Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Irreconcilable Differences December 29, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 2:00 pm

Ever have this happen to you?

You do something wrong. You feel guilty. You try not to feel guilty because you are trying to justify your actions. You still feel guilty. You pray. You feel convicted. You finally realize God is right and you are wrong. You decide to humble yourself and swallow your pride. You apologize.


You’re still angry and you still cannot stand the person you offended.
And that person hasn’t openly forgiven you anyway.
What do you do with that?

When you’re a married couple you can get a divorce or dissolution. I’ve been down that road. My first husband and I dissolved our marriage claiming “irreconcilable differences”. I wanted nothing from him. He wanted nothing from me. We had no property or children between us. It was pretty easy. It was good enough for the lawyer. It was good enough for the judge. That and $500 got me the freedom I so desired. Done. Signed. Have a nice new life.

But in a family or a friendship what do you do? I tend to leave it be and decide “I did my part. If they refuse to forgive me and take steps to reconcile the relationship then that’s their problem. The ball is in their court now.” Seriously. That’s how I’ve handled it and I’ve been quite fine with that. Not another thought about the incident enters my mind until someone reminds me about it. I simply move on.

But is that ok? Is that immature? Is it wise?

I’m not sure.

Especially if I’m still angry about it and if I still refuse to treat the relationship as if it was healed.



8 Responses to “Irreconcilable Differences”

  1. Lorna Says:

    Well in my case, that is exactly how I handle it too. I voice my displeasure and walk away. But the funny thing is that if I am still feeling anger, in my humble opinion, I must not be forgiving the other person. Turns out this is exactly the situation I am faced with at this time in my life. I want to forgive. I am happy not to have the person in life on a daily basis, but they want the relationship back the way it was and I can’t see how that will work for me. I’m not sure. I pray for healing and sometimes I feel the healing and sometimes I don’t. You pose a very good question.

    I’ll have to check back and see what the rest of your readers think on this one.

  2. Patricia Blackmon Says:

    Heidi, I truly believe if anger and hostility lingers toward the person, there’s more to be addressed. I went through a period with a person that I had to literally sit down with God and myself and say okay I’m really angry and hurt at this person. If I don’t do something it’s going to eat me alive. I confessed that to myself, God, and the other person. Once that was done, if/when the anger and resentment came back, I had another talk with myself and God. “God, I’ve given this stuff to you. It’s not mine anymore. I want to hold on to it, Maybe even to pay them back for being such a jerk! But, it’s not mine, help me let it go, help me forgive, and help that person.” It’s not an automatic thing to forgive someone. sometimes, we HAVE TO turn TO GOD for strength to do it. (especially if it’s someone that we think should do better) That’s the only way I was able to let go of mine. I’ll be praying for you and the other person.

  3. Jason Says:

    Bitter root, 7 times 70, how can you be forgiven if you can’t forgive, all questions I have asked myself. If I am still pissed have I forgiven and forgotten? No, no I haven’t. It could take a while to reconcile the difference you have with that person. You AND them have to be willing to do so. Give it time.
    Or you can take the additude that I use to have, get over it or die with it, either which way was ok with me. Of course I would be looking for a gun to help them to get over it, but I take medicine for that now….

  4. djbpeg Says:

    Well, as far as whether you’ve done everything you can to make it right with them, it sounds like you have. You may have to go to God several times a day and ask Him to take it from you (the anger, or as Scottish people would say angerrrrrr). Once you’ve apologized you can’t make them forgive you. To me, there is a biblical difference between anger that simmers and anger that doesn’t.

    [edited to remove e-mail address]

  5. Ruthie Says:

    In my own life when I still could not let “it” go I have realized that there were other hurts that I had not addressed with the other person. I had just skimmed the surface with the present situation but I had old wounds I had never been honest about and it was a festering sore.
    Risking and being honest is probably the hardest thing I have ever done with a friend, BUT when I did, we got to a new level of friendship that we had not had in 18 years of friendship. I was scared to death, but had nothing to lose because the relationship was doomed if I did not get it ALL out.

  6. daphne Says:

    HA! I start counselling Jan 12th and will let you know what I learn. I am ALWAYS angry with one person. Mainly because the blows are constant for me. All I can do is ask God to allow me to see that person like He does. Until He changes my heart, I hate & I rage. I say I forgive but still I hate.
    I have realized that it is my choice to focus on my hurt and my feelings and my failed expectations or I can focus on the goodness of God. Maybe nothing will change in the natural for me. Maybe I keep getting hit below the belt. But what good is it doing me to rage? It does not protect me from the blows. I simply hold on to the fact that Jesus understands. He has been hurt like I hurt and He says it was worth it. Will I see it on this side of heaven? Dont know. Is God good no matter what I face? Yes. Do I still hate? Yes, but I am willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I either die or have a change of heart.
    Honest enough? ; )

  7. Will_nottheactor_Smith Says:

    “Living as Children of Light” is the heading for Eph 4:17-32, and solid instruction from Paul – “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” and “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

    If it were easy, everyone could do it, but it’s not so we must rely on God to help us heal the hurt.

    If you don’t, though, it’ll eat you up inside.

  8. Jamie Says:

    It has taken me a long time to get over some hurt. When I got back into church and wanted to do what was right, I knew I had to forgive all, regardless of what pain was caused, or how hurt or how much anger I had. I was tired of those people stealing my joy, happiness, and love for life…Since I have set myself to really forgiving others I have been blessed in my life in so many ways…God promised he would always be there for me and take away all of my pain, hate, and give me peace…
    I have no regrets, when I ask someone to forgive me, I mean what I ask, when I say yes i will forgive you, i mean it… forgiviness is one of the greatest reliefs you can have!

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