struggling to do the right thing

nancy2394

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#1
I am not going to go into detail because this is a public forum. But I would like a little bit of feedback if possible. For those of you who know my story about my daughter and her ex husband and his mom.... you'll remember the turmoil and drama that has been in my life for the past 2 years because of them. Well, I have been full of so much hatred toward them and it has been eating away at me. I honestly can't decide who I disliked more.. him or his mom. It was that bad. Anyway, I have been praying for God to give me the ability to forgive them both and bury the hatchet and move on. I managed to forgive them a while back... but it's been very difficult to bury the hatchet because the memories of all the crap they put us through and sometimes still do... is still very vivid in my mind.

But, I did manage to bury the hatchet with his mother last month for allie's 2nd birthday. It was very awkward, but I did it. We got to spend time with allie on her birthday and that was nice. I can't remember why, but he wasn't there for the birthday party, which was probably a good thing because I don't know if I would have been able to bury the hatchet if I had to deal with both of them at the same time...lol

I have been trying to be civil for the sake of the girls and because it makes things go smoother with the joint custody they share. A lot of my stress and anger in relation to them has slowly been decreasing. My dilemma now is that He just sent me a facebook request to add him as a friend. I'm sure that was difficult for him to do because I know he doesn't like me and the feeling is mutual. I wanted to click on "accept" so that i can bury the hatchet with him.. but I just couldn't seem to do it. So, I just exited out of the screen. All the hurt and betrayal feelings I have came to the surface again when I saw that friend request. He really hurt me so deeply because I opened up my heart and my home to him. I cared for him like he was my own family.

I want to be able to do this. I know I should, at very least for the girls. But I should also do it for ME. Anger and hostility is not a good thing to harbor for anyone. And I've been holding onto it for so long now. It would lift a big weight for me. I don't ever expect us to all be the best of friends because the damage runs so deep. But I would like to be able to have some sort of relationship with them because they are my grand babies other faimly. They will always be in the picture and I don't want alexis or allie to ever feel the tension or animosity between us because it's not fair to them. And I don't ever want them to feel like they were the root cause of all the drama that has transpired.

Have you ever felt like you should do something but just couldn't seem to get there because you are holding onto the past? What did you do to overcome old feelings? I know I can do this, I'm just dragging my heals. There will always be a trust issue and a wall up, but I do believe we can manage to live peacefully having to deal with each other. I guess I'm just trying to see if anyone has any advice on how to convince my brain to just take the plunge and get this over with because it is the right thing to do. I have to put my selfish feelings aside and think of the girls. I just wish my finger could click the "accept" button without feeling like impending doom is about to occur. I'm trying to replace the bad memories with the good times I did share with him when he was part of our lives. He did have a sweet side to him at one time. Gaahhh.... I can do this, I can do this.. lol
 

JennSLK

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#2
One thing I was told when trying to deal with my past is that Forgiving is not forgetting. It is releasing the power they hold over your life. For some reason that helped me alot.
 

nancy2394

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#3
One thing I was told when trying to deal with my past is that Forgiving is not forgetting. It is releasing the power they hold over your life. For some reason that helped me alot.
that is so true. He has made the first step in breaking the ice. I am going to have to mull it over for a bit. I instinctively wanna assume there's some sort of deceit behind it. This will be difficult for me. But I'd like to think I can overcome the feelings of the past. It's just those deep wounds that feel like you're basting them in salt! lol
 
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#4
Sometimes the only appropriate place to bury the hatchet is in the problem ;)

No, friending him on FB is NOT a requirement. You have to wonder what his motives for the request are anyway.

Jenn's right, fine to forgive, it's good for you, annoys the hell out of the object of the forgiveness, but as far as forgetting goes it's not a bad thing to remember who someone really is. Remember the story of the scorpion and the frog: The Scorpion and the Frog Don't forget, just don't dwell on them. Put them in their proper place in your life.
 
