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Bdell posted 1/17/2014 11:33 AM

I think I can forgive my WW's affair, if she does the self work needed to fix her issues. What I am doubting, is my ability to forgive her, if she told the OM that she loved him. I would like to know if any of the WS's or BS's had to deal with this issue and how you did it?

lordhasaplan? posted 1/17/2014 11:40 AM

YES, YES, Yes. Forgiveness is a process. It takes time. I started with acceptance of these question then worked through forgiveness. I am not sure I still have forgiven all of it. There are specific things I have accepted and left there. Question is, Why do you feel you need to forgive now? What are your expectations on how long this process will take? I wasn't even really close to addressing these questions until well into year 2.

numb&dumb posted 1/17/2014 12:06 PM

Two things:

First your concern about being able to forgive her seems more like what you really wanted to say " Do I want to forgive her?" It really isn't a question of can or can't. It is really more of a question if you want to, right ? You seem like the type of individual who can do pretty much anything they set their mind to.

Second, Try this line of thinking and see how it seems. It has worked for me. You forgive the person, but not the action.

You forgive your W, but ultimately you don't forgive the act which probably even to her are unforgivable. They can be explained, but again that is a whole different thing from forgiveness.

Bdell posted 1/17/2014 12:19 PM

Lordhasaplan, I don't NEED to forgive right now, but I have serious doubts about mu ability to do so. And reconciliation and forgiveness go together like "peas and carrots", right? I came up through the "school of hard knocks" I had a very hard life as a young person. My gut reaction to any adversity is to attack it head on. I want to be able to move on from this horror, but my ability to do so depends to a great degree on what it is I have to forgive.

Bdell posted 1/17/2014 12:21 PM

Numb&Dumb, I will give this some thought. It might be a way to continue to move in a positive direction. Thanks.

lordhasaplan? posted 1/17/2014 12:23 PM


You forgive the person, but not the action.

This is why I love N&D. I wish he was around to give me this advice when I went through this longer path.
I actually started with forgiving actions and worked my way back toward her. I will say however, there are many actions I still can forgive. they fit into this category
you don't forgive the act which probably even to her are unforgivable

Either way you go it sucks.

lordhasaplan? posted 1/17/2014 12:26 PM

Oh and Enright "forgiveness is a choice" Is a helper. that book helped me work through this piece

rachelc posted 1/17/2014 12:35 PM

You forgive the person, but not the action.

how? that person committed the unforgiveable.

1985 posted 1/17/2014 12:52 PM

Bdell, for me the question has always been, what does "forgive" mean. I have always struggled with that and perhaps that is part, or all, of your struggle.
If "forgive" means reaching a point where you can say "it's ok that you did what you did" or "what you did doesn't bother me anymore" --- then I have not and never will be able to forgive.
But if "forgive" means reaching the point of being able to love her fully again; of being able to move forward; of being able to understand and accept that the woman she was then is not who she is now; of being able to accept and cherish the love she offers now --- then I have forgiven. And that is also, to me, what reconciliation is about. So I have reconciled. Long ago.
I suggest you give a lot of thought to what "forgive" means to you and what you think it should mean. That may help you resolve your anguish on the subject.
A final comment. If she told the OM she loved him, I know that would hurt to hear. But a dealbreaker? Think about this. She was truly screwed up in the head. That's why the A happened in the first place. So how much weight do you give to a statement of a person who was that screwed up? I have followed your story. Your W didn't love the OM. No matter what she may have said to him, she didn't. In the heat of the moment, each of us have said things we didn't really mean --- at work, to kids, to spouse, to whomever. I think there are WWs that did feel love for the OM. But from all I have read in your postings, yours was not one of those. I'd suggest not worrying about that question.
Peace to you.

Coachdig10 posted 1/17/2014 12:57 PM

Going on a year to this day, and I can't forgive. I know it is a choice, but I am still having a very difficult time and my WW seems to be trying hard.

bionicgal posted 1/17/2014 14:20 PM

What I am doubting, is my ability to forgive her if she told the OM that she loved him.

