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User Topic: Acceptance VS Forgiveness
Arais
Member
Member # 33628
Default  Posted: 7:38 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

It has been a long long difficult journey since DD. Unfortunately for us that journey is leading to D. It is the long goodbye. My WH is desperate to stay married, desperate to make good the wrong he has done but he can't seem to be able to give me what I need - open and freely given communication about his A. Last week I got an email from him telling me that he thinks we have been going about this the wrong way. He has been looking for my forgiveness and I haven't been able to give that. So for the last 2.5 years that was his aim. To demonstrate how sorry he was and for me to forgive him and hopefully for us to start again. This week he recognized that forgiveness is not the next step afterall. He feels that we haven't - either of us - accepted what has happened. He says (and he only realized this himself) that he cannot accept what he has done,he cannot accept that he is the man that has betrayed his wife. Until now I didn't realize that I have not accepted it either. It is as if we have both been in this bubble of horror that just won't let up - going round and round in circles and getting nowhere. We seem to get so far and then it all falls apart again.
I cannot accept that my husband did this to me and our family. I can't grasp it. I can't make the dots join. I look at him now and he is a stranger. The man I married and lived with for nearly 3 decades could not do this to me, again. I can't get passed that. This might seem obvious to others but how can we possibly move on if we are both stuck in this state of limbo? If he cannot accept his actions how can we hope to move forward. Since DD he has always resisted giving any information about the A. When he does it is always accompanied by his anger at me for insisting on knowing details. I just couldn't figure this out - why was he angry? He didn't know himself until now. The man that I keep making him confront - the cheater and the liar = is not someone he recognizes anymore. He cannot accept that he has done these terrible things to me. Does this sound crazy?
How can I forgive something that I have not yet accepted? And now I don't know where to go from here. What does acceptance mean?
Will this ever end?


EA 18 years ago - found out and ?NC
LTA - 2005-2011 with same woman
DD 2011

Posts: 342 | Registered: Oct 2011
OldCow18
Member
Member # 39670
Default  Posted: 8:30 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

Wow. I'm one month out from d-day and could have written exactly what you wrote. I can't accept it either. To read that you are 2.5 years out and still where I am is terrifying. I feel I could be you. I'm so sorry. I know I'm not helping, just wanted you to know I get it.


Me, BW forty something, DD & DS,
Married to WH (49) 11 years, together 16
D-Day 6.8.13

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jun 2013
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 8:38 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

Accepting that it happened does not make it acceptable.

Just me, I knew I had to forgive, so I asked upstairs for help making that happen.
It's not a linear thing, or an all at once thing. It can be.

But my destination is not carrying it around. It's indifference. I'm divorced.


Posts: 6537 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
HFSSC
Member
Member # 33338
Default  Posted: 9:03 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

When I first started trying to get sober, the idea of acceptance was anathema to me. I just could not get it. There were all these rotten, horrible things that were done to me and were unacceptable. It seemed to me that acceptance was giving all these people who had abused and treated me so horribly a free pass. It was saying that it was okay that my uncle molested me, that my parents didn't protect me, that I was raped and impregnated.

It took me 11 years of relapsing and sinking further into the hell of addiction to grasp that acceptance doesn't mean all that stuff was okay. It means all that stuff happened and I am okay. I lived I survived. And I can choose to not be defined by it.

So, Arais, when you realize that you are and will be okay no matter what, you'll be on your way to acceptance. I hope it comes for you. Don't waste 11 years like I did.


Me, 47
Him, 40 (JMSSC)
married 17 years. In R. We are making it. The past does not define who we are today.

Posts: 2710 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: South Carolina
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 9:09 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

What does acceptance mean?

acceptance doesn't mean all that stuff was okay. It means all that stuff happened

IMO, You can accept and not forgive, but I don't think it's possible to forgive and not accept.

KWIM?

