But I still cannot grasp the thought of ever forgiving him. I can move on- but I cannot actually say, "I forgive you" because I don't! Is this something that I HAVE to do?
Personally I hope to eventually forgive my WH. Not for him but because it weighs heavily on my heart. For my own well being I hope to eventually forgive him.
Leaning towards leaving, no one deserves this pain.
Forgiving is only something we should do if we want to and the wayward has earned it, IMO.
This betrayal is the new reality of your marriage.
Unfortunately, we would be fools to forget.
My husband's affair has created a situation in which I feel as if I need to forever be on alert for suspicious behaviors.
It's so sad.
Even my wayward admits he abused the freedom I gave him, and treated me like a fool.
He claims he regrets it, but I can't believe he did not have the intelligence, foresight and moral strength to forsee the damage an intimate betrayal would cause.
I always thought my husband was too intelligent an sensitive to engage in a marital affair.
The fact that I was so wrong about him is an amazing shock and makes me distrustful of my own judgement.
I used to look at my husband and see such a good an honest man.
Now I look at him and wonder who he is.
From my perspective, half of forgiveness is not wanting to get revenge or "even the score". If you feel like you have to do something to get even, I'd suggest working on that first. Convince yourself that you are the better person; even though he caused you pain, causing him pain won't do anything to heal you. If you never had those thoughts or have moved past that, you're halfway there or more already.
The second half is to stop reliving the pain. Shortly after my Dday, I put together a list of all the things my WW did that hurt me. If I looked at that list I would feel the pain again. I'd get flush and tense. I told my WW that I would need to tell her what she did that hurt me. And that I would need three things, an apology, a show of remorse, and a promise to not do it again. No explanations or excuses. It's what I needed to heal. Some specific things that really hurt I had to bring up a few times. Others were just one and done.
I can look at that list now and not relive the pain. I know that it happened, but I'm not upset or angry anymore. As part of our R, I need to feel secure that she won't do anything to hurt me like that again. None of that requires me telling her I forgive her. If she wants some assurance that I'm not angry or hurt about something, I can say that "it's forgiven" for a particular act, rather than "I forgive you." One thing that forgiveness implies is that the other person doesn't owe you anything anymore. My WW and your WH still owe us to change themselves and be the person we want in our marriage.
So no, you don't have to ever say "I forgive you" to your WH. You only have to find forgiveness in your heart for yourself.
Thank your for your post, seethelight. You expressed exactly how I am processing my husband's betrayal.
You are welcome, 38years.
The posts from a lot of good people her, sharing their stories, have helped me cope.
I am glad I was able to pay it forward with my post.
[This message edited by seethelight at 12:09 PM, July 23rd (Wednesday)]
I fully realize that I am in no way as intelligent or as psychologically sound as many of the members that answered you. My mental makeup simply would not allow me to continue to function in free society without the blessing I gave myself. Many good and decent people here can remain good and decent without forgiving, and I applaud them. I for one could not. It took me over 2 years to reach the point where I could do this, and every now and again I have to watch my thought processes, and fight the pre- forgiveness demons, but I can say it was ABSOLUTELY worth it for me and me alone!
However; just because I cancelled her debt to me mentally does not mean its all sunshine and buttercups for her.I will never trust her again. I don't have to, trust has nothing to do with forgiveness. She has not heard ILY in over 2.5 years. , nor will she. Forgiveness has nothing to do with expressing affections you no longer feel. She knows her security in the M now is absolutely performance based.She knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that I entirely retain the right to walk away for the smallest backsliding into her WW ways. Forgiveness has nothing to do with lowering my self protective measures, or my conditions of R.Hope this helps.
Trust has nothing to do with forgiveness
So true. I forgave quickly, regretted it and now am grateful for it. Its a personal thing to you only.
It doesn't mean they "got away with it" its a gift you give to yourself. Even if you forgive you don't have to say it out loud.
I always promised myself not to settle. It had been said by our MC that staying with my H and not D is a form of forgiveness.
After much therapy,I have a good understanding of his why's. It brought me to acceptance. It brought me to understand what we need to do to move forward toward a happy future.
Don't beat yourself up about not forgiving. It isn't a negative trait. It feels more honest to me than the concept of forgiving the unforgivable.
How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To by Janis A. Spring