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Am I wrong b/c I can't forgive?

Old 08-18-2007, 04:09 PM
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Am I wrong b/c I can't forgive?

My RAH has been sober 94 days. During his sober time, he was still a cheating lieing jerk. Now, he says through his recovery, he sees that was all wrong. He wants to reconcile. He has called off any and all of the girls he was seeing. He says he is hopelessly devoted to me. He spends most of his time here with the family being with the kids, raking the yard...buys me flowers and does nice things. I can't help but feel it is a little too late.

Some of my friends who are in AA have told me that he is doing so well and really changing. They said, "I really think you guys can work through this and be a family" and I couldn't help but feel like they meant I should. I hear a lot about forgiveness is alanon and I know I should for my own sake.

But I don't know that I can...last night, I agreed to accompany him to his gig. There were all these people he plays with and their girlfriends who have seen him with all these different girls, his friends who were told to cover for him when he was cheating...I felt like the biggest idiot in the world. He sang this country song about a guy who is married and cheating and how he really wants to be with the other girl...I know it was just a cover song on the set list but it bit into me so hard I started crying right there at the bar and got up and left. Why do I care what those people think of me and why do I give it power? I couldn't help but think about how they know and what a pathetic loser I must seem to them, such a victim, such a doormat. How could I respect myself and still be with him after everything he has done?

How can I ever forget what he has done? How can I forgive this man, even if he has finally made a committment to not being that person? I know lying and cheating were symptoms of and part of his addict behavior and it took awhile to learn how to overcome that even being sober but so f-what? He did it. And for months he has begged me to take him back meanwhile seeing other women.

It is so hurtful. He does finally seem to be the man I married or thought I married trying so hard to work his program and be a good father and man and husband. But SO much damage is done....am I living in the past? How can I not????
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:29 PM
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Forgiveness isn't for him, it's for you

If you can work through your feelings, forgiveness isn't for his healing - it's for yours.

"I couldn't help but think about how they know and what a pathetic loser I must seem to them, such a victim, such a doormat. How could I respect myself and still be with him after everything he has done?"


From your comment, I wonder if you should work on forgiving yourself? You don't call him a pathetic loser (which is probably what all of those people are thinking). You turned those words onto yourself. The fact that he cheated, says nothing about you. I bet they think that you have a lot of strength and grace!

Be gentle with yourself.
(((HUGS)))
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:11 PM
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Since I have been on my journey to recovery, I have read and heard many things to explain forgiveness.......this one little article explained it better (at least to me) than anything else.......

_ Forgiveness

That forgiveness is not the ACCEPTANCE of bad behavior from another person nor is it PERMISSION for that behavior to occur again. Forgiveness is a COURAGEOUS ACT in that you have enough LOVE for YOURSELF and others not to carry the burden of hatred in your heart as well as a courageous act of not allowing yourself to be "victimized". Forgiveness should help you BREAK the CYCLE of pain you're living with and should afford you the strength to leave your hostile environment with a clear heart and conscience. That is, in your mind you should know "Yes, I forgive you. My HP has taught me this. However, I won't be a victim; I won't allow you to keep hurting me because I have to love myself above all."


Do what you are comfortable with for yourself......

Peace and
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:12 PM
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Sit back and observe, see where he is in a year from today. I wouldn't get to invloved right now. After a cooling off period, forgiveness may come.

To me, it's way too soon to forget the past, we codies seem to want to jump back in feet first at the slightest glimmer of hope. It always bites us in the arse.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:35 PM
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Cheating is a HUGE violation. HUGE. Healing from this takes time and that time is not ours to schedule and not any one else's to schedule either.

Forgiveness isn't the magnanimous thing we are taught to believe where we forgive the other person at the expense of outselves. That is not our job. That is the job of our HP.

What we can do is forgive ourselves and then let our HP take care of the transgressions. Forgiveness isn't forget-ness! Forgiveness is letting it go so we can go on and live. Forgetting is not part of that deal. Remembering without feeling devestated is.

You are not ready to do that. You are hurt and you are angry and you own those feelings. When you believe those feelings are no longer serving you a purpose, you will be ready to let them go (they are very protective feelings which you may need right now).

My XABF is out of my life now for months and I am not to forgiveness YET. I am closer but not there.

This is going to take time. A year is good tho it may take longer. Sometimes people divorce and later remarry.. and that is the result of needing time to heal from the wounds.

You are still in such early stages.

Yes. Your RAH seems to have changed, but as much as you have been hurt you are not ready to trust again. That is OK. Trust comes on its own schedule. I know because I am not ready to trust again and XABF has been gone a lot longer than your RAH has been in recovery.

BTW you need to work on that idea of YOU being the loser. Nope... HE is the loser in this. YOU are NOT a LOSER and anyone who thinks you are is an IDIOT.

