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Finding Peace by Forgiving Parents

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I wanted to write in with a mindset shift that I have had over the past couple of years. What helps me get over childhood trauma is the realization that I am who I am because of the things I've experienced -- both the good things and the awful things that stem from my childhood and how I've lived as a result. Our parents were humans and went through their own trauma as well. I forgive them and realize they were doing the best they could. Life is a journey, and we're all still on it. -- Moving Forward

Dear Moving Forward: It sounds like you have found grace for both your family and yourself, which is a pillar in living a peaceful, happy life. I hope your letter inspires others to let go of the ways they may have been wronged in the past and to embrace the journey of life -- no easy feat!

Dear Annie: I fell in love. It's a big deal after a bad marriage and nightmare divorce, but this new guy is everything I've ever wanted -- minus his best friend, a woman.

Please note that I am not the jealous type. I was looking forward to adding this woman to my besties! So, I accepted her invitation to go out on her million-dollar yacht as a sincere sign that she wanted to get to know me. It was a trap. Literally, I was trapped in a seat that I couldn't maneuver away from and had to endure hours of their conversation, hearing how this woman had convinced my fiance to keep going out with me and how he once pledged to her that they were soulmates and if her husband ever left her, they'd be together.

I was devastated. My fiance apologized profusely, but I can't seem to get over this, both the betrayal of their intimate conversations about me and his obvious attraction to her. He also made the mistake, in my opinion, of diminishing her intent in telling me all of this. He thought it was just her "oversharing" and lack of boundaries. I feel it was evil.

I questioned my reaction. Maybe I was being too sensitive? Took it all too personally? Then, I heard that her besties arranged an INTERVENTION to confront her saying negative things about them behind their backs. Aha, I thought! It's not just me! However, my fiance used the oversharing defense AGAIN!

Annie, I don't know how to truly get past her comments and be free to fully enjoy this relationship. I've tried the whole "don't give your power away" and "don't let her win" mindset, but it eats away at me, especially when we run into her or he misses anything about their decade-long friendship. He agreed to completely distance himself from her, but she still reaches out to him, heart emojis and all. If you know where I can get one of those "Men in Black" memory erasers, I fear that's my only hope to move on. -- In Love and Seasick

 

Dear Seasick: It's clear that this situation has deeply hurt you, and it's important to validate those feelings rather than dismiss them as mere sensitivity.

It's great that your fiance is willing to distance himself from his friend for your sake. However, it's vital he understands why it's necessary. Communication here is key -- not just airing grievances, but actively working together to establish clear boundaries that protect and strengthen your relationship.

His friend's history of overstepping suggests a pattern. Encourage your fiance to firmly communicate these boundaries to her. Focus on building trust with him and engaging in activities that strengthen your bond.

If these issues continue to recur, consider couples therapy. You're on the right track by focusing on what you can control -- how you respond and how you and your fiance work together moving forward. That's how you reclaim your power and enjoy the relationship you both deserve.

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"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.



 

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