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Forgiveness: Saying the words?

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manybrokenpieces posted 4/25/2013 21:44 PM

Recently, this definition of forgiveness was presented at a marriage encounter: a decision to let it go.
They gave the example: I forgive you. I will never use it against you in the future. I will never speak of it to you or anyone else.

They followed up saying forgiveness doesn't mean you forget or that you no longer think of the offense, but that you make a commitment to "send away" the incident every time it reappears in your mind.
I am just over a year out from dday and this week was the first time my husband asked for forgiveness.
Although I do not feel I can fully forgive him, it made me realize that there are some things I have already forgiven him for...things he probably didn't even realize I needed to forgive him for! I have forgiven him for initially denying the A, for keeping the fact that he attempted to have his friend aid him in cheating, for not being there for me when my parents divorced.
I never told him I forgave him for these things and I realize that he wants to hear this just as I need to hear and see and know that he is truly remorseful-worthy of forgiveness, love, and trust again.
There are so many other things I am not ready or able to forgive, but saying the words helped me to see hope when there are still moments that still seem hopeless
So, for those that have made it a year or more, have you been able to say and mean the words? Do you think you can truly forgive everything?
Waywards-did hearing the words impact you? How or if not, why not?

heforgotme posted 4/25/2013 22:00 PM

I forgive you. I will never use it against you in the future. I will never speak of it to you or anyone else.

If I had to abide by the last line, then I would never be able to forgive.

Hearthache again posted 4/25/2013 22:05 PM

I will never speak of it to you or anyone else.

I call BS on this. Forgiving of a minor offense I can see never bringing it up. But, this is a life altering thing that has happened to you. To never speak of it again is just plain wrong. It impacts so much of our lives and thinking. I have fully forgiving my H a long time ago. I do however bring it up when it pops into my head.

Just because you forgive them does not mean they don't have consequences for their actions. Having to be reminded of what they did time to time is one of those consequences. We are 3 years out and my H still has to check in and keep up complete transparency. We also discuss sporadically why things happened and what he is doing different. If you do not do stuff like this then full R can not happen.

Forgiveness does include you not using what they did in anger and as a manipulation tool. As for speaking about it to anyone else this is wrong also. I have used this part of my life to help others in this situation. Also talking about it in a positive manor is too. Talking about it as gossip or to get others to dislike your spouse is not included in forgiveness.

RidingHealingRd posted 4/25/2013 23:52 PM

I will never speak of it to you or anyone else.

He wishes...not happening, ever.

2.5yrs and have never said that word nor do I plan to. What I do say is,
"Some things are just unforgivable"

Lucky posted 4/26/2013 01:39 AM

I will never speak of it to you or anyone else.

Not in this universe.


So, for those that have made it a year or more, have you been able to say and mean the words?

I say this often - forgiveness is like peeling layers off of an onion, it takes time, and you can forgive in many layers - not all at once but for some things, little things, big things...


Do you think you can truly forgive everything?

Eventually, for some, yes.

For me - it took about five years of R and I had the perfect husband who did everything right.

[This message edited by Lucky at 1:40 AM, April 26th (Friday)]

sisoon posted 4/26/2013 07:51 AM

This conception of 'forgiveness' is not useful for me. For me, forgiveness was a way to keep myself from thinking or saying anything along the lines of 'Look what you did to me!' (Of course, my conception may not be useful for anyone else.)

We had a pre-A M in which we could talk about anything at virtually any time. I liked that. My W liked that. That's where we're going. 28 months out, I'm still healing; so is she - and that means the A comes up.

If talking about something has a positive outcome, I'll talk about it, and I think my W is aiming for the same practice.

Bikingguy posted 4/26/2013 08:00 AM

Our MC defined forgiveness as letting go of a desire to change the past.
I disagree with the "not bringing up" part. Nor have I read this definition in any of the books.

numb&dumb posted 4/26/2013 10:40 AM

I will never use it against you in the future. I will never speak of it to you or anyone else.

Yeah there are many approaches to forgiveness. If you are talking about forgetting to take the trash out, that works. However if you are talking about something like infidelity I don't think it applies.

If you can't forget and you want to have an honest M how can you not talk about it ? That is a recipe to restore old resentments. Honestly you are going to have days were you cope with feelings in a bad way. If you bring it up is it really the BS place to apologize for bringing it up ?

Let's call it what it is, rug sweeping, not being honest and suppressing your feelings.

Taking the situation further, does that mean that only the WS can introduce the topic ? And then the BS can't say anything because they have forgiven ?

Like I said there are many other "models" I would never follow that. It would likely lead me to a D.

Painfool posted 4/26/2013 11:01 AM

I agree with the other posts. Never talking about it is ridiculous. If something's bothering you and you are 'forbidden,' from talking about it, how can that help your relationship!? All it could do surely is mean that you end up having to deal with the crap on your own, and drive you further apart surely.

I haven't said the words myself personally, because I don't feel like I have forgiven him entirely, and don't know that I ever will. Maybe....but I don't know if I actually need to? Some things in life are unforgivable but that doesn't mean that you don't love someone etc.

Maybe my definition of forgiveness needs more thought

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