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Is this really forgiveable?

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naivewife posted 6/17/2013 13:39 PM

Just wondering what others thoughts are on forgiveness. I know WH wants to be forgiven someday, and though I understand he was going through hell at the time I still question whether it's even possible to forgive something like this. A ONS, I could sort of see that, especially when they typically happen under the influence. But when a spouse spends months or even years deceiving, betraying, and having no concern for the pain they cause us, how do you forgive that? I often think about "conditions" for lack of a better word, for forgiveness. I know one condition for me is that it will take a long time, if at all, because I want to see that he truly has changed and committed himself to his family, long-term, before I can even consider forgiveness. What are your thoughts on forgiving? What are you looking for, if anything, in order to forgive?

PurpleBirch posted 6/17/2013 13:48 PM

I know that people say that forgiveness is for you, not the other person. Personally, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. I think it would be easier for me to want to forgive if my WH was more remorseful, and acted like he wanted to spend time with us. (He plays lots of video games, and I feel that we sometimes get the leftovers)

Jospehine85 posted 6/17/2013 13:56 PM

I guess it depends upon how you define forgiveness.

If forgiveness means no longer feeling a need to exact payment or retribution, then I think I am there (OW is an entirely other story). I couldn't truly R without getting to that point.

If forgiveness means no longer feeling emotions when I think of his A, well then I am not there yet and I don't think I will ever be able to think of his A and pre A behavior without sadness.

I believe forgiveness is more about not looking for retribution. Forgiveness is supposed to be for the benefit of the BS. So long as the BS feels the score needs to be evened out, they will never be happy. Why? Because there is nothing a WS can do to ever erase what they have done.

rachelc posted 6/17/2013 16:21 PM

I think one affair, with a remorseful spouse IS forgivable.

Two however or certain LTA, especially when the wayward can see how much damage the first one caused, it's really unforgivable...

I say this as someone who had an A and took it underground after I confessed. Probably unforgivable.

homewrecked2011 posted 6/17/2013 16:33 PM

I think there is a difference in forgiving and re-bonding.

I think they both take alot of time to reach that point.

In my case, my previous H was an alcoholic. He became sober, but I could not get along with the new person who refused to work with me thru counseling to re-bond or repair the marriage itself. I eventually left him. It took me a couple of years after that to truly forgive him for what he did during marriage, and the forgiveness was for me, not him so I didn't carry around the resentment any longer. I never even told him I forgave him.

Take it slowly. Keep you eyes open to see if he really does the work and becomes a new person. Not sleeping with anyone outside of the marriage from here on out is only the start of "fixing" everything.

1Faith posted 6/17/2013 16:54 PM

It is important to respect the trauma that you have and are going through and not try to rush your healing. Trust is a part of healing.

The trust I was more interested in regaining at that time was trust in myself. Once I felt strong with me, I began to take tentative steps at trust for my H.

I found that, words and behaviors from my H added currency at small increments at a time to my trust bank for him. What also was a huge factor was my gut feeling about him, this is why I first needed to learn how to trust myself again. Even so, when I first began to trust, which was about a year and a half after D-day give or take, I see-sawed back and forth constantly. In the beginning, it is a leap of faith to some degree, so I kept hopping back and forth. As my trust grew, I waivered less and less.

It is just that I reserve the right to feel doubt and question, something I did not do pre-D-day.

IMO, regaining some trust has to come before forgiveness.

Forgiveness is making a decision to give up your feelings of anger, bitterness, resentment and hatred towards a person who has committed a wrong against you. It is also giving up your right to punish that person for what they've done to you.

The people who are hardest to forgive are our partners, ourselves, church people and God. Perhaps because we expect more from these individuals … and rightly so.

12 Steps to Forgiveness

1. Write down the name of the person you need to forgive.

2. Acknowledge how hurt you are, and even the hatred you may feel towards this person for what they have done.

3. Think of times in your own life when your wrong actions have hurt or disappointed others. We also owed a debt we couldn’t pay. None of us is perfect. None of us is without fault. It is much easier to forgive others, when we bear in mind our own weaknesses and failings. We are all in need of forgiveness from time to time. Maybe we have never committed something as awful as betrayal, but as long as we have an uppity “I’m better than you” attitude, we will have trouble forgiving others. It is important to be honest with ourselves, and to view ourselves with sober judgment.

