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How to forgive?

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Overwhelmed00 posted 11/2/2013 07:57 AM

So I'm struggling with how to forgive. I know it will take time and so far it's been less then 2 months since I learned of my wife's multiple affairs throughout our 18 years of marriage. I've decided on divorce, and we're told our kids... but I feel like I have to forgive her in order to move on. However I have reason to believe there's been more then what she told me... and I struggle to forgive what I don't know. I don't know if she'll tell me the rest, if she possible had blocked them out, or she doesn't want to give me any more ammo in the divorce... but my gut tells me there's more. I feel like I need to know how deep the betrayal goes.

I feel like it should be irrelevant... but it isn't. If I suspect she has blocked it out that could be a severe sign of a personality disorder... but I can't make her realize that... thanks something better discovered in individual therapy, that she is going to.

Do I wait until I'm completely detached and don't care anymore?

Any advice would be helpful...

Chrysalis123 posted 11/2/2013 08:04 AM

I am so sorry you are going through this, You have gone through a lot in a very short period of time.

I know for me I went through many stages of grief, one of which was an anger phase. That came and went for a few years. I was ready to forgive around year 5 after DD (18 year marraige).

My forgiveness is like indifference. I am not hooked into that person any longer.

cayc posted 11/2/2013 08:12 AM

Well imho, forgiveness is the last thing you need to be concerning yourself with. For your own peace of mind, remove your focus from her and put it on you. 180. Detach. What do you need to do for you?

Her? She needs to be remorseful. She needs to show you with actions that she wishes to be accountable to herself, to you, to your marriage.

Only when you have both can you start thinking about forgiveness - which is really just indifference. The day will come with successful R or D, where the As won''t be what dominates your mind or drives your actions. On that day, then you can say you''ve forgiven.

People talk about forgiveness being an act. You graciously choose to absolve someone. But I disagree. Forgiveness is directly tied to the impact of the bad action. You eat the last piece of cake? An hour later I''ve forgotten & yeah, sure now I laugh about it and "forgive" you.

You fuck 50 other people during the course of our marriage? Um. I don''t predict forgiveness for many years to come and in order to think about getting it, you Mr. Betrayer, won''t be in my life because that''s the only way indifference will arrive. When everything about you has been replaced by something better in my life.

And I''m almost there, you can be too if necessary. Don''t fear your future now that you have the truth. Walk through it. Head held high. You may get R. You may get D. But either way, you *will* be ok.

[This message edited by cayc at 8:13 AM, November 2nd, 2013 (Saturday)]

brkn_heartd posted 11/2/2013 14:49 PM

It is hard to move towards forgiveness. I have forgiven my H. However, as I was also struggling with the questions you struggle with, I realized something. Forgiveness was for ME, not him. I was able to find forgiveness which helped relieve the bitterness I was feeling.

It does NOT mean that they are not accountable for their actions. It does NOT mean you should forget the events. It is part of the healing process for you. It took me about 2 years before I was able to forgive. I still hurt, he knows I hurt. I still have not forgotten and will probably never forget. But I feel better.

As for knowing the rest of the story. You may never know it, you probably will not. Betrayal is one of the worse things that can happen and it is natural to want to know the extent. I have finally decided it really will not change me or our situation if I know "everything". There are some things I chose not to ask because I didn't want to know. I believe coming to that realization also helped me to move to forgiveness.

Hugs to you. I hope you find some peace.

Nature_Girl posted 11/2/2013 14:58 PM

I have two people in my life who so utterly damaged me that my forgiveness has had to take years to work through. It's a process. A long process. I could easily just say, "Okay, here's your forgiveness!", but that wouldn't be genuine. It wouldn't be the forgiveness that heals ME.

The first person who so wronged me was my grandfather who molested me for TEN years. It took decades for me to even start talking about what he did, and another decade or two before I was able to start the active forgiveness process. I can honestly say that I've reached forgiveness and healing from what he did.

The other person who wronged me is my husband/STBX. My forgiveness towards him is still a work in progress. I am working on it, but it's not anywhere near complete. As I work on myself via IC I am more capable of working through the damage he did to me & the kids and can find understanding. Understanding leads to forgiveness if you choose.

I have settled in my soul that I may not be in a state of total forgiveness by the time I die. I have to trust that God knows my heart and intentions.

AFrayedKnot posted 11/2/2013 15:08 PM

I wrote this on another thread. Forgiveness for me came be the way of pity. I had to truly understand and accept that the A's had nothing and I mean nothing to do with me. They were all about her brokenness. She must have been so damaged inside that she was willing to participate in such self destructive behavior. it was no different than someone selling themselves for their next hit of heroin. Her "heroin" was attention and validation.

MakingLemonade posted 11/2/2013 15:31 PM

It's still early for you. It's still early for me too. I've accepted the fact I will never know it all. XWH lies to himself and he lies to me. I have tried to understand forgiveness in this situation. I want to forgive, but given I've been betrayed, lied to, and deceived exponentially for over two decades, our entire relationship/marriage, without repentance, much less regret, I don't even know what that looks like. But I do know there is something deeply broken in our SA X/WSs that has nothing to do with us. My expectations is forgiveness will come in time. Let's give ourselves some grace. We want to forgive which I think is healthy and eventually it will lead us to figuring it out.

Editing to add: It took 2 years to fully forgive the first time (2007). Not sure how long it will take this time, but I know it can be done.

[This message edited by MakingLemonade at 4:05 PM, November 2nd (Saturday)]

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