You can't force yourself to forgive your WS....you just can't.
What they did was really awful, unforgiveable in many people's eyes.
When it comes to affairs... basically 50% of the spouses can reconcile,but, that means that 50% cannot bring themselves to reconcile with their wayward spouse.
I think women tend to forgive more often then men do.....
But, the bottom line is that for some people it is a deal breaker... even a one night stand for some is something that they can never bounce back from!
We are all different people, with different tolerance levels , personalities...and also very different histories...
so, if you are finding it impossible to forgive and move forward with reconciliation...then you have to make peace with that. Stop beating yourself up over it all....
There is no right or wrong way of dealing with infidelity..it's what is best for you, what feels right for you.
And..of course, the role of your WS is very key...
If the cheater is not very remorseful and very willing to do everything to try to save the marriage, well, then... there is much less hope of reconciliation.
Seeing an individual counselor is really something that helped me tremendously...much more so than MC.
I think all that MC can do is behave like a referee... when there is a particulaar discussion that the two of you are stuck on... and cannot resolve...
Both my husband and I spent years in IC....and, I am convinced that his 3+ years of regular AA meetings has been very instrumental in helping him to get a lot of new insights into himself etc.
even a one night stand for some is something that they can never bounce back from!
do you think you really would have been over the whole thing, without any regrets...regrets can be an issue for some if not most people...we regret different things and different points in time...
3 years may seem like a long time in retrospect but when you are living it it is quite a different matter...i am so sure that on any given day it feels like a lifetime or it feels like yesterday.....
.regretting staying is a much different entity then regretting leaving...and all that goes with both...the way you have decided to handle it and stay is a choice you can still change, leaving is a permanent choice not always easily undone if able...and more often then not, it is permanent...
moving on when you still have residual feelings or unfinished business is not easy ...healing still has to happen...
and you don't know how you would feel if you left and there really is no use thinking about it in those terms...perspective is everything for all of us...how you choose to "see" what you "see"......try to choose to "see" things from a perspective that makes sense and is easy to live with and deal with and gives you acceptance and peace....not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination...but needed...
You cannot control what others do… but you can control what you do. It is your responsibility to make sure your H knows how you feel…Let me help you.. do not be afraid to ever share a feeling with your H…fear shouldn’t even make a difference at this point in you relationship since you are about out the door… In that car maybe you could have said. “right now, I feel unconfident, unsure, a bit sad, diminished…because we are not talking and I need and want you to talk to me”.. no tell’n what would come out of his mouth though.. lol… but you never know… You could talk about the good things that you plan on doing the weekend… I’m glad you are opening up here… I think that is how you will heal… And I am 100% with YOU should you decide to D… only you know if your H is capable of being a good man… TODAY.
UK… If your kid got caught doing cocaine or whatever, all the embarrassment from it being in the news, friends find out, cost of attorney, etc… and if your son then went on to drug rehab… and as time passed you knew he regretted that… of course you would forgive. As my once vision of your H… the fat cat…. You seem so unhappy sometimes…maybe you come here to vent… and it is always welcome! But don’t you want someone to share the rest of your life with you can get to that mature love? I hear ya.. your H is not that man… he cannot see what is wrongs are? doesn’t care? To R I think you somehow have got to start at some point to just start making yourself happy… Then you work very hard to do nothing but 100% desirable things… If you fail, you pick back up a go at it again.. you try to do everything possible to make it work…
But you know what? Some people will just continue to take advantage of you.. keep committing infidelity, controlling… etc… In that case.. YOU DIVORCE. Because there are good partners out there… My W may decide I am not what she needs.. you know what? I may decide she is not who I need too… I’m not going to live with a woman that hides things from me. I’m not going to live with a woman that cannot nor will affirm me, (my boundaries)…If my W cannot give me what I need… Then I’ll go find another W. So far, we are getting along better than I can remember… YOU can have the same too… Fat cat would not like being a half cat… huh?? World Travelers make good livings… Am I reading that wrong? BTW.. I destroy anything that makes me trigger.. I just throw it away…
They say forgiveness is for you, not for the person who has wronged you
- An unforgiving spirit poisons ones own heart with bitterness
- hatred infects their descendants and they live bitter lives.