Her and most every other yahoo who had an affair fell into this. You have to see that "love" for what it is. Here is my favorite, handy-dandy chart:

I'd say with the rare exception, most affairs are infatuation, no matter what the WS thinks at the time. When I complained to our MC that H had told the AP he loved her, that he thought he had loved her, the MC said, "But, he has since realized he was wrong." Yep. Not only that, he is incredulous and mortified that he ever thought it. Not love.

Skan posted 1/17/2014 16:18 PM

I had a horrible time with this. My FHW was corresponding with several "Russian models" who were part of a give-me-money-for-X scheme. The one that he corresponded with at length, he wrote love letters to using all of the names that he used for me and to describe me, when we were courting and afterwards. Some of the letters, excepting when they started to get pornographic, LOOKED like they were penned to "me." It really was one of the most horrific finds that happened on DDay. I used to cry whenever I thought about it. I used to scream at FWH whenever he used one of those terms because instead of being an endearment, it felt to me, as if it were smeared with excrement. The pain really was incredible.

There still is a twinge even discussing it. Which means, to me, that we need to have a talk about this in the next few days. But it's just a twinge. I've come to realize that he may have spoken those words to her, but there was no meaning behind the words. They were chess moves if I say X then maybe she'll do/say/photograph Y. And as his fantasy faded and reality started to set in, re-reading those letters and/or thinking about what he wrote, filled him with remorse, nausea, and sorrow. I saw the progression from panicked dismissal, to realization, to remorse and disgust at his actions. And I've been able to reclaim some of those terms. Not all, but I *will* reclaim all of them in time, because they belong to ME.

sisoon posted 1/17/2014 16:27 PM

If your D-Day is close to your registration date, keep in mind that you're still in shock, or not long out of it. That's very disorienting, and your mind may not be focusing on the issues that are really important to you. If you wait a while, what you want and can do will probably become a lot clearer to you.

Accept this: you can forgive if you want to. You're probably asking the question now because you haven't yet decided what you want. That's fine. Don't worry - you will figure this out.

Besides, lots of people on SI R without forgiving.

But I reiterate what N&D indicates: maybe you don't want to R. If you don't, that's totally OK.

Dare2Trust posted 1/21/2014 20:22 PM

Have you asked your wife if she told OM she loved him?

Here' what my husband said to me on D-Day when he disclosed his secret 2 year affair to me over the phone....He also left me that day to move in with the OW...and he had me served with divorce papers that SAME DAY:
He said:
"Wife, I don't love you and I haven't for a long time. I love OW with my heart and soul, because she makes me feel like a real man...something you've never done."

Nice huh?

My husband came crying and begging to come back home 2 months later on Christmas Eve and I agreed.

I handled his declaration of love for the OW this way:
My husband is not allowed to use "The I Love You" words around me...I don't want to hear them!
Have I forgiven him for this disgusting, hurtful statement to me on D-Day?
NOPE, and I probably never will...Some things are simply NOT FORGIVEABLE, in my opinion.

But, D-Day was on November 3, 2005...and by most standards: We have a successful, mostly happy marriage.

Later posted 1/21/2014 20:35 PM

It's funny, my wife told me she never told OM that she loved him and that did not phase me at all. I almost laughed, because it was such a ridiculous thought. Their little fling was the height of stupidity and selfishness. Both married, it was a relationship built on lies.

Besides, they were/are, as individuals so incredibly broken a declaration of love from either is meaningless. They are incapable of even understanding what it is to love.

Sorry to go on about my sitch -- but perhaps it applies to your own if you think about it.

Kyrie posted 1/21/2014 22:36 PM

Oh my gosh, Later, that is such a great perspective!

They are incapable of even understanding what it is to love.

Bdell, the doubts you have about your ability to forgive or even desire to do so, is so much a part of the these early stages of your recovery from what's happened. But I disagree that reconciliation and forgiveness go hand in hand.

