Forgiveness

I am struggling with how to handle forgiveness. Some days I feel like I don’t even care to think about his infidelity. I don’t want it to bring me down when I am having a good day. Some days I cry and feel like when will the pain become a distant memory? I read somewhere online that if you can forgive someone you don’t even know for bumping into you in a crowded store or for a fender bender, then why not your spouse? Should it be easier to forgive the ones we love? Or should we hold the ones we love more accountable for our hearts and happiness?Β 

Sometimes I fear I am moving through this process too quickly. How is it that I enjoy making love to him and can’t wait for him to get home so I can feel his lips against mine? Why is it so easy to tell him my internal thoughts? Why am I compelled to make him happy?

I guess I don’t want to end up stuck in the realm of punishing myself with the pain or him either. He truly regrets his actions and I am fearful he won’t forgive himself for what he did. He thinks what he did was unforgivable. He is truly upset that I may never trust him and may hold on to a part of this forever. I do fear there is a scar on our marriage and relationship. Will I ever trust him 100% again? I don’t know… it doesn’t feel possible right now. Doubts have a tendancy to creep into my mind at the strangest times.

Everything I read says it may take 10… 15 years to forgive him. To honestly forgive him. Those same women say I will never forget. Sometimes I wish I could have a mind-eraser come and erase this from my brain…. Because I don’t want this to be the memory that haunts my life. I don’t want his infidelity to define our marriage.

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24 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. My D-day was May 15. Everything I’m reading on this blog is exactly what I’m feeling; I could have written this entry today. I bounce back and forth between thinking we can get through this, and thinking I’ll never get past it. I’m so tired of the roller coaster!

    • The roller coaster ride in the beginning is enough to make you physically ill. It slows down eventually…

      It took me almost nine months to understand that going through the aftermath of infidelity is just like any other trauma. If you keep reliving the experience it will bring back the same amount of pain. Try to begin to distract yourself with other things in your life when a negative thought invades.
      You may not know for a long time if you did the right thing by staying and rebuilding your marriage. It may take years before you know… but let yourself be okay with that too. You don’t have to tell your husband this… just know that you are the one to decide where your life goes.
      Take stock in what you do have in your life… try to remember to be grateful even during this mess/shit-storm. I know the affair can cloud everything in your life–but try to not let it.

  2. Part of my agony is that my husband is still in love with the other woman. Or nearly in love, anyway. She’s an ideal. A fantasy, rather than a real person. When you only see someone a few times a month, and only for “fun” things, it’s not real! He says he hasn’t seen her or spoken to her or texted her, but I don’t know whether to believe him or not. He lied about so much else. And I know he’s still thinking about her.

    • It’s hard enough to trust again… It takes different husbands different periods of time to recognize that any emotional attachment they felt for the OW was based on lies and an false reality. There is no real life involved in their relationship–no toilets to clean, no laundry to fold, no kids to help with homework or discipline. Their entire relationship is just sunshine and flowers because they bring the shit home for their wives to deal with…. I know I was able to breakthrough to my husband when I pointed out that she was never his friend. A friend doesn’t ask you to have an affair with her (which his AP did), a friend doesn’t rip apart your life and make you lie to your loved ones. But for some men that takes longer to see because they want to believe their AP’s are these sweet, needy woman–I find it interesting that many OW’s tell the partner (like my husband) that they were abused by their spouses… it’s all a ploy for attention. For some reason every man cannot help but feel sorry for and want to help and rescue these women. It’s sick.

  3. Thank you for creating this blog. I starting reading from the beginning. In reading your blog you are definitely answering a lot of the questions I had about myself. I discovered my husband’s affair at the very end of April. It’s been almost 3 months since discovery, but I’ve been very worried that I was healing too quickly, that I am missing a step somewhere along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my very bad days, but he is now starting to learn how to help me through those times. At first he just wished that I would get over it, but quickly realized that that was not going to happen. I do question myself a lot if I should have made him leave when I found out, but my kids are little (8, 5, & 3) I couldn’t turn their life upside down without trying first.

