It doesn't mean that I forget that he did it. It doesn't mean that I don't bring it up I will if I need to. It doesn't mean that he doesn't apologize any more when I have a trigger. To me, it means that I choose to not let it drive my actions and reactions any more. That I accept that it's happened. That there is nothing I can do to change it. That I am not going to torment myself nor him about it. Doesn't mean that I don't check his electronic devices I do. Doesn't mean that he's won back all of my trust he hasn't. It just means that, knowing that it's happened and that there is nothing that either of us can do to change that, that I accept all of that and I choose to move on. In this case, I choose to move on with him.
Now, I have NOT forgiven him for lying about his hidden porn, nor have I forgiven him for using a private browser to hid his use. That may come yet. But those wounds are too damned raw for me to forgive right now. That's going to take more time and a lot of action on his part.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
I found the books How Can I Forgive You and After the Affair to be a big help. True forgiveness has to be earned.
For me, forgiving meant accepting that I could not change what happened and that I understood he had changed. He's not the same person he was before. What was really important was that he is sorry and loves me now. I knew I was in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. It meant I was done making him feel guilty, I wasn't going to say something unless it was helping both of us, I'm considerate when I do need to talk about things. It was a way of letting him know I do want to be happy with him and eventually get back to a normal life even if it won't ever be the same.
Of course, a big part of why I was able to forgive was because I knew he needed it, he needed to get over his self guilt. It gave him the motivation he needed in order to continue to be there for me in the way that I needed.
"And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost"
My WW understands she messed up what we had, it will never be the same, but it can be different and perhaps better.
I am in the large group of BS's whose marriage was in a bad way prior to the affair. I am working to better myself and my perception of the marriage, love, intimate connection we both want. It is going well so far.
Recently I was doing something my wife had asked me to do for her a week or so ago. Before, she would have had to ride me like a horse for months to get what she wanted. I did this task without her prompting one day recently. While doing it, she asked what made me do it on my own; and that she appreciated how good I was treating her and making the effort. I was ashamed at my past how I was, but, proud of the accomplishment.
It takes the huge effort of the WS to get the betrayed spouse to the point of forgiveness. But, both need to put in the work or it's just not sustainable.
I will never forget the betrayal but, I love her and want her to be by my side. I now can handle a lot of my thoughts and triggers without always talking, but if I need to, she is there.
I've written previously that I forgave her immediately. I knew from the moment she confessed that I could eat myself up if I fell into a mode of 'How could you do this to me?' I figured if I 'forgave her', then I wouldn't fall into self-pity. That worked pretty well, but at this point, and for some months, I've been thinking it wasn't forgiveness - I just decided to minimize my self-pity.
Forgiveness does NOT mean never bringing it up. I will bring it up as often as I need to. Forgiveness does not mean I don't have pain still...but that the path forward will have less pain each day. It's a process, not a moment it time. I suspect my forgiveness will grow as my pain wanes.
Forgiveness is earned by the WS.
his infidelity will stay with us forever, just fade into the background, but always present.
this and....the best things I've heard about forgiving after infidelity - I'll let God take care of forgiving him and not worry about it.
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”
Our MC gave me a definition of Forgiveness as "The willingness NOT to seek vengeance". I keep it posted to my computer screen to help me remember.
If this is all it is then I'm good. I have a right to be angry. I have no right to do angry things.
You are all so wonderful and wise. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights.
I posted this quote a while back because it just rang so true for me. I was just shy of one year when I made the decision to forgive my H. I was exhausted from holding onto the pain and bitterness. I hated who I was becoming because of that pain. We still talk about his A's when I need to. We still discuss my triggers. He is still working through all the different issues that he has stuffed away for many many years. We are still healing.