Straight Talk Blog

Not Today

Not Today

By Kelly Wilkins

“You know, you’re going to have to forgive him soon. You won’t be able to live with yourself otherwise.”

I know this person meant well. I know they wanted what they thought was best for me. But the presumption and the assumption in the comment made me seethe with anger. My ex-husband hadn’t even moved all of his things out of what was our house, and this person wanted to rush me into the forgiveness stage? I hadn’t even gotten through the shock and disbelief stage yet!

So, I said as much. “I may find myself capable of forgiving him one day, but that day is not today.”

Not today. In the course of my life as the heterosexual partner in a mixed orientation marriage that ended in divorce, I’ve had a lot of “not today”s.

When you’re the partner to someone who has come out of the closet, sometimes you get prying questions you’re not really prepared to respond to, or your heartfelt response isn’t the one people are expecting.

I’m here to tell you that that’s okay. You feel how you feel, and you get to reevaluate it on your own timeline.

Most often, the responses others want you to change are the negative ones. There’s a push to forgive, to excuse, to get over. Each one of these steps are important, and they can be healing, if you’re truly ready to take each step. But until then? Your journey is yours, and you aren’t on a clock. “Not today” acknowledges that your opinions and emotional needs may change over time and that you might change my mind, but no amount of arguing, advising, or cajoling is going to change it today, and that the discussion is off the table for now.

So, take the time you need to heal. We’re here to help.


6 responses to “Not Today”

  1. Claire Dunnavant says:

    Thank you so very much!! I needed this today! Still cohabitating with my GXH, which is difficult in itself, but dealing with anger/rage/grief and disbelief after a 40 year marriage, I find myself saying Nope not today!

  2. Carol says:

    Well said. I actually had someone say to me, “Well, it was probably so much easier that he cheated with another man, rather than a woman.” So insensitive and ignorant. I had to fight wanting to say what I really wanted to and explain that it wasn’t easy at all, that he was my best friend and husband for 45 years and it has hurt more than she would ever know.

  3. Elizabeth Thompson says:

    I think anger is a sign of health, at least for a while. Knowing you weren’t treated fairly, finally seeing why things had been so weird for so long, feeling angry is the way to go. Haven’t we had years of sublimated, misdirected anger? There will come a time for peace but it has to be part of a process, working through a lot of pain — not just one more thing you are supposed to absorb without complaint.

  4. anonymous says:

    Does it matter that he says he isn’t gay, it was a one time thing? That he’s sorry and didn’t mean to hurt me. That he will do anything to repair the damage he caused? Would I be fooling myself to believe him. When I discovered he was a cross dresser a year + ago, I was hurt etc but tried to be supportive of him exploring that part of himself – even when it caused me pain. To find out he had relations with another man, it feels like a broken trust that can’t ever be repaired. should I stay or should I go?

  5. Samantha Materile says:

    Even as an ex- spouse, there are still days, 16 years later, that I say “not today.”
    It’s taken me a long time to understand how healthy that statement is.
    I’ve judged myself on those days, I’ve questioned the authenticity of my forgiveness, and I’ve been disappointed that my grief and anger still creep up through the tiny cracks every so often. It wasn’t until I realized that I didn’t understand what “forgiveness” is and more importantly what “forgiveness” isn’t. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, it doesn’t minimize what has happened and it doesn’t numb the pain of the offense. It doesn’t give permission for, or acceptance of, more of the same behavior. Because of this, I’ve come to realize that forgiveness is not a “one- and -done”… it doesn’t necessarily “stick” the first time you make the choice to forgive. It’s sometimes, and more than often, a choice you have to make over and over again… and it’s OK to say “not today” ANY day that you feel that way.

  6. Wendy says:

    45 years for me too! Only 10 months behind me….certainly no emotional regularity and a healthy dose or rage (starting to work on that with a therapist) Does feel like my life was wasted.

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