- Great emotional pain and misery is associated with those who live bitter lives.
- Diseases follows this path of bitterness. Our bodies cannot handle this unforgiving heart.
This is what happens when you can forgive… (look at individuals)
I also believe you can D and still forgive.
Allgoodnamesgone… You just snoop when you want and don’t feel guilty about it… The less you find, the more you trust…. It will help you. And you will bring stuff up over and over that is not productive.. I did it… way too much.. but you learn to think about it before you bring up a tricky question... Before you ask a question that is history that is not needed... say a prayer or something to yourself.. Know it was all ugly.. yes it happened.. yes it was ugly.. and that was then and this is now. It takes over a year to start feeling like you have just a little peace again. And BTW.. My wife did not make me a 100% commitment that I felt was meaningful until 10 months past dday… I kept telling her I did not feel safe! She finally wrote and told me from her heart.
IC.. says this?
ic thinks I am..Control freak
My IC found a few things in me too… I was a bit controlling. We all are in many ways.. but not in ugly ways… I was also obsessive. So I work on those.. and I always have one of these.. “I’m always right” kinda personalities too.. lol.. but inside I know I many times wrong! lol
njgal480…forgiveness starts with saying to yourself… I am going to forgive. Then you act, try to do everything you know to be a person that has forgiven.. when you slip, you get back on that saddle… Forgiveness has been a process for me… Maybe I’m in the middle.. half way point? I’ll have to do a graph.. lol forgiveness and staying with you spouse after adultery is different….
Anyway.. peace to all!
[This message edited by trynhard at 9:31 PM, April 18th (Sunday)]
I have read so much on forgiveness, but none of it seems to apply to me. I can’t do it. Maybe if I had a faith to hold on to, I could do it. But I don’t.
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 7:52 AM, April 19th (Monday)]
i lost so much faith on d-day, but yet i clung to my rosary beads every night, and most days praying for guidance, for support, for answers....
i did get inner guidance..my intuition became an absolute force,amd as such also provided many answers to the questions pfm was not willing to answer..
support...a few very close friends and this site became my crutches
answers...still waiting on the why all this happened in the first place..wondering what my soul lesson may be from all this or why this journey is necessary for me...
but d-day in itself was an answer to a prayer that i prayed for every single day..
i prayed that pfm would wake up and open his eyes to all that he was doing to his family (meaning me and his children) that he would "see" all that was in front of him, that he would slow down in work and connect with us ...i didn't know of course that he was as disconnected as he was til d-day...
i would pray this at nite, while driving, while watching tv..pretty much all the time..my prayers were for him to become the dad i always knew he could be if he would just "see" or the husband i knew he could be if he could just "see"..
well after d-day he was given the gift of sight and my prayer was answered...hence became my new motto be careful what you pray for..all prayers are answered, but as to how they are answered it up to God...
as much as my faith was somewhat shattered it was also reinforced it this makes any sense...
i have lost a great deal of my catholic faith, but have become more spiritual..i believe in God, i believe in spirits, i believe.....
what i don't believe is that forgiveness is necessary to move on, sometimes there are just unfogivable acts, but acceptance is not only necessary but without it i don't think peace will ever come, without i dont think one can be truly happy..
i do believe that forgiveness is the ultimate act of love..and if forgiveness is possible it not only free the one doing the forgiving but gives a sense of peace like no other act...and it means you truly do move on from that place of discord...
but alas that true forgiveness is not always easy for us as humans, we have too much ego, too much hurt, too much fear...
so many people say they forgive when they truly do not...because they want all it offers but cannot put aside all that stands in the way of it...some believe they have when in fact they have not...
i myself do work towards forgiveness, but i know that as you do it is a process and there are steps involved..for now i am still working on total acceptance...which in itself is also hard to truly feel and own....but it is a place where i know i will feel a sense of peace, and from there i know i can move on so to speak.....
i do hope that we all find that sense of peace...it has become my new prayer that i pray for everyday...pfm "sees" now, he doesn't "see" enough for me for "r" but he does "see" enough to be the dad my kids need
.regretting staying is a much different entity then regretting leaving
I took these from a good book I read called Total Forgiveness.