Strength


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2726 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
kansas1968
Member
Member # 32214
Default  Posted: 9:33 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

We had been married for 33 years when my husband started his affair and I am still having trouble accepting that it happened. I think that is the hardest thing about all of this, the brutal knowledge that it did happen, and that fact will never change. We are not going to wake up tomorrow and find out it was a dream. It is a finality, like death. You can not escape it, and that has sent me into many a panic attack, just that thought that I will have to live with that knowledge for the rest of my life. I think I am getting close to acceptance, but forgiveness is still a long ways off.
That will come when he does some things that he needs to do. He also does not like to be reminded of the fact that his is the person who has done this, so he avoids. When he can quit avoiding and face that knowledge like a man, I will forgive. Until then, I think acceptance is a good as it get, at least for me.

We will stay together, we care about each other, and it would benefit no one to do otherwise. At least the pain has been reduced to a tolerable level by time.


Me - BS
Him - FWS
DD - December 14, 2010
Married 43 years 1/14/2011
Affair lasted 7+ years
Affair had been over for 2 years before I found out. OW sent me a letter.

Posts: 1304 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Kansas
inconnu
Member
Member # 24518
Default  Posted: 10:16 PM, July 13th (Saturday)

Acceptance, to me, meant coming to terms that it really did happen. That the person I never thought would betray did. That the now-ex really was the kind of person who could do that, and not the person I thought he was. It meant coming to terms with the fact that I had spent a lot of years wanting to believe now-ex was a better person than he really is. And since now-ex wouldn't tell me things, it also meant accepting that I'd never know how much of my marriage was a lie.


Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out...honestly
I wanna see you be brave

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect


Posts: 12144 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: TX
ifinallyfoundme
Member
Member # 39523
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, July 14th (Sunday)

HFSSC

Your expression of acceptance is how I choose my life and to forgive. Arais you are stuck, don't waste another minute in this terrible limbo.
Your WS 's behavior did indeed happen, you were manipulated, lied to cheated on, and any number of horrific things that were done. You can't change the past or others actions, but you do have control over your actions and your future.

Focus on your future and the good in your life.
Quite frankly your spouse is angry because he isn't repentant. He is sorry he did it, he hates he got caught, and how dare you bring it up. He isn't interested at this point in helping you heal, he just wants you to get over it. How dare you make him look at his nasty little behaviors and examine his weaknesses. How dare you ask for power and openness.

He sounds real old-school and these guys have a hard time connecting to, expressing, and exploring their feelings. My WS is old school, you have to approach things from a less modern angle.

[This message edited by ifinallyfoundme at 11:40 AM, July 14th (Sunday)]


Posts: 180 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: United States
BostonGirl
Member
Member # 33930
Default  Posted: 12:56 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

Janice Abrams Spring wrote an excellent book called "How Can I Forgive You" that is a great guide to acceptance vs genuine forgiveness (and two other outcomes, cheap forgiveness and refusing to forgive.) Really thought-provoking and helpful, definitely worth seeking out.


It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.

Posts: 133 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Boston
ladies_first
Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 2:33 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

I strongly second the recommendation for Janice Abrams Spring's book "How Can I Forgive You?"

She gives a nuanced description to Forgiveness, as well as "cheap forgiveness" and simple acceptance.

Get thee to a library or bookstore; don't reinvent the wheel here.


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
Blobette
Member
Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

You can't forgive him because he hasnt done the work. You are 100% right - you can't move on until he can accept what he's done and can take responsibility for it. And he needs to prove this to you by being able to talk about it rationally, not by blowing up with anger at you. You can't move on until you know that he's a safe person, and he will never be safe unto he deals with what he did. Simple as that.


BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1055 | Registered: Aug 2012
broken <3
Member
Member # 35098
Default  Posted: 6:48 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

I still haven't figured out how to quote on my iPhone. But some points that clicked with me were:

1) It took me 11 years of relapsing and sinking further into the hell of addiction to grasp that acceptance doesn't mean all that stuff was okay. It means all that stuff happened and I am okay. I lived I survived. And I can choose to not be defined by it.

2) IMO, You can accept and not forgive, but I don't think it's possible to forgive and not accept.

