Never thought it would happen

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2005
Never thought it would happen
Fri, 01-13-2006 - 9:22pm

Not in a million years! But, I have been tossing around in my heart the idea of saying I forgive my dh even though I told him I NEVER would.


Things have been going 'well' for us. My need to talk to him and ask him the details of the A are decreasing as are the flashbacks & triggers. There are still enough of them, but they are decreasing & I am handling them better. For example, I tell myself that this is just a flashback/trigger and it will pass. Dh still stiffens up when I bring up the night of the A because he is uncomfortable talking about it thinking that if we rehash it again, it will make things worse when things are going OK for us.

I've explained to him that talking actually helps me in several ways. The latest being that I understand that he did not meet with her to have an A as crazy/cliche as it may sound. While listening to him, *really* listening to everything he's been saying over the last near 5 months and understanding his POV has helped.

The story: (skip if you want) She lured him there under false pretenses which he should have seen through, but didn't. (dh is, scratch that, WAS not very attentive to girls hitting on him) She tried many of the 'old tricks' to get him to sleep with her and he kept telling her no. She finally asked him for a kiss 'goodbye' then (another old slut trick) and he was already so uncomfortable in the situation, he thought it was an "easy out." Quick peck on the cheek and he's outta there. That's when she pushed his lips to her chest (she was wearing a jacket that was unzipped to the cleavage) and his lips brushed her chest. He wasn't expecting her to do that. Why he purposely kissed her chest after that remains a mystery & he emphatically states he doesn't know why he did it. That's when he pulled away & sat back in the seat thinking "WTH am I doing?! WHY did I do that?!," and almost completely blacked out. That's when she must've (had to!) unzipped his pants and went for "it." As soon as he realized what she did & that she barely started OS on him, he shoved her away & yelled "No!" Then got the hell outta there. She bothered him at work and through e-mail for the next several days and he made it clear to her that was NEVER going to happen again & commenced NC unless it was business related & unavoidable. This was before I found out - I found out 6 days after that night. So, I can totally see his POV, though I still struggle with BS thoughts/questions about it. But, it does make sense.

He has been so good since then. To me, himself, our marriage, our kids, family, friends. His whole outlook and focus has changed. He still asks me if I'll ever forgive him, professes his love for me & hopes & prays to God that he can show me how much he loves me and that it will be enough. I really couldn't ask for a better dh, (considering), could I? He is truly remorseful, loves me, our marriage, our life together. And he did, I don't know, "prove it" doesn't quite cover it, but he did refuse to have any kind of sexual encounter with slutty OW so that says a lot. I know many of you would love for your dh/bf to have walked away with "minimal damage" done.

So, if I'm even thinking about forgiving him, does that mean I already have? The hard part is admitting it to him. Not to make him suffer, but it feels like in some way, I'm saying I'm OK with what happened even though I certainly am not. But, we need to continue to move forward and forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. Additionally, he is going away on a business trip for a few days in a few days. I keep thinking I should tell him now if, God forbid, there is an accident that takes his life. I wouldn't want to live with knowing he died wondering if I'd ever forgive him. I know how morbid this is, but it's my thoughts lately. I guess I answered myself, didn't I? Now to figure out when & how to tell him. I want it to be special.

Thanks for listening to me & "helping" me come to a conclusion. LOL If it weren't for most of you here, I'd still be lost. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

~ "Gal"

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 10:31am
Gal, how ironic and I don't think it sounds morbid. Before my husband went into surgery I struggled with letting my husband know that I forgive him before he went under. I was afraid for him to have some negative result and think that I couldn't forgive him. I DID NOT end up saying it. I don't know why. I thought that if I say it to soon and end up showing my resentment later I would feel that it wasn't true and I lied. Just the other night I was feeling so angry and truly husband did AWESOME in comforting me, but yet I let my anger take control and I was verbally resentful. I don't want to paint the picture that it was out of control, but I tend to ask the questions that make him beat himself up over which my resentment comes out over and over in my questions. I knew those days weren't over. I was pretty glad I didn't say those words and led him to believe that I was done taking it out on him. Of course when I calmed down I apolgized and thanked him profusely for his efforts but in the end we knew that there was nothing he could do to make me feel better it was all me.
Sorry I'll stop rambling but my point was that those feelings of letting your partner know before a "big" trip or event, I had those feelings to. And the good news is I still feel that I want to let my husband know that I forgive him. Even though I didn't before his surgery. For me only, I realized that "I" still have more time that I need to give the ultimate gift that he wants forgiveness. I know I don't have to forget which I probably NEVER will but when I forgive I want to make sure there is no more entitlement of punishing him at all with my words. When I forgive I want to make sure I have let the resentment go.
But if your ready then go for it. I thought about giving my husband another wedding ring with the word forgiveness engraved along with some other words that I have in mind. Best wishes, Tea
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2005
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 11:36am

I have been thinking the same thing over the past few weeks. But to be honest I am not ready yet! I love him I see the change for the better in him. But I am just not ready like Tea said I would hate to feel I lied to him when I still have resentment inside of me. As Tea said my H is also doing great in the support department regarding my set backs here and there. However, I still feel there are things we need to deal with before true forgivness can take place for me. If you feel you are ready then I say go for it. I can't wait till I can honestly tell myself I am ready. The truth is forgivness is really just as important to the preson forgiving as it to the person they forgive. It is a gift you can give yourself to let go of the anger and pain. None of us will ever forget but I do believe we can all find it in us to forgive at some point!

