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This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.

Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola

What does your ex say your major faults were in your relationship? And should you pay attention to his or her words?

My ex husband was asked what he thought my faults were in our marriage. He said I was too compassionate, too tolerant, and too forgiving. Funny how these were the same things he found attractive in me when we first met. But now, he hated that I gave people second, third and forth chances. He believed I should be strong and not allow anyone to walk all over me as he put it. I told him that was not who I am. I turn the other cheek, I do unto others as I want them to do unto me. He asked me how many times I was going to forgive them (family, friends, everyone). I would tell him, as many times as it takes. This frustrated him to no end. He considered me weak for my compassion. Maybe I was a little too trusting, too gullible at times. I don't know. I just can't help seeing the good in people and I would rather sacrifice myself than hurt anyone or see anyone hurting. I will always feed the hungry (so to speak) no matter how many times I get my hand bit..
I guess the problem in this was that he was not as welling and by letting these people "walk all over me", I was putting their needs before his. Or at least thats what he says.
How do you deal with this? Should I have changed who I am for his sake? This was not what ended our marriage but rather something that came out in our counseling sessions. It bothers me still.

Jul 30th 2013 new
It is hard to comment as the details are missing.

Is there such a thing as an unhealthy level of compassion?

Does compassion for some lessen or harm your ability to fulfill your obligation to self and others?

For example, compassion for a robber does not require that you allow him to continue robbing you. Forgiving someone who tried to murder you does not require that you allow them to try again. There are higher duties.



___________________
two cents - On a good day
Jul 30th 2013 new
I understand where you're coming from. This was more personal that the examples you gave. For instance, a family member with multiple medical problems would ask me to help her with different things. When we disagreed on something she would become very hateful, rude, and belligerent toward me. Later she would say she was sorry and I would forgive her. We would be friends until this happened again. I knew she was in pain, knew she was struggling with many things. I didn't hold a grudge and didn't take her words to heart. But he did even though they were directed at me, not him. He held a grudge toward her and would not forgive her. He did not understand why I kept forgiving her.

Another example, I had a friend from childhood that I speak with occasionally. She is always very critical and pessimistic. She rarely sees the good in anything. She isn't all bad, she is a wonderful person most of the time, though that may seem hard to understand without knowing her as I do. She would tell me something she was going to do and then not do it, when it directly effected me. Each time she would say she was sorry and have an excuse. She was not dependable but I kept giving her the opportunity to change. I kept believing in her. On rare occasions she did come through but most of the time, she did not. He was angry at me because I continued to expect the best from her. He said she would never change so why put up with her.

I am always doing things for everyone. Someone needs to borrow money, if I have it, I lend it. Someone needs a ride somewhere, I'll stop what I'm doing and take them. If I am capable of helping I do. Sometimes with some people this is not returned. He saw that way more often than I did. I told him that I don't do things for people so they can return the favor. He expected me to write them off as friends or family because they weren't there when I need them.

Is that type of compassion unhealthy? I never once gave of myself to the point of hurting him or anyone else. I may have given to the point of hurting myself at times when I was not feeling well though.

When someone argued, I would try to explain what I thought they might be feeling or why they may have done something wrong. He took this as me trying to excuse their behavior. Even though I have done the same for him to other people. I never thought of it as me trying to make excuses for other people. I see it as me trying to help others understand and be more compassionate so to avoid anger and hatred.

We just could not seem to meet eye to eye on this. In the end, the one thing that sent us to the lawyer was when he could not forgive my son for an angry outburst even though my son offered a sincere apology and had ample reason to have been upset at the time. My ex chose to divorce rather than forgive me son and live together as a family. To this day, he swears he still loves me and wants us to be together but refuses to ever forgive my son. My son was only 13 at the time. He actually suggested I have my son live elsewhere so we could remain married.

I might can understand his other reasons but this was not acceptable to me. Had my son been an adult, it wouldn't have been such a major problem. But this was a child that needed correct, discipline and love. He did not need his step father giving up on him and our marriage.

Still.. can't help but think it was my fault. Catholic Guilt, my ex calls it (he wasn't Catholic) . I tend to blame myself for everything. 0_0

Jul 30th 2013 new
(quote) Mary-976718 said: I understand where you're coming from. This was more personal that the examples you gave. For instance, a family member with multiple medical problems would ask me to help her with different things. When we disagreed on something she would become very hateful, rude, and belligerent toward me. Later she would say she was sorry and I would forgive her. We would be friends until this happened again. I knew she was in pain, knew she was struggling with many things. I didn't hold a grudge and didn't take her words to heart. But he did even though they were directed at me, not him. He held a grudge toward her and would not forgive her. He did not understand why I kept forgiving her.