Ill have to check out that book suggestion. Sorry if I t/j but I wanted to post so that I can reference for later when I'm not typing through tears. It's been a rough day/week/life. Wishing you well, please take care.


Me - BS mother of 15 month old identical twin girls (conceived during HB)
Him - serial cheater
R? Still not sure if this is a deal breaker...

Posts: 459 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: West coast Canada
cdnmommy
Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 8:52 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

Wow, it sounds like your WH had a big breakthrough this week, if he is being sincere.

I think he is on to something.

You (Arias) need to accept what happened. You need to do this whether he ever gives you another piece of information or not.

Your WH needs to accept what he did, and then begin the work of healing himself and making amends. That will include giving you what you need to find closure and begin to trust him again.

If, and only if, these two things happen then you may be able to forgive him.

You are right that if he doesn''t pull his weight the two of you can''t heal together. But you can still reach acceptance whether he chooses to do the work or not. And acceptance will allow you to make a decision you can live with. That decision may be, "you did this to me. I can''t change that, and I choose not to continue to be with someone who will not help us heal."

I don''t believe forgiveness is a requirement for your healing, but as long as you are in disbelief and denial, it will hold you back.


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1732 | Registered: Nov 2010
momoffive
Member
Member # 27352
Default  Posted: 10:07 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

Wow... I can really relate. And for me its going on 4 years. Why am I still here? Somedays it boils down to the kids.

He is still angry and unwilling to talk about the A and ONS he confessed to 2 years ago. His unwillingness definitely does not make my questions just go away. Not a day goes by that I don't think about them.

I'm not any help but wanted to let you know I can relate.


BW 44, SAWH 45(sorry1)
M24 yrs
DD 23,16,13 DS 21, 19
Dday1-7/3/09 EA OW4
Dday2-9/1/09 PA OW4
Dday3 3/14/10 Farmville sexting, OW3
Dday4 3/13/11 Secret texting, would be OW5-she said no
Dday5 8/2/11 PA 10 years ago OW1, kissing 4 years ago OW2

Posts: 1123 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Pennsylvania
Ladyogilvy
Member
Member # 31558
Default  Posted: 11:32 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

I agree with the "How Can I Forgive You" book recommendation. I do think some things are unforgiveable. Accepting that they happened and being able to move on are a perfectly respectable alternative. I do understand, acceptance is more difficult when you're not even sure what it is you're supposed to be accepting. Perhaps accepting that we will never really know the whole truth about the past is the best we can hope for.


Me: BW a youthful 49
Him: alcoholic, sober now, WH 56
Married 19 years
Two sons, 16 & 17 years old
DD? He's still keeping secrets and only admits to what I have indisputable
evidence of... the $2000 earrings he bought her for x-mas.

Posts: 1512 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 12:30 AM, July 15th (Monday)

I opened this post and it was not at all what I thought it would be. I thought this would be another battle of semantics over “forgiving” someone and “accepting” what they have done.

It turns out that this post is about a couple where neither the WS nor the BS has been able to accept what has happened (let alone forgive), but for very different reasons.

I believe that your WS cannot accept what he did because he does not want to face his demons. After the fact, he is horrified by what he did and he wants to deny that HE did those things. Many many WS in this position go into denial and justification. BIG TIME. The fact that your WS has recognized this flaw in himself is a good sign for his self healing. Saying that, it does not mean that you need to be a part of his self healing nor does it mean that you need to stick around for it. If you are done, then you are done. His epiphany may be too little, too late for you and that is your right.

For you to heal, I personally believe that the BS needs to accept what has been done to them. NOT be ok with it. NOT forgive. But come to terms with it. To be able to say “This person I loved did this crap to me. And it hurt me. It was bad crap and it hurt me very badly. But I will not let that define my life nor will I let it define who I am. This happened, it sucks, but I need to move on with my life.” To me, that is what acceptance from the BS point of view is. Simple acknowledgment of what occurred, grieving your loss (whatever it may be), and then the determined effort to continue to live your life despite this crap.


