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Is it all about forgiveness

(27 Posts)
tadpole73 Wed 31-May-17 08:58:24

Do you think it's normal, having been in a relationship for 15 years, to have had times when you've had to forgive? Like catching hubby texting another woman, times of verbal abuse, missing your birthday, lap dance, family fallouts etc? I'm wondering if long term relationships that last decades are purely due to forgiveness and that it's inevitable in longer partnerships to have had "issues"?
Or, is it because some women get their perfect man who are so well behaved?!!

I can remember watching a documentary about a couple who had been married 50yrs and the presenter asking what the secret is. The old lady replied "if anyone tells you they haven't had to put up with the odd affair, feeling let down etc then they are lying, it's all about forgiveness and working harder at it"! Is that true or just a different generation's point of view?

hellsbellsmelons Wed 31-May-17 09:04:01

It depends on you and what your boundaries are.
My ExH had an affair after 15 years together.
I couldn't forgive that.
No way.
So we split up and divorced.
I think it's also about how much you respect yourself.
Many women and men, do forgive and do move on.
But never ever ever ever put up with any abuse - NEVER!!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 31-May-17 09:10:04

Re comment:-
"The old lady replied "if anyone tells you they haven't had to put up with the odd affair, feeling let down etc then they are lying, it's all about forgiveness and working harder at it"! Is that true or just a different generation's point of view?

That is her point of view but relationships should not be such hard work honestly. Why is it also down to the woman alone to work harder at it?. I would read the sticky post at the top of these Relationships pages.

Re this comment:-
"Do you think it's normal, having been in a relationship for 15 years, to have had times when you've had to forgive? Like catching hubby texting another woman, times of verbal abuse, missing your birthday, lap dance, family fallouts etc? I'm wondering if long term relationships that last decades are purely due to forgiveness and that it's inevitable in longer partnerships to have had "issues"?"

If this is representative of his behaviour then I would have to ask you why you are still with him at all now. It all shows a complete lack of respect for you as his wife. Long term relationships last I think because the couple do trust and respect each other as people in their own right.

PastysPrincess Wed 31-May-17 09:10:19

I've been with my DH 12 years, married for 9. We have both had to forgive many times over, I definitely think forgiveness is key to a happy marriage. However, there are basic things that should never be done in marriage; affairs/abuse are red lines. They are not things to put up with, they are things he swore on his marriage vows not to do to you.

PastysPrincess Wed 31-May-17 09:11:03

No one deserves to be treated like that whatever the relationship is.

jojo2916 Wed 31-May-17 09:14:08

Most of the time it's down to lowering standards because you don't want to split sad but true although I'm sure this is not the case in all very long term relationships just most of them.

TheSparrowhawk Wed 31-May-17 09:16:56

It always seems to be women who have to do the forgiving, doesn't it?

Basically it doesn't matter what other people do, you don't ever have to stay in any relationship. You can leave just because you feel like it, you don't need a reason. You certainly don't have to put up with cheating, abuse etc.

AnniesShop Wed 31-May-17 09:17:29

Being married 50 years is no marker of successful marriage just a mark of endurance imo. I was married for 50years and divorced after 50years and 6 months.
Everyone has a breaking point, I reached mine a bit later that's all is
the way I see it.

Happybunny19 Wed 31-May-17 13:45:10

I have been with DO for nearly 23 years and have no infidelity to forgive, I don't regard that as abnormal. I do however need to forgive him on a daily basis for leaving his dirty underwear on the bedroom floor, proving he's certainly not perfect.

Iminhiding Wed 31-May-17 13:56:43

Interesting thread.

I'm just about to split with my H of 14 years because he cheated.

It's good to hear what other people's baundaries are?

MissBax Wed 31-May-17 14:04:59

Hmmm it depends, if your OP is all the things that you've dealt with in one relationship then I'd say that's way too much.
I think ONE of those things happening ONCE can be forgiven, but continuous acts of things like that sound like his character and not a mistake.

WhooooAmI24601 Wed 31-May-17 14:07:08

I think it depends what you're having to forgive. DH is grand, a great Dad and a fab Husband. But he's made mistakes through our relationship, just as I have. Not affairs because I doubt either of us could forgive that, but he lent one of his business partners many, many thousands of pounds a few years back without telling me. The partner was always one of those I'd kept an eye on; I always got the feeling he wasn't 100% genuine but DH is an adult. A year after he'd loaned the money to him (and finally told me) his partner disappeared. That was a pretty awful time for us both; DH because he felt like he'd been kicked in the teeth by someone he trusted, and I was most cross that DH hadn't talked it through with me (because I'd have said exactly how I felt about the bloke and potentially saved us a huge amount of money).

Life moves on and you have to make a choice about what you are and aren't willing to let go. The money thing I let go - it didn't ruin us and DH made the wrong choice for the right reasons. But if someone genuinely makes you unhappy, scared or hurt, there's no need to forgive. It's good to have deal breakers because then you both know you're only there because you want to be.

I'd rather have ten years of happy marriage and end it courteously than a fifty year marriage filled with hurt, adultery and the sadness it brings.

TheSockGoblin Wed 31-May-17 14:20:31

I think it's unrealistic to expect any long term relationship to not have it's down times, and things which need working on and forgiving.

But that's a far cry from being treated like crap consistently and always being the one to dig deep and find the big heart and forgiveness.

