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gettinout posted 3/27/2014 05:54 AM

Usually do not post but interested inn everyone's replies for the latest guilt trip from my ex tried to put on me.

My Ex texted me yesterday and asked me to tell him I forgive him for what he has done to me ,not forget but forgive him.

Now, mind you I haved moved on from the all the pain he caused me. Damaged in ways but pretty much reached the plain of "I don't give a shit anymore and it is just a story from my past.

BUT,I will never give him the satisfaction of telling him I forgive him. To let him be released from what he did to me and the kids.

Is me not saying this to him, hindering my healing? Because if so, that would be the only reason I say it.I could give a shit ,if demons of the past keep him up every night.
Have those that are well past the divorce, felt the need to tell their ex they "forgive them" in order to move on?

Who would have thought my narsistic,sociopath ex is worried about the black cloud over him

Did I mention,he thinks he has a black cloud because my heart will not release him and say the words"I forgive you for having ten thousand affairs,left me in debt,had an OC and married the last affair..Yeah,the black cloud must be me?

totallyconfused1 posted 3/27/2014 06:25 AM

Interesting that you posted this. It's been on my mind as well - the whole "forgiving" thing.

I went to hear a speaker at my friend's church last night - they have a couple in from California that travel and do these missions. Anyways, last night's topic was on forgiveness.

The key messages I got out of it was that forgiving is for you - to be at peace and to let go. Not for them. Forgiving doesn't mean you are saying "what you did to me was ok". And forgiving doesn't mean you forget. And for some forgiving doesn't mean you continue or start up a relationship with that person.

An analogy he used was that here's some person going on with their life, that you haven't forgiven. Every day you "drink the poison" of the pain that unforgiving that person is causing you. Each day you see them moving on with their life and you can't understand why they aren't doing worse - but you are because you are the one "drinking the poison".

Anyways, I'm not a motivational speaker so how I wrote it is no where near profound as he said it. LOL.

But, it really helped me, especially the part about forgiving doesn't mean forgetting or saying what you did to me was ok. I was really having a hard time with that with my ws. Thinking if I forgave does he think that's a free pass? That I was saying it's ok what you did?

Anyways, the forgiving is for you, not for him. And I don't know if you need to say I forgive you directly to him, but you can just say it to yourself once you get there. And that's for you. Not for him. You don't need to deal or be responsible for his demons.

OK now posted 3/27/2014 07:20 AM

So as you pry his knife out of your back you are supposed to say "by the way I forgive you?'

How about "I don't let what you did to me bother me anymore and I seldom contaminate my mind by even thinking of you, but you can rot in hell before I forget or forgive".

Sounds perfectly appropriate to me.

Starzjourney posted 3/27/2014 07:20 AM

Not so popular opinion on "forgiveness"...

Your ex needs to worry about forgiving himself for his actions...His demons, not yours...he did not experience the devastating emotional pain that goes along with his actions and you don't need to do anything on his timeline or to make him feel better.

Is me not saying this to him, hindering my healing?

NO...emphatically NO...as this quote indicates, you are still healing and forgiveness may yet come...this is YOUR journey, not his and you are not responsible for his feelings (demons). You may find a way to forgive him at some point but to tell him you do right now is nothing more than "Cheap Forgiveness"...will it make you feel better, bring you peace? This is your journey...do what makes you feel good about you...NOT HIM...

This is something I have struggled with myself and for me, I am busy healing and forgiving myself for letting him have another crack at me...My emotional well being is more important than his...I don't believe I can find true forgiveness of him until I have forgiven myself. In that vein, I am a compassionate person...I have little to none for him at this point and I believe compassion is an important element in forgiveness...Someday I may find the compassion I personally need to allow me to "forgive" STBX but it won't be forgiveness for lying, cheating, manipulating, gaslighting and blowing up our family again...It will be for the brokenness inside him that allowed him to do those horrible things to someone he claimed to love in the first place.