4. Decide you will bear the burden of the person’s wrongdoing. In other words your spouse’s affair is causing you tremendous pain, that’s the burden. Be brave and decide you will face that pain, rather than attempting to escape from it. As you do, the pain will begin to subside.

5. Take your piece of paper and write: I forgive ____________ (fill in the person’s name) for _______________ (write it all down) and it made me feel __________________. Write as much as you need to.

6. Make a decision to forgive. Say it out loud, “I make a decision right now to forgive _____________ (verbalize the situation).” Take as long as you need to, and be real. Ask for divine help if you need to.

7. Destroy the list: Rip or better yet, burn it.

8. Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other person.

9. Try to understand the person you have forgiven. What is their point of view? How do they feel? Why did they do what they did? What have their life experiences been that have made them vulnerable to such temptation and wrongdoing?

10. Expect positive results of forgiveness in you.

11. Think of what you’ve learned through this experience. What could you do better in the future? How can you help others going through the same or similar pain? It helps when you can redeem some meaning and purpose out of all the pain and mess. It feels much better, when we can think it was not for nothing, that it wasn’t meaningless.

Forgiveness is a learned skill. We don’t just know how automatically.

12. Be sure to accept your part of the blame for the offenses you suffered, where applicable. I accept no blame for my husband’s affair. I do not feel I can be held responsible for something, when I did not have the opportunity to participate in the decision of whether or not it was going to happen. But I do accept blame for my part in our relationship breakdown. That was very hard to do, but when I finally did this, we really began to move forward in our healing.

Forgiving something as major as betrayal is a process. It takes time to process all of our emotions; anger, grief and sadness. The important thing is to be moving forward from whatever point we are at.

It is healthy to give yourself appropriate time to process your emotions, when forgiving infidelity.

[This message edited by 1Faith at 4:55 PM, June 17th (Monday)]

StillGoing posted 6/17/2013 17:00 PM

I think there is a difference in forgiving and re-bonding.

Good point that bears repeating.

tabitha95 posted 6/17/2013 17:15 PM

I don't have a hang-up about forgiving XH. I don't forgive him and I'm not going to worry about not forgiving him.

I have no hate or anger, it's not like that. In fact, I just spend the week-end with him and our boys at the beach. It was all nice and civil and everyone had a good time, especially the boys. I tended to his physical wounds for weeks in February when he was in a car accident. He and I get along fine.

I don't forgive him and I'm not going to go through some motion to pretend I do. I can go on with whatever type of relationship we have as co-parents without forgiving him. I put my kid's needs before mine when it comes to dealing with their dad.

Maybe one day I'll wake up and realize I do/did forgive him.

Right now, I'm not there.

Not forgiving doesn't mean hate or anger to me. It means I'm not over the pain he caused me in a way that I can release him from.

Ashland13 posted 6/17/2013 19:01 PM

I don't like saying it, but I don't forgive Perv, either. I don't like it about myself and have spent time studying the topic. I can get past things he does a lot sooner, but the way he ruined all of our lives, without care and is still ruining things a year later...I can't.

He continues to do much that is against my wishes with DD and the baby isn't even here yet and he's causing anger over some of my wishes for him.

How do you forgive a person who knew your core values and went as against them as he possibly could? Our whole family but then mine and his, he mocked with his actions and went against ALL of our beliefs...and did this with eyes wide open.

As well are the personal insults to myself, that continue a year after being abandoned and like I said, we are supposed to "coparent", but he just bullies.

I've accepted what he is and who he's become, but forgive? No.

Emptyshelldad posted 6/17/2013 19:16 PM

I feel this same way. if it had been something that happened, as we are human, I could work and forgive that. But all the planning and deception, and willful betrayal over a long period of time. you would think a good person would have a conscience at some point during that time, and feel really guilty at least. But nope. they can even ask you to buy lingerie supposedly for you, but then later say they didn't like the way they looked it in it, and really find out, it was for boyfriend and she didn't want to use it for both of you.
It's things like this that replaced my once beating warm heart, with a steel mechanical pump.