  4. So here I am again. Actually today isn’t a bad day as such, but I woke up with an emptiness. I just let him talk last night. He cant understand why I don’t hate him for the things he’s done, sometimes I wonder why too. I started my own blog yesterday, I hope it will help to order my thoughts.

    • As others have said I worry that at just 6 weeks I am moving too quickly, I don’t want to miss something that causes a stumbling block down the line. Reading your blogs and seeing that you were feeling the same and you seem to be reaching a positive outcome gives me hope that we will be okay. Thank you

      • I worry about this too, but our stumbling block is very real and ever present. My husbands AP still works for him. I’ve written before about how I believe he always loved me and we have talked in depth about his feelings for her before (not attracted to her) during (desparate to keep her wanting and desiring him while he felt rejected by me) and after the affair, so it’s not that I think he is still in love with her or carrying on the affair. It’s just the knowledge that he still has daily contact with her. I’m finding that so hard to cope with at the moment. Most of the time I feel like we are making progress, but it only takes one work related email from her or to see her photo on the company website and I’m in the depths of hurt and devastation again. How can I successfully move forward with her still in our life? If he makes a move to remove her from our life then we face everyone knowing what’s going on, loss of livelihood, loss of respect…

      • I was very adament that my husband have no contact with his AP. He had a voluntary position on a board for a program she led in the town. I was angry when I found out she was still going into his business when my husband wasn’t there. Back in May there was a day when I went to his business with two of my kids and when I looked out the window–I saw her in her car backing out of the parking space right in front. There are other businesses in the building and I know she wasn’t in his but I was pissed that she would even go to the building knowing he was there. I made an appointment with our therapist after this because it really upset me. My husband did everything I needed him to do–but I felt like she couldn’t respect the boundaries. My therapist said: “What if she does show up at his business and he’s there? Why does that bother you if the affair is over?” I couldn’t understand because I felt like it was obvious there should be no contact (it’s in all the books, right?). But my therapist was making the point that I cannot control everything. Now, I don’t know what I would do if my husband was in the same position and working with his AP everyday. I feel like my insecurity would be too much. Does your husband have the power to remove her from the company or ask her to resign? Or can your husband look for a new job?
        There was a time when I believed my husband needed to leave his business and start something new. I wanted him out of the town where she lives. In some ways I still want that but I don’t feel it’s as immenent now. My instincts tell me your husband’s AP will eventually leave and go away. Try to talk to your husband about how he feels when he has to work with the AP or sees her name in an email. What is his emotion about it? How does he feel when you get upset? What could he do to relieve your pain and prevent you from getting upset? Keep the communication lines open between you and your husband. Tell him you are not trying to hurt or punish him but you need something to move forward and you need his help to figure it out. It sounds like your husband is trying and wants to help you through this…. Most of the time men do not know what to do to help us–but they want to.

      • Just when you think things can’t get any worse….
        It turns out my concerns about my husbands continued contact with his AP through work were founded. Two days ago I discovered more texts, after much arguing and crying he finally admitted that although the affair had not continued he had struggled with seeing her and trying to stop whatever it was he felt for her, two weeks after d day she ended up back at his hotel room and gave him a bj! Nothing physical happened after this-we were on holiday for a week then she went away for 2.5 weeks so I believe that -just. He says they continued to text although mostly they were not sexual, just work related which I believe because I saw some of them. I understand that it’s hard to let go I asked him so many times how he could just go back to work and act like nothing had happened and have no feelings for her. Every time he reassured me there was nothing to worry about. So I saw texts from only last week, and once he’d admitted continued inappropriate contact I finally gave the ultimatum, her or me. He went straight to his boss told him the situation and asked for help in making sure he won’t have to see her. His boss has been amazing, told him to take a fortnight off to work on us while he sorted out getting her out of the company with minimum fuss.
        Which is all great but where does that leave me??? I’ve now got to decide if I can get past this second betrayal. Get past the fact that while I thought we were working together to build a new future he was lying to me about seeing her and not feeling anything for her. He says it was like a drug he was weaning himself off and he felt it was working and he meant every word he said about me. But still I wasn’t getting 100% he said he thought he could deal with it without hurting me by admitting he was struggling. Apparently he was protecting me!! How many chances does someone need. I really don’t know what to do now but still I want to be with him. I think I must be crazy! Has anyone been through this? Any advice/opinions welcome.