(((Gettinout))))

Your journey, his black cloud...you telling him you forgive him will not release him...that is his journey...

[This message edited by Starzjourney at 7:21 AM, March 27th (Thursday)]

solus sto posted 3/27/2014 07:30 AM

There's no moral imperative to forgive someone. And really, it's not something you say in a text to make someone feel better---it's a process, and a way of feeling.

My stbx does not like my definition of "forgive." He expects it to mean "clean slate." I view it differently, he'd say cynically (and punishingly), but I disagree: I view it as acceptance. I accept it just like a creditor accepts a bad debt. I don't like it, but know there is no way for the debt to be repaid. I no longer expect repayment. I do not expect my stbx to do or say anything to me to remedy the situation. He is forgiven. But he has a big blot on his credit report.

And that's his problem. It's not my job to clean that up.

Skye posted 3/27/2014 07:35 AM

I think forgiveness and acceptance are very different. However, I believe acceptance is what the BS needs, NOT forgiveness. The WS NEEDS forgiveness, and I don't believe infidelity is forgiveable.

As solus sto said, it's not the BS's job to clean up anything.

BtraydWife posted 3/27/2014 07:36 AM

I highly recommend the book How Can I Forgive You by Janis A Springs. It goes over 4 positions on forgiveness, what they are, and what they mean.

You absolutely do not need to forgive anyone for anything in order to move past it and heal. That's a ridiculous and impossible standard some people tout.

When most people say you need to forgive for yourself they have misguided advice. What they are advocating is cheap forgiveness and as the name suggests, it's meaningless and likely to leave you feeling unresolved.

Get the book, read it, and decide for yourself what you want or need to do. Let go of what "other" people say and do what's right for you.

Oh and BTW-Your ex hasn't earned your forgiveness. He can go kick dirt.

somanyyears posted 3/27/2014 09:01 AM


..being divorced puts you right in the driver's seat when it comes to how you choose to treat him.

..he can boil in his own oil at this point.. given his choices..

having ten thousand affairs,left me in debt,had an OC and married the last affair

..give him an umbrella and send him on his way!

smy

norabird posted 3/27/2014 09:03 AM

I think you are right to deny him the satisfaction of forgiveness. You can heal yourself and move on without allowing him to lighten his burden. You seem to have found acceptance of what happened--but what he did remains unacceptable. And there is no need to pretend otherwise.

Think of everything he denied you over the years. Financial freedom, peace of mind, honesty...the list surely goes on. He cannot change that, nor can you. And if it haunts him, then it should. Leave him to the black cloud he created and focus on the sunshine you are able to find for yourself.

musiclovingmom posted 3/27/2014 09:23 AM

I advocate for forgiveness and I advocate for it for yourself. I am in no way advocating for cheap forgiveness. I've been in the business of forgiving people who have wronged me for lots of years and the forgiveness I give is never cheap. It is true and heartfelt and releases me from holding on to pain and bitterness. It releases me from sitting in judgement of wether or not someone deserves forgiveness. It also frees me from worrying about if someone i have wronged has forgiven me. I often forgive people who I have no communication with, who can never and will never offer an apology or even change their behavior. When the hurt is as deep and real as betrayal, forgiveness takes me time. I didnt forgive my extremely remorseful H for almost a year. At 19 months, I still haven't given forgiveness to OW2 (who was my friend), but I know someday I will - when I am ready. Others will disagree and that is fine, just wanted to point out that not all of us who advocate for forgiveness for yourself are misguided and touting cheap forgiveness.

