How to Forgive?


#1

How do I go about forgiving someone that I despise? Particularly a MIL? She is rotten to me!! And not just with words!! This woman has done things such as trying to convince my husband that our first son was not his because to her “the dates don’t add up”. She told our priest that she refused to give her blessing to our marriage, resulting in him not marrying us. AndI could go on and on. I’ve tied talking to her, and it doesn’t do a bit of good. I stole her “perfect angel” away from her, so to her, I’m the devil.

I can’t seem to get past things that she’s done. Moreover, when I do start to “forget” about them, she does something else that just brings everything back to surface again. My poor husband is caught in the middle. I want to get past these feelings, but I just can’t. We moved 14 hours away from them this year, and now I have to deal with visits. I have three weeks to brace myself before I see her again.


#2

If you feel that strongly about her, you are probably not going to be able to forgive her by the time you see her in 3 weeks. Does she stay in your house? And are you able to tolerate her when she does? Since three weeks is pretty soon, you might need to just grit your teeth and get through the visit as civilly as you can. Then promise yourself that you will address the relationship with your husband, your priest, or someone else you trust. It sounds like it has had some time to fester so it will take some time to solve. But if you have dealt with it for several years and she is coming to visit, you probably can survive the visit. Have a prayer to pray in your mind if she gets unbearable so that you can stay calm. God bless.


#3

[quote=AirForceMama]How do I go about forgiving someone that I despise? Particularly a MIL? She is rotten to me!! And not just with words!! This woman has done things such as trying to convince my husband that our first son was not his because to her “the dates don’t add up”. She told our priest that she refused to give her blessing to our marriage, resulting in him not marrying us. AndI could go on and on. I’ve tied talking to her, and it doesn’t do a bit of good. I stole her “perfect angel” away from her, so to her, I’m the devil.

I can’t seem to get past things that she’s done. Moreover, when I do start to “forget” about them, she does something else that just brings everything back to surface again. My poor husband is caught in the middle. I want to get past these feelings, but I just can’t. We moved 14 hours away from them this year, and now I have to deal with visits. I have three weeks to brace myself before I see her again.
[/quote]

Hey AirforceMoma:) Boy do I understand,my own brother has had me that way,he even tried to incourage my husband to cheat:mad: I had to get away from him,I have little to do with him and I have prayed for God to help me forgive.I have been able to pray for him,but the distrust and hurt festers sometimes.I talked to the priest about it today in my parish while he was hearing my confession,and he said emotions and feelings are normal and I should avoid him and continue to pray for him.My brother is a near occasion of sin for me,he has done alot more than I mentioned and I do realise the help he needs only God can give him.It sounds like youMIL is in the same boat,things she has done are vindictful and mean.Pray for her and ask God to help you to forgive her,but try to have as little to do with her as possible until she has a change of heart or she doesn’t affect you in that way.God Bless


#4

[quote=AirForceMama]My poor husband is caught in the middle. I want to get past these feelings, but I just can’t. We moved 14 hours away from them this year, and now I have to deal with visits. I have three weeks to brace myself before I see her again.
[/quote]

Your “poor husband is caught in the middle”?

Two questions:

  1. Why doesn’t your husband stand up to his mother and make it clear that he won’t tolerate this any longer?

  2. Why on earth are you having her visit?

Scullinius


#5

[quote=Scullinius]Your “poor husband is caught in the middle”?

Two questions:

  1. Why doesn’t your husband stand up to his mother and make it clear that he won’t tolerate this any longer?

  2. Why on earth are you having her visit?

Scullinius
[/quote]

lol :smiley:

You read my mind Scullinius . I see no reason you should be forced to be a voluntary punching bag for her (yet direct talk is better than angry)

-D


#6

I have been through that kind of hurt as well. I can only add a couple of things to what’s already been said.

Read the lives of the Saints. Reading about their struggles and something of what it was like overcoming them always helps me.
You know when everything seems peachy keen be boppin’ along all happy and you look at some thing that appears in your environment that reminds you of that hurt? Then the hurt rises right up and into your world as if what happenned was thrusting it’s point into your side right then. When the hurt is recalled by some object you have 90 seconds to remove the memory from your consciousness before the beast of emotion rises up with it.

Here is another thing I recall about something I read about the Saints

when the Christians were persecuted they rejoiced knowing that in forgiving they added power to their prayers.


#7

Pray a rosary for your MIL every day - don’t pray for her to change, just pray for her, and that you learn to love her. Pray a rosary for your husband as well, it might take a long time, but, it will change things.


#8

Thank you so much! I do pray, mostly for courage to deal with her, and in hopes that she will be civil for once. The reason she is coming for a visit is because my husband and I are finally getting our marriage blessed in the Church (which we wouldn’t have to do if she wouldn’t have stopped us the first time) and our babies will be baptized. My husband knows how she can be, but for some reason when he talks to and is around her, he softens up. She cries constantly and he usually gives in. He’s told me before than he has spoken up for me when I haven’t been there, but I have yet to see it in my presence. The majority of her comments come when he is not around, though he has had plenty of times to stand up while I have been there.