Been through this recently, where it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgiven so many things, things which I would never have done to him, and all it had taught him to do was treat me like I'd take whatever shit he thew because 'You're so kind' and 'I didn't mean to.' hmm

I think compassion and kindness are intrinsically linked to forgiveness, and if you can't be kind and compassionate to yourself then really all you end up with is resentment and feeling taken advantage of.

Bubblebath01 Wed 31-May-17 20:58:52

For me and my DCs, it was not about the affair, that could be forgiven, and worked out. It was his running off with her, treating my DCs and myself with contempt, threatening all sorts of stuff, mainly financial. He believes I would feel better if I forgave him and we were friends. More like he would. Some things can be forgiven, but crossing the line, no. It's about boundaries and moral standards, setting an appropriate example. I am civil, I have no reason to forgive, I am moving forwards. From what you describe, he's a dickhead, but everything you describe is forgivable on its own. But there seems to be a pattern? I imagine you are having doubts as to what he might throw next? I wish I'd had insight 10 years ago or so. There was a pattern building, I just didn't see it. Financial control, hoarding, bullying, etc. Xxx

tadpole73 Wed 31-May-17 22:06:12

Thanks for your messages. He's not had an affair that I'm aware of, but caught him texting someone, but he never goes out or bank goes missing from the bank - hence why I've stayed. He has a temper and felt nothing about paying for a private lap dance on a Stag Night - because he's never done something like that before when young! But, it is one thing after another to get over. He openly looks at other women so I'm constantly feeling insecure by his actions.

springydaffs Wed 31-May-17 22:27:53

Yuk he sounds horrible!

His revolting behaviour is not within the normal bounds of forgiveness in a marriage, no. He's taking the piss.

You don't have to put up with that shit, no.

Moanyoldcow Wed 31-May-17 22:46:09

Fuck's sake! There are some properly nasty men around aren't there?

OP - forgiveness is normal for forgivable acts: forgetting you were supposed to be going out, coming home later than expected, buying you a rubbish present, forgetting to do the shopping etc.

Affairs, abuse, violence: no. Those are not 'normal' and you would be unwise to forgive them.

I'm no expert but I've been with husband for 12 years. We've probably had, AT MOST, 5 serious arguments where voices were raised. We routinely apologise for hurt feeling resulting from thoughtlessness unprompted.

But there are no breaches of trust and there shouldn't be. How would he be if you were texting another man? Understanding? I doubt it.

Ellisandra Wed 31-May-17 23:18:54

He's a proper nasty little shit isn't he? angry

There are things to forgive and things not to forgive.

Paying for a naked or semi naked woman to gyrate against your genitals is on the "unforgiveable" list.

What an arsehole.

BarnsligRav Thu 01-Jun-17 00:01:48

There's a hell of a lot of ground between "oh so perfect man" and "cheating abuser". People often say "it must be so nice to have a perfect husband who never does anything wrong" in defense of their poor husbands who are so stressed at work they have to go and pay a woman to rub her tits in his face, poor diddums. But it's not as black and white as that.

My DH isn't a cheat or an abuser. But he's not perfect either. Life isn't always a bed of roses, but we treat each other with love and respect. Most couples argue sometimes, some more than others. Some can genuinely forgive a flirtation, and the guilty party will go on to never do it again. But others will brush it under the carpet because they think that everyone cheats and lies, and they should just put up with it because it won't get any better.

SomeOtherFuckers Thu 01-Jun-17 00:03:32

I think it's all subjective - I've only been with my partner for 4 years and he has forgiven me some pretty awful things , and I would do the same in the future under certain circumstances. There is a line between being taken for a mug/ being used and believing that we are all human. We all have to figure out which one each situation is for ourselves x

neonfrog Thu 01-Jun-17 00:20:37

Not sure what forgiveness really means. Is it just a word that is used by people willing to let someone off the hook? Someone who backs down. Or does it mean yes it's ok to treat me badly? Can people really ever forgive? Is it just wishful thinking?

junebirthdaygirl Thu 01-Jun-17 07:22:18

Forgiveness is you letting go the anger and bitterness in your heart so they dont destroy you. But it doesnt have to mean staying with the person and putting up with horrible stuff. You can forgive ..let it go..but move on separately with your own life. You need to have a line somewbere where he has gone too have and it sounds like he has well crossed it.

junebirthdaygirl Thu 01-Jun-17 07:22:18

Forgiveness is you letting go the anger and bitterness in your heart so they dont destroy you. But it doesnt have to mean staying with the person and putting up with horrible stuff. You can forgive ..let it go..but move on separately with your own life. You need to have a line somewbere where he has gone too have and it sounds like he has well crossed it.

YoshimiPt2 Thu 01-Jun-17 09:51:06

OP, some bigger thing rocked my marriage, but actually I think it was the list of other things - pretty similar to yours - which make me sure we shouldn't be together. To me they all added up to just not being loved the way I wanted to be loved. It wasn't enough.

I imagine those things you have mentioned chip away steadily at your self esteem.

I think also when it happens bit by bit, constantly forgiving, it's easy to actually slip into a position where you have virtually no boundaries/lines.

ThomasRichard Thu 01-Jun-17 09:57:31

No, I'd say that the 'forgiveness' ideal has been warped and twisted to be another stick to beat women with. It took a few years for me to realise that the problem with my marriage was not my failure to forgive exH for the things he did, but that he did them in the first place.

Forgiveness in a long-term relationship is about working through disagreements together so that you can both reach a happier place. It's not about one person doing whatever the hell they want and the other person having to suck it up to avoid a fallout. That's abuse.

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