Emotional Abuse, Betrayal and Forgiveness

Q. I really need your advice. Briefly, my wife had several affairs and I forgave her each time but she finally divorced me and married another man. They moved into a house 10 minutes away. After 5 years of living in the same neighborhood with them, I had a nervous breakdown and had to leave town. Now it’s 35 years later, and my son bought this house from his mom and lives there with his wife.  He has asked me to come and stay with him. I miss my son so much, but the thought of spending time in that house makes me feel physically sick and spiritually disturbed. I have forgiven my ex wife, and in the last 3 years have started praying regulary for her salvation.  Jack I can forgive but not forget as I’ve suffered such pain and loss. As a Christian I have forgiven as best I can, but I can’t bear the thought of moving into the home of the person who abused me? Does this mean my forgiveness is not complete? Thank you for your advice Jack.

A. If the thought of moving into a house your ex-wife and her husband lived in makes you ill, then you should not do it. You say you have forgiven your ex-wife and the fact that you are praying for her salvation indicates your forgiveness is sincere. Moving into the house she lived in with the man she left you for would bring back unpleasant memories which you are not required to relive.

Talk to your son about this and see if there is another way for the two of you to have a closer relationship without requiring you to relive the years of torment you have spent so long getting over.

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