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Tikcuf posted 3/13/2014 11:47 AM

I have typically never been a forgiving person, so this "adventure" has had me doing quite a bit of soul searching and self discovery. I thought my learning / thoughts on this may help another...

I am not willing to be a victim any longer.
Forgiveness is about me and is only for my benefit.

Forgiveness will allow me to finally let go of the pain and suffering that has continued to plague me.

Forgiveness will allow me to find peace so I can move on in life and not continuously carry pain.

Forgiving is about healing it is not condoning or absolving her of her responsibility for her actions.

I can forgive and legitimately/spiritually decide there is NO room for in my life for her.

Forgiveness means I stood-up for my rights and my self worth.

Forgiveness means I have drawn a boundary about what I will accept as OK and what is not OK.

Forgiveness means I have the power and courage to assert my rights and responsibilities.

The power to revictimize me is a power that I afford her by not forgiving; she does not deserve that power.

Forgiveness is not for her, it is for me, it will allow me to heal.

Forgiveness is about eliminating the hold that her selfish & destructive behavior has over me.

An intimate person has hurt me badly and it is my responsibility to myself to move forward.

My belief that staying hurt is somehow punishing her is flawed logic and is wrong, I deserve better.

I must recognize that she was uncaring towards me in the first place and my pain does not punish her.

Continuing to wallow in the pain she has caused only prolongs the injury, it is my decision how I feel.

If it was her intention to hurt me, clinging on to the pain I allow her to multiply her success.

The best revenge is to live a good, happy and forgiving life, to move forward strong & proud.

Only the strong can accept the challenge to forgiving, if it was easy everyone would be able to do it.

Only the strong can forgive since forgiveness requires courage to truly face the emotional pain and injuries.

Only the strong can forgive, it is difficult to embrace emotional pain and let it go.

Only the strong can forgive, forgiveness is a difficult and painful task many are not able to face, but I am.

Only the strong can forgive and once I go through the process of forgiveness, I will be a better, stronger man.

Only the strong can forgive because forgiveness is a challenge to change fundamental belief systems.

Together or not, failing to forgive demonstrates weakness and decreases my quality of life.

She is the weak one, I am not and to demonstrate my strength to the world, I will openly forgive.

Forgiveness will provide a renewed purpose and meaning to my life.

Forgiving and deciding to leave the burden of old hurt behind me will invigorated again.

Reconciliation may or may NOT follow forgiveness regardless that is absolutely up to me.

Holding on to resentful thoughts and pain harms me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Once I forgive I will have reduced anxiety, pain and provide increased energy, vitality, & optimism about life.

Not forgiving only prolongs the pain and perpetuates pessimism and a state of stress.

[This message edited by Tikcuf at 11:51 AM, March 13th (Thursday)]

rachelc posted 3/13/2014 12:02 PM

failing to forgive demonstrates weakness

kinda insulting, as are other phrases in this. There are many on here who have not forgiven who I don't see as weak.


and some have moved on, forgiveness not being necessary.

I'm glad this has worked for you though...

HurtsButImOK posted 3/13/2014 12:34 PM

If you have not already done so I recommend you read

How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To - Janis Abrahms Spring

Some people are not worthy of our forgiveness. Choosing not to forgive does not mean you are weak or bitter. The important thing is to let go resentment.

kate0421 posted 3/13/2014 12:35 PM

I get this. And I really like it.
I don't think he was trying to be insulting, this is just how he feels/thinks about it. I also feel that it takes a strong person to forgive...truly forgive. It's something I strive to accomplish one day. Maybe not now but someday. It is a goal of mine. Thanks for this

MadeOfScars posted 3/13/2014 15:09 PM

Thank you for sharing this Tikcuf. I can see why some may find disagreement with some statements, but ultimately if this helps you heal, that is what is most important. I can see your viewpoint for sure though I struggle with forgiveness. I don't know that I am weak because I still carry hurt, but I do believe I will find the strength to let it go and move on a stronger man than ever.

The best revenge is to live a good, happy and forgiving life, to move forward strong & proud.