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#5
I would definitely not accept his friend request. Not to be mean or unforgiving. I simply would not accept it because that would NOT be a very smart thing to do given your history with this guy. People do not request people they don't like to be nice. It is NOT a show of forgiveness. He simply did it to be nosey and to have something to judge/make fun of when he is bored.

It could backfire. I do not like people I don't trust having a window into my life like that. I do not want them to know what is going on with me, where I am, what I am doing, etc. Let's just say I like to use my block list feature. I would not only not accept it but he would be on my block list.
 

sillysally

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#6
I probably wouldn't block him unless it became an issue, but I probably wouldn't friend him, I just don't see any good coming of it. There is no reason for the mother of his ex to be his facebook friend. Heck, my parents have been divorced for over 20 years and had me together and they are not facebook friends.

If you chose to not accept the request I would just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons--are you doing it because you hate him and want to spite or are you doing it because you just have no good reason to allow that person to have a window into your life?
 

Beanie

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#7
Personally, I wouldn't accept his friend request. In some ways, it doesn't matter if he's searching for a connection or forgiveness or if he's trying to dig up dirt. It makes you uncomfortable and that's really all you need to know. I don't think it means you're holding on to any anger or whatever, you just don't want THAT level of familiarity with him. And that's completely fair. We don't need to invite every person that passes through our lives into our inner circle and we certainly don't necessarily need them to stay there forever... I used to love my sister's now ex-husband. I am trying to picture if he requested to be my friend on Facebook, and I would not friend him. I don't have any anger remaining towards him but he is not the kind of person I desire to call "friend" again, even just on Facebook. And I REALLY liked him once upon a time. I defended him to my family when everybody else had turned on him.

Sometimes, you know, it just... it is what it is. Things happen... people change, our relationships change. And it's okay.
 

jess2416

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#8
Sometimes, you know, it just... it is what it is. Things happen... people change, our relationships change. And it's okay.
^^ this definitely
 

CaliTerp07

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#9
I wouldn't do it. Facebook is just a method for drama.

Seriously though, forgiveness is such a powerful thing, and it's wonderful that God has helped you find the ability to forgive such hurt. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to be friends, or open yourself up to the same hurt again. You can 100% say "I forgive you for the hurt that you caused my family, but I don't think I want a relationship with you at this time." That's okay. That's probably smart, actually.

I'd just ignore it though. Pretend like you never got it, unless he asks for some reason. Then I'd feed him the not interested in a friendly relationship line.
 

ACooper

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#10
This is a dammed if you do and dammed if you don't situation IMO Nancy :(

Accept and you could be giving him a tool for digging and/or causing more drama.
Don't accept and he can point to it and say "See? I tried to be nice but she wants no part of it" :rolleyes:

He could be reaching out, asking so you are included in the stories/pictures they post of the girls. This is one of those things where you are going to have weigh the good/bad and tread carefully :( Good luck.
 

Doberluv

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#12
I'd say, just be honest with yourself. If you consider him a friend, friend him on Facebook. If not, don't. Simple as that. You can still be civil when and if you have to interact with him in person. You can work on forgiving if that's what you want for yourself and the girls. It's a process though. When and if the time comes and the forgiveness seems to be taking hold on both of your parts, then becoming friendly might start evolving. But it doesn't happen over night. You can't force your feelings.

I speak from my own experience from my divorce. It was very bitter at first, lots of resentment and anger. Over time, the reasons for those toxic feelings became smaller and some "reasonableness" started creeping in. I think we both realized and remembered the good parts of the person and tried more and more to understand their perspective. Some of the points had been over-exaggerated or colored by crazy emotion and by this time, a more balanced or realistic view was possible. Slowly, the relationship evolved into acceptance, then friendship...little by little. And now, we're really pals, letting the past stay in the past and building on the present and future. We talk on the phone, we hang out together and with the kids, do holidays together, go shopping, go to the library, lol. He has helped me in some very important ways in the recent past. And I do things for him. There is no romantic relationship whatsoever....that feeling just isn't there. We're more like brother and sister almost. And we have a history that most certainly wasn't all bad. There was a lot of good in our relationship back then...we always were companionable. Some other junk just got in the way and seemed to wreck the marraige.

