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Moving on... Thinking about forgiveness

(5 Posts)
decomm18 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:36:31

For anyone who read my last thread, this is a sort-of update, but also I'm now interested in how best to move on and come to terms with what's happened, both for me and my DCs. Specifically, is forgiveness something that has helped other people? It's definitively over between me and DH - we had a good meeting yesterday, and will be moving on to as quick and simple a divorce as we can manage. He's still living with his OW - as he has been for the past seven months - and says he's very sorry for everything. I think his sorrow is genuine. We're lucky not to have any financial issues likely to cause problems during or after the split - he's going to go on paying his half of the mortgage, and has offered to help out with additional funding if I need extra to support the DCs when they're at uni. I'll sell the house when my DM dies, and we'll split the proceeds. I was terribly upset and angry last week, but seem abruptly to have moved through that, and now just want to forgive him so that he can come to the house to see the DCs, and so that I can stop thinking bitter things about what he's 'done' to me. It feels like a positive thing for me, in the context of my realising that I'm no longer in love with him and actually am far better off without him (thanks in no small part to those who posted on the previous thread). He did nothing dreadful to me beyond the obvious lying cheating etc etc; and although the DCs suffered somewhat (particularly my DD) they too aren't that angry with him any more. I think that as a family none of us 'do' anger particularly well.

BUT, am I kind of failing to properly 'process' the hurt? Will setting it all to one side and trying to forget about how the past eight years were, be damaging in the long term? Have others found forgiveness helpful in the short- and long-term? I know that very many splits are riven with bitterness and rage because of things that have been said and done. I don't feel that we have that problem, either. We're both reasonable adults, and I feel that being able to look back on thirty years together without terrible pain will be beneficial both for me and the DCs. If we've both moved on to better things, what's to be gained by dwelling on past hurts?

PrancingQueen Fri 11-Mar-16 00:09:58

Hi OP,
I struggle with this too. My ex had an affair whilst I was pregnant and moved in with OW and her child when our baby was 12 weeks old.
I have raised DS alone from the day he was born.

I think whether your relationship was good prior to the affair helps - was it mutually respectful, was he kind, a good man generally?
My ex was EA so sometimes, even 3 years down the line a memory will pop into my head of my ex being abusive or cruel.
I would truly love to forgive him, but I suppose I perceive him having an 'easy life' and with the EA history it's not easy at all!

I admire that you are thinking this way after a relatively short amount of time!

Cassawooff Fri 11-Mar-16 09:14:23

Hi •decomm• I remember some of your previous posts. I think you are right to be cautious. I am in a similar place, husband had an affair, left me, I've really struggled to accept it for over a year and things have got quite nasty between us. I still feel strongly for him, despite everything he's done. He is long gone and with the OW.

BUT I am now exhausted by the mental anguish over such a long period and I just want to find peace and behave well towards him and cling to a relationship with him, even if just friends hmm which I think will have to include forgiving him and accepting his choice to give up on our marriage. I want to behave in a way I can be proud of. My counsellor says that's admirable, but I must allow myself still to deal with the hurt and anger I still have. And I can't expect to be perfect.

You sound so switched on and realistic, and find reasons to excuse his behaviour. And at least he seems to say he's sorry. Good luck. I think you will get there, but just don't feel bad if you have the odd lapse in your forgiveness. Let us know how you do.

decomm18 Fri 11-Mar-16 10:20:46

Thanks, PrancingQueen and Cassa. I'd like to forgive DH, I really would. But I'm not sure I trust my own feelings quite yet. I feel I've gone through an emotional shredder in the past few weeks, while I was still clinging onto the hope that we could reconstruct the marriage. I had a real lightbulb moment when I got such unanimous advice on this forum, and it utterly changed my way of thinking about him and me. Now, all I want to do is look ahead and try to recover from what's happened. I know it takes time, and I've already decided to see either a counsellor or a psychiatrist to help me. I'm extremely good at compartmentalising things - that's what got me through the prolonged period of STBXH's unfaithfulness - but I do worry about whether that's healthy for my psyche in the long term. And I now recognise that I became horribly co-dependent in my relationship with DH in the last decade, and I need to understand what it is about me that allowed that to happen - and to guard against it happening again.

I'm not talking in any way about airbrushing history, and won't even tell STBXH that I'm contemplating forgiveness - I already told him forcefully that our split would be anything but amicable (that was when I was so angry last week). I think for me it would just be about accepting that what's done is done. There can be no revenge or retribution here, and since we are inextricably linked by the DCs, continuing to simmer pointless negativity seems just - pointless. I don't want to face a lifetime of not being invited to the same family functions or glaring at each other across the aisle at weddings and funerals. But is it just a cop-out?

Lobelia123 Fri 11-Mar-16 10:51:07

I think forgiveness is a wonderful gift you give yourself. Its an incredible burden to carry around hatred, misery and unhappiness and so toxic. It cant be rushed or forced but when you feel in the right space, letting go of all those terrible things that have happened to you allows you to rise again. I wish you all the best, you sound like an incredible brave and strong woman !! I take my lesson on this from the example of my MIL, over 30 years ago her marriage ended very acrimoniously amid infidelity, cheating over money, lying etc etc and it still dominates and defines her life. Sad and pointless when you think that if she could have moved on, she could have had a great second act to her life. Instead of which its all as real and as unfair to her today as it was all those years ago. Her children all feel the burden of it every day of their lives and feel responsible for her unhappiness. As for the ex, he put it behind him long ago and went on to many more relationships and children, I doubt he lost a nights sleep over it.

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