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Forgiveness, why I cannot.

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bitterbetrayal posted 7/5/2013 02:33 AM

When we are arguing my WH often throws at me 'you will never forgive me will you?'I have often puzzled at this idea of forgiveness and know all the reasons why we should for our own peace of mind etc,etc There have been some powerful threads on this topic over the years which I have found very helpful.For me just being with my WH still is a form of forgiveness in action.
I know (from my endless hours of counselling)that I need to be in touch with my feelings and to understand where they come from. To be authentic to myself. It is so easy for my WH to accuse me of lack of forgiveness and for others to tell me I need to forgive.But if I am honest with my feelings then I know I cannot forgive him. And I am ok with that. You see I still hate him for what he did.That hate comes from anger or is it the other way round!!? That anger comes from terrible pain and hurt.That pain comes from a kind of madness.I am mad with pain. I am still in torment. But I live along side this madness and am able to function on a daily basis with it.
As long as I have this madness in me then I don't think I can forgive.
But here is the important link I have made. You see when my WH accuses me of not being able to forgive him, it is true I can't because of my madness. But then I realize that he was in a form of madness for over three years when he was betraying me. He was totally unable to care about the destruction he was doing to his family. In his madness he was capable of unbelievable cruelty, verbal and physical abuse. He rewrote our marriage history, he found his true love and soul mate.As a priest he cared not at all for his congregation. He was mad with love.
So when he accuses me of not forgiving I will respond with 'that is true, I cannot whist I have this madness in me' and that 'I am no more capable of stopping this madness than you were of stopping yours for all those years.'
My madness might last forever

Bobbi_sue posted 7/5/2013 02:54 AM

For me just being with my WH still is a form of forgiveness in action.

Staying with someone in the situation you described does not sounds like a "form of forgiveness" to me. It sounds like someone afraid of change, afraid to strike out on his/her own. Or staying for some other reason, but not as a form of forgiveness in action.

You see I still hate him for what he did.That hate comes from anger or is it the other way round!!?
I'm not saying that every situation is "forgivable" but it looks like your D-day was almost 4 years ago. For me, I decided early on, based on his extreme remorse and other factors, that yes I wanted to stay with him and yes I wanted to forgive him. Feeling that I hated him (even part of the time) would be very counterproductive to forgiving. I am not suggesting that you or anybody else should make the same choices I make, but I would divorce someone if I could not forgive and stop hating him in far less than four years after D-day. (I filed for a D two days after the final D-day in my first M; he was a religious man who sometimes filled in for the preacher giving sermons at church, and he was a church organist, and also a serial cheater). I still don't hate my XH but I'm much happier not living with him because what he did is just something I could not live with, nor would I ever be able to trust him, even a little.

[This message edited by Bobbi_sue at 3:01 AM, July 5th (Friday)]

bitterbetrayal posted 7/5/2013 04:07 AM

I don't hate him I love him. I hate what he did to us.He is a good person who did something very very evil. I cannot forgive what he has done to me.But he is also a wonderful husband and father to our children. I am talking about specific actions he took.I cannot forget or forgive those. That does not mean that I should leave him. It means I have to live with that pain and still love him despite it.

confused615 posted 7/5/2013 05:19 AM

I understand exactly what you're saying. I could have written your posts word for word,except my WH's not a priest.

I can not forgive either..the madness lives in me also.

You've perfectly described exactly how I've felt for the last 3 years.

heartache101 posted 7/5/2013 06:59 AM


I am one of those I don't forgive and I don't forget. It is there always it is part of OUR past. I don't like it at all.
The hate has went away to a saddness as if it was a death. KWIM? I mourn the loss of something so innocent and sweet as love. It has been replaced with a new love but I would rather have the old me the old love...It is truly sad.
I am further out then you. Been married 30 years this year. I can tell you that I am glad I stayed.
But he decided he wanted this marriage and he works harder at it at times then I do. That keeps us going. He keeps us going.
I have told him from the beginning I will never forgive and I will never forget.
It can work but you have to be true to YOU...

Althea posted 7/5/2013 07:01 AM

I agree that forgiveness is a totally personal thing. Personally, I needed it. I needed to find a way to reconcile the man who did those horrible things to me with the man who is now a great husband and father. Forgiveness gave me that. I also think there are a lot of possible roads to travel as a BS. As long as you are happy and healthy, that is really what matters.

One thing I can offer is something my therapist told me: anger (and hate) are cover up emotions. That is they are protecting other more vulnerable parts of yourself. It sounds like the hurt and betrayal are a piece of that for you, but maybe there is more? Perhaps working hard on unpacking what the anger and hate are protecting and covering for will help ease that burden. I would hate to still be carrying those feelings around after 4 years. That is a lot of weight for one person's shoulders.

sisoon posted 7/5/2013 07:29 AM

'I am no more capable of stopping this madness than you were of stopping yours for all those years.'

I guess this is true, but I believe he could have stopped his madness, and - much more important - you can stop yours.

Remember, your H cheated because of his own issues, not because he had any issues with you. Gently, it sounds like your lack of forgiveness is because of your own issues, not because of issues between you and him....

If you want to change - and you're the prime beneficiary of changing - search the web on NIGYSOB. I'm not sure that's what is going on but it might kick off a chain of thought that ends up showing you what the issues are.

Stillhurt123 posted 7/5/2013 07:49 AM

bitterbetrayal - I do know where you're coming from.

I am 19 months out from DDay, and I recently came to the same place you are. I may change, but for now...I've accepted that this is my past...that I know I've come to.

But forgiveness?! I understand what happened, I saw HOW it happened, but there was so much and for soooo long, and all the lies. I have come to terms with the fact that I accept what happened, it's part of my past, but I don't think I will ever forgive him. And that's ok with's ok with him.

I certainly don't hate him, I don't think he was well when all this happened, and I think me leaving shook him up and made him realize he was unhealthy. So, I don't have any hate in my body, I have love, understanding and support....still not forgiveness though.

What I have learned through life is that everyone is different, everyone's path is different and we can only do what's right for us.

m334455 posted 7/6/2013 01:18 AM

Don't debate it with him. Next time he throws out a "you'll never forgive me" (what is that anyway? fishing or a pity party?) Respond with a nice neutral "I'm sorry you feel that way." and MOVE ON.

It's none of his business when or whether you forgive him. He's a priest? Tell him forgiveness is between him and God.

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