Posted by: Iggy | 2007/05/22

Finding Forgiveness in a Relationship

I hurt my wife terribly a few years ago and we are standing at the brink of divorce. We have a beautiful son that cannot be the victim of our stupidity and we need to move forward.

We need to achieve forgiveness for this to happen.

I have taken ownership of my mistake, and tried to deal with the implications of what was done but my wife is extremely reluctant to trust me and is in a relationship of sorts with another man.

What is needed for us to move forward?

How do I convince her to make the right decisions when she sees these decisions as being self destructive?

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like it is proving very difficult to achieve what you wish working entirely on your own --- why not see a marriage counsellor together and work, thus, together and with an expert advisor ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: MM | 2007/05/23

Hi Iggy

Yes I know that if I make the mistake, he will not be able to deal with it but I had to and must still deal with every single day of my life. I came very close recently to making that mistake but stopped myself just in time - so it seems I still have "something" left in me................

You are rigth the bitterness is eating me up alive and its the uncertainty thats driving me up the wall as well cause in all honesty I dont know if his still having contact with this girl or not.

I am glad that the conversations that you have had with your wife helped and I sincerely hope that you will eventually work things out. Trust me, you overly compensating and your persistence will work in the end, you just need to have patience. You are doing all the things that needs to be done so you will get there eventually cause remember actions speak louder than words.

I have tried to speak to my husband several times already and he manipulates the situations so that at the end of the day I get to look like the bad person and my children wants to know what my problem is. He told them that he being faithfull and that I have a problem - he doesnt want to leave but I want him to, etc. So you see what my dilemma is...............

I know two wrongs dont make a rigth but I need some kind of release and was thinking that if I am unfaithfull then I can replace the bitterness by guilt and in doing so I may be able to forgive him for what he has done..............

I really think I should go for counselling - but thanks anyway for your input and I hope things work out for you.

Reply to MM
Posted by: Iggy | 2007/05/22

Hey MM

You have the right to be angry, but please dont take that next step - will you really feel better about things in years to come - must he take away your self respect as well? If you make a moral mistake he will use it against you.

Its obviously not that simple and it certainly sounds like this man is being very unloving. In my research it seems that if you have strayed you need to overly compensate to renew the trust in the relationship - This clearly isnt happening in your case and the bitterness is corrupting you.

I am terrified of talking to my wife because of the potential for disaster and often take a few days to work myself up sufficiently to tackle her but every serious conversation we have had has borne some fruit. It sounds like you are not being taken seriously and that needs to change.

Can you speak to him and demand better?

Reply to Iggy
Posted by: Buzz | 2007/05/22

Like an open wound that becomes infected because it's not cleaned, stitched up and taken care of - the same way a relationship will become infected for as long as a third party is involved.

Iggy, you've made your mistakes and you're clearly remorseful about it (have you always been sorry, or is it only now that your wife has someone else?).

The bottom line is: for as long as there's a third party in a relationship, you can be Mr/Mrs Perfect - it still won't heal anything, it can only become more and more infected.

You need to give your wife an undertaking of your commitment, and you have the right to expect the same (i.e. NO third party), if she's not prepared to do it - you need to weigh up your options.

Reply to Buzz
Posted by: z | 2007/05/22

My bf cheated on me last year and I found out about it, we broke up for 2 months and got back together. He told me that he was changing but I still see woman sending him messages and him calling them. He sends the woman his picture and they send him theirs. So i cant trust him anymore. When I ask him why he doesnt take me places and he says that I should be patient, I told him that I have waited 2 years but when he met the other woman he took them out immediately. He got upset and told me that I talk too much and thats the reason why he screws around and take other people other, on the hand he tells me he loves me. Needless to say I have no respect for him and want nothing to do with him but I will never ever sleep with someone else to make it better. I can sleep with someone else to make my bf feel how he made me feel but I have this saying. SLEEPING WITH SOMEONE ELSE WILL SATISFY MY BODY BUT IT WONT SATISFY MY HEART. So I would rather just be alone and watch him on his path to self destruction, he keeps coming back for more chances but what he hasnt realised is that the chances have run out a long time ago and I've been hurt to many times. I forgave him but he used my good nature.