BtraydWife posted 3/27/2014 09:36 AM

I advocate for forgiveness and I advocate for it for yourself. I am in no way advocating for cheap forgiveness. I've been in the business of forgiving people who have wronged me for lots of years and the forgiveness I give is never cheap. It is true and heartfelt and releases me from holding on to pain and bitterness. It releases me from sitting in judgement of wether or not someone deserves forgiveness. It also frees me from worrying about if someone i have wronged has forgiven me. I often forgive people who I have no communication with, who can never and will never offer an apology or even change their behavior. When the hurt is as deep and real as betrayal, forgiveness takes me time. I didnt forgive my extremely remorseful H for almost a year. At 19 months, I still haven't given forgiveness to OW2 (who was my friend), but I know someday I will - when I am ready. Others will disagree and that is fine, just wanted to point out that not all of us who advocate for forgiveness for yourself are misguided and touting cheap forgiveness.

What you have been doing does indeed help you but it is called acceptance. Real forgiveness must be earned. Acceptance requires no interaction with the offending party and is something you do within yourself. When people use the two terms interchangeably they confuse and isolate others who aren't settled with this subject.

Starzjourney posted 3/27/2014 10:41 AM

Real forgiveness must be earned. Acceptance requires no interaction with the offending party and is something you do within yourself. When people use the two terms interchangeably they confuse and isolate others who aren't settled with this subject.

^^^This...

And while I am at it...

latest guilt trip from my ex tried to put on me.

^^^This...

Authentic forgiveness to achieve the peace of one's own mind is a personal decision/journey...not because she feels "guilty" for not making him feel better by offering him something she may or may not authentically feel at this point.

Be true to yourself gettinout...beyond that, unless EX has forgiven himself your words won't chase away his demons...since he is your EX and remarried, yet the "black cloud" still lingers I'm thinking that maybe he needs to look within to chase away his "black cloud", you have enough on your plate right now...as they say, "take care of you and the rest will follow"...

musiclovingmom posted 3/27/2014 11:33 AM

Real forgiveness must be earned

There is a reason this is not included in my definition of forgiveness and it is very practical for me. My father left when I was very young. He made almost no effort to see me whenI was growing up. He never paid any child support. The few times he did contact me were for very self-serving reasons. A few years ago, he died. By saying someone must earn forgiveness you also say that no matter how much I wanted to, it would be impossible for me to forgive my father since he is dead and cannot earn it. The forgiveness I offered him gave me the peace I needed. Wikipedia offers this as the definition of forgiveness:

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well

This is the forgiveness I advocate for and why I defend that it for you, not the person you are forgiving.

2married2quit posted 3/27/2014 11:46 AM

The hardest thing for me to say the words "I forgive you" was that it sounded like "hey honey, what you did is fine.". Truth is, that forgiving means several things:

1- Accepting it happened and it is part of your history
2- Accepting it emotionally. It hurts and this one's the tough one.
3- Letting it go. Can't harbor it, can't have resentment. This one takes time.
4 - You're doing yourself a favor.

The thing is that for the WS, it means they have been released fro burning in hell I suppose. Maybe on day you'll get to the point of telling him the words. I don't know. Everyone is different, everyone struggles and hurts differently.

2married2quit posted 3/27/2014 11:48 AM

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well


Waiving your right to self defense, revenge or resentment. Freak'n hardest thing on EARTH in adultery!

musiclovingmom posted 3/27/2014 11:54 AM

2married- I probably would have stopped that statement at 'freaking hardest thing on EARTH'. I find forgiveness hard, but personally rewarding and freeing once I do it. But, it is soooo hard and takes me a lot of time - especially when the person I should forgive can't or won't change so that I can find them worthy. It never ceases to bring me peace though. I will say that I don't always find it necessary to tell someone else I have forgiven them. But, that again relates to my conviction that forgiveness is for me, not for them. If I've forgiven someone and they ask, I'll tell them I have. If they don't ask, I'm not likely to seek them out just to tell them.

Starzjourney posted 3/27/2014 12:28 PM

Wikipedia offers this as the definition of forgiveness:


Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well

I don't think any of us are advocating her not forgiving her EX...I know I am not...I am advocating her doing what feels right to her...gettinout didn't say she has not "forgiven" him although she did indicate an acceptance...my take from her post was her asking if withholding "saying to him" that she forgives him was hindering her healing...

