I've always known that forgiving what he has done regarding the A and after would take a very long time for me...if ever. But since we have moved on from "trying" to R (ok...he was just waiting for me to give in to his ways) to headed to divorce, and the last comment that did me in was when he told me I didn't belong in church because I never forgave him, I've been thinking about it. Not thinking about forgiving him because he wants it, just the meaning for me.
And I came to this conclusion. I forgive him for his issues. I forgive him for who he is and not beig able to change it (because who he is, is someone who would hurt someone else over and over). Can you forgive someone for that? But I don't forgive his actions. For myself, I know I don't need to forgive his actions to move on. I don't forgive him for hurting this family. But I forgive him for his whys.
Does it make sense? Any thoughts?
Confronted him: 12/22/2011
This is the most difficult thing I've ever done.
“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat......Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.........Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation.........Forgiveness does not excuse anything.........You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness......”
― Wm. Paul Young, The Shack
― Wm. Paul Young, The Shack
I always come back to this. Forgiveness is for me. It is to free me from holding in hate and anger and a grudge.
If and when you forgive him is completely up to you. And you never have to tell him that you did.
I remember when you posted about him telling you that you didn't belong in church, and man did my blood boil. HE doesn't belong in church either. Adultery is on God's Top Ten DO NOT DO list.
Forgiveness is for YOU, not him. If you're not ready to forgive, then don't.
For me, if I am going to forgive someone for hurting/harming me, I can only do it if I have seen true remorse from that person. If that person's behavior towards me has not changed, I cannot forgive.
And also...everything Moo said.
[This message edited by itainteasy at 9:23 AM, June 7th (Friday)]
That being said, don't feel rushed to do this, don't pressure yourself. I was only able to really forgive when I was healed. Now I went down the R road, had we D'd, and he then been responsible for his kids, and not a vindicitive F'r during D then I would have probably been able to forgive him at that point.
MU's statement is very true as well.
If you try to do it before your ready, you will find yourself feeling guilty for not really meaning it.
Now, I can forgive someone, and have no desire to reconcile with them. They are truly forgiven by me, but based on my feelings or beliefs, maintaining a relationship with them may not be a good idea. They are likely to not "feel" forgiven if that is the case. Not my problem.
Sometimes someone isn't sorry, I may want no relationship with them. But I still need to do MY work of not carrying aroung a big bag of hate and negative energy, I need to let it go. Not let it take up space in my head.
In my book, what gets called remorse around here needs to have a huge, solid basis in EMPATHY. Without it, the offender tends to just come off as rug sweeping, minimizing, sorry for being caught, sorry for the consequences.... but no more safe to be around than when they were doing the damage in the first place.
My 2 cents, for what it is worth.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
I'm wasn't thinking of this because I feel forced to forgive something. It was just a thought about if I could forgive now, what would it be.
What is really telling about who he is and what is a big flashing warning sign is why he wants forgiveness. He wants me to forgive him so he has a reason to try. Why would he want to try if I don't forgive him (yes he has said that)? He wants to know that I will love him each time he fucks up...but he wants that reassurance first. I recognize that. Sorry dude. Not the kind of man I want in my life.
When I am able to forgive myself, I am able to forgive others. But, I don't worry about it. It happens when it happens. I have had people do "unforgivable" things to me. (Father physically abusing me.) I didn't think I would ever forgive him. He never asked for forgiveness. One day, I woke up and realized I had forgiven my father. It just happened.
To me, that is what true forgiveness is. It is a process. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It is in the hidden corners of our hearts and minds. It is in our growing and experiencing life, in our everyday interactions with other people. It is in our ability to love others. It is in our ability to love and accept ourselves and to forgive ourselves for being flawed human beings.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak." ~ Homer Simpson
I feel forgiveness without things like empathy, remorse, restitution, or forgiveness given of fear of going to hell for not forgiving... It's not realistic. It's more denial and repression than forgiveness. Worse yet, it let's the abuser off the hook and free to abise again and again and again.
I read a book I found very validating. You might find it helpful. It really is one of the best self help books I've ever read. It's called, "How Can I Forgive You?" It talks about the difference between forgiveness and acceptance. Some people do not deserve forgiveness. They haven't earned it. They are toxic to us. We don't have to forgive to move on. We can accept that they are toxic people, remove them from our lives and move on.
I haven't spoken to him once for the past 32 years. Changed my name, moved, don't have any other family for him to find me through. He doesn't even know if I'm alive. He does not deserve the privilege of knowing me or anything about me. I never forgave him, just accepted he was a serial child molester and rapist and that I was better off without him. Nothing to regret there. I did try to protect future victims by reporting him to authorities. It didn't do any good. I did tell is parents right after my last conversation with him. That, at least, did lead to other victims in the family coming out with their stories. I was able to find out that and other information through a Facebook contact with one of his other victims. Gotta love social media.
As for WH, I can't say I've forgiven or accepted. He is working on earning forgiveness. I am working on acceptance.
[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 10:17 AM, June 7th (Friday)]
He's hurt you repeatedly after promising to stop. The last time (that you don't belong in church) was less than a month ago, and it cut very, very deep, right? You're working out a D that he doesn't want - how likely is it that he'll attack and hurt you again?
Your idea makes perfect sense to me. It sounds healthy, and it sounds like a step that will allow you to heal further.
Forgive your H when and if he stops hurting you.
As some wise other members here are fond of saying FTG.
Wait . . . What? OMG! That gave me the best belly laugh. And, to think he doesn't know how stupid that sounds.
And it sounds like he doesn't know what church is about either! Jus' sayin.
his idea is that he can't stop doing the things that hurt me until he knows I will forgive him. And not forgive him in my own time.
He's beyond nasty and abusive. Where the hell did he get the idea he can continue to hurt another person in order to extort forgiveness??? He needs to be quarantined!
More important, what do you need to do to keep yourself from buying into his effed up mindset?
I know you're still very far down, and for very good reason - but you've got to find the strength to detach from his craziness.
You've been betrayed. You've suffered loss. He's trying to keep you from church, where you're welcome. You can - you've got to - take care of yourself and stop taking care of him - that'll be better for both of you.
Can you talk to your pastor?
[This message edited by sisoon at 3:23 PM, June 7th (Friday)]
It's so dumb it makes it easy to walk away.
And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
― Sarah McMane
I'm also at a new level of detachment. Previously I tried, had some success, but always failed. Because I had hope that he would change. I believed he was stronger than his whys. Or at least his love for me was. In the past month or two I've put a lot together and reached some new understandings. I have a post down in divorce/separation about it. I'm not surprised by him. Because I finally believe what he had shown me since DDay and for the last 15 years. It hurts. But I'm not hurting to have him. I think more importantly the feelings of worthlessness has pretty much left now that he has shown me and I believe his brokenness.