A friend asked me if I forgive you for leaving.

It has been four years now since you packed your bags and walked out on me and our child.

I don’t forgive you.

You made the right decision, I don’t like how you executed it but now my life is something it could not have been if we had stayed together as a family.  Both you and I are happier people.

I do not forgive you for leaving me.  Perhaps it isn’t the leaving I can’t forgive as much as the lie.

You told me you would never leave and then you did.

I trusted you and when you left you took that trust with you.

In four years I’m not sure that I’ve found that trust again and I’m not sure I ever will.

There are many things I forgive about the time leading up to you leaving.

I forgive the argument that ended with your hands round my neck, I forgive the way you undermined me and disagreed with me for the sake of disagreeing.  I forgive the only seeking couple’s counselling when you’d already decided to leave.  I forgive many things because I understand that they were an outcome of your unhappiness.  I forgive you not being able to cope with my unhappiness.  We were in a terrible, stressful situation and we hadn’t taken the time in advance to ensure that our relationship was built with a strong enough foundation to support itself in difficult times.

I forgive all the upsets, a relationship is two people, you weren’t alone in being horrible.  I forgive all of them except one.

I do not forgive you leaving out the remnants of your cocaine in a place the child could find them.  I do not and will never forgive that, I’m glad I got up first that day and you are lucky I did not tear strips off you then and there. What would have been the point?  The act was done and no harm came of it but you were a stupid, selfish man that night and I don’t forgive you.

The past is done.   I cannot change it, to not forgive you for being sad, lonely, angry, scared, worried and depressed would be inhuman.

But my forgiveness doesn’t matter to you; I am as much the past to you as you are to me.

The only person’s forgiveness you need to think about is your childs and I have no help or words for you on this one.

One day your leaving will hurt your child far more than it did at the time.  Your child doesn’t remember living with you, I have to tell them about it and I have to explain the best I can why mummy and daddy live apart.  One day those explanations will no longer be enough and they will see that me saying that you love them isn’t reflected in your actions.

I know you love your child, but the day that hurt becomes real is a day I will never forgive you for.

Three unforgivable acts, but I also have to thank you.

You signed papers for our international travel knowing that you would not parent your child daily.  You let me go and you let me take our child with me.  Thank you.

No life is without pain and I’m not sure if this one act of terrible sacrifice on your part balances out the unforgivable acts, but it is what we have to live with.

Some days I’m still angry as hell about it and some days I’m immobilised by grief or self-doubt due to it, but those days are getting fewer and further apart because I’ve built a good life for me and my child.

So in answer to my friend,  no, I don’t forgive him for leaving me but I do thank him.

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