So, where your interactions or relationship with him take you, realize if it's worth anything good, it can't be forced and it can't happen over-night. You just have to try to empty the baggage one little piece at a time because like it was said, to blindly trust this person and open up all of a sudden or at once could prove to be detrimental. You can't know what his motives are except over time. You could even let him know that you'd like to be able to put the past in the past and separate it from the present and future, but that it will take time and you'll have to do it your own way.
 

nancy2394

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#13
This is a dammed if you do and dammed if you don't situation IMO Nancy :(

Accept and you could be giving him a tool for digging and/or causing more drama.
Don't accept and he can point to it and say "See? I tried to be nice but she wants no part of it" :rolleyes:

He could be reaching out, asking so you are included in the stories/pictures they post of the girls. This is one of those things where you are going to have weigh the good/bad and tread carefully :( Good luck.
This is exactly what i was thinking. I'm not sure if he's just trying to grow up and act like a man now and trying to bury the hatchet by sending me the friend request for the sake of the girls. I don't post much personal stuff on facebook. I certainly don't post anything that would come back and haunt me or bite me in the butt...lol There's nothing I would post that he could use against me.

I suppose if I did accept it and give him the benefit of the doubt that he's trying to make the first step for genuine reasons... his true intentions would reveal themselves. If he starts any drama I can always "unfriend" him and I'd be able to walk away knowing I gave it a shot to try and have some sort of relationship with them for the sake of the girls.

I am still undecided. I guess i'll mull it over for a while before making a decision.
 

Taqroy

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#14
I would add him, but block him from seeing your wall and anything else that he might find interesting. I was coerced into friending Matt's parents but I blocked them from my wall. Basically all they can do is look at the pictures (which are mostly of the dogs lol).

I can probably help you set that up if you want. :)
 

M&M's Mommy

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#15
I'd say, If you consider him a friend, friend him on Facebook. If not, don't. Simple as that.
Forgive someone and forget what he's done to you doesn't mean you have to be friend with him afterward... it means to let go of the grudges & angers you hold in your heart toward him, so that you can live your life in peace.

BTW, if it were me, I'd prefer someone not added me as friend, rather than add me, but then block me from doing this or that, or limit me as his friend in any ways.. In another words, I prefer to be friend wholeheartedly, if not, I'd settle for being just an acquaintant. I don't like half-hearted or pretend friendships, where how one acts toward me on the surface is different from what he really feels about me on the inside :eek:
 
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Taqroy

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#16
BTW, if it were me, I'd prefer someone not added me as friend, rather than add me, but then block me from doing this or that, or limit me as his friend in any ways.. In another words, I prefer to be friend wholeheartedly, if not, I'd settle for being just an acquaintant. I don't like half-hearted or pretend friendships, where how one acts toward me on the surface is different from what he really feels about me on the inside :eek:
IMO if I'm being coerced into doing something (and apparently I HAD to friend my in-laws) it's fair that I only share the things I'm comfortable with. They have NO idea that they have limited access. Even my parents have limited access to my profile (I told them when I signed them up for FB that they would be put on my block list lol) and they don't care. Facebook doesn't have much to with friendship anyway...it mostly serves as a popularity/lookitme/hereswhatI'mdoing website from what I see. :p
 

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#17
I would also add him and just limit what he can see. Let him see your photos and that's it... That way he can't get drama out of it anyway and you don't have to worry about him taking it the wrong way.
 

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#18
If it makes you uncomfortable, don't do it. People who teach women to protect themselves stress this over and over: LISTEN to yourself. Yes, let go of the bitterness and the anger because that just eats you alive. But it takes time to move on, time you haven't had. Doberluv offered the very best advice. He's not a friend. I personally wouldn't friend him.

I really respect you for not wanting to drag the kids into an emotional mess, btw. So many people choose the other road.
 

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