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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
anishift Offline
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Name: Anissa
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How can I ever forgive him? - July 10th 2009, 02:41 AM

Forgive me, this might be confusing and/or hard to follow/unorganized.

Well, my grandpa (Paul) and granny (Jennifer) (on my Dad's side) were married for around 40 years. I don't know exactly, but they have of course been married since I was born. They are both from England and moved to the United States soon after they were married, leaving all of their family and friends behind. My granny was depressed because she wasn't educated and my grandpa wasn't either so they were barely getting by and living in a bad neighborhood. My granny's mum died and soon after she was taking care of my grandpa's mom who eventually moved in with them. She was really struggling with this because she was taking care of his sick mother right after she lost hers. Skipping ahead a bit, my grandparents had my dad and his younger sister. When my dad was in High school he got my mom pregnant, he was 17. He had to join the Navy and my mom and him got married and moved out of state. Just a few years later my dad's sister got married and was pregnant with her husband's daughter. Her husband died in a motorcycle crash and my aunt (my dad's sister Janine) was devastated. When my cousin (my aunt's daughter Tobie) was born, she was very sick and nobody knew what was wrong with her. I'm not sure exactly what her condition is called, but she is alive and healthy today with a disease that is very much like hemophilia (sp?). On top of all of this, my granny's brother Barry was battling cancer throughout this time and he passed away just a few years ago. It seems like one thing after another happened in my Granny's life and because of it she was very depressed. She has always been very present and a positive influence in my life. I am close with her and love her more than I can say. She is dear to my heart and I have never met anyone as kind as she is. I could name countless things that she has done for me, animals, and other people. My grandpa (Granny's husband Paul) has never really been present in my life. I never talked to him about anything personal, and he never asked. He always seemed to support my siblings and I and seemed reliable and loyal and steadfast and strong, even though I picked that he was an angry person, too. Well a few months ago he told my Granny that he hasn't loved her for 20 yrs. My granny was leaving to Michigan (She lives in California) a few weeks later to help my aunt Janine with her kids because Janine's husband just left her for another woman. During this time my grandpa was calling and e-mailing his ex-girlfriend from over FORTY YEARS AGO. This ex-girlfriend left him for another man loong ago in England but her two husbands had both died so now they were rekindling their relationship or something. I don't know or care. This woman has stayed with my granny and grandpa before in the U.S. and my granny has cooked for this woman and let her stay with them. It seems like the ultimate betrayal to me, he goes with some woman who obviously didn't love him in the first place and he emailed my sister and said he had always loved his ex the whole time he was with my Granny. Oh right, I forgot that he bought a new motorcycle which he shipped to England and he said that he was going to go vacationing in Europe on his motorcycle. He has NEVER been interested in that, and now we know that he is living with his ex. I feel like he lied to this family and tried to tell us he was going on vacation so that if things didn't work with his ex he could come back to his family and my granny who loves him. I feel like if he hasn't loved her for 20 yrs, why didn't he leave her a long time ago instead of LYING and perpetuating this problem. He never told anyone he was leaving, he just acted like everythin was normal even though he told my granny he didn't love her and was leaving to England. We only knew because my sister confronted him about it. My Granny is depressed and talking to my mom about feeling like she wants to die or commit suicide, how she never wants to be with anyone again, and she is just becoming very fragile very fast. I feel like my grandpa has destroyed her life and I feel that she will die unhappy and sooner than she would have because she is so depressed. I have so many questions about htis situation and I feel like I am not in a place where I can answer them from an un-biased position.

Should I forgive my grandpa?
How can I (if answered yes to above question) even try to lessen my anger towards him?
Should I make an effort to even have a relationship at this point?
How do I support my granny in this time?

Mostly:
How can I ever forgive him?
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: How can I ever forgive him? - July 10th 2009, 03:17 AM

Hi Anissa,

Forgiveness takes time, and it is the most difficult thing to do when you are witnessing someone so close to you suffering. Whether or not you can forgive him right now is up to you. I know that you are angry, and I fully understand why. I would be too in your situation. It may take a short time or it may take years. The important thing is that you have your family right now who loves and cares about you, and your grandpa leaving doesn't change that.

Again, only time can lessen your anger towards your grandpa. Just take solace in knowing that not everyone is like him. I think that you have every right to be angry, just like your grandma has every right to be angry. What he did was not at all fair, and I think that it's terrible that he lied to everyone for so long.

At this point, if you do not feel comfortable having a relationship, then I suggest you don't have one, but don't let what your grandpa did stop you from keeping your options open and knowing what else is out there for later in your life. Just because your grandpa left doesn't mean that every guy does that. There are plenty of great guys out there, so try not to let one bad one spoil the whole bunch.

To support your granny, I suggest you and your family spend lots of time with her and let her know that she does have people that care about her. Having someone leave after that many years can be quite traumatizing, and it may be some comfort to know that she isn't alone right now. Understand that she is upset and she may feel upset for some time, but it's important that you still spend time with her and try to remind her that she has people to stand by her and support her.

I don't know why your grandpa stayed so long if he had feelings for someone else- that is something only he could tell you. Maybe he did have feelings for your granny and then he felt he needed a change in his life. I'm not sure what his reasons were. What I am sure of is that you are hurting about this right now. Whatever you do, no matter how angry you feel, don't let this take over your life or change your views on relationships. There are a lot of relationships that go well and work out just fine.

Take care and stay strong. If you ever need to talk about this, please feel free to PM me any time.

Nat.


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
anishift Offline
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Re: How can I ever forgive him? - July 10th 2009, 03:26 AM

Thank you for the reply Nat. Those are all valid suggestions and things I will consider. I think that I am not comfortable having a relationship with him at this point, and I am trying to spend time with my granny and remind my sister (who sometimes acts almost as though my granny is being a "drama queen" or unreasonable in her depression/bitterness, she also lives with my granny) that this is harder for my granny than we can understand and she needs to be sensitive towards her feelings... I'm not sure what this does to my views on relationships, I don't feel like they have changed very much because my dad has always been a very positive male influence on my life and he is a good husband to my mom... but I feel that this has planted a small seed of mistrust in me. This was so unexpected. Maybe in time I will forgive him, and hopefully he is still alive when I am ready to do that. :/ I just feel like even if I forgive him, every time something happens bad to my Granny I will connect it to him and blame it on him and get angry all over again. Maybe I just need to step away from this situation and get some perspective, idk. Thanks for your reply either way, it's given me something to think about.
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