Also, my parents and her do not get along. My parents are still upset at the way she has treated us. They will all be here (and no - defintitely not staying at my house!!!), and I’m just hoping to get through the weekend without instances. I wish I could look forward to this all - I mean my husband and I will finally be recognized and we can take communion again! But instead, I’m dreading the drama. I wish I could get past the past, and take her future blurbs one at a time, but I can’t. It’s just more pressure being added to the volcano.


#9

PRAY. Before you say anything, Pray. When she pushes your buttons, and she will, pray.

The best way to difuse an argument is to agree with her. If she says, “This house is a mess.” Reply, “Yes is could use a little sprucing up.”

If she attacks you, “I never wanted you to marry my son.” Reply, “I’m sorry you feel that way but I was the one he choose to marry.”

Sort of make a game out of it.

OH YEAH, my faroriate, "The boy is not her grandson because the dates don’t add up.: Reply, He does favor the milk-man doesn’t he."
We will be praying for you.


#10

Your husband should pray for strength. If I were in his position, I would too! :gopray2:

Scullinius


#11

[quote=AirForceMama] My husband knows how she can be, but for some reason when he talks to and is around her, he softens up. She cries constantly and he usually gives in. He’s told me before than he has spoken up for me when I haven’t been there, but I have yet to see it in my presence. The majority of her comments come when he is not around, though he has had plenty of times to stand up while I have been there.
[/quote]

My wife has a similar problem but not nearly so bad. I was unaware of the things that my Mother was saying because she NEVER said them when I was around. I had a hard time believing that my mom would ever say mean things (the woman is a saint because she is my mother you know). I finaly decided to speak up and told my Mom that she had to stop because it was causing a lot of problems. I did so without my Wife present, however, I did have my dad present. I felt that I had to do it in a way that gave the face saving appearance that it might be a misunderstanding but that the situation was too important to allow for the appearance of continued hostillity.
This seemed to work but I still got a few complaints now and then. I may be wrong but I think these ARE caused by oversensativity on my wifes part.
My Wife (and consequently me) is still very affected by the past incidents. Almost every visit goes without incident but after the visit my wife complains bitterly about stuff that happened before. She has defenatly not forgiven and forgotten.
I just wanted to give you a husbands perspective in case that helps.

God Bless
Jim


#12

Your MIL sounds like she’s off her rocker. Do you think she might have mental health issues?

I have no advice to offer but plenty of commiseration. I think that, contrary to popular belief, forgiveness, not sexual temptation, is one of the hardest things for Christians to come to grips with. My pastor once took a poll of the congregation as to what they were stuggling with most, and forgiveness was at the top of the list.


#13

Think about the words said in the OUR FATHER. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Remember that you are forgiven as you forgive. Hard as it may be once you realise it is reciprocal, it becomes a little easier and it has great benefits for your soul.

If we simply say “I cannot forgive” then each time you pray the Our Father, you have stated a untruth.

Realise what the Lord has called you to do and remember no matter how the world, or any of its people, hates you it hated Jesus first.


#14

It takes time to forgive these things and even longer to forget. The best way to start the process is to pray for the person that you need to forgive. Do not pray in terms of yourself, just for that person.

I think it would help to have some spiritual direction on the matter of forgiveness because in this way you will gain strength of purpose.

There are some good books on the subject. Two that are worth a read are: The Dance of Intimacy and the Dance of Connection. Even if I did not agree with everything the author said, she makes some excellent points about the manipulative behaviours of others.

Maggie


#15

Pray for your mother-in-law. I had some problems with coworkers at a job once. I began to pray for them, and amazingly the problems seemed to resolved themselves. Also, before your mother-in-law visits, sprinkly Holy Water around your home and pray to St. Michael.


#16

AirForceMamma,

Forgiveness is a process, not an event and it is a decision of the will, not a feeling. I’ve had to forgive two people for very serious stuff (a former spouse who left me for another man and the man who murdered my sister). I’ve been healed and carry no resentment for either. It was God’s grace, but I had to cooperate with that grace by making a decision of my will.

Once you make the decision to forgive in your heart, even if you don’t feel it, it is “in effect”. I sat in front of an empty chair, pretended the person was sitting in front of me, and said aloud that I forgave them, listing all the hurts they caused, and gave up any right I had to resent them. Sounds hokey, but it made an impression on me. I felt cleansed afterwards. Then I went to confession and confessed my prior unforgiveness.

Every time satan tries to tempt you to harbor ill feelings, just reject it in the name of Jesus and tell satan you’ve already forgiven your MIL. That, combined with the prayer for her that others have suggested, will begin the healing process in you. It might take a while, but it’s a process. If you persevere, the feelings will eventually follow. Jesus can even give you the grace to love her - to use you as the instrument of His love for her. It’s sounds unbelieveable, but it can happen.

Also, remember that forgiveness is more for you than your MIL. You are not hurting her by not forgiving her. It only hurts you. Unforgiveness is a cancer to the soul. Cut it out and throw it away.

Blessings


#17

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