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How do I forgive,

(98 Posts)
persephone2013 Mon 16-Dec-13 13:46:42

Some years ago I posted here about my dh whom I suspected of having multiple inappropriate relationships with several of his colleagues. He always denied and made me feel I was going mad. However, eventually the truth came out. Even faced with the e-mails he tried to deny, but was eventually obliged to concede. It seems he needed the excitement of these relationships which I am fairly sure fell short of sexual intercourse. I suspect too that he did not discuss our relationship. I think he pretended to be single. He claimed he was a good husband as he provided well financially. He thought that what I did not know would not hurt me. He is a person who needs constant stimulation and variety at all times. Most things bore him quickly, I fear that includes me. However he is kind to me in most other respects. MH was enormously supportive, but told me to LTB. Relate feared he would never really change and gently suggested I leave him. Worn down by years of the situation and with compromised health, I was too fragile to lose not only the marriage, but all our lovely couples based social life, our couples based hobbies, our couples based holidays, my home, my standard of living , the base we provided for our adult children etc... It was suggested both by Relate and MH that I rebuild my own life. This I have done. I have my own friends, a part-time job, hobbies etc. I was even able to ask my dh how he would feel if I behaved as he did. I asked him why only one of us could have inappropriate relationships. He was horrified at the prospect. He has certainly scaled down his behaviour. He would say stopped. Frankly I no longer much care. I am not so afraid of losing everything although I do not welcome it. However, I do feel resentment and bitterness and often react unkindly and irritably to him. I hate the way I sometimes react. I dislike what I find myself saying. How do you forgive? I am unlikely to forget, but I want to forgive, or at least not react in the way that I do.

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Mon 16-Dec-13 15:34:26

Have you had an still check?

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Mon 16-Dec-13 15:35:11

*sti

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:38:26

He is very sociable, popular and fun. Without him I would be isolated.

I thought the same. I was wrong on every count though. People started to be honest about how they actually felt about him once we were no longer together, and I wasn't isolated.

You really do deserve better than this. But only you can make the choice to take it.

WigWearer Mon 16-Dec-13 15:39:03

He is very sociable, popular and fun

So what?

He is also a lying, cheating, selfish bag of shit.

You will never be happy until you rid yourself of him. You know this, deep down.

persephone2013 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:41:35

You are really making me think. Nobody is telling me to forgive!

Jan45 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:42:47

Because you can't forgive someone who isn't sorry?

WigWearer Mon 16-Dec-13 15:44:02

Of course not!

Why the hell would we?

You deserve to be happy. You shouldn't have to swallow down your (entirely justifiable) anger and resentment at the way this man has treated you.

You could have such a nice life without him. Don't you feel even a little bit excited at the prospect...? grin

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:45:07

Have you confided in any of your friends about this, at all? Can any of them give you a kick up the arse!! grin

persephone2013 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:46:34

Thank you for not blaming me for my bitterness anger and resentment.
I had never realised that you cannot forgive someone who is not sorry. It's obvious once pointed out.

You are making me think...

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:47:34

I bloody hope we are making you think.

How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:48:25

Besides you shouldn't forgive someone who treats you with utter contempt and who clearly doesn't love or respect you.

You should tell them to fuck off (and I rarely swear on here or in RL)

persephone2013 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:49:23

FolkGirl I confided in one friend, she then told me that he had ooggled her. We are no longer friends, I didn't need to hear that. I told our eldest child who got very very upset even though it was no surprise.

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:51:42

But it wasn't her fault! Why would you cut her out as a friend for being the passive recipient of your husband's lecherous gaze?

It sounds to me like she was showing you support, that she was confirming your suspicions and reassuring you that you were not mad.

HOw long ago was this? Could you approach her and rebuild the friendship?

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:52:56

Oh OP, I can't believe just how angry this is making me. I wish I could come and give you a big shake and a jolly good talking to.

CailinDana Mon 16-Dec-13 15:53:39

Picture this scenario: one of your children while at school befriends the popular kid in the class. Through that child your child becomes more popular and has more of a social life. But one day your child finds that the popular child has been stealing his stuff. He confronts popular child, who acts as though he has done nothing wrong and is only sorry your child has found out. Not only that but he doesn't stop stealing, he just scales it back when your child threatens to steal his stuff. Your child gets worn down by constant disrespect but is terrified to drop the friendship for fear he might lose his other friends.

What advice would you give your child? To forgive the popular child and just ignore the stealing?

WigWearer Mon 16-Dec-13 15:54:31

Oh OP. Why not reach out to this friend again? She was trying to help you, to get you to see the truth.

Sounds like your 'couples' life is a bit of a sham, to be honest.

The other friend who 'dropped out' of your social circle - where is she now? You might be surprised at what she tells you if you contact her.

CailinDana Mon 16-Dec-13 15:56:35

Oh and if your child told a friend about it and friend said "oh yes he stole from me too" would you expect your child to end that friendship?

LEMoncehadacatcalledSANTA Mon 16-Dec-13 16:03:47

"He is very sociable, popular and fun. Without him I would be isolated." It suits him that you feel like this - he has destroyed your self esteem - you described yourself as not exciting enough for him in your OP. He is a parasite and he is making you feel bad to make himself feel good. You would be surprised, I bet you are just as popular - otherwise you would spend social times stuck in a corner and hating it, but you don't, you enjoy your social life - it is about you, not something you need him for. People love you for you, not your DH. Maybe if they knew what a shallow, self centred arse he is, he might not be quite so popular!

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Mon 16-Dec-13 16:03:54

I suspect a lot of your social circle see him for what he is, particularly if he's been eyeing them up. They probably keep quiet to spare your feelings but should the two of you split up then it could easily be him that is edged out of your joint hobbies.

FolkGirl Mon 16-Dec-13 16:05:44

I would completely agree with TheFuture. You told one person and she told you he'd been ogling her.

I wonder how many of your other friends would tell a similar story...

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Mon 16-Dec-13 16:09:35

I do feel sorry for the friend you cut out because your husband ogled her. Is there any way you can get back in touch and build bridges?

persephone2013 Mon 16-Dec-13 16:25:25

I sort of got the feeling my friend was enjoying adding to my suffering. It was not the time to add to the pain. I do see her, but it's not the same.
Perhaps she should have told me when it happened or not at all. I don't know, but it was very hurtful.

persephone2013 Mon 16-Dec-13 16:27:38

Leoncehadacatcalledsanta, yes shallow is an adjective that comes to my mind, though I am not altogether clear what it means when applied to people. Can you help?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 16-Dec-13 16:35:44

I've reached a few conclusions about relationships over the years. Infidelity and mistrust are pretty terrible things. Abuse is shocking. But IME one of the most soul-crushing a thing a partner can do to someone is to treat them with contempt. It's worse than being ignored or hated or even bullied because it means you simply don't matter enough to them to even care about your feelings. You don't count. You're a non-person to them.

I don't know how old you are but find it desperately sad that, for the sake of a particular lifestyle you're considering sticking around for more punishment and at the same time berating yourself for being resentful or bitter... as if that's a failing. I'm pleased that you are making a life for yourself adjacent to his but I would urge you to seek out any opportunity to spend serious time away from him.... volunteer overseas for example... because then I think you'd start to appreciate just how much he's dragging you down.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 16-Dec-13 16:39:10

I feel sorry for the friend he ogled. It's traditional to want to blame the 'OW' for the actions of a git of a husband but she was actually the innocent party and doing you a favour being honest. That you don't want to hear the truth says more about you than her.

BTW 'shallow' means that someone is only interested in the superficial rather than the meaningful... usually their own selfish pleasures, impulses, instant gratification etc.

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