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should I forgive this man?

(52 Posts)
kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:10:08

My husband has used an 'odd job man' for a few years. A year ago he took some money that my husband gave him for buying doors and used it to pay some bailiffs. He also lied about it. He eventually put things right financially. My husband was irate at the time and it really affected us (affected timing of works and tenants moving in etc). I think this man is untrustworthy and once he has basically stolen from us, he could easily do this again. Dh keeps using him and he is doing some work at our house at moment. I just don't want him here, I think dh should have stopped using him. Dh is saying he has forgiven him, and as we are both Christians, so should I. But I can't- people have to understand that their actions have an effect and he is just learning that the 'thieving' is OK and forgivable. My dh thinks I am being V unreasonable. I think he is a walkover. What do you think??

Mishy1234 Tue 25-Oct-11 09:17:07

I can see why you don't want this man around. However, I do think your DH has a point. Sometimes people do dishonest things when they are desperate. This man stole from you to pay bailiffs. He then lied about it, most likely as he was ashamed (rightly so) about what he had done. He did put things right though and your husband feels he deserves a second chance.

I think your husband sounds like a really nice guy and I would try to support him and forgive this guy too.

Shutupanddrive Tue 25-Oct-11 09:18:17

YANBU get rid
Of odd job man I mean, not hubby! You should not have to feel uncomfortable in your own home

startwig1982 Tue 25-Oct-11 09:18:53

If he's paid you back and your DH has moved on, then the Christian thing to do is also to move on. Turning the other cheek is rarely easy but it's a key teaching. This bloke clearly needs the money he gets from doing your odd jobs so let him continue. Maybe just don't give him cash to go and buy stuff. Hth.

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:20:14

OK Mishy1234- my dh is really nice- and he thinks I am a complete bitch! He does this all the time- is so bloody nice to people and it ends up costing us in stress and time (and often money). The man just makes my skin crawl.

omgomgomg Tue 25-Oct-11 09:20:33

Your husband has given the man a second chance, doesn't everyone deserve a second chance in life ?

Lesson learned - not to put temptation this man's way by paying him up front for materials (either pay the supplier direct or only pay after job is done) as he is possibly bad with managing money.

He may have a family to support and he may have learned his lesson re the getting into a mess with his bills etc. Do you really want to punish him forever ? Is that charitable or christian, bearing a grudge ?

Olderyetwilder Tue 25-Oct-11 09:20:48

Do you think he took the money because he was in a desperate situation and acted out of character, or that he's fundamentally dishonest? To be honest, I'm surprised he can face you, he must know that you know, I'd be too ashaed if I was him.

Only you can decide whether you can trust him (and I wouldn't be letting him in the house unsupervised)

However, I don't think that showing him forgiveness teaches him that thieving is ok, he's a grown man and presumably his actions have had an effect, he's lost your trust and knows it.

Is there anything he could do to rebuild your trust? It sounds important to your DH, so if it was me, I would try (but I'd be careful too)

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:22:42

Thanks start- I also think the bible teaches an eye for an eye, and soft wishy washy, 'let's not worry about it' doesn't help anyone. But the odd job man does need it. I think because my husband is so nice, it makes me even more harsh.

Olderyetwilder Tue 25-Oct-11 09:24:46

In which case kangers, wait for him to turn his back then nick his wallet and see how he likes it grin

MoaninMinny Tue 25-Oct-11 09:26:57

maybe he was at his wits end and the temptation was just too great. Who wouldnt be with bailiffs threatening at the door.

Maybe he is beside himself with guilt and remorse and would never normally do anything like that but was absolutely desperate to protect his family

you dont sound very christian or charitable tbh

omgomgomg Tue 25-Oct-11 09:27:06

"The man just makes my skin crawl"

Now it sounds like you simply don't like the guy anyway and are possibly using his financial crime to justify not wanting him around.

You don't sound very christian you know.

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:27:11

Older- I am not sure if he is fundamentally dishonest- I don't know him really and try not to- I just know the effect he has had on my dh. My husband surrounds himself with lots of waifs and strays. I am a teacher and do plenty of 'helping others above and beyond' at school. I am not the type to live with loads of 'weirdo's' and like to control my environment, but hubby loves it. I think he would live on the streets with the homeless if he cold.