HTH
(((Arais)))


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17606 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Arais
Member
Member # 33628
Default  Posted: 7:24 AM, July 15th (Monday)

Thanks for all the responses.
Firstly, I want to say that I know (as much as I can) that my WH is trying his best to do the right thing.He isn't doing very well but he is trying really hard. We can't hear each other anymore. Every time he says something to me I go into the "you said this before and you were lying" scenario and then I begin to shut down. I can't seem to help it - it is nearly a physical thing. This begins the vicious cycle of how could you's.
The acceptance question: how do you accept that the man you married is not the man you thought he was for nearly 3 decades. If for example you believed that your WH was a man of great integrity and you find out that in fact he is a liar and a cheat - how do you accept that? Isn't that like saying I am going to stay married to this man but he is completely different to the man I thought I was married to? This is where I get stuck. So instead of being married to a man that is honest and honorable I am accepting that I am married to the opposite?

The good part is I am no longer co dependent. I was always quite independent and that has not changed but we were intertwined so deeply that I could not see myself as a person without him. I now can. The bad part is, strange as this may seem, that this is the loneliest I have ever been. I liked being overlapped with him. I was happy to be that way. Now I feel adrift and isolated. I miss him so much but now I don't know who I miss. Did I ever really know him? And can I accept that I lived with him for all this time and didn't know him at all.

Thanks for the book recommendation I will order it today.

The funny thing is I would like to accept it and move on because there is no one on earth I would rather spend time with, no one that makes me laugh like he does. Can he be a good man? Can you be a good person and do these terrible things to the people you are suppose to love and care for and protect?


EA 18 years ago - found out and ?NC
LTA - 2005-2011 with same woman
DD 2011

Posts: 342 | Registered: Oct 2011
HFSSC
Member
Member # 33338
Default  Posted: 7:44 AM, July 15th (Monday)

So instead of being married to a man that is honest and honorable I am accepting that I am married to the opposite?

I think this is the key, right here. Because I'm not convinced that "honest" and "honorable" are permanent states. I believe that we all have the potential to be dishonorable and dishonest. But I also believe that our behavior does not necessarily define our character or our identity.

Is he a man who behaved in a dishonest and dishonorable manner? Absolutely. But if he is working toward resolving the issues that allowed him to cheat and is transparent, allowing you to judge his current behavior as honest/trustworthy, could that be enough?

I'm so thankful that I don't have to spend my life being defined by the horrible choices that I made when I was actively addicted and had no healthy coping skills. I made some really, really bad decisions that caused a lot of damage. But because of the work I have done and continue to do, I feel fairly certain that I won't be making those same choices again. Today. I'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.


Me, 47
Him, 40 (JMSSC)
married 17 years. In R. We are making it. The past does not define who we are today.

Posts: 2710 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: South Carolina
Arais
Member
Member # 33628
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, July 15th (Monday)

HFSSC: I guess this is where I stumble. I can't see the gray in this area.
Do you think it is the same for you because you were under the influence of a substance that altered your decision making process?

Your point about honesty and honor is really interesting. I think that there are very few cases of black or white when it comes to human behavior but is integrity flexible? If so is it integrity? I hear that we could all do the same thing given the right circumstances but I don't think this is true. I can't see how I could have an A and lie to his face for years at a time. I just can't see it.

When I think about this objectively I know that if he were not my husband but a man I would forgive him. He often says that people who have had terrible things done to them e.g. people in concentrations camps forgive their captors but those people were strangers. There was no personal relationship. They were not trusted loved partners. Is this what he is talking about? Is this the acceptance? I forgive easily in all other aspects of my life but I cannot accept that he did this to me again and I cannot forgive him.

Maybe I had unrealistic expectations of marriage but he knew what my expectations were and he had the same expectations of me for him. So? I just cannot seem to grasp this.



