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Could you forgive this?

I had a guy who was my BEST FRIEND (never ever ever anything romantic) for about 8ish years.  We would see each other all the time, and, when he joined the Navy, we would talk on the phone every day.  A couple of years ago, I called him with news that my younger sister (in her 20's, not married yet, but seriously dating her now H) was expecting twins.  He literally went off the deep end and called her so many names (not to her face) and said she would be a terrible parent because she "couldn't keep her legs closed" and that she was completely irresponsible.  I know for a fact that he had had SEVERAL "scares" in the past, but he got "lucky" because none of his gfs actually was preggers.  We got in a HUGE fight, and haven't spoken since.

I've been thinking about him alot lately. and I've also been seeing/ reading alot of things related to forgiveness.  If he had just offended me I know I would be able to forgive him and let it go- but I just don't think I can forgive him for saying those things about my sister (who I am VERY protective of). 

 Would you be able to forgive this? Am I being a terrible person because I can't?

Re: Could you forgive this?

  • Sounds to me like your friend banged your sister, or tried to and she turned him down. His reaction is just sick and bizarre.

    What do you mean by forgiveness? Do you want this person in your life again?

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  • Let it go.  His reaction was abnormal and he sounds controlling and weird.
  • I were living through the same experience, I would not invite this person back into my life.  To me, it says volumes about a person's character if they only "blame" the woman for unconventional pregnancy.  It doesn't sound like your former friend started going off about your sister's H saying, "Why didn't he just keep it in his pants?!"  IMHO, if this guy can't see the glaring contradiction and blatant sexism in how he acted (he even omitted his own scares, as you point out), then he doesn't sound like someone you need to bring back into your life.  Not to mention... HOW was it his business, exactly?  And why would he yell at YOU about it?  He sounds, bluntly, like an a$$.

    I am no stranger to the "Should I forgive __?" impulse, especially after it's been a while.  And (again, in my limited experience) it was never worth it; something ridiculous just ended up happening all over again.

  • He was like family-  My sibs thought of him like he was one of our brothers.   I don't think I necessarily want him back in my life, but I would like to be able to let it go and not have to agonize over forgiving him or not.  Does that make sense?

  • Bad assumption on my part (that you would want him in your life again). 

    I find that piecing together and then accepting/understanding the probable motivation behind an act (i.e., maybe he was worried about your sister) helps me forgive the person who did it, after time has passed.

  • Forgiving him sounds like a wonderful idea.  Allowing him back into your life sounds like a terrible idea.  I think that you can maybe realize that for whatever reason, he reacted innapropriately, but could still be a good person.  At the same time, anyone who has the capacity to behave like this, does not seem like the type of person that you want in your life.
    image
  • That depends - was your sister a ho?
  • Oh Kuus. hahahaha
    ..
  • I wouldn't be able to forgive that either.  Even if he said it about someone else's sister.  I wasn't a virgin on my wedding night either, and just because I managed to avoid getting pregnant doesn't mean I would ever be friends with someone who thought that made a woman a bad person or a bad parent.  Your sister is who is the comments were directed towards, but he clearly doesn't have any respect for any woman... whether he knows it or not. 
  • If he apologized and made the first move I could forgive him. But I could not be the one to seek him out and just forgive and forget. Best of luck.
  • Forgiveness is not a gift you give to him but to yourself, so that you don't keep letting him live in your head rent-free.  It sounds like he disappointed and surprised you by not being the person you thought he was.  Now that you know, do you really want to consider him your friend?  Can you just let him go?

    Why are you "VERY" protective of your sister?  Do you think she needs this protecting?  I suggest you examine your own feelings about your sister more deeply.  Family loyalty is one thing, but feeling overprotective of someone usually indicates you don't feel she's capable on her own somehow.  Good luck.

  • I agree with SueSue. My first thought was that he either:

    1. Admired your sister from afar and perhaps hoped that someday they would get together. Hearing she was pregnant made him realize that that wasn't going to happen and he went off on her due to that.

    2. Had been with her or propositioned her at some point and been turned down. Similar to above--his reaction was anger that she clearly wasn't against getting pregnant/married to anyone, just not to him.

    I don't know, I could be completely off base. That's what came to my mind, however.

    Like someone else said, if he were coming to you and apologizing, I would probably say to give it a shot. Since he isn't, try to let it go for your sake. Forgive him for you. I'm not sure I would seek him out to apologize, though.  

     

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  • As lots of pp's have said, I think you should forgive him.  You don't have to let him back in your life to forgive him.  Just let it go and don't allow him another second in your mind.  I know it's easier said than done, but whenever a bad thought of him enters your mind just block it out. 

    Since your sister doesn't know what he said (I assume you didn't tell him), don't worry about her in this.  It's between you and him.  I understand your being protective.  I get more upset about bad things said about my little brother than I do when bad things are said about me.  It's a normal reaction.  But she wasn't hurt in this.  You were.

    I agree that his reaction was bizaare.  Just do your best to move on, since I'm sure he doesn't think about this incident ever.  Why should you waste your energy hating him after all this time?  He doesn't deserve that, but you deserve to forgive him for your own peace of mind.

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  • I agree that you should forgive him, but not allow him back into your life.