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:27:23


C4ro Tue 25-Oct-11 09:27:51

I had a cleaner steal from me and I didn't kick her out. It was always awkward and dreadful from that point on- the main problem was that she was really my landlords cleaner so if I'd grassed her up or fired her, it would probably have had much wider repercussions on her. It was a massive relief when I moved house. It's put me right off getting a cleaner too sadly- I'd really like to get one but they would have to be ultra-trustworthy as I'm just not in the house in the day.

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:28:02

older grin

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:30:47

I know I do not sound very Christian- dh told me last night to stop 'trying' to be a Christian!!
I don't get why being a Christian means you should put up with people you don't trust being in your house.
I should probably go to bible class again....

slavetofilofax Tue 25-Oct-11 09:31:22

If you take an eye for an eye the whole world goes blind.

I would forgive the man, but I would also be uncomfortable leaaving him, or even having him in my house.

I think your DH sounds lovely, but should respect the fact that even if you have forgiven, you shouldn't have to have someone in your house that you are uncomfortable with.

If your dh is determined to let him do work for you, then you should comprompise, and the work should only be done when he is around to supervise.

colken Tue 25-Oct-11 09:33:08

I am a Christian but would have a good think about forgiving this odd job man.

My husband and I employed window cleaners who offered to do some essential handywork and we accepted the offer because we could not do it ourselves. Their work was ok so we were satisfied and paid them £50 for the labour (we thought that was more than reasonable). One day they were doing some work round the corner and one of them knocked at the door to 'borrow' £20. I opened the door reluctant to let him in (ESP?). My husband allowed him in and 'lent' him £20 much to my vociferous objection. I asked for the man's watch as security and finished up with an IOU (better than nothing). Did we ever get them money back? No. I felt sorry for my husband because he had always been a lovely man, genrous and kind.

Sorry for the long winded reason for not forgiving. One other question though. Had the odd job man stolen from others before the incident you describe? He might make a habit of it for all you know.

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:39:59

No idea about odd job man's previous form. My recently passed mil was convinced he stole a diamond ring from her when he did some work at hers- but absolutely NO evidence. He's just a bit surreptitious and sly- and very over-familiar.
He lives on a tough estate and has his son living with him- he is in his 60's (but looks in his 40's!)

Ormirian Tue 25-Oct-11 09:41:07

Blimey! If there is any point to Christianity at all, it's that it offers salvation and forgiveness. Second chances etc. The eye for an eye thing is a bit Old Testament and pretty vile.

I don't understand why he makes your skin crawl. Stealing money in dire straits is stupid and dishonest but not something to cause such revulsion.

I also find your use of language quite odd - 'waifs and strays' and 'weirdos' hmm.

Georgimama Tue 25-Oct-11 09:45:15

I think you should forgive him, but that doesn't mean you have to keep using his services if he makes you feel uncomfortable. And your husband should prioritise your feelings as his wife over this man's rehabilitation (tell him Saint Paul said so).

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:46:14

ormirian- why is that odd?
Take your point about forgiveness- know eye for eye not good but it IS biblical!
I would never steal money from someone- do not think it is acceptable and I do find it revolting that he has got away scot free and is carrying on like normal I do sound very harsh don't I.

kangers Tue 25-Oct-11 09:48:11

georgi thats definitely part of it- I think this goes far deeper than just this man- its about my dh responses to my concerns. And dh does not consult me about what he is doing EVER, in any way. And this man being arond is the embodiment of that.

Georgimama Tue 25-Oct-11 09:50:39

And dh does not consult me about what he is doing EVER, in any way. And this man being arond is the embodiment of that.

Then that needs addressing, pronto. Saintly people like your DH are in many ways incredibly selfish.

toddlerama Tue 25-Oct-11 09:53:51

"An eye for an eye" was actually a temperance on the previous custom of a hand for a loaf of bread, a life for theft etc. It was one of the 'kindest' societies at that time. When Jesus asks us to go further and let it go all together (forgive as we have been forgiven) you get the bigger picture of how God feels about holding grudges.

However, that said it sounds like you are very uncomfortable around this man anyway. That's ok and of course you should be able to trust your instincts. Talk to your DH about needing to feel like he values you and your comfort higher than a random handyman's.

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