EA 18 years ago - found out and ?NC
LTA - 2005-2011 with same woman
DD 2011

Posts: 342 | Registered: Oct 2011
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, July 15th (Monday)


Your point about honesty and honor is really interesting. I think that there are very few cases of black or white when it comes to human behavior but is integrity flexible? If so is it integrity? I hear that we could all do the same thing given the right circumstances but I don't think this is true. I can't see how I could have an A and lie to his face for years at a time. I just can't see it.

Arais, I never lied to my husband. Never hid that affair. I was honest. Do you think that protected my integrity? Nope. I thought it did at the time. It was pretty black and white to me. Oh, and also wrong.

You can't understand what he did. Without understanding, I'd imagine acceptance would be pretty hard. Living with someone you don't believe can ever escape a choice and continuing to see them through that choice, nurturing it, feeding it, enabling it to grow rather than starving it and letting it die is cutting, to me. It's taking something sharp and scaring yourself every day.

I don't even think it's about the affair anymore. It's about the capability to have that affair and all the mechenations involved in his choices that severed every tie, bond, link you had to him. Now you're being "asked" to live with someone that you don't know and what you do know about their capacity for inflicting pain is enough to keep them as far away from you as possible.

I was talking to a dear friend the other day about this. How one act can destroy us for others forever. I know someone that volunteers, would give you the shirt off his back, cares deeply about others, got in a fight with his wife, stormed out of the house and hit his neighbor's son on his trike. The little boy was 3 years old. Killed him. That one act murdered a child. Think all his good deeds and way he lived his life make up for that horrific choice for the family of that little boy? Not even close. Doesn't even touch it. He will always be a monster to them. They had to move.

He lives with that choice every day. He has gone on and continued to work for his family and community. An exemplary person before that moment and after. That moment is pretty huge, though...and for one family it's everything.

It may be time to let him be a good person where there won't be that constant reflection of his past choices for either of you.

[This message edited by uncertainone at 11:22 AM, July 15th (Monday)]


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, July 15th (Monday)

I know someone that volunteers, would give you the shirt off his back, cares deeply about others,

You just described my WW, uncertainone. 5 months out, and one of the things I hang onto is the knowledge that despite 10 horrible months beginning last April, my wife has demonstrated for more than 17 years that she is overall a very decent person. Even during the affair months she demonstrated many acts of love and kindness to me, which is crazymaking in a way considering the damage she was inflicting on our marriage behind my back. It doesn't lessen my pain any, but it does give me hope for a better future.

The acceptance question: how do you accept that the man you married is not the man you thought he was for nearly 3 decades. If for example you believed that your WH was a man of great integrity and you find out that in fact he is a liar and a cheat - how do you accept that? Isn't that like saying I am going to stay married to this man but he is completely different to the man I thought I was married to? This is where I get stuck. So instead of being married to a man that is honest and honorable I am accepting that I am married to the opposite?

Arais, I certainly understand these sentiments, but have to ask: have you discovered that your husband has been dishonest and dishonorable all along? My MC put this in perspective by asking me questions about my wife's history to help me sort out whether she was always a dishonest person or is someone who went off the rails around mid-life, which is so common. Consider asking them about your husband: Have you been able to count on him most of the time during your long history together? Did he show up at a certain time, or near that time, if he said he would? Would he pick up groceries on the way home if you asked and he promised to do so? Did he show up for his children's activities most of the time, or leave them disappointed and make excuses for not attending? If he said that he would take care of a bill, did it get paid? Did he show up for work regularly and for the most part earn the trust of his employers?

If he has been a dependable person throughout your marriage, then the "stranger" you referenced in your opening post might be the one you lived with during the A, not the one you lived with the other almost 3 decades.


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
PMs with men only, please
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1357 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 12:15 PM, July 15th (Monday)

If he has been a dependable person throughout your marriage, then the "stranger" you referenced in your opening post might be the one you lived with during the A, not the one you lived with the other almost 3 decades.

Imagine a bowl of delicious soup. Hot, flavorful, your favorite. A fly lands in it. Some would consider that ruined. One fly can ruin a delicious bowl of soup. On a side note, find it interesting that one teaspoon of delicious soup couldn't "fix" a bowl of flies. Think that says something pretty significant. More coffee...or less.