Reply to z
Posted by: MM | 2007/05/22

I suppose he should start doing all the things that I mentioned to you and doing things like to stop empting his inboxes/outboxes on his cell phone - cause that really pisses me off. One really has to be either still cheating to keep on making mental notes to delete all incoming and outgoing messages and calls from ones cell phone cause I know cant remember all the time. He does shuttle work cause he has a van so its convenient for him to slip away and do "trips" for the sake of enriching us financially and nobody has to question it........need I go on?

I still have feelings for him cause we have been married long - I mean I cant just wish it away but the fear of deception, betrayal and dissappointment is just so great at this stage I really dont know if I could handle another affair.

To a geat extent I suppose cause this man makes me feel good to the extent that I started gyming again and looking good. He says all the things that I need to hear and phones me everyday like twice to three times a day which my husband dont do even though I have spoken to him about it but he could phone the young girl he was cheating on me with every single day and speak for half an hour at a time.

At this moment - yes, I think I have earned that rigth by being the ideal wife and mother to our children, by adhering to every rule there is on being the faithfull and ideal partner that a man wants and what did I get for it = BETRAYAL!! You see what some people seem to forget is that two can play the same game and that was what stopped me from being unfaithfull cause I had several oppertunities and that encouraged me to be the perfect wife and partner.

You have to take full ownership and try and understand what she is doing and why she is doing it. You see when something like this happens, it makes you insecure as a woman and you start by analising the problem by starting with yourself. When I found out it made me think that I was unattractive, boring, etc. So in doing this you get confussed cause what seemed proper to to and moral may not be in your eyes but to other people so you start thinking that maybe if other men is interested in me it will make him more jealous and insecure and in that way maybe he will start giving me more attention and start questioning his moral and value system with regards to the actions he takes in everything he do..

I know its a mouthfull but this is all that goes thru my mind in everything and anything I do - its like I dont know myself anymore so I try and do everything that I considered immoral and hope that it makes a difference.

Reply to MM
Posted by: Foxy | 2007/05/22

Hi guys,
I have had the same situation where my boyfriend cheated on me and I have learnt about it. I love him to bits and he is willing to do anything to make it better again. It is taking time cos I must learn to forgive him and trust him again. But PLEASE don't do something like also having a fling cos ur other half did it ? What is the point of it ? Two wrongs don't make a right !! Rather try and fix things with the person u love. You will become much closer and things will be better. DON'T DON'T have a fling ... it only causes more pain and hurt. Try to make it better and NOT worse

Reply to Foxy
Posted by: Iggy | 2007/05/22

Your words, MM, are both terrifying and hopeful. Thank you for your insight.

You speak of issues of trust - what would your husband have to do to earn the right for the possibility of trust?

If he did everything perfectly, would you take him back?

To what extent is your new relationship a reaction to your pain?

Do you feel that you have a right to behave innappropriately because you have been an innocent victim? (I ask this with respect since I dont know you but I desperately want an answer)

I would describe my wife as a moral woman whose pain has made her make immoral decisions. What ownership do I take of her decisions coming as they do from my mistake?

I'd love to hear further

Reply to Iggy
Posted by: MM | 2007/05/22

Iggy I found out that my husband was cheating on me a few months ago and to me the hurst was indescribable and still is. My husband has also asked for forgiveness and really I want to forgive him but the deception, hurt and humilation is just too much to handle. I am struggling each and every by the little things that I see and hear that reminds me of it.

Trust with me is a big issue at the moment . I do not trust and respect my husband at this point in time even though he says he is being honest. The thing is he doesnt show that he is remorsefull. Its like I am in this defiant and self-destruct mode and its like I am going against everything that I once believed to be true and the thing is I dont even feel guitly about it......

By this I mean. I am also in some kind of relationship with an old flame (whom is married also) whom I contacted and know that it is wrong but just cannot seem to stop myself. We are at the point where we are talking of sleeping together. At times I feel guilty but when I think of what my husband did, I get the courage to at least think about it. I have to daugthers and know that I should be a role model to them and I think I still love my husband.

I guess what I am trying to say is if you are sure that she still loves you, you should really earn her trust, respect and forgiveness back through your actions, cause words means nothing at this point in time. Just be patient and give her time - you need to assure her again that she means the world to you. The fact that your hurt your wife a few years back and are still together tells me that she still wants to be with you but may just not be handling the matter as well as she think she can/could. Believe me some days you feel fine but other days it just hit you hard in the face and you relive all that emotions and pain all over again....................

Reply to MM

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