I worked very, very hard at it for about a year and a half, against the advice of pretty much anyone who knew (very limited list, lol).
It was false R, the affair never ended, and I felt like an even bigger fool for having attempted forgiveness.
I still think it's possible, but it's incredibly hard for all involved.
The OBS in my A is my SIL. My A with her husband lasted two months, and after DDay there was no false R and both me and my BIL offered sincere apologies to her and my BS (several of them in fact and mostly via text message). At her request, I also gave her a chance to express her anger and outrage at what I did in person and I was able to apologize at the same time. She was trying to forgive me for the first few months, if not for me for herself and her children (my niece and nephews whom she still allows me to see) and the rest of the family. Since she's requested not to see me for a few to several months, I'm not sure where she's at right now. My inlaws and I are all very active Christians and believe in forgiveness but I'm not sure it will ever happen. And I understand completely. I hate that she may have to go through more pain and trauma by seeing me again at Christmas, other holidays, weddings, and funerals. I'm sure it hurts her so much that her kids like me and probably talk about me. She must really love her children to allow them to have a relationship with me. You don't know how much it helps me to know there are people like you out there. It gives me some hope that one day if she keeps trying, maybe God will give her peace and things will be a little more bearable for her in regards to me. But maybe I'm a fool for even thinking that's possible.
WW (me) - 32
BH - 36
DS 5, DD 3
Dday - 10/25/13
I am trying to get to indifference. That will be the closest I can get away from hating her.
As for forgiveness, I will never be able to have that with this OW. She is not remorseful and sees nothing wrong with what she did ("friends with benefits") even though she had to lie to her husband when I told him about the affair. Forgiveness is not something that can be done when the person doesn't see they have done something wrong to be forgiven for.
With OW no. 2, she has never offered an apology. However, I do know she is remorseful and feels guilt and shame for what she did to my family and hers. I would never be able to be friends with her (didn't know her in RL), but I find myself having feelings of forgiveness towards her. Maybe it's indifference, I'm not sure. She was in a bad place in her marriage and made a horrible decision. She was also vulnerable and my WH took advantage of that for his own needs. I truly pity her. I often wonder if she is on here when I read some of the posts.
He has forgiven wh. He is here at least two or three nights a month for supper, he came and had Christmas supper with us, he and wh text and hang out more then they did when obs was married to ow. I have yet to encounter a situation quite like ours.
Obs and ow are divorced and have no children so none of us have anything to do with ow.
No, I will not forgive my sister for her betrayal for several reasons. First, she continues to deny that anything ever happened. Second, she continues to cheat on her husband with anyone willing. Third, she was one of my abusers when I was growing up. Fourth, she has absolutely no remorse or guilt for any damage she has inflicted on anyone who she has done wrong. To her, everyone else was asking for it, even her own kids. Fifth, she is my flesh and blood and that means absolutely nothing to her. If anything, that made me an even bigger target in her quest to prove she is better than everyone else.
Even if she were to work on her issues and change for the better, my relationship with her is beyond anything I would ever want to repair. As far as I am concerned, she is dead to me. When she passes away, I won't even go to her funeral and she will definitely not be allowed to come to mine. I don't even plan on going to my mother's funeral if she is going to be there. She burned the bridge between us and I'm not bothering to rebuild it because she is still standing on the other side holding matches and gasoline.
Freebygrace, I commend your forgiveness. And I learned that distinction as well. I pray that my SIL at least forgives me one day.
Sammy2013, I would be happy if one day she felt indifferent. My marriage was also in a horrible spot (my BH had self-diagnosed severe "sleeping problems" and hadn't had a job for 3 years. The year before the A he'd had an EA almost PA with our live-in nanny that he had never acknowledged was an affair or showed any proper remorse/guilt. Against my wishes he'd been freeloading off of my parents and his to survive financially. My BIL/AP (unknown to me) had always had a crush on me and hated my BH for treating me this way. He stepped in to offer advice and save me. Instead he (who'd had a previous PA that I had no knowledge of) took advantage of me in my vulnerable state. But I should've known better. That doesn't excuse my actions. My SIL knows all this and I hope one day it will help her forgive me.
The last thing I heard from my SIL/OBS is that she no longer wishes me any ill will, which I suppose is the same thing as not hating me any longer. At the time I wasn't sure exactly what that meant and it didn't feel like much progress but I realize now that if what she said is really true, it's significant progress and probably took a lot of painful work. Even if she can't handle being in the same room with me right now, what a gift and small step towards forgiveness that is.
Angel177, that's incredible! Thanks so much for sharing. My unattainable dream is just that one day my SIL/OBS and I will be able to attend every family event we'd like with as little awkwardness as possible.
WW (me) - 32
BH - 36
Married 12 years
DS 5, DD 3, baby #3 on the way!
