would like to maintain a relationship I would just say, “I hope that my words the other night didn’t offend you. I was speaking from my experience, not someone else’s. It is not my intention to offend others.”

I would leave it at that. If they are kind people, they will understand. If they hold a grudge, then they are the ones who are in the wrong. All of us have to understand that not everything that is said applies to us.

Sometimes we become so self-centered, that we take offense where none is meant, because we believe that everyone is thinking about us as they are speaking. This is a very narcissistic way of living and can lead to a great deal of pain and disappointment.

JR :slight_smile:

We are all a trial to other people sometimes. Perhaps that person from your group has a tendency to personalize things. That type of imperfection can make both the person and those around them uncomfortable. Myself, I was trained as a child to relate everything to my life as a type of kindness to others. I wish I could unlearn it…(look, there I go doing it right in this post…arggggggg! :D) It really gets in the way, and I feel bad when I do it, especially if it hurts others. But it is not malice, just imperfection.

Until the second coming, we will continue to have imperfections that disturb others no matter how much we wish to not disturb them. Use it as an opportunity for holiness. You did not lack charity to the person. I doubt the other person did, either.

However, since you felt disturbed, maybe the Holy Spirit is saying something to you. Perhaps sit and pray about it. Maybe you need to learn to humbly accept that you are a trial to other people. Maybe not, though. Maybe you should speak less about what was in the past that reveals the failings of your spouse. Maybe not, though. Pray. And even if you don’t seem to find out right away, I still think turning to God with an issue like this will restore any balance that you may be lacking right now.

IrishAm, if you were just telling your life story and not saying really disparaging things your ex, or in general about people who cheat on their spouses, you have done no wrong here. Your friends need to understand that spouses who have been betrayed are going to suffer a great deal of hurt. When they chose to begin a relationship adulterously, they chose the consequences that go along with that, and this includes the occasional reminder of the pain they caused their exes. The fact that they had their marriage convalidated (and I’m glad they did) does nothing to change the fact that they deeply wounded their former spouses. You are not responsible for their feelings here, but if you did happen to say something a bit harsh about cheating spouses, what JReducation suggested sounds reasonable if you want to say something. I see no need for you to confess this; it was not your intention to say anything hurtful to this couple. I am sorry you are struggling with the pain of betrayal and now this. Hang in there…and pray! :console:

I don’t think you did anything wrong.
They have to go through their lives coming to terms (again and again, perhaps) with how they chose to begin their relationship. If their marriage was since convalidated, they might just have been having a re-twinge (um, new word?) of conscience…nothing having to do with you.

Blessings! :slight_smile:

If an inadvertence, there was no moral fault in it.

I do not believe we have a significant moral obligation to make others comfortable. That’s simply being mannerly, and is a secular value.

But I do not think it serves a moral purpose to be confrontational when it will do no good of any kind.

The bold is mine

Actually, this is in the Rule of St. Benedict. He says to his monks that Christians have a moral obligation to be show good manners and proper hospitality toward all, regardless of who they are or what they believe.

This is how the Benedictines started to have guest houses at their monasteries, because it was a sign of hospitality and good manners. The most important of all manners, according to St. Benedict, was to be a good listener.

JR :slight_smile:

Well, I’d ask those follks why they were so defensive about the truth? They were both married to other people when they had a affair, broke up 2 homes, and now with each other, leaving a wake of bad stuff behind them.

I believe ya when ya said you didn’t judge them, all you did was point out the truth but they didn’t wanna hear that I reckon.

See, you’re suppose to get the annulment* first*, then go about your life.

sometimes the Holy Spirit moves you in truth and allows the chips to fall where they may. the sacrament of marriage is serious. it is by which GOD blesses men and women into a joint venture in creation. unfortunately, some are forgetting this important fact. others never believed.

the nazarene comforted the old, the sick and the poor. we are to do the same.

as for those who do wrong, the Nazarene calls them hypocrites,
that should be enough for you and me not to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.

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