Hell yeah^ Do it for you above all others.

The main thing is when you start to feel weak, or you start to miss her, or you start to feel any less of a man, read this post. Write down whatever mantra works for you. You will get through it better than ever.

karmahappens posted 3/13/2014 15:16 PM


Welcome to SI

Forgiveness is a very personal choice. I am glad you are feeling the ability to head in that direction.

We are about 6 1/2 years out.

I struggled in the first few years with forgiving. I thought I had to do it, had to get there. I had to find my way to it.

I just couldn't. I had to do a lot of work on me. Soul searching, understanding, healing before forgiveness slowly crept into my life.

It lightens my heart, but I don't expect anyone else to come to the same place I have.

I hope you can continue on your path to healing. It's a long road so don't push what you aren't ready for.

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us.


Hosea posted 3/13/2014 15:40 PM



I agree with a lot of what you've said here, particularly the self-empowering aspects of F(!), yet in reading this, I think you might consider substituting "Acceptance" for "Forgiveness".

I love the power you are claiming here-- and all Betrayeds NEED and DESERVE to feel empowered after enduring a trauma that robs them of worth and a sense of agency.

If we found our value in the love of our spouse, and they betrayed us, it destroyed our self-worth. We MUST reach a place of empowerment, through Acceptance, that allows us to see what is obvious to many, yet hidden from us; namely, that our Spouse, by betraying us, is the unworthy one, not us.

And yet, in the best cases, we aren't only ones who realize this. Our Wayward spouses do, and WHEN they do, it can produce Contrition, and a longing for Forgiveness.

(And on THAT note, forgive me, Tikcuf, for my upcoming ramble! )


Forgiveness, then, isn't solely about the self, no more than Contrition is.

Forgiveness involves two (or more) parties- Offended and Offended. One party has wronged another, often grievously-- whether in marital betrayal, dishonest business dealings, slandering behind their back, acts of violence, and the like.

In such cases, the Offended has three productive options which can lead to healing from the Offense.

1) Acceptance

2) Passive Forgiveness

3) Active Forgiveness

(Unproductive options include Denial, Self-Blame, etc., none of which can produce real healing.)



Put simply, this is acknowledgment by the Offended of the Offender's wrongdoing without granting Absolution for it. I won't criticize anyone here who refuses to grant Forgiveness to their Wayward-- because I know it's a very, very difficult thing to do.

I would only note here that, in certain cases, a Wayward Spouse (the Offender) might experience overwhelming feelings of Contrition-- the sort that produce agonizing guilt and self-loathing. They long for true Forgiveness from their Betrayed, not just Acceptance, in order to feel some relief from that torment. A refusal to grant Forgiveness can, in such instances, potentially undermine Reconciliation.



In certain instances, Forgiveness is not sought by the Offender-- yet still, it can be granted. It will not be valued when it has not been sought, and yet, by granting it, the Offended can experience emotional release (freedom from resentment, bitterness, etc.) Though it is thankless, it is self-empowering, even liberating. There's real freedom in it, though often, when the Offenses are great, it is not easily given.



In the best of cases, the Offender has become convicted of their wrongdoing-- they feel Guilt, Shame, sometimes even Self-Loathing as they consider the harm they have inflicted on the innocent Offended party.

The Offender seeks, desires, often even needs the Forgiveness of the Offended in order to assuage their Guilt, and possibly reconcile the relationship and party damaged by their Offense.

In such circumstance, Forgiveness is actively transactional. The Offender offers Contrition to the Offended, seeking Forgiveness in exchange. They not only apologize; they grant promises of Restitution and assurances not to repeat the Offense, as well-- both meant to demonstrate the seriousness of their Contrition and the earnestness of their desire for Reconciliation. These demonstrate their recognition of the value of the Forgiveness they seek (and by extension, the worth of their Offended).

Forgiveness, if granted, is a gift-- granted in grace-- from Offended to Offender. It substitutes Mercy for Justice (or its evil twin, Revenge) and ideally, it is viewed by the Offender as a priceless, unmerited gift. The greater their Contrition, the more precious the Forgiveness is to them.

