DS (6), DS (18 months)
Aug 30 2013 He gives me back his ring with an ultimatum: "Get over it or get out".
Status: Done like dinner
If forgiveness means no longer feeling a need to exact payment or retribution, then I think I am there (OW is an entirely other story). I couldn't truly R without getting to that point.
If forgiveness means no longer feeling emotions when I think of his A, well then I am not there yet and I don't think I will ever be able to think of his A and pre A behavior without sadness.
I believe forgiveness is more about not looking for retribution. Forgiveness is supposed to be for the benefit of the BS. So long as the BS feels the score needs to be evened out, they will never be happy. Why? Because there is nothing a WS can do to ever erase what they have done.
Two however or certain LTA, especially when the wayward can see how much damage the first one caused, it's really unforgivable...
I say this as someone who had an A and took it underground after I confessed. Probably unforgivable.
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.
I think they both take alot of time to reach that point.
In my case, my previous H was an alcoholic. He became sober, but I could not get along with the new person who refused to work with me thru counseling to re-bond or repair the marriage itself. I eventually left him. It took me a couple of years after that to truly forgive him for what he did during marriage, and the forgiveness was for me, not him so I didn't carry around the resentment any longer. I never even told him I forgave him.
Take it slowly. Keep you eyes open to see if he really does the work and becomes a new person. Not sleeping with anyone outside of the marriage from here on out is only the start of "fixing" everything.
The trust I was more interested in regaining at that time was trust in myself. Once I felt strong with me, I began to take tentative steps at trust for my H.
I found that, words and behaviors from my H added currency at small increments at a time to my trust bank for him. What also was a huge factor was my gut feeling about him, this is why I first needed to learn how to trust myself again. Even so, when I first began to trust, which was about a year and a half after D-day give or take, I see-sawed back and forth constantly. In the beginning, it is a leap of faith to some degree, so I kept hopping back and forth. As my trust grew, I waivered less and less.
It is just that I reserve the right to feel doubt and question, something I did not do pre-D-day.
IMO, regaining some trust has to come before forgiveness.
Forgiveness is making a decision to give up your feelings of anger, bitterness, resentment and hatred towards a person who has committed a wrong against you. It is also giving up your right to punish that person for what they've done to you.
The people who are hardest to forgive are our partners, ourselves, church people and God. Perhaps because we expect more from these individuals … and rightly so.
12 Steps to Forgiveness
1. Write down the name of the person you need to forgive.
2. Acknowledge how hurt you are, and even the hatred you may feel towards this person for what they have done.
3. Think of times in your own life when your wrong actions have hurt or disappointed others. We also owed a debt we couldn’t pay. None of us is perfect. None of us is without fault. It is much easier to forgive others, when we bear in mind our own weaknesses and failings. We are all in need of forgiveness from time to time. Maybe we have never committed something as awful as betrayal, but as long as we have an uppity “I’m better than you” attitude, we will have trouble forgiving others. It is important to be honest with ourselves, and to view ourselves with sober judgment.
4. Decide you will bear the burden of the person’s wrongdoing. In other words your spouse’s affair is causing you tremendous pain, that’s the burden. Be brave and decide you will face that pain, rather than attempting to escape from it. As you do, the pain will begin to subside.
5. Take your piece of paper and write: I forgive ____________ (fill in the person’s name) for _______________ (write it all down) and it made me feel __________________. Write as much as you need to.
6. Make a decision to forgive. Say it out loud, “I make a decision right now to forgive _____________ (verbalize the situation).” Take as long as you need to, and be real. Ask for divine help if you need to.
7. Destroy the list: Rip or better yet, burn it.
8. Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other person.
9. Try to understand the person you have forgiven. What is their point of view? How do they feel? Why did they do what they did? What have their life experiences been that have made them vulnerable to such temptation and wrongdoing?
10. Expect positive results of forgiveness in you.
11. Think of what you’ve learned through this experience. What could you do better in the future? How can you help others going through the same or similar pain? It helps when you can redeem some meaning and purpose out of all the pain and mess. It feels much better, when we can think it was not for nothing, that it wasn’t meaningless.
Forgiveness is a learned skill. We don’t just know how automatically.
12. Be sure to accept your part of the blame for the offenses you suffered, where applicable. I accept no blame for my husband’s affair. I do not feel I can be held responsible for something, when I did not have the opportunity to participate in the decision of whether or not it was going to happen. But I do accept blame for my part in our relationship breakdown. That was very hard to do, but when I finally did this, we really began to move forward in our healing.
Forgiving something as major as betrayal is a process. It takes time to process all of our emotions; anger, grief and sadness. The important thing is to be moving forward from whatever point we are at.
It is healthy to give yourself appropriate time to process your emotions, when forgiving infidelity.
[This message edited by 1Faith at 4:55 PM, June 17th (Monday)]
I think there is a difference in forgiving and re-bonding.
Good point that bears repeating.
I have no hate or anger, it's not like that. In fact, I just spend the week-end with him and our boys at the beach. It was all nice and civil and everyone had a good time, especially the boys. I tended to his physical wounds for weeks in February when he was in a car accident. He and I get along fine.
I don't forgive him and I'm not going to go through some motion to pretend I do. I can go on with whatever type of relationship we have as co-parents without forgiving him. I put my kid's needs before mine when it comes to dealing with their dad.
Maybe one day I'll wake up and realize I do/did forgive him.
Right now, I'm not there.
Not forgiving doesn't mean hate or anger to me. It means I'm not over the pain he caused me in a way that I can release him from.
He continues to do much that is against my wishes with DD and the baby isn't even here yet and he's causing anger over some of my wishes for him.
How do you forgive a person who knew your core values and went as against them as he possibly could? Our whole family but then mine and his, he mocked with his actions and went against ALL of our beliefs...and did this with eyes wide open.
As well are the personal insults to myself, that continue a year after being abandoned and like I said, we are supposed to "coparent", but he just bullies.
I've accepted what he is and who he's become, but forgive? No.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
OTOH, H has worked hard to repair the damage to our relationship, rebuilding trust and shows he loves me in many ways.
Acceptance is the stage that made a difference for me....accepting this is part of our life, our marriage..that it can't be undone but we can move ahead and I can be happy with him.
Although everyone says forgiveness is for the benefit of the betrayed, to me, it feels more like it benefits the WS....I don't feel a need to forgive H.
Maybe after five years of R I'll feel differently about five years of cheating, but I don't know... and at this point, I'm not concerned about it.
H asked me a few months after DDay if I could ever forgive him and I told him I didn't think so......and we left it at that.
I feel it is important to accept what my WH did and to work through the intense anger, but I will never forgive him. I would be lying if I said that I could reach a point where I no longer resented what he did.
I do not stress over forgiveness. I do not believe that without it we can't move on successfully in R. My WH is well aware of my feelings about forgiveness...He once stated, "I know you will never forgive me..." Truer words were never spoken.
Some things are just too huge to forgive.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
An 18 year affair, an OC, using me as a Cialis 'remnant' when he had just been with her - no, I'm not there yet, and probably never will be.