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User Topic: Ready to forgive
SomeName
New Member
Member # 39737
Default  Posted: 8:02 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Background: I'm 19/M, my girlfriend is 22/F, we've been together for about a year and a half. She is the first person I've been with, I'm not the first person she's been with.
We're both college students, studying at the same university. She is from the US, I'm not. This means that in the summer holiday, we both go to our respective families to see them again, and we don't see each other for a while. This time though, she is coming over for the second half of the holiday.
Now, some time before she started dating me, she dated a guy we'll name N. For her, it was a way to finalize another relationship she had just gotten out of. She dated the guy for about two weeks, and then it was over. Back then, it was the only relationship she ever had where she could handle the person she was with, and the only time she had ever liked the sex they had once. After these two weeks, she had gotten over him, and he had gotten over her. Or so she thought.
Now, our relationship is great. We completely trust each other, we can talk about anything, absolutely anything. Communication is very open, and I feel this makes for a very healthy relationship. I really love her, she really loves me, and we're committed for life.
I had already expressed my concern about her not really having a reason to end the relationship with N, but she assured me that there were no feelings on either side anymore. This holiday, she started hanging out with a lot of friends she hadn't seen in about three years, which was good, she caught up with them and was overall very happy. We Skyped every day, and talked about our days and what we did. She also started hanging out with N more, to the point where she crashed at his place. I told her that I wasn't completely comfortable with this, as it did seem that they were hanging out a lot, and it kind of felt like she was projecting the feelings of missing me onto someone else.
I did say that she could still stay over there, but not seek it out for its own sake, because I didn't want to be too possessive, and I didn't think forbidding anything would do any good. Them hanging out continued, and I got insecure. Some time later, she told me she still had feelings for N. This was quite hard to deal with, but honestly, I kind of saw it coming.
She has never had feelings for more than one person at a time, and even though her feelings for me were stronger, her feelings for N were there. Her normal way of getting rid of feelings for someone, is to be around that person, sleep with them, and find out what she doesn't like about them, so she can distance herself. She told me this, but did say that she wouldn't sleep with him, because she is in a relationship. She did say that if she didn't get rid of these feelings now, they would probably slumber in the back of her mind, and possibly escalate later in her life, which could lead to nasty things.
However hard to deal with, I understood that she did indeed need to deal with her feelings now, or it would only get worse. I did say that I was not ok with her sleeping with him.
At some point, she met up with another (girl) friend that she hadn't seen in a long time. This friend is very sexually open. This friend told my girlfriend that she should just sleep with N, and get it over with, get rid of her feelings for once and for all. She also told my girlfriend that I should probably sleep with multiple other people, just so that I would have experienced other people. I really don't feel this way, because I feel that I don't need that, as my girlfriend is all I would ever want.
Apparently, she took this friend's advice, and slept with N. Afterward, she felt sick and threw up many times. She felt terrible, but didn't show it to me yet. About two days after, she had surgery, so during and after that she was doped up on drugs, and that helped her not to think about cheating on me. A couple days after the surgery, when she was particularly ill, she needed someone, anyone, to come over and comfort her. The first one to offer, you guessed it, was N. He held her during the night. She told me later that this felt extremely wrong, and that that was the point where she knew that she didn't have any feelings for N anymore. Some days later she told me, because it was very hard to keep to herself, and, looking back, I think I saw some small signs, but they were too small to really draw any conclusions.

Now, since she's told me, I am feeling very shocked that she would do such a thing, it's not something I thought she would ever do. I am, however, ready to forgive her, because I feel that this is indeed the last time she will every do anything like this. If she were to do it again though, it would be over, and I have told her that. She feels absolutely horrible for hurting me, and I feel horrible in general. What I need now, is to work this out together, she's going to be over here in a week, and, though I understand that this will take a while to work out, I want to work it out as quickly and healthily as possible. I have already told her that from now on, I would very much appreciate it if she told me absolutely everything negative she was feeling. She has been doing this almost already, but I think it would help to be brutally honest with each other.

On a slightly different note, she told her mom after she told me (I told her she should probably tell her mom), and her mom told her that she should've kept it to herself. I completely disagree, because if she were to keep it to herself, it would only escalate much more, and eventually lead to an inevitable explosion of feelings and a break up. This means her mom is not offering much support. How can I convince her mom that she did the right thing?

[This message edited by SomeName at 1:37 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]


Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 2013
solus sto
Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 8:56 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

You're right. It's far better to know what you are forgiving than to forgive blindly. You can't repair a relationship in the presence of secrets and lies.

