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Mommato5 posted 3/4/2014 16:00 PM

I am new to the club and I am sure that this is a topic that has been visited time and again. IF I choose to reconcile (or attempt), what do I do with the forgiveness piece? I know for sure, that I will never completely forgive.
Can I be happy without forgiving?

crosby33 posted 3/4/2014 16:06 PM

I am new as well, and have the same question as you. I hope we can learn how to deal with it, good luck.

devasted30 posted 3/4/2014 16:28 PM

This question keeps coming up time after time. I am in the camp that it doesn't matter all that much to R. Acceptance is what's important here. Forgiveness, that's up to a way higher power than me. I know I will never forgive my WS for what he did to me, to us. He understands this and can live with this. In fact, he too agrees that it is unforgivable. Don't worry about forgiveness. There is way more at play here than that. Maybe many, many years down the road you will be able to forgive. If that's the case, you are a way, way better person than I. My challenge is accepting that this happened, trying to convince myself that it wasn't done because of what I did or did not do. Learning that my WS has a horrible monstrous side that reared it's ugly head, that he was broken and was so lost. Accepting this- that is what we need to do. Forgiveness, is just a word.

[This message edited by devasted30 at 4:42 PM, March 5th (Wednesday)]

BtraydWife posted 3/4/2014 16:32 PM

I strongly recommend a book called How Can I Forgive You by Janis A Springs. It offers different forgiveness "options" and helps you decide which is best for you.

HUFI-PUFI posted 3/4/2014 16:56 PM

Forgiveness is not a requirement for R to take place. In fact, as pointed out, successful R may require you to find some degree of acceptance in the early days in order for healing to take place but successful R does not need nor demand forgiveness.

While offering forgiveness to your spouse in something that you can think about at your leisure and decide on in the future, I would like to point out that on the other hand, quite often a remorseful WS will struggle with self-forgiveness and that can serve as a impediment to self-healing. If he finds himself stuck in the shame/guilt spiral, he will need to come to some degree of self-forgiveness in order to over come it.

LF and I are six years out and she has never spoken of forgiveness nor have I asked for it.

I concur with the book recommendation too.


blakesteele posted 3/4/2014 16:56 PM

How Can I Forgive You by Janis A Springs

This is a MUST READ.


hurtingfool posted 3/4/2014 17:07 PM

I was going over this in my head the other day. Saw that book and now have it on the way. I foolishly said I forgave her early. I had to pull my foot out of my mouth and apologize for that. Weeks of thinking and reading I've come to see I may be able to accept it, and know I will have to to an extent if we are to start R. That book looks as though it could help me get there.

blakesteele posted 3/4/2014 20:22 PM

Hurtingfool and others.....don't beat yourself up over forgiveness. I, too, forgave early and often! That book explains the many variations to "forgiveness" as well as the decision NOT to forgive in a healthy way.

Forgiveness.....I worked and searched hard for came to me as a whisper. Anticlimactic really.....sat with it for a couple of weeks before visiting with my wife on it to be sure it was real that time.

God be with us all.

rachelc posted 3/4/2014 20:28 PM

Not even worrying about it. It's up to God.
I have forgiven his first affair. There's no way I can have empathy for a second.

ShellShockedSid posted 3/4/2014 22:38 PM

For me, forgiveness is therapeutic. It is for me, not for him, some wise person on this board (forgive me-- I don't remember who said it) "you don't have to forgive everything at once." Wow -- that was a revelation for me. So, I picked the pieces that were easiest to forgive and started there. Then, I realized that putting down the burden of carrying those things around was a possitive. So I carefully tried forgiving something a little worse. Little by little, I forgave things one or two at a time. My WH has a LTA, so I had years of things to forgive. I still have a few parts that I haven't forgiven, but mostly, I can say I have forgiven his terrible choices, and. I am glad i did.

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