Some can scoop out the fly and enjoy the rest. Others can't. They think of everything that fly represents, where it's been, what it's landed on.

The two people you described aren't seperate, though. They really aren't. Viewing it that way could be seen a compartmentalizing, to me. Seperate boxes with the one you don't like hidden. I hope your wife doesn't view it like that and gets down and dirty with the thought processes of her choices.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, July 15th (Monday)

The two people you described aren't separate, though. They really aren't. Viewing it that way could be seen a compartmentalizing, to me. Seperate boxes with the one you don't like hidden. I hope your wife doesn't view it like that and gets down and dirty with the thought processes of her choices.

I hope so too, UO. And I agree that the same person who has done so much good through the years is also the same one who caused so much pain and destruction beginning last year. But if you can't hide the bad person, you can't hide the good person, either - unless you believe the good person is just a facade. But I think it's unrealistic to imagine that a person can just pretend to be decent and honorable for years and decades, all the while being this monster behind the mask who's just waiting to break your heart 10 or 20 or 30 years down the road.

I think many BS's, if they're being honest, can look back and see that their WS was never the honest person of integrity that they imagined him or her to be. They can look back on fishy behavior, unreliability, lies about seemingly innocuous things, financial malfeasance or irresponsibility, difficulty holding down jobs, etc.

Others like me can look back and see a spouse who has a long history of dependability, reliability, honesty, and integrity. And in my wife's case, unselfishness. I'm sure that bad side of her was always there. The side that was promiscuous, the side that didn't cope well, the side that couldn't handle stress well, the side that was vulnerable to seek a fantasy escape. The selfish, cake-eating side that emerged recently.

My point is that in my case there is enough history here to work with, to build a new marriage on. That's not the case for everyone. I was just wondering if Arais' husband really is someone who has been pulling the wool over her eyes for decades and she now realizes that she has been in denial for years about his true nature, or is he someone who has truly lived a mostly honorable life. Answering that question might be useful in determining whether the marriage is worth fighting for.

I hope this doesn't come off like a t/j, but I think our discussion relates to Arais' issues.


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
PMs with men only, please
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1357 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
Arais
Member
Member # 33628
Default  Posted: 1:20 PM, July 15th (Monday)

This discussion is really helpful. No one knows about my WH A so sometimes I get lost inside my head.

There are two things that I think matter.
1. My WH had a LTA/LDA (nearly entirely online) 6 years, although the last 2 which he says had no sexual element at all,were reluctant because she threatened to tell me. He had his A with the same woman he had had an EA with many years ago.

The second issue is this: he was a great husband. A generous, caring, dependable man. BUT he didn't change throughout the A. And that is what scares me to death. He was never mean or cruel or anything other than good to me. Was he distant? Yes at times. We had issues like every other couple but I always believed that it was just the two of us against the world. So how do I know now that he means what he says? He didn't have to lie during the A because I didn't know. But he did lie a lot after I found out. This is where I am torn. I don't know which one is him. If he had these issues all the time and didn't tell me about them then who was I married to? I knew about his FOO issues. But I didn't know about his need for this other sexual self. Why? And now I wonder what else I don't know. I thought I knew this man's soul but turns out I was wrong.
Uncertainone: I know what you mean about letting him go. If I have now turned into the mirror he has to see himself in everyday as the bad guy then how can he ever get better. I have talked to him about this because I feel the burden of it but he says he won't go. I think he cannot be the person he should and can be with me. But is that my decision?

Sal1995:
You make some good points but
whenever I allow myself to think about this - about how good he was and oddly how happy we were I feel myself shutting down. It is like my subconscious won't allow me to see that side of him anymore - self protection?

I think that is what is the hardest to bear. The fact that it could be going on for so long and he acted normally.


