“I shot my wife three times, will you help me save my marriage?”…REALLY???

~ When I used to work as a counselor, one of the most difficult situations I found myself in was related to a client who had been attending a group counseling session I led for a number of months. He had been court mandated to the group as part of his release from jail and he would never share during the meetings. It didn’t matter what the topic was for the week he remained totally silent every week and he was so hard to read I often wondered if he was even paying attention to the things that were shared during the meetings.

It was a few months after he started coming to the sessions that he asked to meet with me privately one evening,

Kenneth, I’ve been listening to everything you say in the meetings about forgiveness and having a purpose to our lives. I’ve never had a purpose. I’ve only ever did whatever I felt like. The reason I went to jail is because I got drunk one night and shot my wife three times in the stomach. She almost died. I was wondering if you could help me get her back into my life?”

What do you say when someone comes to you with something like that? Help him get his wife back? Gosh, if his wife was my daughter or sister I would probably tell her to run as far away from the dude and never let him anywhere near her again. After all, domestic violence is no laughing matter, and when your husband pulls a gun out and actually shoots you….well, let’s just say it seems like that should be the end of the relationship for good…doesn’t it?

We all screw up, and I’ve always been the type of person that believes in forgiveness. However, some things are really hard to forgive.

Someone at coffee the other day asked me, “Do we always have to forgive people, or are there times we don’t have to forgive them?

How do you begin to wrap  your brain around the subject?

The laws have changed quite a bit in our country over the year. I know of a couple cases in particular where rapists were given less than a year in jail. A person I once knew via a coffee house molested and raped a 13 year old child; the perpetrator was given less than 10 months in jail.

What do you do with murderers, rapists, and other such perpetrators? Do you simply arrest them, forgive them, and let them out of jail after ten months? Is this the best course our society should take in the modern era?

I’m not saying I have the answers. It is a difficult subject, and ultimately I believe it is much easier to forgive someone than to forget what they did.

I recently logged onto the state website that tracks all of the people who have been convicted of sex crimes. It is rather overwhelming to see how many people live in the community that have been in and out of jail for sex crime; are they all reformed? Were some of them convicted unjustly? Were some of them innocent? Will some of them rape or molest again?

Some issues are rather difficult.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,


Categories: relationships

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