How to forgive...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2009
How to forgive...
8
Thu, 04-30-2009 - 11:10am

As, ive discussed in previous posts i am having a hard time with forgiving. i still feel anger & disgust over my husband's affair. he is doing everything right, no reason for me to think that he is cheating. i recently exploded on him with all my suppressed feelings, he did not take it well at first but at the end of the night he was being very loving towards me. i feel like i got the monkey off my back in telling him how hurt i still am and how his betrayal still haunts me. i dont want to sabotage our progress & i dont want to explode again, as i told him, i want to forgive him. he is doing everything right, yet still, i cant stop thinking about the things he did.


Any advice on how to heal, forgive, or at least how to deal with it so that it does not make matters worse? I dont want to keep pounding at our relationship, but i am still angry & resentful, despite his attempts to prove himself to me.

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Registered: 10-09-2008
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 3:12pm

I don't know when your DDay was, Queenb, but I

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2009
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 3:39pm

thank you so much jd, at the momen we are doing well. I noticed that my H was a bit scared to talk to me in fear that i would find a way to refer back to the A. I stopped doing that & he is really opening up & talking to me.


The link i posted in another post gave me some useful information & insight. Although my H does not want to openly talk about the A, he has demonstrated to me that he is remorseful & regrets it in other ways.


I think from now on, instead of trying to speak to him about the A when i am in rage and feeling resentful, i will do so when we are at peace & able to discuss with out his fear of being attacked by me.


They say you catch more flies with honey, and that is working for me. Now i see that the way you approach the topic makes all the difference.


As for forgiveness, i understand it is a process.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 4:26pm

Hi Queenie,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2009
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 4:33pm

thanks georgia,


you gave me some great ideas on what we could do this weekend. His idea of going out is dinner at a restaurant & honestly, that is getting quite boring to me! so i will make some suggestions

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 5:07pm

Oh yeah, sex is fun.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Fri, 05-01-2009 - 6:55pm

Authentic Happiness http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743222989

Queenb_84

Just a quick thought. I'm not sure how far you are willing to go in order to chase after this subject.

I do books for a living. The first thing I did when I sensed there were problems was find what experts and scholars were saying about things. I purchase a half dozen books or so, and just pored over them. I read three books with forgiveness themes. The small section on forgiveness in this book made the most difference for me.

The other two books on "Forgiveness" were:

Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-By-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope

Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve

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Essentially, the first book talked about owning what the other person did to you. Trying, in the most charitable way possible, to understand why they might have done what they did. To accept the pain, feel it, allow it to wash over you. And then finally to just release it. And then working hard to keep it in the forgiven category. (very simplified version of the book.) The book does a good job of expressing what I just said poorly and quickly.

I told my spouse we would never go back to her hometown where she slept with the other man in his rented trailer. At the recommendation of people on this board and from what I read in that book. DW and I went down there together and drove past his home, walked up and down his streets. I allowed myself to feel the hurt of it all. DW kissed me on his street corner and apologized. We rode the bike trail that he showed her and on the way home, we had lunch with her Mom and Dad who just cried through lunch because I told them I would never come back there and she wasn't to go there ever again.

That was a hard day, DW's bike broke down early on the trail and we worked hard to fix the problem, I ended up carrying the bike back to the van and repairing it there. DW thought that would put a damper on the trip but we worked together and got back on the trail and finished it. We did it together and it was fun. After 20 years, I have a lot of memories of that town myself and I told a ton of stories about hunting and shooting and hiking in that mountain town. It was like reclaiming it once again for myself. The OM's wife and children moved up near my town so he's not there anymore. The town doesn't have a menacing feel to it anymore. But part of that was my going there and owning what she did for myself.

Calling the OM and allowing him to apologize and squirm as he spoke to me also helped. He's not the monster I built him up to be. The more DW and I spoke about all the men, the more embarrassing it all became for her. None of these guys are real winners. They all had to face me and in doing so, had to compare themselves and what they did to who I am. I don't like the idea of thinking I'm better than anybody else. That's not my nature. (or at least I hope not) but I walked away feeling a fair bit better about who and what I am as a person after talking to those guys.

All of them are on the high road to nowhere. DW told me that when she went on a motorbike ride with the main OM, that she took him past a home we had been looking to buy. It's not a mansion, but it is a very nice home with lots of bedrooms and a spectacular view of the lake and the valley. (I'm 42, I'm in my second home. I've been fortunate enough to pay our modest suburban home off. I bought it for a little over a hundred grand back in the day. If I sell it, I can easily afford a $350.000 home now. In the town we live, that kind of money goes a long way.) The other man lives in a trailer. A crappy one at that. DW crushed him when she took him past that house. He had feelings for her and had some thoughts that if things fell apart for Thomas and DW, he could step in for good. That ended after she took him past that house. He knew he wasn't going to get into anything close to that home anytime soon on his own.

All this narrative is an example of what I went through to forgive him. I developed empathy for that man's situation. He want's something very badly. (MY spouse.) But twice in his life when it came to the girl he fell in love with when he was 13 years old, I outclassed him in a few key areas. I find no joy in that. It's hard for me NOT to be mad at him, but I can't hate him anymore. Everyone got hurt in this. He doesn't deserve my forgiveness. Forgiveness is something we give people that they don't deserve. Now that I feel that I have forgiven him, I have to work to keep it. I don't see that job ever going away.

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Sorting Things Out.




Edited 5/1/2009 7:01 pm ET by pater_familia

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2009
Mon, 05-04-2009 - 11:52am

Thomas,


thank you so much for the insight. I wish my H was so open to

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 05-04-2009 - 2:22pm

"We can never speak on the topic with out it turning into an argument. So for now i dont approach it."

This is a tough one. My spouse “trickled truthed” me to shreds. But one of the most healing moments we had was when we sat down and she calmly told me the whole story from start to finish. I had been insisting that, to help my struggle to forgive her, that she completely own up to what she did. Once again, because of the trickle truth and lies, when she told me the whole story from start to finish, it was the first time I heard some aspects of the narrative. (and correct versions of some of the other narratives.) And some of that hurt (a lot) and took some time to process.

But it seems to me that if you allow him to tell this story in the context of one best friend telling another best friend how he screwed up his life. And how he never wants to repeat this behavior. This could be a healing moment for the two of you.

Him owning what he did. And YOU owning the suffering of what he did. Him doing it in the spirit of asking forgiveness and you listening in the spirit of wanting to get it all out in the open and working toward forgiving.

My wife told me a very small hand full of very hurtful things, but they were told in the context of “you are my best friend and I was thinking this when I did this and it was a huge mistake and I’m really sorry.” My hurt about those confessions lasted no longer than that moment. It is tons easier to forgive someone who is genuinely sorry and candid about a bad choice.

It’s just a thought. It won’t be fun. But I was really proud of my spouse for showing such courage to own it, confess it all, and finally getting the whole thing out once and for all.

I told her so. Yeah, new and painful stuff came out. But that’s one of our fears, that the lies will never be over with. I had to ask a few clarifying questions at a later date and we had to have discussions about some of the new stuff. I decided early on that I didn’t want to know what kind of sex she had with him, but I did want to know, times, places, dates, sex or no sex, kissing, significant conversations they had, motivations, schemes, plans and promises. I wanted it all out and over with.

It can’t be an argument, NO, “how could you?” from you. You know what he did generally so no gasps, crying is ok, but no judgment. Let it be what it is and allow him to be different NOW. Then praise for doing something so very hard.

Just a thought

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Sorting Things Out.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.