Six years ago I went to work in another country where I met a man from my homeland and, even though he was married, we had a romantic relationship. He returned to our country of origin. He would call me from time to time and… one day he told me that he wanted to return to where I was and asked me to send him money so he could. Totally trusting, I consented. Each month I sent him money, and I kept doing so for three years…. I was in love with him, so I believed him, and then he disappeared…. Eight months went by like that… and with each passing day the love that I once felt turned into hate, and I cursed him and his family.

I know that it is a sin to get involved with a married man. I feel disgust for myself and hatred for him… so much so that sometimes I can’t stand it, having anxiety issues, such as the compulsions to pull out my hair and to overeat. I know that I need help for my problem.

Dear Friend,

Hate is like fire: it has the power not only to hypnotize you, but also to consume you. What you have described is a life consumed by hate, and you have admitted that you are experiencing emotional problems as a result. That hate has led to changes in your brain, such that it is now producing the chemicals that cause you to feel anxious and to pull out your hair.

Of course you should have never had a romantic relationship with a married man. And of course he should not have lied to you or taken your money. But even though his behavior was reprehensible, you are choosing to let him victimize you over and over by continuing to hate him. You can never recover until you forgive him and put what happened behind you.

Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas, mocked and whipped by the Roman soldiers, and finally crucified by order of the ruling authorities. He had every reason to hate them all. He had done nothing wrong and was completely innocent. Yet, even in His agony, He said, “Father, forgive them.”(1) Jesus is the ultimate example of how to forgive.

But there is yet another reason to forgive. On another occasion Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”(2)

You have the choice to forgive or to continue to hate. Hate will get you more anxiety and more emotional problems. Your lack of forgiveness will mean that God will not forgive you for your sins, even when you ask Him. And if your sins are not forgiven, then you cannot go to heaven when you die. So you will live in misery on earth, and even death will not get you any relief.

Your hate and unforgiveness are not hurting the man or his wife. You are the only one who is being hurt. Ask God to help you forgive and put the past behind you. And then ask Him to guide you in making better decisions in the future regarding relationships and money.

We wish you well,

1 Lk 23:34
2 Mt 6:15