America’s sweetheart, Sandra Bullock, recently moved out of the house in California she shared with bad boy husband, Jesse James, after allegations surfaced that James carried on an 11-month affair with tattoo model, Michelle Bombshell McGee.
Oh my goodness, what’s the world coming to? If Bullock doesn’t have what it takes to keep a man faithful, who does? After all, Bullock is rich, smart, and enormously successful. Oh, and she also has a perfect body and a perfect face, the kind men swoon for.
After getting caught with his pants down, so to speak, an upset James responded with a public statement. “There is only one person to blame for this whole situation,” he said, “and that is me. It's because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way."
Click on any talk show and you’ll hear the same question over and over. Should our beloved Sandra forgive the dastardly Jesse? And if yes, then what are the steps towards forgiveness that need to be taken?
As we explore the concept of forgiveness, the most important thing to keep in mind is that there’s a radical difference between the popular social version of forgiveness we all know and practice and the uncompromisingly spiritual version of forgiveness, which is still a mystery to most Earthlings. One type of forgiveness makes you feel bad about self or another. The other one makes you feel good. A quick and easy way to tell the difference is to do an experiment in your own life. Try both methods and see which one makes you happier.
First, let’s take a look at the social forgiveness conventions around infidelity. Typically, forgiveness is only extended when a set of certain mandatory conditions are met, and which may involve a rather extended period of time. The person to be forgiven must admit his or her badness or wrongness and must express genuine remorse. Then he or she must apologize.
This apology might need to be repeated several times – perhaps the remainder of life. And lastly, he or she must vow to never be unfaithful again. Adulterers get bonus forgiveness points if they come up with a plan of action to prevent future problems from cropping up, such as marital counseling, sex rehab, or other prescriptive activities.
Even after the unfaithful spouse does all this jumping through hoops and posturing, the spouse doing the forgiving is still not socially obligated to forgive. After all, a breach of the exclusive love contract is a grievous assault. The wronged spouse has the option of staying hurt and offended for as long as subjectively deemed appropriate.