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It seemed things had finally come to a head. After 4 years of dating throughout college, 16 years of marriage, two amazing daughters, ups, downs (lots of downs) Lee Poe looked at the mother of my children and said, “If you don’t believe there is any way this will ever be reconciled after all this time, there’s no reason to delay the inevitable. If you think this is the only solution, then we need to start moving in that direction.”
Then it happened. My ex-wife said, “I think it’s the only solution.”
After years of her straying and me extending forgiveness, she was nail nailing the coffin of our marriage shut. She had found someone else and was finally ready to make this relationship her new permanent. I was devestated.
I prided myself on being the model Christian husband (whatever that is). I would do anything to prevent my daughters from growing up in a broken home. I thought I had done everything right. Yet here I was with my world imploding.
I was now damaged goods. I was pushing 40 and about to be divorced. I was filled with rage, hate, anger, sadness and most of all unforgiveness.
Then after many hours with Lee post divorce I started to actually practice what he was sharing with me. I started to execute on the act of forgiveness. This made my life so much better. I was happier. I was lighter. My heart began to heal. I was a better son, brother, friend. I was kinder.
Forgiveness is terribly hard. While Lee is a Christian counselor his message is universal. Forgiveness is good for your heart both emotionally speaking and physically.
In this second part of the “Healthy Heart” series Lee and I discuss how important forgiveness is for all of us. When I may the motto of my show “Improve always in ALL ways” I knew this would be an area I would eventually have to tackle.
It wasn’t toward my ex-wife I was struggling. I forgave her years ago. We are actually great co-parents now thanks in no small part to my wife, Jemilynn who is literally an angel on earth. Our marriage is her first, and yet she is willing to host Carrie (my ex) for Thanksgiving. I told you. She’s an angel.
The really hard one in recent years has been my father. Our relationship has been what can best be described as a yo-yo relationship. It’s high then low and mostly low. My father’s love for most of my life has been 100% conditional. The condition being I must play his game or there is no love.
While I am far far from perfect I believe my biggest flaw is my unforgiveness for him. It’s a horrible example for my daughters. Only I suffer, and eventually he’s going to die. I don’t want to stand by his grave one day desperately wishing I had forgiven him.
I think this is one of the most consequential episodes to date. I hope you enjoy it. I get pretty vulnerable. I want you to know I mean no disrespect to my wife. It takes two people to destroy a marriage. I participated. Carrying bitterness and anger throughout our marriage only helped push her out the door.
Please enjoy. I hope if you listen to this and are yourself carrying any bitterness you will consider letting it go for your sake and those around you.