I know that is hard.. as much as we give them they had to cheat and so we look at ourselves and say, "What have those women got that I don't have" and the whole self deprecation thing sets in. I know. Most of the time I am fine but when I get over tired and stressed and want some comfort the old negative codie crap kicks in and I think this. I think no one would possibly want me.. after all my X cheated on me and I was really nice and good to him. I get thinking I am nto good enough and NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. That is Codie thinking!

The reality is that the person who cheats is so insecure.. so immature.. that they need validation that they are attractive and capable of being loved. So they cheat to prove their gender strength (manliness or womanliness!) and to give their ego a boost. If they were real people with full hearts they would not NEED to cheat to validate themselves.

They also would not need drugs to feel good about life.

So, cheating has nothing to do with the person being cheated on. It has everything to do with the cheater..

but it is hard to remember that sometimes.

Be good to yourself and don't rush what is going to take its own time to happen. Go to meetings and work on your recovery and let time heal you and let him do what he is doing.

((((Booklover))))
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:40 PM
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((Book)) It's not wrong. You aren't ready to forgive. And that is perfectly OK. You do for you what you feel comfortable doing, when you feel comfortable with it. Betrayel from a spouse in it's self is a very hard thing to overcome, even without the addiction issue.

All my friends, all my ex husbands family, everyone around me knew about his cheating. No one ever said a word. So when I was face to face with them after it all hit the fan, I had a whole lot of emotions. For some reason I felt ashamed. Then the more I thought about it, I got so angry at those people who knew. Not one of them was my friend, not one cared for me at all. I felt total disgust with just being in their presence. They were no better than he was in my eyes.

I joined a forum called the healing heart. It helped me deal with the cheating part. It was a lifesaver, and helped me understand that aspect of everything that I was feeling. For about a year after the total split, I lived on this forum and the other one. Even without the drugs, cheaters are like addicts, they have certain things that they all say and do.

My heart goes out to you. Love and Prayers
B
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:42 PM
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Maybe the past has soaked your head a little but, I can't really blame you for not feeling forgiveness just because he has 94 days clean....I am not impressed either.

Maybe put more focus on yourself and your healing and then you can feel this forgiveness. Maybe it would not be healthy for you right now to hand out forgiveness to him. Yea forgiveness is for you too but how long did he drag you around before he got clean?

I think it is okay to feel somewhat protective of your feelings. He is the one who needs to do a lot of kissing up or making amends.

Also I wonder if you have talked about how you feel to your H? Betrayal is hard to over come. Does he get mad if you talk to him about your feelings? IMO lying and cheating are not necessarily a part of active addiction but a lot of addicts lie and cheat not because it is part of the deal but because they feel like they are entitled to do what ever they want to do no matter who it hurts.

Being a musician myself I do see a lot of people approaching the band. I know many people who will cheat and many who would never dream of doing that to the relationship they cherish no matter how interesting or good looking the person is who is doing the enticing. The choice to cheat has nothing to do with how high someone is...
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:03 PM
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I don't blame you one bit for feeling the way you do. There is never, ever, an excuse to cheat. Too many people use addiction as an excuse to do whatever they want... or to allow the addict to do whatever they want. Sure, they may be sick, but they are still ultimately responsible for their actions. After all, you can't go into court and say, "your honor, I know this is the tenth time we've been here for as's forging checks, stealing, etc, but just remember she's sick..." and expect the judge to shrug his shoulders, give her a hug, and let her off scott free. No, I still think there's a line that should not be crossed, and he totally crossed it. And lightquest is right... I'm positive those people that knew the situation were in shock from what a scumbag he is (or was being), and if thinking about you at all, were only in awe of your character and strength for making it through this mess.

But, let me ask you this: do you want to be able to work things out? I mean, is it more of a case where you want to work through it, and your anger won't let you, or are you officially at the point of no return?

If there is any fiber in your being that wants things to work out, then I agree with Splendra that maybe you should try to talk to him about it, maybe even go to couple's therapy, and see where things go.

On the other hand, if you have nothing left for him at all, there is nothing wrong with telling him that. Part of your recovery here has got to be putting yourself and your children first, no matter what that means doing.

And please, don't feel like you need to make such a heavy decision tonight. Rushing your actions, one way or the other, may make the outcome even worse. Be fair with yourself, you deserve no less than that.

This is all just my two cents. Take what you like, and of course, leave the rest. Hope there was something of use in my rambling.

*hugs and prayers*
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:02 PM
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I have to agree with Elana. Cheating is the one thing a spouse can do that changes everything forever. Once someone cheats on you, you never quite feel the same about them. It takes time to heal from that. It takes tremendous strength to forgive them. But forgive we must because if we don't we are harboring resentment that rots our life away.

Forgiving does not mean you have to take it any more either. It's just that you no longer hold them accountable for that crime. You move on to the next step in your life what ever that may be, and have peace about yourself and who you are.