  5. Frankie, I went through the same thing with my husband. He too had continued contact — phone calls, texts, emails, one meet up — after D Day. And after he told me they were through. I finally told him I didn’t think I could stay in the marriage. And (stupid as it sounds to say), I don’t think it had ever occurred to him I’d really leave. It made a difference for us. We’re not out of the woods yet (we have a lot of work still to do) but we’re getting there! Good luck, and big hugs.

    • Hi Megan, thanks so much for replying and to you twndu for replying to my first post on this thread. I’m so cross with myself for not giving him the ultimatum the first time round. I think I knew he would still have feelings for her and I was scared about the choice he would make so I foolishly gave him a cake eating option. I put everything into making our relationship work and allowed him to continue seeing her too! Idiot! I’m just so sad about the last couple of months, I felt we were being so open with each other and finally she was being blocked out while I knew everything. Apparently he even told her we were having sex again! This seemed to prompt her to start flirting again-she even sent him a pic of her boobs and although I’m obviously not excusing him I could see from the texts that it was always her who initiated. At the end if the day her partner doesn’t know about the affair so she had less to lose I guess. It’s the hole thing that I thought we were truly reconciling the first time round, he was so convincing and in his warped view I think he though we were too. But to me it was all lies, how could we be if he was still so close to her. It’s hard to believe she means nothing to him again after I’ve heard him say it before and not mean it. I believe him when he says he was trying to ‘get over her’ I knew it wouldn’t be easy. The fog does seem to have genuinely lifted this time, through telling two close colleagues/friends he has seen an objective view of her with one even describing her as a nasty piece of work. He is doing everything he can now and it feels genuine, but I really can’t work out how I feel. I don’t want to throw myself back into it only to get hurt again further down the line. I don’t even know if I still love him after this. I know the betrayals not the same but the way I feel is, how do I deal with it all over again? I think my brain has gone into protection mode. The roller coaster has started all over again and I’m just tired 😦 x

      • Take care of yourself. Right now your reeling from another betrayal and in no shape to make long term decisions. Take one day at a time and do what you need to heal and recover. If he isn’t helping you, being truly transparent, atoning, caring and compassionate, then get support from others. Know that at this time Your recovery is paramount. Do what you need to feel better. Big hugs.

  6. And don’t forget that you don’t have to make any “final decision” yet. I haven’t. I’m taking one day at a time, and some days, it still feels like I won’t get past this. (I’m just over four months past D-day, but still was still finding things out a month ago, since he’s never really come clean about things.) But I’m hanging in, and he’s been trying hard for the last few months. If your husband isn’t trying hard, make sure he knows that you leaving is a real probability. If he doesn’t think you mean it — or if he doesn’t care — you’ll find out soon enough! Stay strong Frankie.

    • Thank you both so much for your advice and support. I was struggling with feeling like I didn’t want to try anymore, but after reading back over the posts and comments on here trying to work out what’s going on in my head, I’m back to knowing that we could be ok (better than ok) again. This time round I’m being more careful with my feelings though, he knows how much harder he has made everything through his recent actions and is doing everything he can to prove he wants to be here with me and had never wanted to leave me for a second. I’m taking it one day at a time and just letting my emotions be. Last time I suppressed my anger and disappointment in him and threw everything into reconciliation. In hindsight that was a mistake and this time he is seeing it how it is. I don’t think he knows what has hit him πŸ™‚ I’ve not made a commitment to him either way but am also not torturing him or making his life hell. I’m concentrating on making me happy, rediscovering old hobbies, concentrating on the kids etc… These are the only things I have control over. Thank you again, your advice is invaluable and I hope you are both doing ok too x

      • Yes I’ve seen betrayeds make it easy for the betrayer to their own detriment. If they don’t get the magnitude of what they did, what’s to deter them from doing it again? Also, know that your recovery is not necessarily linked to the marriage recovery, that can come later when you’re in a better place to make a decision. A truly remorseful husband would accept and respect that, esp given that he screwed up twice, bringing you right back to D Day. He needs to understand that every lie, every omission will retard your healing and inflict greater hurt on you. Don’t mince words or suppress your pain. He needs to get it and realize, that he needs to embrace his role in helping you heal. Will he assuage the wounds he inflicted or make them worse? Actions always speak louder than words. Know that you deserve better.
        Wishing you healing on your recovery journey.