First… forgiveness is a choice… It is not a feeling…Hell, if you don’t want to do these things in you brain, then in my view, you have told yourself you don’t want to forgive. That is a choice by you and no one else. You can make your brain do these things and that is called having the ability to forgive.
1) Make the choice to forgive
2) Make the deliberate and irrevocable choice not to tell anyone what they did.
3) Be pleasant to them should you be around them
4) If conversation ensues, say that which would set them free from guilt
5) Let them feel good about themselves
6) Protect them from their greatest fears
7) Keep it up today, tomorrow, this year and next
8) Pray for them
See each and every one of us can do all these things. It takes some brain strength. You may fail occasionally. But you do get good at it in a very short time… (months)
Ok for you, these are all things we can do in our minds… If you just do them. ACT on them.. try everyday to do them, say them to yourself, have them in front of you, share them out loud….
These are the steps toward freedom!
1) Stop excusing, pardoning or rationalizing
2) Recognize, identify the action that hurt you… yes, it was Infidelity, adultery, falseness, betrayal.
3) Spend time thinking of ways in which you life would be more satisfying if you could let go of your grievances
4) Try replacing anger with the thoughts of “badness” from you spouse with thoughts about of your spouse is also a human being who is vulnerable to harm.
5) Identify with you spouses probable stat of mind. Understand the spouse’s history while not condoning their actions.
6) Spend more time developing greater compassion toward you spouse
7) Become more aware that you have needed other people’s forgiveness in the past.
8) Make a heartfelt resolution not to pass on you own pain.
9) Spend time appreciating the sense of purpose in you life
10) Enjoy the sense of emotional relief that comes when the burden of a grudge has melted away. Enjoy the feeling of goodwill and mercy you have shown.
See, you can come here to SI and so many people can help with all the above steps without them or you even realizing it… We make post after post saying stuff related to #1… We post time and time again about # 5… We even talk about #9 many times… All this can help you get to #3 about how ways you can let go… that might even be to make a decision to divorce. #8 is a tough one… Passing on your pain would be to tell your spouse stuff like.. “You f’ing idiot, I cry everyday over what you did to me”….And if you think about it.. when you do the things that are unforgiving, it just perpetuates into even more bad feelings… anger, rage, unhappiness..
It is up to us, me, I, to reach inside you soul, and grab happiness. You fight for it.. you battle negativity, it is combat with your brain.
I read many post from guys mostly saying.. Our W’s cheated and had all that fun, got caught, then are forgiven to continue to enjoy life… while we didn’t get this and that. That is resentment… and unfair things are part of life. You can choose to dwell or choose to move on… Myself, I am choosing to move on…
I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend… My W and I went to a local casino and I won $5.. lol… ate good food, witnessed my W and her three friends spend hours painting nails, doing hair for daughters last Prom. (Iwant, she’s been to 5, one on her sophomore year, 2 at other schools.. I assume it’s her last??) I took pictures and then looked at them for an hour! lol… Watched 3 movies, when on a 7 mile run… yard work… listen to music.. and even manage to sneak in a Mass… Yep,, moving on…. Not knowing what is around the corner, but ready for it! You want peace… go get it.
well after d-day he was given the gift of sight and my prayer was answered...hence became my new motto be careful what you pray for..all prayers are answered
support...a few very close friends and this site became my crutches
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 8:32 AM, April 19th (Monday)]
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 8:50 AM, April 19th (Monday)]
and as much as one chooses to act the forgiveness part, you need to "FEEL IT" to truly live it..and once you truly feel it, there are no relapses...there can't be...there are no setbacks, no reminders needed...as much as it is a choice, you need to feel it to make it a reality...
fnf: your words of support have truly touched me..
i do disagree with the support vs crutches because i believe they are one in the same...crutches hold you up until you can hold yourself up...it is the ulitmate support...crutches help you walk til you can walk on your own again...and that is what si, and my close friends have done for me, and my mom too now that she knows...
