Temporary Hate Webster’s dictionary defines hate as: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury When Samantha and I share at speaking engagements, she almost always shares about how she really found herself hating me early in the recovery process. (I make sure she says that too, since so many betrayed female spouses attest to feeling the same ‘temporary’ hatred towards their mates.) I don’t remember her ever saying that to me, but when she shared her story for the first time on the site, she stated emphatically that she felt that way. I was healthy enough to not have it shake me the way it would have early on if I had heard that, but I really did understand what she was saying. I had actual feelings of hatred for her too during the marriage and double life I was living. You too may have these same feelings of hatred towards your spouse. My suspicion though is that hate is due to being injured or hurt and is fueled by both unforgiveness and a lack of ability to wrap your mind around the collective trauma of what he or she has done to you. At some level, it’s normal and part of the process. Everyone goes through an anger stage, but not everyone goes through a ‘hatred phase.’ (Note: Please do not email me about how unloving or unproductive hate is. Everyone’s journey is different and this is a community built around safety and respect, so please withhold judgment and condemnation.) If my wife Samantha felt it I’m quite sure many of you are either feeling it or have felt it. Samantha was such a caged woman and because of our dysfunctional lifestyle she had to give herself permission to be angry and hate me in an effort to get through the season of life she was in. We both walked through this temporary hate we had for each other and the perceived unwillingness to fulfill the other’s needs and care for each other the way we so desperately wanted and expected. If you too are struggling with what I call “temporary hatred” here is how we walked out of it: 1. Forgiveness. To love for any length of time means to be able to forgive. As Rick always says, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. To continue in resentment will only exacerbate the pain and hurt inside of you and continue to complicate the entire process of recovery. To forgive means to release your mate of their deserved consequences, realizing we are all capable of unspeakable atrocities and that you are willing to no longer hold it against them. It doesn’t mean trusting them again, or even saving the marriage. But the only way you’ll overcome this hate is to forgive them from your heart. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. 2. Realize forgiveness has layers. It’s almost never a one-time thing. The process (and again I stress the word process) requires forgiving your mate again and again for the new depths of pain that you encounter as you explore the trauma in your heart due to their actions. It will take time and it will be a necessity if any amount of true healing is to occur. 3. Get help from a trusted source on forgiveness. Preferably someone who has been through infidelity before and found that same genuine forgiveness. The program here on the site called Harboring Hope is exceptional and will help you find forgiveness, and prolong its effects. It’s not uncommon that every once in a while you will tap into another layer of bitterness or resentment that you were unaware of, or thought you had already dealt with. It doesn’t mean you’re not healed, but going deeper in your healing. All past growth is not lost, but you are finding a new area, or a deeper area, that may need further forgiveness and mercy in order to obtain a new level of healing. 4. Do not exercise cheap forgiveness. It’s not alright they cheated. It’s not acceptable to be cheated on or tossed aside for someone else. However, forgiveness is not about reentering the relationship too quickly, but is more about gaining the proper perspective you need to see things clearly. You’ll need to be angry. You’ll need to get in touch with that anger and use it as a source to get out of bed sometimes. But eventually anger boomerangs and you don’t want to live with that kind of pain for too long.