It is easy to become bitter and angry, but I have found that it is also easy to let that go. Don't get me wrong. I have struggled with bitterness and anger, but I have struggled more with forgiveness. I can be kind and compassionate. I can stop speaking poorly of people who have hurt me. It is the forgiveness that has been difficult.
Forgiveness is different than acceptance. I can accept that my husband had an affair. I can accept that I am divorced, and the man who swore he would never leave me or marry another is now two children into a new relationship and engaged to be married at some indefinite point in the future. I can accept these truths. I struggle with forgiveness because in the back of my mind, I correlate forgiveness with "it's okay," and it is anything but okay that he broke his vows.. And while I am not yelling, screaming obscenities, or fighting with him--I am not ready to say, "it's okay."
This past week, our youngest had surgery. My ex and his fiance wanted to be there. And it was right that they were. I made sure to tell the nurse to expect them, and that it was fine for them both to come back to the room where our daughter was being prepped for her procedure. I sat in a waiting room with them, and I spoke with them--not as my ex and the woman he had the affair with--but as my daughter's father and future stepmother. I did not feel bitterness, rage, or anger. I thanked them for their help before driving our daughter home. Our daughter was able to have both of her parents there for her; she did not have to experience the arguing that some children with divorced parents have to encounter. I hope somehow despite the mess that her father and I have made, she can can a relatively happy, healthy, less than messy childhood.
That is why we salty mommies have to let go of the rage. It isn't for us; it certainly isn't for the people who have hurt us--it is for those little people we love. I have gotten rid of bitterness, rage, and anger, and even though I am not ready to say, "it's okay" --that is also okay.