You don't need any of his friends stamp of approval. You only need your own! So, stamp yourself APPROVED!!
Take care.
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:13 PM
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I think you should consider forgiving him after he has maintained his sobriety, his faithfulness, and his new-found devotion for at least two years.

You reconciled before, with his promises that he would finally be an honorable and clean person. He has fooled around on you many times, not just while in recovery. He has told you enough lies to populate the New York City phone book, effortlessly. That's why the people in his circle might look askance at you -- they want to know who this woman is that doesn't seem to mind that her husband's flirting with a different girl every night, taking somebody different home. That's why you're in the situation you're in now, and I say that with love, Book, you know I do: he has treated you with a staggering, Jerry Springer quantity of disrespect, and you're considering buying it when he all of a sudden springs the oldest trick in the drug and sex addict's book: "Look honey, don't you want me back, I've been clean for 90 whole days and I haven't had sex with a 15-year-old in at least a month!!"

Been there, done that.

I agree too with Frankly. Out of all of the people in "our" circle of friends when my X was cheating and flirting and god-knows-what, only one of them was a true friend. He -- HE -- was the one who decided that he & his wife didn't want to be friends any more with someone who would treat me the way my X did. We had a beer together once, this guy and I, and he told me "You are such a good person through and through, girl. If he treated YOU like this, well, sh*t, we just don't have any interest in hanging around with such a nasty skank."

That conversation was a huge part of my recovery. I went home, and cried, and then started getting better.

I'm sorry to sound so negative, but I just don't see that flowers and quacking in order to make up for his YEARS of terrible behavior were what the pastor meant when he said "love, honor, and respect". They are the desperate acts of a man who wants his comfortable home back and knows how to manipulate you. The only thing that will show you if he means what he says is time. Are you able and willing to bide your time?

All up to you. You'll make the decision you feel is right...just hoping that your suffering is finally over. You deserve a life that's so much more than just the scraps he and his family throw you.

Hugs to you, ((((booklover)))
GL
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:08 PM
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you do not have to jump in this with him.he has not been clean long enough to even think he may not relapse. give him some time, lots of time to work his recovery. maybe by that time you can forgive him.maybe he will become the man you loved. right now he is still the shell. do things you want to do,things just for you & don't worry about what he has done or what he may do.if he really wants you he will wait.how many nites did you u wait for him when he was out getting high,lying & cheating? keep taking care of you.hugs,hope
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:44 PM
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I can really feel your pain-My now ex-AH was cheating & using & stopped using & still talking to her. The pain of hurt & lies was so great-I just couldn't get over it. It felt like it would never go away. He was clean almost 1 year & we made the final separation. It was best for my sanity-I couldn't even think of forgiving back then. It wasn't until we were 6 months apart that I found peace, serenity & forgiveness came much easier. Take it slow, take your time, don't make any quick decisions. Healing from cheating takes time, patience & alot of love from him to see you through it. Know in your heart that you are not the loser.
Prayers & hugs that you find peace & serenity in your life.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:37 AM
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Sweetie, you are not wrong! Amen and ditto to all Elana posted. Forgiveness comes in time and for now please
realize lying and cheating are not necessarily part of addiction. Splendra said it well and honestly. You've been deeply harmed by his betrayals and just because he has 94 days sober, you are by no means obliged in any way to forgive. I'm an oldtimer Alanoner. In my experience working with newbies, I've always encouraged them to work through their feelings and assure them
that forgiveness evolves as healing takes place. Healing is a long term process as is recovery.

Many addicts in early recovery ( anything under a solid year is very early!) suddenly
want those they've harmed to just "get over it". That's just more addict stinkin thinkin ( instant gratification)...as in See how good I'm being, I'm not using. Not using has nothing to do with harm inflicted.

You have every right to your feelings and to express them in a safe place here as well as meetings or with a therapist. When trust is broken, it's a deal breaker
in any relationship. Take care of you...I suggest you attend lots of meetings and see a therapist to help you
with the fallout of what this man has put you through. You deserve love, respect, encouragement and support. We are here for you (((( Booklover ))))

You are not the loser. He is.

Last edited by frankie_b; 08-21-2007 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:28 AM
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What Forgiveness is Not....

I just found this when I was cleaning out a drawer. Now it's sitting on my bedside table. Thought you might like it:

What Forgiveness in NOT....
Forgetting - Some things should not be forgotten...they are lessons meant to be learned and integrated into our more wholly functioning being.
Denying - In order to heal, we must accept and acknowledge what happened, that hurt it caused and its impact on our choices.
Excusing - Understanding how or why someone took the action they did does not excuse them from the results of their actions. Forgiveness does not stop the wheel of justice.
Not for the other person - Make overtures that look like forgiveness in order to "help" the other person, including volunteering forgiveness to someone who has not indicated a desire for it, is not forgiveness.
Not About Changing the Other Person - similar to the above...if we think the other person will finally do what we want them to, it is an attempt to control and not forgiveness.
Reconciliation - You may or may not be able to have a relationship with a person you need to forgive. It is certainly not required.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:51 PM
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Dittos to all of the above.