i'll tell you though i have learned that i have made many more friends where i live then i ever thought or believed...many of my freind here, the friends you like will occasionally see and talk to but are not the confiding in friends, not considered "best" freinds...anyway these friends know that i have gone through something, they do not know what it is, but have watched me metaphosisize from being somewhat of a thin person to be a really thin person...dropping 20 lbs for a small woman is usually noticable...they all have noticed the pain in my face and here is where i am so touched...every single one of them have reached out to me in truly wonderful ways...and they reached out in warmth, not in curiosity..they each gave me some amazing support without even realizing they were.....
it still takes getting used to by me, i am not used to being on a recipient end of this kind of support, i have always been on my own...bad choice of freinds through the years, no siblings that i lived with, lousy family system except for my mom..so i have had to learn early on how to deal from within...and for the most part i still do....but i have to admit, all the wonderful people here at si, and especially here on the lta board, and all the friends that have shown me all this support irl have touched me so deeply there are no words that do this feeling justice...the uplift i feel is incredible...so thankyou lta people and si people for giving me the bestest feeling ...happy tears continuosly come to my eyes....
[This message edited by iwantamiracle at 9:24 AM, April 19th (Monday)]
all the wonderful people here at si, and especially here on the lta board, and all the friends that have shown me all this support irl have touched me so deeply there are no words that do this feeling justice...the uplift i feel is incredible.
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 9:51 AM, April 19th (Monday)]
ah my i would love it for you to come to new york..i must admit i never heard of becco's....i assume its an italian restaurant... ...
and i love pasta, it is one of my favorites, but i am determined to keep the weight off, i love my new bod....its rockin now...
honest lives close to me, so i am sure she will want to join in...she and i are planning to g2g soon to meet..
would anyone want to join in?...the more the merrier...
need to take my little charge for a walk now...
be back later..
Shall I catch a shooting star?
Shall I bring it where you are?
If you want me to, I will
You can set me any task
I'll do anything you ask
If you'll only love me still
When at last our life on earth is through
I shall share eternity with you
If you love me, really love me
Then whatever happens, I won't care
(Vera Lynn Lyrics > If you love me, really love me)
And another ETA :
The second verse (Shall I catch a shooting star ....) sounds like something that might come from a truly remorseful spouse. It's often very hard to think about or care about what our FWS's are going through but I know from my own H that it is very important to him to know that I still love him. He asks me all the time. He wants to know, "why did you really stay" because it's hard for him to believe that I could still love him after what he's done to me and our family. So much healing has to take place. So much damage has been done. For the first few years I didn't know if I still loved him and refused to say it until I could say it with honesty.
And like forgiveness, it can't be forced. It has to come over time.
Reconnecting fully in love to me is a dream, a fantasy that I hope and pray for all the time. I fantasize about a beautiful recommitment ceremony with vows that come from our hearts, not the bible verses of our first wedding. Maybe one day but until then, I will keep praying for the absolute knowledge that I am loved by my H and that I have once again fallen in love with him.
ETA yet again for those who would like to hear the Edith Piaf version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOTj0jCtwpA&feature=related
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 12:14 PM, April 19th (Monday)]
And Miracle - I am the next county over from Honest - so don't forget me on any g2g!
This is EXACTLY where I am right now.
This is EXACTLY what I was just saying to my H this am & I haven't spoken to him since because his attempts to respond to me are just making me more angry.
But - at its core - this is how I'm feeling. All the little complaints I have about what he's said, not said, done , not done, all come down to do you really love me? I was essentially telling him I think things are going well lately, but on a very superficial level. I don't feel like we are best friends, or that we are each other's confidants. In the course of our conversation this am ("conversation" may not be accurate - it was certainly more hostile than a normal conversation - with me supplying the hostility of course.) he said some things are none of my business. (Too much back story to explain - it's not an issue of him refusing to answer something). And, I was really annoyed & said what would be none of my business and commented that maybe I dont understand what he thinks my role in this relationship is.
Ok - Ive posted too much - I have to stop or I'm just going to get myself into a really bad place.