In the best of cases, that undeserved Forgiveness has the power to change the heart and future behavior of the Offender.

This is, for a Betrayed spouse, the best possible reward for granting Forgiveness. It can produce a transformed spouse; one who becomes a better person, having seen the agonies they unleashed when being a worse one.

I wish it happened more often than it does, but WHEN it does, it can make the gift of Forgiveness truly priceless for both.

Simple posted 3/13/2014 15:56 PM

My FWS asked for my forgiveness and demonstrated true repentance. I told him I forgive you and he told me, no you have not. He then said, "I'm sure you'll get there eventually, but know that it's ok not to forgive me, I just have to make sure I've done my part, anything you do is on you, as to whether I've forgiven myself or not, I still have not."

It kind of blew me away because I really had to grapple with what forgiveness meant to me. Forgiveness allowed me to move on and not become a bitter person. If I truly believe in atonement, I should be able to forgive and let go of the burden on myself. My mother forgave my cheating father even though he never asked for it and she lived a non-bitter life because of it. Forgiveness is a gift she's given herself.

Just my 2 cents.

whattheh posted 3/13/2014 16:55 PM

Simply put I believe true forgiveness must be earned. And I believe forgiveness evolves and creeps up on a person. Its not just words, its a genuine feeling.

Many people mistakenly fake forgive thinking it will free them. I think is an idea which has been brought about due to social conditioning and general pop culture. Fake forgiveness would not help me one bit.

[This message edited by whattheh at 4:56 PM, March 13th (Thursday)]

StillLivin posted 3/13/2014 17:43 PM

Forgiveness would be a lot easier to stick with if he weren't constantly an asshat and still trying to poke the tiger!
As for acceptance, I accept that he is a lying, cheating, selfish POS whore. I'm not even mad about him being these things anymore. Mostly I'm sad because when he truly figures out what he lost in me and the M, and he realizes his whore is a dirty person, he is gonna hit rock bottom. And it is just too late for me now to ever take him back.
It's sad really.
I don't know if I call this true forgiveness, but I'm at peace with it. He won't be, but I am and he just doesn't matter anymore.

rachelc posted 3/13/2014 18:34 PM

Simply put I believe true forgiveness must be earned. And I believe forgiveness evolves and creeps up on a person. Its not just words, its a genuine feeling.

I too, believe it is a feeling. Many therapists don't take this approach though..

Today I asked my husband if he was ok with me not forgiving him? He said he would be for a while...
I said I hoped I could.
It's not a decision, to me. It's a feeling that includes so many things that add up to it.

Tikcuf posted 3/13/2014 20:16 PM

My apologies to those who read into the strength portions. Lemme clarify the intent was not to hurt / offend, please don't read into this more than the fact that for me forgiveness is a show of strength, many others may approach it differently.

From what I can see there is no cookie cutter approach and F is a very personal thing.

Thanks for the books suggestion it was one of my readings some time back and portions of that book are part of what I have done to achieve F. However the motivator to do it is how I view this post.

Best of Luck to All...

MadeOfScars posted 3/17/2014 22:25 PM

No need to apologize. F is a personal thing and is indeed not cookie cutter. Seriously, thank you for sharing!

DragonBunker posted 3/18/2014 02:35 AM

Failing to forgive doesn't demonstrate weakness. I will never forgive exWso for what he did. Ever. I just get to the point where I don't care anymore. I don't care about what he did, when he did it, who with. I just will never forgive him for the pain he put me and the kids through. Which is how I am be certain I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire

HurtsButImOK posted 3/18/2014 04:13 AM


I will start by apologizing for my rather blunt post. Secondly, welcome! This is a great site, common refrain being 'take what works for you and leave the rest'.

I do understand and respect others ability to offer the gift of forgiveness. For me, in my situation, my x is not remorseful or repentant so I choose to accept and move forward.

I am glad you have found strength in offering forgiveness. The peace it brings you will serve you well moving forward.

Strength and peace to you.

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