Dday - 10/25/13
My H also sent an apology to the OBS, and I know he wishes he could at least ease OBS's pain a little. I can almost see them being able to mend the fences a small amount -- but for me, I don't think so. My ex-friend laid in wait for years until my H hit a particularly bad time. And then, either willfully or not, she weaseled her way in. As much as an a$$hole as my H was, he never had feelings for her (or an attraction) before the A, so I will always feel preyed upon in a way that the other OBS doesn't have reason to.
So, I may forgive eventually for my own mental health, but in our case the AP is simply not a person worth reconnecting with. I was just thinking this morning how, ironically, while we were friends, probably both my H and I liked her H more than her. (Until, you know -- she started blowing unicorn sunshine up my H's Levis.) So messed up.
I edit, therefore I am.
It makes large family events and FWW visiting with her sister difficult.
atsenaotie, so I assume you FWW's sister/OBS has forgiven FWW? Were they able to reconcile their relationship?
I did not contact FWW's sister after dday. I had two thoughts at the time. First was that I was planning to D FWW, so I did not see any need to out her A to her sister. Also, FWW's sister knew of her other APs, and never gave me any heads-up over the years, so I was not real concerned about giving her a heads-up either.
After discussing it with the IC/MC, who I trust and have a great deal of faith in, FWW apologized to her sister for her "flirting and inappropriate" relationship with BIL. Had her sister inquired, she was prepared to tell more about the relationship, but her sister's response was sort of “OK, whatever”.
FWW does not come from a healthy family, and her sister has some issues from that. Even without the EA with her BIL, FWW now sees that she needs to minimize contact with her sister for her own emotional health. Still, they visit on the phone and when FWW goes to her home state to see her Dad, her sister often comes to visit.
In retrospect, I do not know if telling FWW’s sister about the proof I had of an EA would have made much difference to her. FWW’s sister and BIL are living in the same house, but otherwise estranged and neither particularly likes the other. She stays in the M for reasons other than love and partnership. She takes a lot of medications that leave her with a pretty flat affect. Also, there had been a long history with FWW and her BIL flirting and him once saying he married the wrong sister in reference to sex.
We are going to a wedding soon and FWW’s sister and BIL will be there, probably sitting at the same table as us. It will not be a comfortable situation for me, FWW, and I presume BIL.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 11:42 AM, April 17th (Thursday)]
I commend you for asking and for the steps you are taking...even just in wishing forgiveness. ... Your attitude goes a long way towards a BS reaching real healing and forgiveness in a seriously messed up situation but even if the OBS in your sitch never forgives, you've made me glad that at least there's one OW out there who really gets it.
Beautifulempty, I don't think that it's a coincidence that you sent me these words on a day I really needed to hear them. I'm finally crawling out of the pit of despair that I've been in for the last few days. So thank you.
I haven't always gotten it but as I've been reading accounts of BS's on SI and really trying to put myself in my BH/SIL's shoes, I think I've gotten as close as I can to understanding what it's like to be on the other side. It probably also helps that my BH had a LTEA almost PA with our live-in nanny before my own A, which he denied was an A until we started MC earlier this year. There wasn't a lot of deceit because he insisted that they were just "friends" and did almost everything in the relationship out in the open despite my wishes that she move out but I remember the feelings I had when he confessed how far the relationship had gone and especially the romantic feelings the OW was developing for him. In hindsight I think that we could've prevented my own A if we would've owned our issues and sought therapy then, but that's a story for another day.
atsenaotie, ok, that makes sense but it sounds like FWW's sister would feel the same if she knew it was an EA. You and her family live in different states? That must be a huge relief. We all live in the same town.
I wish you the best of luck at the wedding. My FIL is running for a local political position this spring and I'm trying not to fret about bumping into my BIL/AP and SIL/OBS at political events and having to stand on the stage with them during important speeches. Then there's the fact that we both own vacation homes on the same street and may end up vacationing at the same time, since my SIL and her children often stay for 6 weeks of the summer. I have no idea how we'll handle the holidays yet but it's too far away to know. My BH is hopeful that we'll all be able to handle sitting down together for Thanksgiving dinner. His faith in his sister and his efforts to forgive his BIL are inspiring.
WW (me) - 32
BH - 36
Married 12 years
DS 5, DD 3, baby #3 on the way!
Dday - 10/25/13
I entertained allowing her back into my life on an individual basis, at some point, but after talking with friends and my IC, I'm not sure that's a good idea. She'd have to prove she'd done a lot of work on herself, bc I've since realized she has some pretty narcissistic and competitive qualities.
I can forgive her, but I need to make sure I'm making healthy decisions for myself going forward...and in the absence of major changes and self-discovery on her part, her friendship would not be a healthy thing for me.