      • Hi Frankie,

        Megan and Moddie gave you great advice. One day at a time is all we can do. Throughout the past year I have had to take each moment as it came and take care of myself first. It took me time to see in my own life that I believed that the energy and love I invested into my husband, family and even my friends was the same my husband would do. I considerered everyone… Heck, I felt guilty if I missed one child’s school concert to attend another child’s sports banquet. I always felt aware of how my actions trickled down to everyone I love but I never realized that everyone I love doesn’t have that same consideration. I’ve come to realize through blogging and reading about human behavior that it’s common for men to not think their actions affect anyone in their lives. If you aren’t there when it happens and they come home and participate in family life–why would it matter? It’s a very selfish and egocentric view of life.
        I hope that you and your husband are communicating what happened now and found a good therapist. Your husband may need to go separately to therapy too. Be completely honest with all your emotions–you have to feel it all–the anger, the sadness, the disappointment and pain to get to the other side.
        I am so glad you are focusing on things that can make you happy so that you have something to distract your mind. It’s so hard to focus on this all the time and you need to have moments where you realize you will be okay.
        We are doing well… I need to find a moment to write a post. πŸ™‚

  7. My husband said exactly that of his affair, that when he was here he felt that he was 100% devoted to me and the kids. He now realises that that wasn’t really true (I know he would sometimes text her while sitting with me watching the tv-ugh!) and he can’t believe how selfish he has been, doesn’t recognise the man he had become. At the moment I am struggling to see him as anyone other than the man who could hurt and betray me then continue to do so for his own selfish reasons. How do I begin to see and accept the man he is trying so hard to be now? He goes back to work next week (and although she won’t be there) and I’m really worried what effect that will have on me. I don’t trust him when he’s sat next to me so how can I trust him when he’s back where it all happened? I’m fed up of feeling sad, and I’m so angry with him because it’s him who has dragged me here without my consent. Acceptance of all of this is so difficult.

    • Acceptance takes time. It took me almost ten months to get there and it was only when I went back to my therapist and she asked me if I had accepted this happened to me yet.
      When you look at your husband try to see him for who he is right now. I recall saying: “I don’t hate you, I hate what you did.” Separating the action from the person seems strange but we are all human and any one of us could betray another person at some point. This doesn’t mean you will trust him immediately–I am still struggling with the level of trust I have in my husband. Transparency is key too. In the beginning I spent a lot of time checking in or popping by his business just to see what was up. I ended up developing great relationships with his co-workers too. That may not be fool-proof but it helps to know that all his employees know me and we have personal relationships now.
      The sadness will not be constant with time and the anger is a good sign. You need to go through all of this–it’s very similar to the grieving.

  8. Wow, that thing you feel, your fear of moving too fast i have exactly the same atm. this weekend i found out that my boyfriend of 3 years who just returned from his year abroad has cheated on me. during the though times in the end he found a girl who did make him happy and he cheated on me for the past 3-4 months. now he is back and sees again how much he loves me and we belong together, he too is heartbroken he could be so stupid. this guy is my soulmate, my person, my best friend and i am heartbroken. in the past days he has answered all my questions, been there for me when i felt horrible and all i want now is that he doesnt just hug me, but he kisses me and do much more. do i go to fast? i dont know, do i make the right decision? i dont know. how do you know?

    • Time. I feel like no one needs to make any decision immediately when they go through betrayal and infidelity. Just make sure you are okay with the relationship and where you are. It’s not always easy to know if I am in the right place but if I give myself time I know I can trust myself.

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