    Sometimes our friends know our true feelings about our siblings, and when they repeat it back to us, and it bothers us ("oh, that's your sister being a flake again!").  Like - it's ok for ME to say that because she's MY sister, but not for YOU to say that.  Obviously, this is not one of those cases.  In this situation, he was WAY out of line! 

    Either he had a thing for your sister, was rejected, and took it out in a VERY nasty way, or he is a complete hypocrite and sexist as well.  Neither one is good friend material, IMO.

    You are more hurt by this than anyone else, probably because you didn't expect a friend to act that way.  Forgive and let go. 

    If it helps, either decide that his comments were completely out of character for him (which helps you to forgive, we all say bone-headed things), or look for clues that revealed his true character that you overlooked during your friendship.  For example, he had many pregnancy scares.  Obviously, he didn't think birth control was a man's job.  I don't know many men who have had more than 1-2 "scares" before they learn to be more responsible with b.c.

  • image jsillyfun:
    Forgiving him sounds like a wonderful idea.  Allowing him back into your life sounds like a terrible idea.  I think that you can maybe realize that for whatever reason, he reacted innapropriately, but could still be a good person.  At the same time, anyone who has the capacity to behave like this, does not seem like the type of person that you want in your life.

    ditto. i think it would be very good for you to forgive him seeing as you don't want to hold on to that negativity, or hold a grudge - it's not healthy for a person. but at the same time you should think about what his presence in your life does to you. he seems a little toxic, and i definitely wouldn't want a toxic person in my life.

  • Due to a situation I've dealt with, in reading this, I really think "what does forgiveness even mean?".

    DH and I had a friend who made an unbelievably horrid comment to my DH about something that DH and I were going through.  He was also one of DH's closest friends at the time.

    Once I found out  what he said....  I was just "done" w/ him.  I lost every last bit of respect I had for him, and to this day, I have not "forgiven" him and never will.   It was just too personal and not something a FRIEND says to you. 

    However, it isn't a constant source of tension or anger for me.  He is actually now minimally in my life and I can be polite and pleasant to him - but I still think he's an a$$hole who doesn't deserve my "forgiveness".  Even if it's for ME.

    But I've gotten over it enough to not let it weigh me down.  I don't need to "forgive" him in order to move on from it.  WHich is why I even question what forgiveness really even means.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • Forgive him? Yes. For my own sake. Not for his.  I'd end the friendship and move on. 
  • By the true definition of forgiveness, it is really for you and not for him. This way you can let go of the feelings about it. If you want closure you could call him or even write what therapists call a feeling letter you don't send (I've never done one, but I'm sure someone could tell you how to get started). Just because you forgive him doesn't mean you can't be wary of letting him fully back in to your life or that it didn't happen.

     I've struggled with forgiveness because I want to feel like if I forgive then it's excusing the behavior.

    Jennifer
  • Have you considered that one of his 'scares' may have been with your sister? (and perhaps he didn't elaborate for you on that one).

    Maybe he went through a scare with her, they resolved it in a way that hurt his feelings, and her being pregnant (possibly again) just brought up something shockingly painful for him?

    If his reaction was odd and out of character for the person that you usually know him as - then I'd probably call him and say 'We were close friends and you know how much I love my sister. I was really shocked by what you said about her and now that we've both had a little while to calm down - I just want to know what made you say something like that about her. You caught me off guard. I want to understand rather than be mad.' See where it goes and make your decision from there.

  • I agree with PP's... forgive him for your own benefit, get him out of your head, and move on.

    You can forgive someone and not forget their actions, and the way he behaved was really irrational in relation to the subject matter.

  • i agree with others there is a difference between forgiving someone and allowing them the same space that they had in your life... you can forgive him without allowing yourself that close again to protect yourself from getting that hurt again.
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  • First, I cannot believe how crude some people can be, some of the comments i've read are inappropriate and rude. seriously people, "banged" and calling her sister a "ho", not cool.

    I think that for your personal wellness, forgive him, you dont have to be friends with him. and if it still bothers you, let him know, send him a letter telling him how you felt when he said those things, tell him it's bothered you for sometime, but you need to forgive him because it's hurting you more now. Did you ever talk to you sister about what happened? I think the possible connection between then might be a good indicator of why he said what he did. or maybe he was just haveing a very bad day, but still, he should have apologised severly to you after that.

    I struggle with forgiveness in severe situations as well, it's something that I've been working on, and once you forgive someone who has hurt you so badly, you will feel better, and like the bigger person. Make sure you are ready, because if you try to forgive him without being ready, it will only come back to bug you more later. good luck!

  • i'm sure that if you talked to him now he'd probably be sorry for what he said. he's probably just never had the guts to talk to you thinking you may shoot him down. you two were friends for a LONG time and is something like that worth loosing someone that important to you? i mean if he still means it and thinks your sister is a whore now, then eff it. i think you should give it a shot. it's been a few years, it's time to forgive and forget.
  • I would forgive... Try to figure out what made him flip out and try to understand?
  • image Sue_sue:

    Sounds to me like your friend banged your sister, or tried to and she turned him down. His reaction is just sick and bizarre.

    What do you mean by forgiveness? Do you want this person in your life again?

    Agreeing with PP! Did they have any kind of relationship that you might not have been aware of?

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