Alex CR posted 6/17/2013 19:38 PM

I really don't know if I'll ever forgive my H....five years of cheating and ignoring not just me, but his family's emotional needs. His kids all struggled through teenage hell while he spent all his time working or with another woman...well how do you forgive that?

OTOH, H has worked hard to repair the damage to our relationship, rebuilding trust and shows he loves me in many ways.

Acceptance is the stage that made a difference for me....accepting this is part of our life, our marriage..that it can't be undone but we can move ahead and I can be happy with him.

Although everyone says forgiveness is for the benefit of the betrayed, to me, it feels more like it benefits the WS....I don't feel a need to forgive H.

Maybe after five years of R I'll feel differently about five years of cheating, but I don't know... and at this point, I'm not concerned about it.

H asked me a few months after DDay if I could ever forgive him and I told him I didn't think so......and we left it at that.

movingforward13 posted 6/17/2013 21:47 PM

I could forgive if he displayed true, genuine remorse. It would be a long hard road, but I know in my heart I could forgive.

StrongerOne posted 6/17/2013 22:02 PM

For me the difference is acceptance rather than forgiveness. I don't forgive him, in part because I gave up and continue to give up things I would like to one does in a marriage. If he hadn't cheated,I wouldn't mind the giving up. I accept that he cheated, and I'm not angry or obsessed about it any more. But I don't forgive him for it.

Marley76 posted 6/17/2013 22:47 PM

My stance is acceptance and moving forward....Without him! Peace while this whole thing plays out, Especially for the kids sake. As for for forgiveness. No. He simply doesn't deserve it. I feel sorry for him though. If this is the best he could do in a relationship, his life will grow very empty.

RidingHealingRd posted 6/17/2013 23:29 PM

I shall preface my response by stating my WH has been a model WH who has taken responsibility for his actions, has been deeply remorseful, and has worked daily to become a better person.

I feel it is important to accept what my WH did and to work through the intense anger, but I will never forgive him. I would be lying if I said that I could reach a point where I no longer resented what he did.

I do not stress over forgiveness. I do not believe that without it we can't move on successfully in R. My WH is well aware of my feelings about forgiveness...He once stated, "I know you will never forgive me..." Truer words were never spoken.

Some things are just too huge to forgive.

NotDefeatedYet posted 6/18/2013 00:39 AM

I can forgive someone for overcooking the turkey. Smashing a marriage vow to bits? No, that's not gonna happen.

RightTrack posted 6/18/2013 06:55 AM

I think if he died some terribly painful death in a burning car or a slow dive accident I would forgive him.

TrustGone posted 6/18/2013 07:28 AM

I think I forgave XWH#1 for 20+ yrs of drunken ONS's and EA's about 5yrs after the D was final. Either that or it just became indifference. I don't know if I will ever forgive WH#2 for his 3yr LTA. There is too much involved to ever forgive him right now and OW is still lurking around causing problems that he is doing nothing about. How do you forgive someone that lets another person hurt the one you love over and over again. I think I might have been able to forgive him after DDay#1, but after DDay#2 I don't think I can anymore. Too much water under the bridge. I can only hope that I can once again get to the indifference stage and just let it go like I did with XWH#1.

Itstoohard posted 6/18/2013 07:52 AM

I have trouble with this " forgiveness" thing. I guess I understand how the BS can benefit if they forgive tho I am still trying to just accept it. I feel if we can control the anger -shouldn't that be what is healthy for us? The WS is the one asking for it so seems like it is more important to them for us to do so. I just don't see me ever being able to forgive him..I shooting for the ability to let go of any inner "ugly s" and acceptance that I spent a lot of years on a one sided M but forgive him...that's a definite least not in the near future

anewhaven posted 6/18/2013 08:15 AM

No, I don't think so.

An 18 year affair, an OC, using me as a Cialis 'remnant' when he had just been with her - no, I'm not there yet, and probably never will be.

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