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Forgiving myself - wtf

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islesguy posted 8/19/2013 11:05 AM

I am not sure how I could have been such a cold disgusting person. I knew my wife's past because she shared it with me when we first met (she was from a split household and wanted only to have a relationship without cheating and infidelity), yet I cheated on her and didn't consider how disgusting and hurtful my actions were towards anyone who is in a committed relationship, especially someone who grew up with her experiences. I selfishly protected myself and my vision of myself by making excuses rather than accepting what a horrible person I was. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a "good" person. How the fuck is that even possible? Now all I see is someone who caused incredible pain and suffering to an innocent woman who dedicated her life to me. I am sick with myself. How the fuck can a therapist tell me I need to forgive myself. It is ridiculous. I know that I was immature and that I had issues with myself and my self esteem but so what, I still chose to cheat on her and to value someone else more than her and that just makes me sick and so fucking angry. I can't deal with it. I want to be a good person for my future and I know that this will be the case because I never ever want to be like I was before. I can't stand to even think about me and my past. But, this doesn't help. It doesn't help me deal with the past. It doesn't help me with the knowledge that I cheated on her multiple times, that I married her without letting her make that informed choice, that I broke our marriage vows, that I treated her like shit, and that I continued to lie to you for so many years. I am not ok with any of this and I never will. Fuck forgiving myself. Why would I?

LA44 posted 8/19/2013 11:27 AM

islesguy...BS here (hope you don't mind and there is no stop sign).

You write as if you could be my fWH, Rebuilder2. He too looked in the mirror and saw a good person. The provider. A good dad. But that was then. This is now. Things have changed thank goodness.

He says the same thing about how disgusted he feels, how he didn't talk about what really mattered and that he doesn't (8 months in) even want to think about his past behavior bc it repulses him. He is NOT his behavior from that time. He is NOT the A.

I think the anger you feel is normal for right now. But I hope you don't dwell in shame. Shame is debilitating.

If you can't forgive yourself then at least get to a place (at some point) where you can accept what you did. As the BS I am trying to accept what my H did bc really, what else can I do? I wrote down a list of things I need to accept shortly after DDay. I need to accept those things as best I can, try to learn from this and keep going from there. With my H.

I am sure others who have been in your boat will have more words of wisdom.

Take care.

[This message edited by LA44 at 11:29 AM, August 19th (Monday)]

Twentyplus posted 8/19/2013 11:54 AM

BS here also. You mirror what my fWH also sees in himself at times. You are very eloquent about it and your remorse obvious. As LA says, drowning in shame will not heal your wife and, in some ways, is just a continuation of the selfishness that put you here. It makes her feel as if she needs to caretake YOUR hurt instead of her own. It adds to her burden. While she wants to see you accept and acknowledge the behaviors and thought processes that are your betrayal, she likely also wants you to walk forward from them and seek the counseling and understanding that will put YOU together again and make you safe to love again. That's how I feel anyway...

startingover62 posted 8/19/2013 12:45 PM

I am sorry you are in that state.

FWH here and I can relate. My story is very long and ugly. I have also had a lot of trouble with guilt and shame. One of the best reads I have encountered is in a book: I Thought it was Just Me - by Brene Brown Phd. LMSW. She is extremely thoughtful about empathy, shame, guilt, fear, blame, awareness, and reaching out for connection.

I had to drop all hope for a better past (like a rewrite of history) and to look at my present state, today, as an opportunity. You sound very aware and thoughtful. I would encourage you to not let this define your life but to use your history as a catalyst to become the man your family reserves.

Do the work, grow and become the man your family is proud of.

The past is gone, the present is here now and the future is not yet upon us. Do something today, now, to be the man you need to be.

Hang in there, it will get better,


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