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June 21, 2024

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A Good DaughterSeptember 18, 2017

I was the youngest in my family, and discovered in my teens or early twenties that my father had been unfaithful to my sweet mom for many years. It was devastating news, but neither I, nor my siblings ever confronted him about it. My mom chose to stay in the marriage, it was another time and she had no education past high school, no career, and no way to support herself and my brother and sister. I'm not sure how she reconciled herself to her situation, but she did. She forgave him, softened her heart, and they had a decent life together for well over 60 years. He passed away several years before he did, and she always spoke kindly about my Dad. In my mind, the infidelities and issues faded away as he aged. They were very sweet together the last few years of his life. I like to think that his heart softened, and he loved my mother very much. Perhaps the grandpa in this story has likewise quietly changed, or at least, put aside his vices as he cared for his wife. It seems the best way to move forward is to forgive and act kindly. As was stated earlier, he knows what he did was wrong. Perhaps he's atoning in the only way he knows how... by lovingly caring for his ailing wife.

MJSSeptember 16, 2017

If your grandfather took kind and tender care of your grandmother in her last illness, take that as genuine. I hope you can find some comfort in that. None of us is completely uncomplicated, and whatever wrongs occured it still matters that he cared for her at the end. That he probably cared for her, in the middle of all his other actions. Because his behaviors were not about her; and he will have to make his peace with her and pay whatever price that might entail. If you can come to a point where you can pray and hope for his sake that he finds his way, let Christ carry the pain for you. I promise that He will, and His atonement has the power to heal you and your family, as well as your grandfather's life. My husband is also going through recovery, and his father did not treat his mother well; I can feel for your situation. Yet there have been precious experiences that tell us that their relationship (they have both passed on) has been healed.

Been ThereSeptember 11, 2017

This is a very beautiful reply to this difficult question. Thank you. Each of the concepts mention -- forgiveness, trust, healing -- I think this is about as perfect an explanation of how they need to work in this situation. I have had people I love hurt me to the point that I had to walk away from them so I could forgive them, and then I could rebuild a workable relationship with them. This article explains it so beautifully.

kathrynSeptember 9, 2017

Would it be helpful to tell her grandfather that she now knows the truth and let him know what a painful thing her own husbands porn and infidelity are causing her? Perhaps he might more fully realize how painful it was for his spouse when he can see his granddaughter suffering for the same sin. It is easier to rationalize our own sin as "not so awful" but see it as clearly wrong when it happens to a granddaughter you love and want to protect.

SebSeptember 9, 2017

A wonderful summary of what forgiveness is and more importantly is not. We often tend to forget these truths. Thanks for this article!

JimSeptember 8, 2017

While I can truly appreciate Jeff's response to the situation, I can only say that there are always two sides to the story. While it is easy to condemn grandpa based on the evidence that has come forth, It should have been emphasized that talking with him and getting his views will soften the anger. It may be difficult to hear that the angel grandmother had some issues of her own that were even deeper hidden. In my own marriage of 30+ years, I am married to an angel wife and mother that lives a very Pollyanna life. I go out and run a successful business leaving every morning to slay the dragons in the world and return home to a wonderful, positive, and loving women that understands little of the pain and dirt that I see everyday. When I have petitioned her to take a more active role in my external life, I am meet with redecorating and flowers brought to the office. When my family evaluates our marriage based on the evidence left behind that tells part of the story, I am sure I will appear the lessor half of the partnership. I am a faithful husband and father and disciple of Christ. Seek to understand both, walk in their shoes and then love them both.

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