Another example, I had a friend from childhood that I speak with occasionally. She is always very critical and pessimistic. She rarely sees the good in anything. She isn't all bad, she is a wonderful person most of the time, though that may seem hard to understand without knowing her as I do. She would tell me something she was going to do and then not do it, when it directly effected me. Each time she would say she was sorry and have an excuse. She was not dependable but I kept giving her the opportunity to change. I kept believing in her. On rare occasions she did come through but most of the time, she did not. He was angry at me because I continued to expect the best from her. He said she would never change so why put up with her.

I am always doing things for everyone. Someone needs to borrow money, if I have it, I lend it. Someone needs a ride somewhere, I'll stop what I'm doing and take them. If I am capable of helping I do. Sometimes with some people this is not returned. He saw that way more often than I did. I told him that I don't do things for people so they can return the favor. He expected me to write them off as friends or family because they weren't there when I need them.

Is that type of compassion unhealthy? I never once gave of myself to the point of hurting him or anyone else. I may have given to the point of hurting myself at times when I was not feeling well though.

When someone argued, I would try to explain what I thought they might be feeling or why they may have done something wrong. He took this as me trying to excuse their behavior. Even though I have done the same for him to other people. I never thought of it as me trying to make excuses for other people. I see it as me trying to help others understand and be more compassionate so to avoid anger and hatred.

We just could not seem to meet eye to eye on this. In the end, the one thing that sent us to the lawyer was when he could not forgive my son for an angry outburst even though my son offered a sincere apology and had ample reason to have been upset at the time. My ex chose to divorce rather than forgive me son and live together as a family. To this day, he swears he still loves me and wants us to be together but refuses to ever forgive my son. My son was only 13 at the time. He actually suggested I have my son live elsewhere so we could remain married.

I might can understand his other reasons but this was not acceptable to me. Had my son been an adult, it wouldn't have been such a major problem. But this was a child that needed correct, discipline and love. He did not need his step father giving up on him and our marriage.

Still.. can't help but think it was my fault. Catholic Guilt, my ex calls it (he wasn't Catholic) . I tend to blame myself for everything. 0_0

"Is that type of compassion unhealthy?" Yes, it is called enabling. As mother's it is sometimes hard for us to be less compassionate because we have such a strong nurturing instinct and tend to be that ugly word, "codependent". We need to not let that instinct control us and instead be firm, even to a 13 boy going through puberty. Since this was your husbands stepson I can see why he would have a harder time forgiving him. Women tend to forgive too soon; men not soon enough.
Jul 30th 2013 new
Hi Joan,
I actually spoke to two different priest and our marriage counselor about this in detail. They both told me it was not enabling. Helping is doing something for someone else that they are unable to do for themselves. Enabling is doing things for someone else that they can and should be doing for themselves. I was helping, not enabling.
Jul 30th 2013 new
(quote) Mary-976718 said: Hi Joan,
I actually spoke to two different priest and our marriage counselor about this in detail. They both told me it was not enabling. Helping is doing something for someone else that they are unable to do for themselves. Enabling is doing things for someone else that they can and should be doing for themselves. I was helping, not enabling.
"Is that type of compassion unhealthy?"
If you already know the answer, why do you ask?
If you are not going to accept someone else's perspective, don't ask.
Jul 30th 2013 new
It's profoundly sad when a grown adult cannot/refuses to forgive a child. And your 13 year old possessed the wisdom and maturity to offer a sincere apology. Sounds to me like you're setting a great example as a parent. Children learn what they see in practice in the home: love, forgiveness, integrity, compassion, giving, tenderness. I'd say your son is a blessed young man.

With respect to you, I think your ex sounds like a most selfish man to ask that your marriage continue, but that your precious child live elsewhere. A reasonable person would never ask that. That, alone, shows his lack of compassion for others.

My 2 cents.
Jul 30th 2013 new
Just because I don't think the same as you do does not mean i won't accept someone else's perspective. That was not my original question as the subject line suggests. I did not mean you any harm by not agreeing with you.. It is ok to offer support and suggestions without demanding everyone agree with what you have to say. I do thank you for your thoughts on the subject. It is appreciated.
Jul 30th 2013 new
Just because I don't think the same as you do does not mean i won't accept someone else's perspective. That was not my original question as the subject line suggests. I did not mean you any harm by not agreeing with you.. It is ok to offer support and suggestions without demanding everyone agree with what you have to say. I do thank you for your thoughts on the subject. It is appreciated.
Jul 30th 2013 new
(quote) Joan-529855 said: "Is that type of compassion unhealthy?"
If you already know the answer, why do you ask?
If you are not going to accept someone else's perspective, don't ask.


Definition of ENABLER

: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially :one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior


Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves the highest peak and deepest reach in his or her search for self-fulfillment. --Arthur JersildCompassion is not sentiment but is making justice and doing works of mercy. Compassion is not a moral commandment but a flow and overflow of the fullest human and divine energies. --Matthew FoxThe whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness. --H.H. the Dalai LamaAlways treat others as you'd like to be treated youreself ... Don't do to others what you would not like them to do to you. --Karen Armstrong charterforcompassion.org
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