What do you think? Could forgiveness be a means to moving forward and away from the A?
Believe me, I'm not going to forgive my AP, nor will I think of him. To do so would be very disrespectful to my BS, IMHO.
I feel very hurt still over the A (what I caused because it was my choice but also his role in it).
I dont know what you mean by this.
As far as forgiving the AP, as rachel said:
making them a non-entity means not thinking about them.
I would ask myself, what is the payoff I am getting by thinking of AP? What is the payoff for staying attached in anyway? What is keeping yourself from moving away from the A?
Does that make sense? I have found that when we do something that we know is not healthy or helpful, there is a payoff of some sort.
Separated transitioning to D
This seems to go deeper than you just hurting your BH.
You seem to be latching unto how you feel tricked or bamboozled by him.
Forgiving him isn't the issue in the long scheme of this. Have you truly forgiven yourself?
If he becomes blind,lame or even a vegetable, it won't change the fact that you had an affair with him.
What would be wise is to change all the power you still give to him. Forgiving him is small potatoes compared to having to forgive yourself. Forgiving youtakes away all his power.
After all..it's not him you have to look at in the mirror everyday
Forgiving him won't bring you peace. To heal completely you need to forgive yourself.
His role? He was only able to participate in this infidelity because you were open to it. Ok, so he might have pursued you. Chased you, even. But unless the PA wasn't consenting then his role has little to do with anything.
I think what your friend is trying to say is that you need to reach indifference. The AP must mean nothing to you, less than nothing. See the A and subsequently, the AP for what they really were; a symptom of your brokenness, poor boundaries and a filler for your void. When you find your 'why' and examine what lead you to the A, the AP will mean nothing.
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
I feel so terrible about what I did. I helped to betray my H twice over. His trust of people has crumbled completely and he keeps any friends he still has at a distance. None know of the A. H won't talk to anyone about it. And I can never fix those things...I have ruined a wonderful person and husband for NOTHING!
So the question from FRM:
Have you truly forgiven yourself?
my answer is "Hell NO!". I wonder if I will ever get to that place...
Maybe if I could forgive AP, I could quit caring if he's happy or miserable or whatever. Maybe I could move to forgive myself???
It sounds harsh but I'm telling you all this like one book junkie to another.
I have a question in general - a little t/j, a little not:
bookjunkie - it's been discussed many, many times on the various BS areas of this sight that in many cases, the BS is raging at the AP because they need someone to be the target of their rage. Subconsciously, the AP is chosen because there are already too many conflicting emotions involving the WS, and to put that kind of anger onto someone that you love is too much, so another target is chosen.
From a WS side - what is it that you're angry with, or do you think maybe this is also a redirection of anger? I understand he was your H's best friend, which is a bit of a different scenario than most, so I'd like to depersonalize the rest of my question to a general A:
If the WS is angry at the AP, why is that? I understand realizing they weren't looking out for the WS's real best interest, but isn't that the WS's job? I have to wonder if the anger a WS feels for the AP isn't really anger at themselves redirected (as is the case with many a BS). It can seems at times that the AP is being blamed for the A by the WS, followed by anger for that blame. Is it possible that to be that angry with oneself isn't possible without a breakdown, so as a means of protection, the anger is shifted?
Just something to maybe think about.
bj - I'm sorry you're hurting. Don't focus on the AP. He's a dog. There is nothing you can do that will change him. I hope he's attempted to apologize to your H, and I hope it was sincere. As long as he's done that, there's really nothing more for him to do.
Your H will find himself again. He'll be a little more on guard, but the hypersensitivity to anyone getting close will subside. He'll find good friends. He'll realize the traits he wants in his friends, and a skirt chasing, self-involved child won't be on that list. I'm not blaming your H for having such a friend. Usually, even skirt chasers have people that are off limits. However, that kind of a person, that thinks such conquests are funny, or a game, won't interest him at all. Please remember, it just takes time.
Just be there for your H. Do the things you can to help him heal. That's the best thing you can do right now. Worrying about your anger towards a person that is no longer a factor may be a redirection of your frustration that your H is still hurting and that this has seemingly taken over your life (not selfish thoughts, but sad and frustrated because you want to fix things).
Forget AP. Focus on you and your H. That's the best place for your energies.
Thank you so much for your reply. It gives me hope that I can get to a better place. The comment by adrianna1980 put a large chuck of ice in my stomach...I think because it rings with truth. My H has told me that AP was always bragging about the OW he was with and showing pics he had on his cell. I'm sure I was just a challenge and a game to him. Such a damaged and sick individual.
I do think that I am shifting the anger. Self preservation. The few times I have allowed myself to feel the full magnitude of anger, sorrow, and shame at myself and the person I became, it was dibilitating. I actually have considered suicide during these moments. So I work on me as best I can.
I can promise you this - your H is still there because he loves you. Leaving isn't easy from a 'starting life over' stance, but he's chosen a much harder emotional road, because he wants to be with you. Please, don't forget that, or take that for granted. He is sticking this out for you. Please don't think things are so hopeless that suicide is an answer, ever. It isn't.
