About Forgiveness...

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by phuck-porn!, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. phuck-porn!

    phuck-porn! Fapstronaut

    I'm a bit of an unusual PA in that in my relationship i'm the one primarily suffering with hurt from my spouse. I spent several decades feeling unimportant to my wife, especially sexually, where she just had little interest. i was too immature to deal with it directly, so i stuffed it and build a huge reservoir of resentment. to move on i need to be able to forgive that behavior. so...

    i've been thinking a lot about forgiveness... especially in a relationship.
    it's a much harder topic to understand than i first thought... here's my random streams of consciousness, would love input, crtique and other's experiences

    What forgiveness cannot be:
    • just forgetting the offense ever happened
    • or going on as if it never happened

    the goal of forgiveness
    • to heal a realationship after some offense, such that the offense isn't what drives all the realtionship dynamics
    • to reach a place where the thoughts of the offense aren't in the top 10 list of "items about the other person"
    • to not continue to hurt from the offense
    • if a continued intimate relationship is desired, then a goal of forgiveness is to enable the ofended person to feel safe that the offense won't occur again

    prerequisites to forgiveness (maybe these are only required to maintain an intimate relationship?)
    • acknowledgement from the offender of the offense
    • an attitude of "I screwed up, i'm sorry" from the offender
    • a genuine demonstration of change by the offender
    • offended party being willing to forgive - sometimes i just want to be and stay mad

    how forgiveness is carried out (when a future intimate relationship is desired)
    • at some point the offended person has to be willing to say "xyz happened. it hurt me a lot. if it happens again i will be hurt a lot again. i feel safe enough to take that risk"
    • the offended person has to be willing to give up the desire to be mad
    • the offender has to be willing to care for the wound caused in the offended person. it is real - but like any wound, if cared for it should heal

    if the wound doesn't heal then:
    • 1) the pre-requites weren't met
    • 2) the offended doesn't yet feel safe
    • 3) the wound is enmeshed with other, possibly unrelated, wounds in the offended person

    so i wonder - if my wife has made real apologies, and real progress were being made to correct the earlier problems- then at some point it seems I just need to decide to quit making the wound such a big deal. to decide to not stuff it, or act like it never happened, but to move up a level and being smarter now, sorta try again with no malice.

    it may be that the recurring OCD-like obsession with the offense is an unhealthy coping mechanism i need to jettison.

    so while this is obviously all about me - i think the topic applies pretty widely here on NF

  2. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

    I don't mean to minimize this, as I'm sure it hurt you to feel rejected for so long. But what proof do you have that you are suffering/have suffered more than your wife? Has she told you directly that she doesn't feel hurt?

    Your answer to this question would influence my response to the questions in your post.
  3. phuck-porn!

    phuck-porn! Fapstronaut

    she has obviously been hurt too - although only recently though has she admitted to that. prior to that she was mad, i was hurt. I have no desire to figure out "who was hurt more" - I'm only wrestling with my part, the only part i can control: i.e. how I forgive - because I'm finding it hard to do.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
    Archangel 77 and Kenzi like this.
  4. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

    It matters because dealing with a wife who is deeply hurt herself, versus one who may not be bothered a bit about his PA, are two very different situations. Her feelings about the relationship, and their levels of empathy towards each other, are important variables if @phuck-porn! is hoping to heal their marriage.

    I think I will step out of this thread now as it appears that my motives are in question.

    @phuck-porn!, I apologize if I offended you. Best of luck to you in your recovery.
  5. phuck-porn!

    phuck-porn! Fapstronaut

    no offense at all!!! Please feel free to comment. I am honestly trying to figure out how to forgive and move on. I have so much resentment, and I'd like to have it be just a bad memory. And have my relationship (as far as it's in my control) be about now... Not what happened yrs ago.

    I believe many SOs are in a similar spot- so I thought exploring forgiveness might benefit a lot more than just me.
    Archangel 77 and Jennica like this.
  6. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    Ok , for ME , the ONLY way I could move on after DDAY 2 was to “lean in “ this took a week or so . By leaning in TO him I was able to forgive . Ofcourse I’m still hurt , angry, sad . It’s not everyday , it cycles . I think it’s normal the poster above to just look at what the PA has done . Like my first thought was , if you were unhappy with your marriage of no sex /connection, you should have left not turned it into a full PA , I feel the same exact way about physical affairs . Just leave and save the spouse the grief . You made a choice to stay . Whereas your wife maybe doesn’t have a choice in how she is ? I’m sure you must have been VERY lonely . Human connection and physical touch simply can not be replaced by pixels . That ofcourse as an SO was wanting to compare . I think if you REALLY want a happy fulfilling relationship with your wife , start to forgive little pieces at a time . Even with forgiveness, I still am resentful of the things that were done in our marriage. I just saw somewhere “ you don’t have to eat the big elephant in the room all at once , start with the tail “ lol
    Trappist and phuck-porn! like this.
  7. Jessie Bates

    Jessie Bates New Fapstronaut

    25 years ago, I married a badly abused girl. A world of pain set in. Today I’m in PA. I wasn’t to porn user when I married. Just to circle back, can anybody conclusively say that the issues and pain I’ve been through in the past 25 years have a link to being a PA. It’s forgiveness in a situation like this the first step to breaking PA.
  8. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    My five-year-old godson was upset and crying because he dropped his candy on the ground at the zoo.
    I tried to cheer him up by fussing over the animals and trying to get him excited.
    He got mad at me and said "I have to finish crying first" (I swear, it didn't sound that intelligent in our language..doesn't translate well)
    I was like: "oh ...right"

    The lesson learned: You have to cry as long as you don't want to cry anymore and then you're ready to look at the animals.

    I think you can apply this wisdom to forgiveness as well.
  9. Archangel 77

    Archangel 77 Fapstronaut

    What is your Higher Power? I was born and raised Catholic, and even though I went through a period of aethiesm, I’ve always had my faith in some way. Even if that faith was a memory that I was trying to deny at that time in my life. It’s impossible for my to think about forgiveness without leaning on my faith and God.

    However, one of the many things that I like and respect about AA and ACOA is that someone’s higher power can be anything, as long as it’s outside of themselves.

    To that point, who, or what, are you asking for help to help you forgive? I cannot forgive myself, let alone someone else without my higher power. I need to recognize, and continually be reminded, that forgiveness is something that connects us. Someone, many people, and especially God, have forgiven me over the years, when I remember that, then I am able to let go, and forgive others.

    Not forgiving is also related to my ego and control, or self-will over God’s will. I need to surrender what I think is right, and trust that my higher power (God) is looking out for not only me, but for all of us.

    If I can tap into this great well of compassion, forgiveness is natural and it’s as easy as loving my 3 1/2 year old daughter when she’s having a melt down. When I hold onto my hurt and others wrongs toward me, or worry that my 3 1/2 year old is “embarrassing me”, then the consequences are sad, and I miss out on so much more.

    I hope this make sense, it’s a bit of a ramble.
  10. Archangel 77

    Archangel 77 Fapstronaut

    Grieve first, and return to gratitude when ready.

    The shortest sentence in the Bible: “Jesus wept.”

    Sadness and suffering are real in this life, denying that in ourselves, and others, prevents us from learning and growing in all the ways that we’re meant to.

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