Her normal way of getting rid of feelings for someone, is to be around that person, sleep with them, and find out what she doesn't like about them, so she can distance herself. She told me this, but did say that she wouldn't sleep with him, because she is in a relationship. She did say that if she didn't get rid of these feelings now, they would probably slumber in the back of her mind, and possibly escalate later in her life, which could lead to nasty things.

So, basically, she announced she was going to have an affair, so she could tell herself it was all right.

There are some mighty tricky mental gymnastics going on, on her part and yours.

No, you're not ready to forgive, as your subject line says. Forgiveness given cheaply does not require the hard work that makes a relationship safe.

Do you really think that sleeping with N, and "finding out what she doesn't like about him," really made your girlfriend a safe partner? That now that N is out of the way, she will remain faithful?

Sadly, no. It doesn't work that way. First, she has to value herself, you, and your relationship sufficiently to get help. Then, she needs to do some very hard work to figure out how she is able---while in a committed relationship---to do the mental gymnastics that make infidelity an option.

Because for healthy partners---even ones who are unhappy in their relationships---infidelity doesn't ever look like a solution. It looks like something that will complicate and destroy.

So. Why was it okay for your girlfriend to go there? What, inside her, allowed herself to give herself permission? What will she do when another guy piques her interest?

I understand the impulse to forgive rapidly. But doing so until you really know what you're dealing with--the trauma from which you will be spending the next handful of years recovering, whether with her or without---you can't forgive. It's impossible to forgive what you don't know, and right now you don't know much of anything, because you're still hearing nonsense. No, she did not sleep with the guy for "closure." She did not do it to free herself for you. She did it because she wanted to.

I am all for reconciliation. But it's a process. And it begins with hard work, on the part of the WS.

What work is your girlfriend doing? How is she showing you she's working to become a safe partner? Because your feeling that this is the "last time" is not based on her actions; it's based on your wishes. And as one who forgave based on wishes, I can attest that it frequently results in repeat offenses.

Far better to hold back, and see how things really unfold. Because the worst thing you can do, in terms of recovery from infidelity, is to minimize it, sweep it under the rug, and consider it "forgiven."

I am so sorry for your pain. We all understand it here. My reply is blunt---but only because I don't want for you to experience more pain than you already are.

Millions of hugs to you.

[This message edited by solus sto at 8:57 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]


BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 52, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8702 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
SomeName
New Member
Member # 39737
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

I am definitely not saying that I'm forgiving rapidly, but I do want to forgive in the long term, and I'm willing to work on that.
What do you think is the best course of action from here? My thoughts are that we need to completely talk this through, you made a good point about motivation, we need to talk about that as well. We need to talk about what will happen when someone else like this comes along. Thank you for your comment.

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 2013
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 10:04 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

You need to read more posts and see exactly what you are dealing with. You two can talk for days, but that isn't going to change her. You were talking before this and look how it turned out.

This isn't about what you are willing to do. It's about what your gf is willing to do. Is she willing to do the hard work necessary to figure out why she did what she did and to understand how to have good boundaries so she doesn't do this again? Does she admit she has poor coping skills and her poor choices led to this? Has she tried to find a counselor yet? If you are the one putting out the most effort, then you might as well end things now. This isn't your responsibility to fix. She needs to do what is necessary to earn back your trust and your forgiveness.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 10:05 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13753 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
SomeName
New Member
Member # 39737
Default  Posted: 11:16 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

That makes a lot of sense, thanks. I do feel that she knows she has made a very stupid decision, but she hasn't tried to find a counselor yet, it's honestly something that didn't come up in my mind either. Both of us don't have much money, and we're not in the US for the rest of this holiday. I'm not sure what you mean by effort. Do you mean that she has to make the effort to work this out? I agree, but obviously it has to come from both sides. She is definitely willing to figure out what she did, and to make sure it never happens again.

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 2013
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Do you mean that she has to make the effort to work this out?

I mean she has to make the effort to figure out why she did what she did and fix that part of her that is broken. All along the way, she was making poor choices and showing you she had poor boundaries.

Her normal way of getting rid of feelings for someone, is to be around that person, sleep with them, and find out what she doesn't like about them, so she can distance herself.

Do you not see how ludicrous this way of thinking is? There is nothing emotionally healthy about somebody who does this. You cannot have a successful, healthy & lasting relationship with somebody who thinks this way.

