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Newest Member: Dquacook1973 (60713)

User Topic: Definition of Forgiveness
♀ 36409
Member # 36409
Default  Posted: 2:10 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm not exactly sure what forgiveness looks like. Is it accepting the affair? Is it not thinking about it everyday? Is it letting go of the pain (although I'm not sure how to do that).

What is it? I struggle with this everyday. I want to forgive and move forwards but it still rears it's ugly head every once in a while (most of the time now it's when were intimate).

Me BS (35)
Him WH (38)
2 Children - 9 & 1 years
DDay #1 Sept 2011
DDay #2 Nov 2011
In R

I feel angry but not homocidal; this may be progress.

Posts: 51 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Canada
♀ 39850
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

To me, forgiveness is letting go of the resentment. I'm not there yet.

Posts: 1748 | Registered: Jul 2013
♀ 39670
Member # 39670
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Much of what I read indicates forgiveness is something you give to yourself, not the other person. It's not forgetting about what's happened. But I'm not even close. Forgiveness is a far off land in my world right now.

Me, BW forty something, DD & DS,
Married to WH (49) 11 years, together 16
D-Day 6.8.13

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jun 2013
♀ 17217
Member # 17217
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wish I had a good answer for this - the same topic has come up for me the past few days also.

I read that forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past will change. That sounds more like acceptance than forgiveness.

To me forgiveness has meant that "I don't like what you did and I'm still hurting but I'm willing to work this out as long as you understand the deepeness of my pain and want to HELP ME get through this"

I read something the other day:
Men forget but never forgive
Women forgive but never forget

Me: BS
H had LTA with co-worker
Both mid-50s
Two sons - grown and on their own
DD - April 2010
Please note registration date is not correct. See my profile for details
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 1288 | Registered: Nov 2007
♀ 39566
Member # 39566
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

While two quotes came to mind when I read your post I have yet to figure out how they apply to my everyday life:

Forgiveness' is giving up the hope that the past could've been any different - Oprah

Forgiveness is giving up my right to hate you for hurting me - not sure who said this one...

What does this sort of forgiveness look like? No clue! I am just not there yet, not sure if I will ever get there.

BS (me) - 30
WH - 30
2 sons (born 2010 & 2013)
Married: 2009
Dday: March 2013
R since: May 2013
WH's EA lasted two months and turned PA once we separated.

Posts: 185 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Canada
♀ 30314
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 3:49 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I made up my own definition because I don't believe forgiveness is for me.
I think forgiveness is understanding how a person gets to a place to do something heinous. It's like saying, "I get it." To me, it doesn't mean I won't ever hurt, feel resentment at times or stop talking about it.
I have forgiven my husband for his first affair. I haven't his second and probably never will but that's ok. Doesn't mean I have to be bitter. Just will never understand and there will always be a piece of me he doesn't have because if it.

Posts: 7613 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
♀ 40144
Member # 40144
Default  Posted: 9:53 PM, August 6th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One of the first books recommended to me after Dday was "Forgiveness is a Choice". Great book, even though I never finished it! I got the point right away and it did help me. That doesn't mean I'm over any of this, though! Just working on forgiveness.

A few nuggets:

Forgiving is not condoning or excusing. It means admitting that what was done was wrong and should not be repeated.

Forgiving begins with acknowledging our pain but requires that we give up our anger or resentment (yeah, I really struggle with that one!)

Forgiveness can increase the forgiver's well-being and emotional health.Some people start the process simply because they want to feel better.

We can forgive, but not be expected to forget.

Forgiveness is free; trust must be earned.

Forgiveness is a process. You can start small -- very small.

Forgiveness is a choice. It is a gift given to someone who doesn't deserve it.

One may forgive and not reconcile, but one never truly reconciles without some form of forgiveness taking place. If the offender remains unrepentant and unchanged, then reconciliation is impossible.

Okay, so that's the super-edited cliff notes version, but I'm sure you get the idea. I'm on board with the "it makes me feel better" part!!!!

Me: BS49+ 😝, Him: WH 51
M 23 yrs - DD21 DS19 DS16
LTA = 2+ yrs, Dday = 2/10/13, S for 1 year, now Reconciling

Posts: 1466 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: MidWest
Member # 38921
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From what I've been reading Forgiveness is for US not them. It's about US not carrying things that damage us. Forgivness must come for ourselves FIRST. IMO First we must forgive ourselves for the shoulda, coulda's. I knew something was wrong, why didn't I do this, why didn't I do that.
The next forgiveness, I have found is a hard one for me. I must forgive myself for staying with H even though I feel it goes against my values ( past was.. if he cheated I would never stay with a cheater). Then I must forgive myself for all my crazy behavior. I always considered myself to have a lot of control and losing control was a real negative to me.
There are many things we must forgive ourselves for. IMO once we start to forgive ourselves and let go of some of that negative feelings for ourselves, the load lightens and it becomes easier to let go of more.

Whether I stay with him or leave him, in my heart I must forgive him and eventually her because I don't want to carry their poison. Forgiveness is about me; for me, so I don't carry around their crap. It doesn't make what they did right, or change it, or take it away. It means that I am responsible for my happiness, and I CAN'T be happy if I carry all that bullshit.

Carry it and let it weigh you down or let it go and you will be free!!!

I'm not there yet, but this is my goal

Posts: 148 | Registered: Apr 2013
♀ 39987
Member # 39987
Default  Posted: 12:07 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Another book I read explained forgiveness as - feeling as if whoever caused you pain no longer owes you anything. The debt has been released.

I'm definitely not here yet. This book - Women Who Run With Wolves also goes on to explain that forgiveness is a process and you have your whole life to get there. It also broke down forgiveness into percentages of being forgiven. It was an interesting take on how it's OK to not be able to forgive it ALL. Makes me believe there's hope.

Me - 40
WH - 42
Married 18 years
kids - 14, 12
DD - May 13, 2013
DD2 - Aug 4, 2013
DD3 - Aug 27, 2013
Status - Legally separated; really wanted R but don't think that is possible anymore

Posts: 103 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Southern Indiana
♀ 36409
Member # 36409
Default  Posted: 1:11 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

betraydtwice - what you said really resonates with me.

I'm having a really hard time with giving up the woulda, coulda, shoulda's.

I replay DDay in my head a lot and fantasize about what I should have said/done. I become bitter with myself because I was someone that I NEVER imagined I would be. I feel I was weak and cowardly. I know I'm being harsh on myself but it's still lingering in my brain.

I did know something was wrong and I can't believe I was so stupid. Looking back on it, all the signs were there but I still couldn't see the forest for the trees.

I think ultimately, I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't have enough courage to walk away. I didn't have enough backbone to stand up for myself. I was afraid if I kicked him out, he was going to be with her. I was 8 months pregnant, I was home because of a serious car accident and I had just lost my job. I was terrified and I turned into someone I never wanted to be.

I suppose forgiveness does start there but I have no idea how to get there. And when you're there, how do you know you're there? I'm almost two years out but it's not getting better.

Me BS (35)
Him WH (38)
2 Children - 9 & 1 years
DDay #1 Sept 2011
DDay #2 Nov 2011
In R

I feel angry but not homocidal; this may be progress.

Posts: 51 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Canada
♀ 38207
Member # 38207
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I read this on a post about forgiveness a while back. I saved it to the notepad on my phone, read it frequently and repost it anytime I see someone asking. It really helped me.

“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

Posts: 1595 | Registered: Jan 2013
Topic Posts: 11

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