But - as long as I'm here - there was something I was going to say to Tryn - that I was laughing after this am's "conversation" when I did start out using your suggesting of stating things using "I feel" like statements. But, the way it turned out it was like "I feel like.... and then proceeded to accuse him of a whole bunch of stuff. Technicially accurate - but not what you meant. Well, back to the drawing board.
forgiveness is a feeling in itself
1. act of forgiving; state of being forgiven.
2. disposition or willingness to forgive.
I think people misunderstand forgiveness and feelings. Forgiveness is actually a task, something you do. I think once you find you start the task of forgiving, those task as I mentioned in my post, you will start to feel stuff… some happiness.
This healing goes back to way before records and books. Man has somehow figured out how to heal a brain. It is called forgiveness. This is proven to work… That is why is it studied so much, it is a huge industry, it works… religion and beliefs..
For months and months.. I had these feelings… Hostile, inflamed, cross, worked up, angry, ashamed, miserable, uncertain, skeptical, unsure… Sad, empty, hesitant, pessimistic, tearful… I can still have them, I can share them with my W… it’s OK to do that… I think my wife tries hard to keep unpleasant feeling from hitting me…and so I do the same… I feel fortunate to have someone like that… some people are not like that.. (ie.. continue to lie, continue to cheat, do undesirables… etc)
I can remember I decided to forgive my W the first day after dday…It took me 6-7 months before I decided to forgive OM. So I started to act, perform, do those task, some around here call it, “fake it until you make it”. Heck, I didn’t even know I was doing it!
But I know just recently, I received some very kind words from my W… I think we both want to reach a point mature love. It’s not easy. Yes, we could have each had it with other people... but you will have issues to deal with there too… Imagine this.. you telling someone on your first date… I am not a forgiving person… I don’t forgive too easily. lol..
Is that really who you want to be? Not me.. Actually, I am now starting to take great pride in the fact that I will be able to tell my kids how strong I am to be able to forgive someone that has brought the most painful feelings anyone can ever go through in a life time….
Anyway… just to review…more on forgiveness…
what forgiveness is
OLD RESENTMENTS AND FAILED EXPECTATIONS OFTEN INTERFERE WITH THE ENJOYMENT OF OUR LIVES -- TRY TO IDENTIFY THE PAIN AND MOVE ON.
Forgiveness is letting go of the need for revenge and releasing negative thoughts of bitterness and resentment. If you are a parent, you can provide a wonderful model for your children by forgiving. If they observe your reconciliation with friends or family members who have wronged you, perhaps they will learn not to harbor resentment over the ways in which you may have disappointed them. Even if you are not a parent, forgiveness is still an extremely valuable skill to have. In the movie Avalon, the uncle stopped talking to his family members for the rest of his life because they started Thanksgiving dinner without him after he was excessively late for the zillionth time. What a waste of energy it is to stay angry for decades.
Forgiveness can be a gift that we give to ourselves. Here are some easy steps towards forgiveness:
Acknowledge your own inner pain.
- Express your emotions in non-hurtful ways without yelling or attacking.
- Protect yourself from further victimization.
- Try to understand the point of view and motivations of the person to be forgiven;
- replace anger with compassion.
- Forgive yourself for your role in a difficult relationship, then decide whether or not to remain in the relationship.
- Perform the overt act of forgiveness verbally or in writing. If the person you want to forgive is dead or unreachable, you can still write down your feelings in letter form.
what forgiveness is not
FORGIVENESS IS NOT SIMPLY FORGETTING.
Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending it didn't happen. It did happen, and we need to retain the lesson learned without holding onto the pain.
Forgiveness is not excusing. We excuse a person who is not to blame. We forgive because a wrong was committed.
Forgiveness is not giving permission to continue hurtful behaviors; nor is it condoning the behavior in the past or in the future.
Forgiveness is not reconciliation. We have to make a separate decision about whether to reconcile with the person we are forgiving or whether to maintain our distance.
By Shirley Glass, Ph.D.
But - at its core - this is how I'm feeling. All the little complaints I have about what he's said, not said, done , not done, all come down to do you really love me?
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 11:59 AM, April 19th (Monday)]