You can work to restore all that's been broken, your W can and must do a lot of "interior" work, and you can get to work healing yourself. I think all of these things are components of R. And yes, forgiveness can be a part of this and for some people it is. But for me, contemplating forgiveness just became a huge stumbling block in all those R efforts. That's a pretty serious subject that emotionally and mentally and even spiritually, I'm just not ready to tackle. At least, not while I'm still finding my way through the debris field. Up to this point, I've felt that offering forgiveness would discount my suffering. The forgiveness would be cheap and superficial.

I guess I'm saying that until you get a handle on your suffering, forgiving the who or what that caused it may just have to wait. And at this stage in your R, you are still trying to figure out exactly what all happened that has caused so much damage. You're still trying to assess the damage. It's still so early for you. I know, that sucks to hear. I just know I spent an inordinate amount time wrestling with this issue, wondering if I had what it takes, questioning if it's even possible to have a M without it. It muddied the waters and distracted me from dealing with the here and now. I finally chose to not deal with the issue. Instead I focused on my own healing and on learning everything I could about my WS and affairs in general. I'd say that eventually, everything that 1985 describes above became my definition of forgiveness, too. But it took a long time to get to that point.

Oh, and one more thing: I believe that if you were able to survive adversity growing up, to become a man capable of loving another person, then you absolutely have what it takes to move forward. Take care of yourself - (((Bdell)))

why2008 posted 1/21/2014 23:54 PM

Forgiveness is defined differently by everyone...

The way I've come to accept it in my life is that to forgive, to truly forgive, it to wash away the transgressions, to honestly look at this person and say that I no longer hold any malice in my heart against the abuse you perpetuated on me.

I'll never forgive the backstabber that cheated on me while I was pregnant, I'll never forgive all the backstabbing and intentional pain he inflicted on me.

I accept that I am staying married to a very deeply flawed person that has hurt me greatly and that we no longer have any security in our marriage. He's not done the work to rebuild it and our marriage is about our children more than anything else. It is what it is....

Forgiveness for me comes with sincere remorse and deep internal reflection, I've not seen that yet. I accept what I am married to and while I don't think he will cheat again I have given up on the concept of forgiveness. My bar of forgiveness has not been reached and I can't obsess on why he can't get there, the only person I can help is myself.

[This message edited by why2008 at 11:55 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

myeverafter posted 1/22/2014 09:42 AM

I am having issues with forgiving also. My mom thought I should forgive wfh the week after DD, because that is what Christians did. (No. I still haven't.)

Someone just posted this link (not sure which post) and it hit home to me this morning.

For me, I don't think I am still punishing him, really, but protecting myself. I can't forgive him until he gets himself and his issues figured out. I will never forgive his actions. There will never be a good enough "justification" for his actions.

Her and most every other yahoo who had an affair fell into this. You have to see that "love" for what it is. Here is my favorite, handy-dandy chart:

Both fWH and MOW told each other they loved each other. I have spent time just reading through the list. Reading though them, I don't know I can say wFH loved me in the past.

Bdell posted 1/22/2014 12:32 PM

Thanks to all who posted. It truly makes it easier to get through the day when you know that you are not alone. I am going to have a really hard time with forgiveness. I know myself enough to know that. She is doing a huge amount to try to atone, and I try to recognize that, but at the same time , protect myself from further hurt. I have asked her NOT to tell me she loves me, until I feel that she is capable of understanding the meaning of those words. Physically, we go hot and cold. I really want to be able to cuddle with her and have sex with her, and do so sporadically, but after I do, I despise myself for wanting her. What a shitty way to live.

NikkiD posted 1/22/2014 12:35 PM

I think I can forgive my WW's affair, if she does the self work needed to fix her issues. What I am doubting, is my ability to forgive her, if she told the OM that she loved him. I would like to know if any of the WS's or BS's had to deal with this issue and how you did it?

I havent...I didnt really the first time and it happned again, so Im pretty sure: if God tells me today that if I dont forgive im going to hell, Id tell him I can just sign my lease today.


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