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dont know how to forgive

SLM10 posted 2/2/2019 20:05 PM

As the title states, I dont know how to forgive my ex for what he did, and I feel like I need to in order to finally move forward and feel happy. Its been over three years and I still think of him several times a day. Wondering if hes happy with the woman he cheated on me with and then married, had a child. Wondering if he ever thinks of me or cares even, or regrets how awfully he went about things. I have attended counseling and achieved so many things. But am having a hard time meeting someone I am excited about because I keep comparing to that spark I felt with him...and wondering how he was able to find that spark while still involved with me with someone else.

Everyone says that I should forgive him, not for him but for myself, so I can fully heal and finally be ok with what happened. The problem is is that I dont know how to do that, especially because of how appalling his behaviour was and his complete lack of balls. The lack of integrity and ability to apologize, it kills me. Even after all this time...I cannot believe how cruel and unkind he was to me. How to you let that go...do u just keep telling yourself over and over again that you forgive them until its true??

Phoenix1 posted 2/2/2019 21:38 PM

There was a rather lengthy thread about forgiveness not too long ago, and rather than repeat my response, I am posting the link to that thread as the myriad of responses may be helpful.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=634740

GraceLove posted 2/3/2019 04:32 AM

SLM10
I have thought about this over the last 1.5 years since Dday. I have gone through many thought threads, in my mind, regarding forgiveness.
Much of what I had heard only made me angry such as: Have you forgiven him? Because it's really for you not him etc. It was so cliche and forgiveness seemed disingenuous.
At first when I would get the forgiveness question, I would answer with this (thanks to my psychologist who suggested it and which felt right to me) ... "your comment about forgiveness is a cruel dismissal of my pain" Something like that. It was better worded but I don't recall right now what it was exactly.
The latest thing I saw that resonated with me was: Remember and Recover, Not Forgive and Forget. This too feels more authentic right now.
For me, I don't push myself to forgive. THere are moments and windows of time and even hours when I do feel forgiving towards him. Then there are times where I say to God...Forgive him on my behalf because I still hate the SOB, POS too much to forgive. I can't, God can so I let Him.
I find that the person I need to forgive even more is me. I need to forgive myself for all that I allowed me to go through. That's my first step.
My priest gave me some really good advice early on when I asked about forgiveness...he said, wait, for now. Forgiveness too early is a burden. This was the most compassionate thing that anyone could have said to me because it wasn't some trite answer to the question. It was heartfelt and meaningful and it released any guilt I had for my inability to forgive.
I no longer put pressure on myself to forgive. It will come when and if it comes. I don't need to worry about it. I really need to have self compassion and forgiveness and more understanding on why I stayed and how I allowed myself to endure the abuse for so long. This is becoming more clear as time passes. So that's where I am at for now.

Fablegirl posted 2/3/2019 07:12 AM

I struggle with this, too. It's been just over two years. What does help a bit is my therapist cautions me to not expect a normal response from my ex. He was a damaged person all along but loving someone like that, at least in my own marriage, created a picture that was not true. So when I step back and dwell in a place of observance about him, the dumbass things he's said and done over the past few years, I can muster a little compassion. He is, afterall, diminshed by his choices. These moments of epiphany don't last long but it helps.
I still can't shake the memory of him dressing up in flashy new clothes, donning a fedora (ow liked those) and walking out of our marital home (he would not move out) leaving DD and me behind on his way to a date, like it was the most normal thing in the world. He would be gone all weekend. This is a man who cried at our wedding. I will never make sense of these versions. What I can start to see is making peace with what is ultimately beyond knowing or understanding.
Hope that makes sense.

BeStill posted 2/3/2019 07:58 AM

For me, my recovery doesn't hinge on my ability to forgive him. It's not even on my radar. I wouldn't forgive a murderer or a rapist either and I'm fine with that.

I do feel emotionally free of my STBXH, though. I knew I was free when I stopped pitying myself and started pitying him. He is a sad, disgusting, shell of a man and I am lucky to be free of him, no matter how it happened.

honesttoafault posted 2/3/2019 08:42 AM

Don't burden yourself with actively trying to forgive him right now. You are still healing. In the healing process, you might still feel anger, hurt, and all the roller coaster emotions. Sometimes you think you are really on the road and then something unexpectedly triggers you.