EA 18 years ago - found out and ?NC
LTA - 2005-2011 with same woman
DD 2011

Posts: 342 | Registered: Oct 2011
scarredforever
Member
Member # 23875
Default  Posted: 1:29 PM, July 15th (Monday)

He didn't have to lie during the A because I didn't know. Just by engaging in the affair he was lying to you though.

It's hard to accept that we didn't really know our spouses, not like we thought we did.

This is probably the hardest part for me, I THOUGHT I knew him.

I really didn't and that in and of itself is such a huge wake up call. He is not the person I thought he was. He is capable of doing horrible things. I struggled with accepting that he did horrible things. But I had to accept it. I had to acknowledge, that this in fact, was my new reality. Could I live with it? I have chosen to and have chosen to forgive.

My H isn't a skilled liar, he isn't evil, he isn't a bad person. I trusted him so completely and like you have know him for so long(33 years), boy was I blindsided, not just by the fact of what he did, but just my own thinking that I could really "know" another person. I have found that I really can't.

I never really know what he is thinking, and truth be told he never really knows what I am thinking, unless we both choose to voice our thoughts.

Coming to some form of acceptance has really freed me, probably more than the forgiveness part. I have had to accept many things in life, this is just one that is particularly difficult.

[This message edited by scarredforever at 1:31 PM, July 15th (Monday)]


"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."

Mark Twain

Me-BS 52
Him-WS 53
Together 33 years

6-5-06 Day of Reckoning

"The acquired inability to escape"


Posts: 1056 | Registered: May 2009 | From: swfl
justdoit
Member
Member # 25898
Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, July 15th (Monday)

Without a doubt one of the most thought provoking threads in a while.
I my case I have accepted logically that FWH had the affair. Emotionally even after 4 years I haven't really accepted that the person who tells me everyday that he loves me and who everyone assumes is not only my husband but my best friend in life was such an asshat.
We are still together and still have the outward appearance of a marriage. I've always felt that forgiveness was not a concept that I understood or something I could do, but I did/do expect to accept and get past his affair, with the ultimate goal of reconciliation.
As of now I think he is reconciled and I am not. Might never be. To use uncertainone's example, I want to be able to scoop the fly out of the soup, but i can't quite dip the spoon back in and take another bite.


Me - 60
WH - 67
Married 35 years
DDay - 5/14/09
He's reconciled, I'm in limbo.
"Stuck in the middle with you"

Posts: 156 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Rocky Mountains
Arais
Member
Member # 33628
Default  Posted: 3:25 PM, July 16th (Tuesday)

justdoit: I read your profile and you sound an awful like me. I am not sure what accepting means for you? I don't really know what acceptance means at all. Of course I know he did it, I think of nothing else but can I accept that this man, the man that I loved and lived with did this to me? No. So is it disbelief despite knowing the facts? Is it that I can't, or we can't, face up to it in a real way?
You say that you expect to get over the A and reconcile - it has been 4 years - are you getting better every day? I am more calm than I was. I get on with my life with a smile on my face but I am completely altered. I hate quiet time now. I want to be busy all the time because I can't stand being in my head. Like you no one knows so that is where it all goes on. I am 2.5 years out and the feeling,now that the terrible anger has subsided, has not come back. How long is too long to wait?


EA 18 years ago - found out and ?NC
LTA - 2005-2011 with same woman
DD 2011

Posts: 342 | Registered: Oct 2011
ladies_first
Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 6:53 AM, August 2nd (Friday)

Arais, Has the book "How Can I Forgive You?" provided any insights?


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
k94ever
Member
Member # 11176
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, August 2nd (Friday)

Arias, it took me all of 5 years to reach a point of acceptance.

For me I had to learn to embrace the fact FWS cheated on me for most of our marriage. My goal was to embrace this information and let it become part of my history, my life. FWS's cheating is simply another facet of my life.

It wasn't easy. I did the self-blame crap, the his-fault crap, the marriage-shouldn't-have-happened crap. Basically I ran through all known blames and objections. But in the end I accepted this happened to me. I don't like it...but I also refuse to let it take over my life. To me it's just something more that has contributed to what I am now (either for good or bad I don't know yet).

