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longroadahead22 posted 7/10/2013 20:29 PM

ive been stuck on the self forgiveness aspect of my own personal healing for a while, well in all reality its not that long but it is to me. for the longest time i thought i had to forgive myself for harming my BS. come to learn through her reading and my IC that its not my hurt to forgive, that is her's, and she has done so!!! amazingly my BS has forgiven me! i thought this would bring peace and comfort, but it only makes it hurt worse. the only hurt i have to forgive is the betrayal of myself. i used to be the type that would punch a guy for cheating, now im punching myself (metaphorically). i feel like i am falling back into my old ways of pitty party because i keep thinking "i'm an ass hole, a horrible father, and a worse husband, if i wasn't then why would i do this to my family?" my IC says i need to stop the pitty party by replacing the negative self talk with positive self talk. for example "Despite the fact that i am an ass hole, horrible father, and horrible husband; i LOVE and RESPECT myself for the man that i am becoming..." my IC says every time i have a negative self thought i need to repeat this montra even if i dont believe it...aka...fake it till you make it. i'm not sure how i feel about this and need some advice...PLEASE!?!

also she said that i need to forgive my AP? WTF?!?! what is that all about i'm so confused? yes they are human. yes they made mistakes with me. but why in god's green earth do i need to forgive them in order to forgive myself. yup thats what she said.

BaxtersBFF posted 7/10/2013 21:56 PM

I like the first part of your post but not the second.

My BW forgave me long before I forgave myself. I thinl that what you describe would fit our experience fairly welll. Roll with that one if it works for you.

The second part...forgiving the AP...well, yes, they were as fucked up as you, but your concern should end at that. Ther is no responsibility on your part to forgive the OW. There is no responsibility on your part to give her any head space at this point.

Take the lead with your IC and let them know you disagree and won't be spending any time on forgiving the OW. You're paying the bill. She should take your lead and help to get you where you want to be.

ETA - f'in phone and fat fingerz...

ETAx2 - gah!!!

[This message edited by BaxtersBFF at 10:02 PM, July 10th (Wednesday)]

Aubrie posted 7/10/2013 21:57 PM

Can I ask a question? Why the big push for self-forgiveness?

I've been here over a year and a half and quite honestly, self-forgiveness isn't really on my list of priorities. I have a crapton of other things to worry about at the moment. And I don't know that I can ever come to a place where I actually forgive myself for doing what I did to me and QS. He said he forgave me the day I confessed. I think I've found acceptance. But forgiveness? Not there yet. Not even close.

As far as forgiving the AP? What exactly is the point? I'm curious to see what others have to say about that.

[This message edited by Aubrie84 at 9:58 PM, July 10th (Wednesday)]

silverhopes posted 7/10/2013 22:37 PM

I think BaxtersBFF and Aubrie both said some great things.

Are you looking at self-forgiveness to feel better and to feel some of the pain ebb away? That's not something that just happens, and the pain never fully goes away... Perhaps it becomes a dull ache at some point. But maybe a way to "forgive" yourself is to work extra-hard to BE the healthy person you should be. It's to struggle through your choices of the A and helping MandoBando heal and rebuilding together, and also to struggle with your new habits and healthier choices. Peace is gradual. It can't be sought directly. Create a home with your actions and your person that peace is welcome. Does that make sense?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining it the way it's in my head... Focus more on being healthy than what self-forgiveness looks like, know what I mean?

And I agree - you don't need to forgive the APs. They have no bearing on what you do with yourself, and more importantly, it's better not to give them any headspace.

What's a new, healthy behavior or boundary that you've been working on? How long have you had it? Is it possible to focus on that? Protecting yourself and your marriage - that's where the fight is.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 12:29 AM, July 11th (Thursday)]

JustDesserts posted 7/11/2013 15:10 PM

But maybe a way to "forgive" yourself is to work extra-hard to BE the healthy person you should be. It's to struggle through your choices of the A and helping (BS) heal and rebuilding together, and also to struggle with your new habits and healthier choices.

@silver: Yes, this does make sense.

And with regard to forgiving my xAP...I'm almost afraid to touch that one after my first post here on SI. Bottom line: xAP could care less, and isn't worthy of even the tiniest expenditure of my mind, body, or soul on her. My BS, however, deserves every ounce of all of those things being focused inward on my healing and growth, thus allowing their outward reflection upon her...the one person on this planet who's forgiveness I have been given, but feel like I have yet to truly earn.

hardlessons posted 7/11/2013 15:52 PM


IMO you get that from others and from yourself by showing it to others without expectation of it being returned. Everything we have done, everything we do is our choice and if you can operate in that wheelhouse you can find a lot of peace.

Negative self talk is a habit usually learned, if not then it is a convenient excuse for your next fuck up. A self fulfilling prophecy. Either way you have to start to give voice to something different, change what you are saying and thinking. Don't need to fake it, be honest about what you have done and are doing, only honesty will get you where you need to be, so "Have you been an ass?" Yes, "Am I that way today" No. Good job. Just act in a new way that brings self respect, if you do that you can then respect others.

The AP thing, you don't need to forgive her, she could have been a rock, tranny or knot hole in a wood fence. They should not be thought of period, they are not important to your journey to healthy at ALL.

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