You're allowed to be angry with yourself. If you are, try to use that as a motivating factor to do something good, not as a reason to just think you've messed things up beyond repair. You haven't.
We BSs know we're redirecting anger, and we still do it. If that helps you, then do it, but please don't waste time hoping to forgive the AP. Really, who cares if you do or not? Will that ever matter? As you and your H heal, your focus on your hate for him will subside. Over time, he'll just disappear. You don't need to forgive him or even think of him.
bj, things will continue to improve. If your H won't discuss this with anyone else, and that concerns you, ask him if he'll go to marriage counseling with you. See if that will help him open up to the idea of IC. Be clear that this isn't something that will be an issue if he doesn't want to go. One thing that many BSs fear is another A. We can start to think that if the WS isn't happy about something, it will happen again. That fear is because we don't want to go through this again. We don't want to spend so much time trying to work through this when it's going to happen again, so we may agree to something we don't want to avoid all of R being for nothing. Please, don't think I think that will happen here - I don't, at all. It's just something that many BSs struggle with, so any offers like MC should be made with the very clear understanding that there will be no hurts on your part, no resentments, if the answer is no. That's just a suggestion, and you may know your situation is different - but that fear does exist in many cases.
Just keep moving forward. Your remorse is coming through loud and clear in your words. Just let that continue to be felt by your H.
And please don't be so sad. We all have some reason that we wish we could turn the clocks back for. You're human. Everyday is a new opportunity to make your H feel loved, and to thank him in a special way for sticking with you. Those are major helps.
You're going to be ok bj. You'll see. You and your H have made it this far. This next year is a rough one. After that, you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You got this :)
[This message edited by painfulpast at 1:01 PM, March 8th (Saturday)]
bookjunkie - I do think that I am shifting the anger. Self preservation (to the AP) ... The few times I have allowed myself to feel the full magnitude of anger, sorrow, and shame at myself and the person I became, it was debilitating. I actually have considered suicide during these moments. So I work on me as best I can.
Facing the monster inside you is difficult. Facing your demons head on and taking a brutal and honest look at yourself in the mirror is not easy. I'm 6 years out and I still struggle with this. Had the same thoughts too. But that path doesn't fix anything.
IRL, there is no way past this except by doing the hard work. Stuffing the pain down and hiding from it will not work. The broken part will always find a way out no matter how deep you try to bury it.
That's why we recommend going to IC and dealing with this mess by talking it out with a therapist. That's why your encouraged to post here and seek support from those that have BTDT. That's why your told to talk it out with your partner if you can.
I can understand the need to demonize your AP. IMHO, I think that at one level or the other, your "need" to forgive the AP is really reflective of your sub-conscious recognition that you really need to forgive yourself. But as you have already found out, forgiving yourself means that you have to face yourself and that's not easy to do. I feel that sub-consciously you are not ready for that and so, those feelings are being sublimated to forgiving the AP. After all, if you can forgive the AP for his sins and transgressions, then maybe you can forgive yourself too?
If that scenario is even half ass true, then regretfully, it won't work. Sublimation isn't gong to solve your guilt and shame issues. Nope, the only way to do that is to work through them.
You have to take this journey, one day at a time. There is no magic bullet or wand to become healed. All you have is hard work, determination, stubbornness and a solid commitment to heal your brokenness.
We have done this. I have faith that you can to.
Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.
Just wanted to say I'm sorry you're struggling with managing those negative feelings--I imagine that feels overwhelming at times.
I hope you are treating yourself with kindness, and know that making bad choices does not make you a bad person.
My husband had sex with a good friend of mine. It sucks, I won't lie. Frankly, I don't think he gives her any thought at all now, and that's what makes me feel more secure. I dont want him thinking of her, period. I don't feel like HE has anything to forgive, as he knew what he was doing and went there willingly. I might choose to forgive her at some point, but that is up to me and has no bearing on him at all, IMO. I wonder if your spouse might feel the same?
I do agree with other posters that maybe learning to forgive yourself is the key. Anger at the AP is possibly misguided, and a way to still deflect a little of the blame from yourself. The person you are really angry at is most likely you. Just remember--you don't have to be that person anymore. You can fix yourself and become a partner worthy of trust. Use the past to grow, but please try not to get trapped there.
(((Hugs))). And please, reach out whenever you are feeling especially low.
What was so appealing about him that you were willing to lose it all? Having an affair is one thing.... but having an affair with your husband's best friend takes it to a completely new level. So why?
Please don't get me wrong.... I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I'm just trying to understand. I know all about the dating scene and its dynamics but my marriage was rather short, only 3 years, so I don't have much of personal experience with it.
If you're curious about Wayward motivations, may I recommend you try the I Can Relate forum, BS Questions for WS thread?
bookjunkie, if I forgave the AP, BH would D me. I'm not kidding.
Instead of "forgiveness," though, I'm kinda sensing you might mean "ceasing to blame him." In that case, yeah, I think that could be a means of you moving forward. AP coulda been anyone. You, and you alone, are the reason you cheated. AP's role is irrelevant.