Forgiveness takes trust; in both yourself and your addict. And trust takes a very long time to mend after it is trashed. Give yourself time; explain to him in the most compassionate way you can that it is the "behavior" and the trust that was destroyed that has caused this problem. His new behavior and the rebuilding of trust is the only thing that can lead to forgiveness; and for that, the ball is definitely in his court.

It takes time and action, not just words.

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Old 08-23-2007, 07:25 AM
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MY RAH cheated on my with someone for 2 years. I knew so much about it and he would tell me so many lies it would make my head spin. He hasn't used in about 7 months, he tells me he doesn't talk to her, and we have made a huge move out of state.

But today I sit here and think he is cheating again. Something just doesn't seem right - he tells me I am nuts and crazy. And that I am making him pay for his mistakes of the past. Just when I started to relax a little and think things will be OK this all started.

He gets mad at me if I ask him questions or try and talk to him about how I feel. I honestly can't go thru what I did in the past. He will call me a "loser", and words hurt so bad to me and I let it get to me. I know deep down I'm not, but it still hurts.

I also use to think people thought I was nuts for staying with him or even making this move. I question it now.

I wish you all the best, take you time and do what you want to do.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:33 AM
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For me, I was able to forgive my exah for all the damage when I finally realized that forgiving him does not equal trusting him or allowing him access to my heart.

Someone once said to me that I hadn't really forgiven him unless I 'forgot' about everything he had done and reconciled with him. I used to buy into that way of thinking completely. I thought it was what I was supposed to do as a Christian. I did it over and over again until I almost lost my self completely.

Then God taught me that he expects me to forgive-for my own sake-but also to REMEMBER things in order not to make the same choices in the future. HUGE difference!

Forgiveness is not really about him anyway, it is about me and not allowing bitterness and anger to destroy my life anymore. Of course exah doesn't see it that way and is drowning in his own bitterness and anger because I won't allow him in my life.

Oh well.....

Tke your time and do what you feel is right. Don't let well-meaning friends push you into something you are not ready for. If your rah is truly in recovery, he will be the first to understand your feelings and not pressure you.

((((hugs))))
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:17 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your posts. I have read each of them so many times. I have read them every night and then I meditate on what is in my heart. I forgave my father for an unimaginable act...it took years but I did. I am still in his life and love him. I know I can forgive...but I did spend a lot of years pissed off and not ready to forgive my father too. I think I may need a lot of time...hard to forgive my RAH for his trangressions when he keeps lying and adding to the list too!

My RAH told me he was going out on the road for 15 days with this band he has been playing with. These are the people he did his drugs with and had cover for him when he cheated...it was with these people that he met and hung out with one of his "girlfriends". I told him that I don't trust him now and that I am working on learning to forgive him and trust him but that it is a process of time. I told him that him leaving now to go on the road with them is something I shouldn't be expected to deal with yet and that if he goes it will change everything for me.

I didn't want to make an ultimatum (b/c I wanted him to do the right thing on his own) so I was vague but I think I will----a chance to reconcile with me or do play music with them, what is more important? You will get what you ask for and settle for what you accept...so I should be willing to stand up for what I think I deserve and nothing less. (He won't make that much money so it isn't a financial issue though he tries to use that as an excuse to go).

I doubted myself for a moment, asking myself ,is this codie crazy controllling behavior? But my heart said no. It is reasonable to ask this of him. If he is really ready to dedicate himself to me as he says he is, then let him put his cards on the table.

My grandma told me "if a man ain't willing to walk 2 miles just to bring you a candybar, then you don't need him"...this story is sweet when you consider how poor my grandpa was who was buying that candybar and taking it to her miles away because no one had a car. She had something there...If a man isn't willing to show up for me when I need him to the most...then he isn't worth keeping around, especially when he didn't deserve this last chance anyway.

Thanks...just my thoughts tonight.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by booklover View Post
"if a man ain't willing to walk 2 miles just to bring you a candybar, then you don't need him".
I think I might just cry now.

Good for you, book. You listen to your heart, now.

GL
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:48 AM
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Some decisions take strength. You have that strength. Hold on to it. You are worth it.

Ask for what you want. If you do not get what you want you can make decisions and choices that are good for you and that you can live with.

Decisions and choices you make one day may be different than the decisions and choices you would make any other day. they are all good as long as they are part of taking care of you.

And, BTW, I am going write what your Grandma said in my heart and remember it for any future day when I might need it!
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