I think it is truly awesome to be able to have a forum such as this that we can share our individual walk through the minefield of intimate betrayal and help each other heal our battle wounds but in a way that rings a bell of truth within our individual souls...

[This message edited by Starzjourney at 12:30 PM, March 27th (Thursday)]

BtraydWife posted 3/27/2014 13:01 PM

I'm so glad you posted.

There is a reason this is not included in my definition of forgiveness and it is very practical for me. My father left when I was very young. He made almost no effort to see me when I was growing up. He never paid any child support. The few times he did contact me were for very self-serving reasons. A few years ago, he died. By saying someone must earn forgiveness you also say that no matter how much I wanted to, it would be impossible for me to forgive my father since he is dead and cannot earn it.

That's right. But that's ok. This is called acceptance. Acceptance does not mean that you are merely no longer in denial about what happened.

Acceptance is on the same level as forgiveness but it happens when the person who did us wrong can't or won't help us heal.

It's very akin to personal healing with or without reconciliation in our marriages after infidelity. We don't have to have the help of our WSs to heal ourselves. This is in the case of divorce. But in order for the marriage to continue and to put the As in the past we need their contribution towards forgiveness.

So in order for the people who hurt us to continue in our lives and for the wrong that they did to be truly in the past, we need their involvement. Obtaining forgiveness speaks to the abilities of the offender, not the hurt party.

I too had a painful relationship with my father. He is still alive but he is an alcoholic and a serial adulterer and not able to earn my forgiveness. I have come to acceptance with him. That allows me to let go of the pain of what happened and move past it through my own introspection.

You can tell I have not forgiven him because if he came to my home and wanted to come in and act like everything was fine I would not be able to allow that. We are not buddies. He is not safe enough to be a part of my life.

I also have a friend that hurt me long ago. We parted ways and after many years she looked me up. Through her words and actions I have forgiven her. We hang out often and the past is not something I think of when I'm with her. We enjoy our current relationship and it is as if nothing happened.

That shows a complete resolution but that's not something that is always possible. In fact, more often than not, it isn't possible. Again it's because of her, not me, that this is possible. I am extremely grateful that she wanted this and I see it as a very special gift.

I think most of us want to be able to forgive but we are left with no help and little choice. We can't do this alone just like we can't reconcile our marriages alone.

There is nothing lesser about acceptance and it does not mean we are morally incapable of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a complete letting go of the past and being able to move forward with that person. Not letting go of the memory of it, but all the emotions.

I encourage everyone to read that book and others on forgiveness. Find what works for you.


SpecialK posted 3/27/2014 18:54 PM

I too had a painful relationship with my father. He is still alive but he is an alcoholic and a serial adulterer and not able to earn my forgiveness. I have come to acceptance with him. That allows me to let go of the pain of what happened and move past it through my own introspection.

You can tell I have not forgiven him because if he came to my home and wanted to come in and act like everything was fine I would not be able to allow that. We are not buddies. He is not safe enough to be a part of my life.

Forgiving someone who has hurt you doesn't mean you have to invite them back into your life. Forgiving someone doesn't negate what they did or said. As stated by various posters, the gift of forgiveness is for YOU, the person doesn't even have to know you have forgiven them, imo.

Caretaker1 posted 3/27/2014 19:05 PM

Had another child, got remarried......wtf why r u texting me I would say. You have a new wife no? You fired me from that position. Crickets.......would be my response OR. Do you forgive yourself and ummmmm again......if your new wife found out you are texting me with some mumbo jumbo act of contrition....how would she feel or will you be asking your new wife for forgiveness too ? Sounds like he has regrets....

He's a putz.

[This message edited by Caretaker1 at 7:23 PM, March 27th (Thursday)]

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