Forgiving the Unforgivable - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Forgiving the Unforgivable

a book by Beverly Flanigan. Has anybody read it? I am almost done with it. It is a pretty interesting read.


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2016, 09:31 AM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

There are several books with that same title, by different authors. Our first MC loaned me two of them. But to be honest, in the almost 5 years since then, I've forgotten which authors I read. The two I read dealt with different strategies for recovering from betrayals by loved ones, as I assume they all do. I found them comforting and somewhat helpful. The differing perspectives on what forgiveness is and how to implement it were interesting to me.

I found, though, that I had to find my own way to, and my own definition of, forgiveness. Mine is mostly based upon a state of apathy. I don't worry about my ex-husband or what he's up to. I'm no longer angry with him. I don't wish him ill. But I don't like him much and I don't trust him at all. I approach him with a huge amount of emotional detachment. He occupies a place in my life similar to the unpleasant co-worker that you're civil to for everyone's sake, but would never have a drink with after hours. Some people strive for a different form of forgiveness, or it means something different to them. My way works for me, but I'm sure it wouldn't for everyone.

You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view. - Obi Wan Kenobi
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 07:07 AM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

I really hate the term forgiveness in these situations. Forgiveness has an element of "what you did is ok" and I can live with you in my life. If you can't live with that person in your life its hard to actually see how you forgave anything.

I prefer MEH, or at least that's what I'm striving for. Its a bit hard to separate the unforgivable acts he committed in our marriage, with some of the unforgivable acts the ex has committed since the divorce, so my state of MEH seems to evolve. I can say I don't hate him, at least not any longer. The ex has lost the right to my emotions. He is like he UPS driver who leaves a package in the driveway in the rain when I have a covered porch. I am annoyed at his selfish behavior. Then I go inside, pour myself a glass of wine, and remove the thought of him from the rest of my day.

In youth it was a way I had, to do my best to please, And change, with every passing lad to suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know, and do the things I do; And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you! --Dorothy Parker
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 07:37 AM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

The ability to forgive is truly human; to be able to simultaneously forgive and to forget is simply a Godly characteristic which should always be strived for!

But in my human frailty, I can certainly offer outright forgiveness without equivocation; but unlike the Heavenly Father, I just don't seem to be able to simply forget, for the sheer fear of having the hurtful deception happen to me all over again!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 08:21 AM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

I feel the same as Rowan. To me forgiveness isn't about the other person it's about how I want to direct my time and energy and my XWW isn't worth holding onto bitter feelings for. If I couldn't forgive her than I would be imparting value/time/energy to her that she isn't deserving of. I wish her well (I do not particularly like or trust her) but she is out of the bubble of my life other than for things with the kids and that's how I like it. Honestly, though I am not perfect and there are still occasional times that I see her failing in life and get a slight pleasant feeling when I see the karma bus heading her way, but hopefully I can someday better myself of that characteristic.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 09:38 AM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

I am choosing to try to forgive my wife. It is very difficult as she, on seven separate occasions, was caught meeting him and I offered forgiveness. This was when I thought she was having an emotional affair.

Now that I know it was a full physical affair, the blameshifting and gaslighting that was done is, perhaps, beyond my ability to forgive. She used my good and forgiving nature to take the affair deeper underground and to indulge her adulterous ways for just a little longer. She spent my gift of reconciliation for another round of sex over and over again.

Perhaps I can forgive over time. Perhaps there are varying level of forgiveness, like I "mostly forgive you".

But to have one's evil actions "blotted out" like God can do as said in the bible? No, I cannot ever blot it out. To do so requires a divine nature. I, being a mere mortal, and a fairly mediocre one at that, cannot.

No, the best I can do is to work it out of my system as best I can, treat her with respect as best I can, love her as I do myself as best I can, and to pray that God grant me the ability to extend grace and forgiveness.

That's the best I can do for now.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 10:28 AM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

i have a VERY hard time with forgiveness from a biblical perspective. there are many instances in the bible that go against forgiveness.

"eye for an eye" that isn't forgiveness.

God causing a flood that destroys all life on earth because of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah? where is the understanding and forgiveness there?

and yet we are told we are not "divine" enough (smart enough) to understand God's purposes....even though we are told we "are made in our fathers image".