In time, when you are able to process a lot of these emotions, you might come to a point, and it will come all on its own, that you might feel you could forgive him. I know it took me over 10 years or more to feel this to xWH#1.

Don't force yourself to do it because people are telling you it's necessary to heal. It will come when you are ready, and if you don't forgive him, it's ok too.

I think people say it because they feel that when they hear someone say, "I'll never/can't forgive them" it's because one is holding on to some sort of strong hate or strong emotion and you should come to indifference. But the road to indifference is long and winding and makes many turns and there is no time frame.

travels posted 2/3/2019 15:12 PM

I am years out from my situation and I can't say that I have forgiven him. I have moved past it and grown through the experience and reached indifference toward him. I barely think about him anymore and do not dwell on his actions. Once I learned about personality disorders, I stopped questioning myself and had a few "a-ha!" moments. Is that forgiveness? I have forgiven myself for allowing myself to be treated that way for so long.

The most important thing is, you do you. If forgiving him feels right to you, then ok. If it doesn't, then ok. This is your experience and your process. Please don't let anyone make you feel like "you just need to get over it." You are allowed to work through this they way your own experience determines you do. Are you in IC?

I like the idea of remember and recover.

MaryG posted 2/4/2019 02:07 AM

I donít feel the need to forgive him, nor does he deserve my forgiveness. My peace of mind does not hinge on my forgiveness of his appalling behaviour; he did what he did, I suffered as a consequence and for that, he deserves nothing whatsoever from me.

TrustGone posted 2/4/2019 10:36 AM

Some people feel the need to forgive and some don't. I forgave XWH#1 after many years and him admitting everything was his fault and he would have divorced him too if he had of been me. That didn't change what he did, the hell he put me and the kids through, or the cruel way he had treated us. He did finally become a better person, but that didn't change the past. It just no longer mattered to me. XWH#2 is an entirely different circumstance and I have no desire to forgive him ever. There was no excuse for what he did and I don't foresee ever getting any kind of apology from him. In this case I had to learn to forgive myself for not seeing the "red flags" and that is enough for me.

If you don't want to forgive, then you don't have to. Forgiving doesn't always have to come. It sounds as if you are still healing and that is OK. Just like it takes 2-5yrs to R, it also takes just as long or longer to heal after betrayal and divorce. I think that indifference is what every BS must strive for. Once you get to indifference, the rest really no longer matters. (((HUGS)))

HalfTime2017 posted 2/4/2019 13:58 PM

I feel like forgiveness is way overrated. I think at least for myself, I was able to shift my way of thinking and acceptance. Acceptance does not mean that you forgive, its that you are willing to see what your ex has done to you and to see it for what it is and what it continues to be.

So many BS on this board talk about forgiveness, and that its for them. I don't know how that can be, b/c often times the WH/WW's continue to lie/cheat/steal well after the divorce. In the examples of exes that are BP/Narcs/BPD, they continue to offend, and so what does your forgiveness mean, that it was for that singular act of Infidelity? The Years of abuse? or how about the gaslighting, taking you for all that you have during the D, and continued lying to save face offenses that take place well after the D has been finalized that you are forgiving.

The way I see it is, most on this board don't have worthy EXWW/EXWH that are capable of R. You see it time and again, and maybe those individuals that are truly remorseful and cut the crap out immediately are the ones deserving of forgiveness, but how is one to forgive, knowing damn well that there is probably an offense that going to come sometime in the next 3-6 months out?

SLM10: shift your way of thinking, some people say paradigm. I say its just accepting that the EX is and was, and may continue to be a big piece of doodoo. Once they become irrelevant why does it even matter if they are forgiven or not. Do we all need to forgive Hitler? He was a really big doodoo.... No need to forgive, doesn't mean you forget, but you need to MOVE ON.

RockstarDad posted 2/4/2019 22:39 PM

Curious, whats your counselor say. In a similar set of circumstances.

Hugs&prayers

Cicinsajn posted 2/4/2019 23:55 PM

I have same post like you 2weeks ago..and similar story..but know i feel much better..i start dating after 2 and half years of singlnes..and i feel good..i dont search relationship..just for fun..

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