I’m an active member of a few online men’s support groups. Recently, a man who was in the process of packing his things for the eventual selling and moving on from the home he and his wife of 25 years dreamed of, designed and built together asked why he should forgive or be empathetic towards someone who, in his opinion, had decided to end the marriage unilaterally.
His anger and comments are totally understandable. When we view another’s actions as being done “without reason” it’s easy to be angry and feel like there is nothing to forgive, no reason to treat them with empathy.
However, this is assuming that you feel that forgiveness and empathy are being done for the sole benefit of the other person. While it’s true, my ex has benefited from my decision to both forgive and be empathetic towards her, I didn’t do it for her.
This practice is NOT for them, it’s for YOU!
However, I felt for him and wanted to offer him some support. Here is my reply to him:
Forgiveness and empathy are not for her but for you. It in no way means you agree with or approve of her choices. Since we’re rational men, here’s a rational reply.
Here’s what forgiving and having empathy for my ex-wife has meant for me.
- More time with my kids as I’m able to do more things as a family that includes her and them. My family may not look like I thought it would but my forgiveness allows me to look past that and appreciate all the extra time I’m with them. I get to write the current and future chapters of my book.
- My kids gain an example of how a man can treat a woman even if they’re no longer a couple. Crucial for my sons to see how to treat a woman with respect and for my daughter to see how she should expect to be treated.
- Anger and blame do nothing to change the situation. I’ll repeat that. Anger and blame do nothing to change the situation. They only serve to keep us in a negative spiral. My positive spiral has served me in every single aspect of my life. Every…single…one!
- I’m a better, kinder, more loving, present and compassionate father.
- My heart is more open and ready to share with someone else when I meet her.
- My relationships with all people are better, deeper, more open and fulfilling. If I can practice forgiveness with her, I can more easily do it with others.
- It’s helped my personal growth and self-development. An area that I’m now working on turning into my life’s purpose and the final career of my life. Helping men.
- Being positive allows me to focus on the problems that do arise meaning I can solve them faster and in most cases with a better solution.
- Finally Kyle (not his real name), perhaps Tim McGraw sang it best in his song, Humble and Kind, “Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why, bitterness keeps you from flying, always stay humble and kind”
This work is NOT about her or anyone else Kyle. Never was. It’s about men learning how to fly.
If that’s not reason enough to practice forgiveness and empathy, I don’t know what is.
Want to know more?
Are you stuck in bitterness? Having a hard time understanding why things are happening? Or, do you just need a man in your life who gets it, gets you and can be there for you? If so, click here to contact me and let’s set up a time to talk, go deep and see what we can do to get you airborne. No cost, no commitment and no bullshit. What do you have to lose?