She is definitely willing to figure out what she did, and to make sure it never happens again.

She doesn't have the skills necessary to figure this out on her own. If she did, she would have done it before now. She needs counseling. Otherwise, she'll do this to you again.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13753 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
SomeName
New Member
Member # 39737
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Neither of us is in a position to be able to afford counseling.
I think she is willing to change herself with respect to the working through feelings for other people.

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 2013
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 11:52 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Neither of us is in a position to be able to afford counseling.

If she needs to get a job, get a second job, sell something, etc....to afford it, then that's what she needs to do. If she wants to fix herself, then she'll do what is necessary to make it happen.


I think she is willing to change herself with respect to the working through feelings for other people.

The issue isn't her feelings for other people. That's just an excuse for her not to face the truth. The issues lies within herself. A part of her is broken and she uses people to make herself feel better.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13753 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
hill
Member
Member # 12166
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Sorry you're here, SomeName.

Many people are helped by counseling, some are not. Although I was the betrayed wife in my first marriage, I went to one counseling session. She told me I was doing great, all things considered, and I didn't need her help. Soooo.... there are good counselors, there are not so good ones, and there are those that even if they go to counseling and get a good one, aren't going to hear the message anyway.

A good point to start is to read here in the Healing Library (yellow box to the left). Read up on boundaries- I agree, your GF doesn't have them! She needs to learn why she feels she needs to check out the possible next best thing while still in another relationship. If she's happy in your relationship, she should not feel the need to be with other men. If she's unhappy, she should communicate with you and try to either work things out or end them BEFORE being with other men.

Again, sorry you're here- but this is a great place for support.


Posts: 3152 | Registered: Sep 2006
myownmaster
New Member
Member # 35317
Default  Posted: 12:44 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Many people here will say you're too young to stick with a relationship that already has infidelity in it...on the other hand, from what little info you have given, she does sound to be terribly upset by what she did and seems willing to put effort into working things out. Long story short, I won't try to convince you to stay or leave.

However, I will say this. You, at 19 years old, seem a little too willing to move on. I know you assured another poster that you won't just forgive her and all, but I get the sense you may be blinding yourself to the realities of the world a little. I'm going into my 30's now. I've learned a lot in the last 10 years. The people I thought were my closest allies in life turned out to be the opposite. People I thought were the best turned out to be the most flawed. Just read some of the stories here about people thinking they were in the perfect marriage and then realize their spouse was in an affair for 10+ years. I'm not saying your GF will be that person, but at my point in life, I have accepted that the chances are 50/50 so to speak. Humans are humans regardless of how much we love them. At 19 it may not be as easy to accept this in a matter of fact, almost scientific kinda way. Just know I've known women who did a lot less than your GF at that point in their lives and turned out to be monsters.

So I will end this post with this. You are your own best defender and protector. Let people into your lives as you see fit, but always have your ear to the ground so to speak. People will eventually find a way to make a fool of you, but have enough self respect to be able to see most of it coming and to act accordingly. Be wary. I am not an alpha male most of the time, but I have become one when it has to do with all of my relationships. Meaning I'm not gonna let someone fuck with me. If something doesn't feel right, figure out why. No more blind trust in anyone. Accept them for who they are (everyone has flaws...some more than others of course). Never be afraid to stand up for yourself because you don't want to deal with the consequences (ie. breaking up).

Self respect is the greatest gift someone can give to themselves.


Posts: 46 | Registered: Apr 2012
SomeName
New Member
Member # 39737
Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Thank you for your comments. In reply to myownmaster, I am not moving on. I love this girl, even if she has flaws, the rest of her is just so amazing. I know it sounds naive, but I'm really willing to give her this chance.

Posts: 5 | Registered: Jul 2013
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

You, at 19 years old, seem a little too willing to move on.

I believe what myownmaster is meaning is that you are looking to rugsweep in this situation....which is the worst thing you could possibly do.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13753 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
KeepCalm_CarryOn
Member
Member # 33374
Default  Posted: 1:08 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

If you are both in school- see if the school has mental health services/counseling, many do for free.

I agree with others, she needs to be willing to look deep inside herself and figure out what allowed her to do this and why she thinks this-

Her normal way of getting rid of feelings for someone, is to be around that person, sleep with them, and find out what she doesn't like about them, so she can distance herself.

is in anyway normal or acceptable.