It takes putting on your Big Girl Panties and really facing towards the infidelity and looking at it full on. All the uglies and hurts and faults.....everything. And then letting it become part of your story.

k9


BS: 56
WS: 53
Betrayed: 23 years
Affairs: 14 (2 lasted 3 months. Rest were ONS)
WS died: 16 May 2011
Do not stay in your hurt forever. Choose to move out of it.

Posts: 6518 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: Wisconsin
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, August 2nd (Friday)

I've thought a lot about forgiveness lately... I really don't agree with the books and that "forgiveness is for you."

To me, it's "I get that you did that, I understand how you got to that point." Doesn't mean we'll never talk about it or I'll never be hurt about it.

Things I can't forgive - "I won't be bitter and resentful over this but there will always be a little piece of me that I hold back from you because of this."


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4781 | Registered: Dec 2010
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 4:45 PM, August 2nd (Friday)

What's happened with your H over the past 3 weeks? Have you achieved more clarity?

You wrote:

He cannot accept that he has done these terrible things to me. Does this sound crazy?
How can I forgive something that I have not yet accepted?

1) I think the question should be: How can I forgive something that he has not yet accepted?

How can you go forward in an M with a partner who denies what he's done? My answer is: you can't.

2) What would acceptance be for you? As far as I can see, you accept that he's a cheater and not the man you thought he was. I hear that you don't like it, that you question yourself for not seeing his cheating/lying earlier, but you're not denying it. How is that different from acceptance? (I mean that as an honest question, not as argumentation.)


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9991 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
solus sto
Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 5:33 PM, August 2nd (Friday)

I must be odd. For me, acceptance and forgiveness are synonymous.

For me, "forgiveness" is much like the forgiveness of a debt. The creditor figures out, after several months of non-payment, that he's not getting paid. It sucks, but it's the facts, Jack. Can't get blood from a stone and all.

So, the bad debt is written off. The debtor gets a blot on his credit report.

It's not OKAY that he blew off repayment of the debt. It's not OKAY, even if he lost his job, amassed massive emergency medical debt, or whatever. It sucks to be him, but he still owed that money. The write-off is a huge gift, but it comes with a cost: his credit rating.

The creditor ACCEPTS that no payment is forthcoming. The debt is FORGIVEN.

The debtor ACCEPTS that his credit rating takes a hit. That the debt has been forgiven.

Acceptance and forgiveness are both ways of saying that the past can't be changed, so there's no sense struggling to do the impossible. No one gets exactly what they want. But ... they accept it, and deal with the consequences.

Acceptance. Forgiveness. Call it what you will. Neither makes anything okay. They just represent a realization that the past can't be changed, and we're left to muddle through, whether we like it or not.


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: 8579 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
boontje
Member
Member # 33247
Default  Posted: 1:20 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)

For me, acceptance was very difficult. Not only did I have to look at , and accept,all the ugly truths of what he did, but I also had to accept the fact that he engaged in this behavior with absolutely no regard for me. None at all. Accepting that the person he was then, and the person he is now has caused so much inner turmoil for me that there were times I didn't think I could stay married to him. Crazy making, all of it, at times. Today I m in a better place. Getting to this point has taken two years, and thousands spent on therapy. Forgiveness...still working on that part, but I'm getting there.


Me: BS
Dday: June 2011
Working on R, one day at a time

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway



Posts: 934 | Registered: Aug 2011
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 3:35 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)

Acceptance, to me, meant coming to terms that it really did happen. That the person I never thought would betray did. That the now-ex really was the kind of person who could do that, and not the person I thought he was. It meant coming to terms with the fact that I had spent a lot of years wanting to believe now-ex was a better person than he really is.

Exactly and I want to add that it makes me wonder about myself. How could I have been so blind. I thought I was very wise. So now I've accepted that I'm not the person I thought I was, either.


Posts: 5617 | Registered: Jul 2002
Topic Posts: 34