Forgiveness started a few months ago, and it was a revelation for me. It freed me from the exhausting rollercoaster of R, allowed me to feel joy and real hope. It's a process, but it was a turning point for us. For the first time since DDay last November, I was able to go an entire month without a meltdown. That was progress.
But now I"m slipping, and I realize that even if I have forgiven him, I can't quite say that I trust him. I don't think he'll cheat anytime soon, but I am looking further down the road. Knowing his flaws and fears, and knowing that they take time to overcome, I can't help but worry that he will not rise to the challenge and that he will hurt me again. Does that mean I haven't truly forgiven him?
there are so many definitions of forgiveness out there. So many have said to me or I've read: forgiveness is for yourself, it releases you from bitterness and anger. Oh really? 99% of the time I'm not bitter or angry, but I haven't forgiven him. So, what is that....
not to threadjack but... define forgiveness for yourself and I think you'll be ok!
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 forgave my WW, but I will never forget what she did to me, to us. I hope both our spouses don't forget either, if they do, like history, it will repeat itself.
Can you forgive someone but still not trust them?
I believe trust is earned or regained after repeated and consistent behaviour by the 'wayward' seeking trust. Once you begin to feel 'safe' again a degree of trust will return.
Forgiveness however, is less dependent on the 'waywards' behaviour. I feel it is a choice you can make whereby you stop feeling resentment and anger directed towards the 'wayward'.
So I believe you can make the choice to forgive whilst still questioning how trustworthy your spouse is.
I realise in answering this that I only mostly forgive my husband. I still have moments of anger, though far less intense and far less frequently. Makes me wonder can you forgive by degrees? I don't trust him, however, because he has not explored his 'weaknesses' (for the want of a better word) and is relying on his integrity should the same impulses arise. It doesn't make me feel 'safe' at all.
I still hold onto some of that anger, but Smokehouse is right: I see now that it is very much anger towards the A, not at him. So I can hold forgiveness and anger in the same hand, and it's ok.
I feel like forgiving by degrees is dangerous because it's unclear, and the WS shouldn't feel like they can be re-persecuted at any time. But separating the forgiveness of the person from the anger towards the act makes it clearer and easier to work with.
But separating the forgiveness of the person from the anger towards the act makes it clearer and easier to work with.
I'm glad you can do this. I can not. He was the person who committed the act. I'll never forget HE is the one who did that...