Side note to Tea, I love the idea of the ring. I am ordering new rings for my H and I with each of our birth stones in it his in mine, mine in his type thing. I too have been looking at a few phrases to engrave in it for him. Just have not found the right ones yet!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2005
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 12:12pm

Speaking (again) of irony, I came here now to post that I'm not quite sure I'm ready to say it after my heartfelt post last night.

I still have resentment in my heart and am sure there are going to be times where there is a trigger, flashback, words spoken, *something* that is going to make my blood boil all over again and I'll either lash out and/or cry. Name the emotion and it will probably happen.

I know what happened that night will never be changed. I know he is truly sorry and that he never meant for any of it to happen. I've accepted that. That's where the feelings of forgiveness are stemming from. Acceptance & understanding he is truly sorry.

I'm so confused right now. I know there's always going to be reminders of what happened and that I'll always react to them in some way. It's always going to hurt but I expect the pain will lessen with time as it has been. OTOH, I'm afraid that if I tell him I forgive him, I'll lash out again and it will feel like a false forgiveness for both of us. OTOH yet again, if I'm always going to react in some way, does that mean forgiveness will never come or that I *have* forgiven, but am simply human and reacting to heartbreak?

Does true forgiveness only come when you no longer have any negative feelings? "They" say that "You can forgive, but not forget" which means you'll still have thoughts & feelings about the A. So if you can forgive but not forget, if I were to react to a trigger, why would that feel like a false forgiveness to me and most likely dh? Cripes! Can't anything ever be easy?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2005
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 1:38pm

I guess in alot of ways I have forgiven my H. I just am still unable to trust in our marriage. I want to I see how thing have changed but I just don't have faith like I did before.

It took me 7 months into our rebuilding to decide to rebuild.. What I mean is in my own way I was fence sitting. I was in fight or flight mode. I had been lied to for over a year. I had been told his A was over when it was not and I had to hear him on her voice mail say things that haunt me to this day. So I did not believe him when he said it was over. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was also full of anger wondering to myself if he cared so little about me and our family why am I sitting here in pain? While life seems to be so easy for him! He got to have his cake and eat it too and I am stuck with the bill. There were many days I was read to walk out the door. I told him during that time I did not "hate" him any more for what he had done. But that I could not live with it! I wanted to end things before I ended up hating him.. If that makes any sense at all??

Then one day I found that I no longer wanted to run. That I was no longer looking for the exit. That I did not need to live in "fear". That was 5 months ago. I have told my h that I am feeling more secure that I found tools to handle most of the triggers. I tell him often how much I love him. How happy I am that we are working our way back to each other. I just can't say the words I forgive you yet. I think just like the day I had the light bulb moment that I was really commiting to rebuilding. I will have that light bulb moment that I have forgiven him. I don't think I can do that at this time due to so many doubts and trust issues still left to be dealt with. I feel when the time is right my gut will tell me. Our guts have gotten us all through this. We have learned to trust ourselves more because of this and I feel each one of us will know when the time is right.

There was a post by dannydb about forgivness as his road to it. I am going to look for it and post the link. Things in his post really made sense to me and maybe they will help you as well.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2005
Sat, 01-14-2006 - 1:48pm

After I found the post I realized you had already read it. But I figured it still might help so I copied and pasted it here for you. :) Irene

Debs, Lily, Julie, Sol, VLB, gal_brokenhearted, found, and Alley: thanks SO much for the kind and inspiring words! I wanted to add a special not for gal_bh: Our D-Day was May 31, 2003. I went nearly 28 months before I could tell my wife I had forgiven her. I felt calm when I spoke the words, and I slept well as we lay there cuddled in each other's arms.

Also remember that forgiveness does not mean you won't feel the pain anymore. That may remain for a long time. I do believe that you have to let go of the anger. I clung to that anger for a LONG time. Any little incident that came between us fueled my anger. I would blindside her with inappropriate comments and would create a chasm between us that could last for days. I hope I never make her cry as I have in the past again.

I think God planted a thought in my head: "How long would you have expected to gain forgiveness from your wife?" Yeah, I know ... she cheated on me. But really ... if I felt I could never forgive her (and I wondered if I ever could), how could I expect any different from her? I tried hard to imagine what it was like for her knowing I had not forgiven her. That could be a heavy load to bear.

One last note ... my wife asked me a few weeks ago if I had forgiven her yet. I told her I just wasn't sure if I knew I had let go of the anger yet. I started to explain further when she interrupted me. She said she understood, and she said she didn't want to be morbid, but wanted me to know that it was "Ok" if didn't her if God called her first. She told me she didn’t want to live in guilt if I never forgave her while she was still with me.

I know this could sound like a means to gain sympathy. I suppose only God knows if her motives were pure, but I believed they were selfless and sincere. She has nursed more through this entire period and has convinced me of her love for me long ago. This was a gift from her to me in the event that she wasn’t there in the future.

Well, I hope you all get to that point, and yes, it is liberating. I actually feel less rage against the other man since I’ve forgiven my wife, but I can’t say I know I’ve forgiven him yet. I’ll keep praying for that day to arrive, and hope my actions are honorable to God under any circumstances under which we may meet in the future.


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