Dear Dr. Toni:
My husband and I divorced two years ago. I left him due to his chronic infidelity. We were married for 14 years and raised two children together. After I divorced him and was left with barely enough money to live in a two-bedroom apartment with my children, I discovered that he had been siphoning money into a foreign country and was worth millions abroad. He hardly ever sees his children, and my son is especially affected by this. I am consumed with rage. I know it isn’t good for me but I cannot seem to let it go when I see how this has affected my kids. Please advise me as to how to move on. I do not trust men now, and I know I will be alone for the rest of my life if I don’t change this. Is it really possible to forgive him?
Full of Rage and Stuck
My compassion goes out to you. It must be very difficult to be in a financial struggle while your ex-husband is thriving, at least on the financial level. So let me approach this on a multidimensional level of your body, your mind and your spirit. Clearly, you were unhappy for years if he was unfaithful to you multiple times. So often rage that continues to dog us does so because it is ourselves we haven’t forgiven, or we haven’t processed the reasons we abandoned ourselves. Telling yourself that you stayed for your children is a cop-out. Go deeper. If he has been neglecting them since the divorce, he was most likely neglecting them before the divorce. What did you choose not to see? It is important to do this self-examination with compassion and detachment, not judgment. If you can take responsibility for your role and FORGIVE YOURSELF, you will be doing your body a big favor.
Chronic anger creates inflammation. Inflammation is linked to cancer and heart disease. Everyday that you resist accepting what is, your body pays the price. I would venture to say that this bleeds out energetically to your children as well. The key is to examine the beliefs you are holding about this experience. It came to you as a lesson. As long as you make him wrong, you get to be right about his being wrong—but you stay a victim. Ask the question, what is the function of this lesson for my personal evolution? Then work with the emotion that is resisting this acceptance. Where is it living in your body? Breathe into it. Ask to be shown a symbol that represents healing. Dwell on this symbol. Hold the awareness: I am willing to be healed even if I don’t know how to do it myself. Ask in meditation for how to forgive him. As hard as it is to swallow, your ex came into your life to teach you something. People are mirrors for us. What do you need to do to bring yourself into full integrity with yourself? How are your health habits? Do you have a dream to fulfill, a life purpose that could not have happened if you had his wealth?
Dear Dr. Toni:
I am a gay woman in love with a married woman. We have been seeing one another for two years but have never had sex. She does not want to cheat on her husband in spite of the fact that I keep telling her that she is cheating on him because she is not in love with him and has said she is in love with me. I have tried breaking it off but she has become my best friend. I just cannot give her up. I am considering moving away so I am forced to give her up. What should I do?
Lost in Love
My first question to you is, what is your payoff for being involved with someone you cannot have? Two years is a long time. What happened in your love life before you got involved with this woman? Did someone dump you? Are you afraid of getting hurt again? Before you decide about moving to a new place, go deep inside and look at your own love pattern. If you go back to your very first attraction to a woman, what has been your pattern in relationships? Are you the pursuer or the pursued? How long do you stay in relationships? What is your bonding pattern once the relationship has been consummated? Are you a committed lover or do you keep one foot out the door? Once you have examined your pattern, ask yourself if you are willing to take a risk to be completely authentic. Once you’ve done that, then put the sword in the ground and invite her to step out of the closet and live in integrity. If she refuses, then break it off—and if you still want to move, give it three months. Living authentically produces great rewards, but we must first excavate our own closet of its skeletons.