I will say, you are very young, with many life experiences ahead of you. If this girl isn't willing to do the work and bend over backwards to make the changes, I promise, you will survive.


You are not dealing with rational people or situations. Normal thought processes won't work...story of my life.

Me- BW, 28
Him- fWh, 34
Mostly R'd, minus a few scars...bought a house and got a puppy...And baby makes 3! She arrived August


Posts: 2021 | Registered: Sep 2011
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Here's a little food for thought.....

Some *flaws* that you can learn to live with are:

**a person that leaves their wet towels on the floor in the bathroom; or
**sets the alarm for 5:30am and then hits snooze 3X every.single.day; or
**is perpetually tardy; or
**interrupts conversations.

But this....
**Her normal way of getting rid of feelings for someone, is to be around that person, sleep with them, and find out what she doesn't like about them, so she can distance herself**
....is not a *flaw*. This is a major, major defect.

Also. You flat-out told her that is was *Not OK* for her to sleep with him. And yet she went ahead and did it anyway. And no, the influence of her friend didn't make or cause her to do it....

Myownmaster's last paragraph is *gold* for you right now if you choose to take the time to really look at what his meaning is.

t/j
<really good stuff Master!>
I was going to acronym you but it came out as MOM...and I changed my mind

[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 1:15 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8007 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
myownmaster
New Member
Member # 35317
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Ya sorry, I meant you seem too ready to put what happened behind you. I would never encourage someone to stay with a cheater...but I also wouldn't try to convince them to leave either because that is their life. Just don't rugsweep.

Posts: 46 | Registered: Apr 2012
doggiediva
Member
Member # 33806
Default  Posted: 5:57 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Are you guys in a long term serious relationship that you hope leads to marriage?

I whole heartedly agree with what was posted already....

Don't rug sweep ( avoid this A issue) in the interests of keeping the GF in your life as a current GF...

Do not lose yourself and what you need in the process of getting along with your partner and meeting her needs..There needs to be good balance of give and take..

In other words do not to allow your partner to ask you to completely give up writing or photography or something else you like in efforts to free up more time to devote to her and her activities..

For the mental health of both of you it may be better to reevaluate your relationship and step back until/if GF changes her dysfunctional way of thinking in regards why she gave herself permission to betray you and cheat...

Taking a step back to detach for a while is a normal and healthy response to being hurt by betrayal. Sometimes this helps one to see the betrayer for the real person he or she is..

Some people are willing to fix what they broke ...

If your GF is one of these people, you will know on a deep level and WITHOUT A DOUBT.

You will have the sense that she is more concerned with helping you process and heal from the injury of her A than she is for her own comfort. She won't be saying (promising) one thing and doing another...

[This message edited by doggiediva at 8:07 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]


Don't tie your happiness to the tail of somebody else's kite

Posts: 1183 | Registered: Nov 2011
still2suspicious
Member
Member # 31722
Default  Posted: 6:02 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Her normal way of getting rid of feelings for someone, is to be around that person, sleep with them, and find out what she doesn't like about them, so she can distance herself.

Oh sweetie, you are SO young.

The above quote is wrong on so many levels. I am sorry for that.

Do you know how many people she will meet in your lifetime? And, at this point, she believes she needs to sleep with them to get them out of her system?

As others have said she needs IC. And it may take a while.
She needs to really dig DEEP, and come out understanding that the above is NOT right. Not for her, and not for her SO.

You may also benefit from IC. To find out why you, although not OK with it, are willing to see this as just a blip on the radar.

Please reread what you wrote. She has done this before N. Not a good pattern.

Unfortunately rug-sweeping usually comes back to bite us in the ass! BTDT!!

Please read more of our stories, read the Healing Library. We want to just spare you some pain, down the road.

Sending you all the strength YOU need.


Me: BS
Him: WH
DDay: LTEA

Posts: 1284 | Registered: Apr 2011 | From:
StrongerOne
Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 6:14 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Counseling -- free at your college or university.

During the holidays -- she has Heath insurance (most colleges and universities will not let you attend without it). She can use her health insurance, or her mom's health insurance, to get counseling.

Does she belong to a church? Free counseling often available.

Here's my point. If she wanted to get counseling, she would find a way to do it. She is not making an effort.

You are very young still, and please excuse my frankness, but this is not a nice person to start your life with. She has serious issues, and she does not treat you well. I have worked with college students for several decades... Give yourself a chance to learn and grow before settling on this young woman.


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 863 | Registered: Sep 2012
Topic Posts: 18