God killed every first born male in Egypt for the slavery of the jews....why not just kill the Pharaoh?

I know we are too dumb to understand Gods intentions.

So i don't see a lot of forgiveness and understanding from a religious perspective. as for a human perspective, for me....the only way i can see to forgive....is to go on to something better in life....and then actually be relieved the person who hurt you so deeply is out of your life. That isn't true forgiveness, rather strategy to look back and not be bothered by what happened.

screw forgiveness. let that person wallow in their misery, the karma bus will strike, go on to bigger and better things, and when you look back the only regret should be why did i put up with them for so long???
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

Forgiveness is described in the book as letting go of the hold the other had over you and moving forward. it is about recognizing that the other, despite whatever we may feel otherwise, was actually acting in what they considered to be their own best interests. It is recognizing that regardless of what we think or how we feel, in the end, the other person is only a human being. A human being with all weaknesses and flaws that come from being a human being. Regardless of what we may have thought or what we may have imagined, we were the ones who held the expectations of perfection or near perfection. Forgiveness is more about us, than it is about the other.
It is not about forgiving the other for whatever terrible things that they did, but about recognizing that their failure is more about our perception of it. We become aware that we have total power over how our lives play out from this point forward. We forgive them for being human, we recognize their flaws and we recognize how much better off we are not having to try to live with those flaws for the rest of our lives.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 12:09 PM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

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Originally Posted by NewPhoenix5 View Post
I am choosing to try to forgive my wife. It is very difficult as she, on seven separate occasions, was caught meeting him and I offered forgiveness. This was when I thought she was having an emotional affair.

Now that I know it was a full physical affair, the blameshifting and gaslighting that was done is, perhaps, beyond my ability to forgive. She used my good and forgiving nature to take the affair deeper underground and to indulge her adulterous ways for just a little longer. She spent my gift of reconciliation for another round of sex over and over again.

Perhaps I can forgive over time. Perhaps there are varying level of forgiveness, like I "mostly forgive you".

But to have one's evil actions "blotted out" like God can do as said in the bible? No, I cannot ever blot it out. To do so requires a divine nature. I, being a mere mortal, and a fairly mediocre one at that, cannot.

No, the best I can do is to work it out of my system as best I can, treat her with respect as best I can, love her as I do myself as best I can, and to pray that God grant me the ability to extend grace and forgiveness.

That's the best I can do for now.
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I feel much like you do…same level of disrespect and very similar circumstances except…

I divorced XWW's cheating, lying ass 3 years ago. I am still not anywhere near the point where I can forgive her. Currently, I choose to not think about her or everything that she did. Do I wish her well? No. I don't wish her anything. However, I would really enjoy watching the Karma bus running her ass down. I have had a few friends and relatives preach to me about forgiveness and how it’s supposed to benefit me but, if her betrayal doesn’t occupy my mind anymore, why bother.

I’m also a firm believer in giving forgiveness only for the repentant or remorseful. I won’t hand out forgiveness like its cheap Halloween candy. That would make forgiveness basically worthless.

I’m not a bible thumper but here it is…

The Bible says that we are to forgive as God forgave us (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). God forgives us when we repent (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3,5, Acts 3:19). He does not grant forgiveness to those of us who refuse to repent.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Apparently, we must recognize our sin and repent to receive and enjoy God’s merciful forgiveness. If God requires repentance…I will too. I am not greater than God.

My XWW has shown No remorse for what she did to our marriage, family, children, or me. Under these circumstances, forgiveness from me just "aint gonna happen" anytime soon. Maybe someday, when I’ve regained all that she took from me (emotionally/financially), or enough time has passed and my memory has dulled or not functioning, or she somehow finds remorse within her, I could forgive. But I’m not going to waste any time or energy on it now.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 11:50 PM
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Re: Forgiving the Unforgivable

To me forgiveness has to come from a place of repentance of the offender. So unless the WS is truely remorseful and asks forgiveness then none can be given in my opinion.

Now moving on is within my power. That's something I control to not let the events of the past control my present or my future.

So at the end of the day I have moved on from what my X wife did. I am a better place and moving on with my life. But forgive her for what she did to me and our kids....nope. She was wrong and had other choices she could have made. She never asked for forigveness either. She is literally her own worse enemy and any anger I ever had has been replaced by pity. I do hope she can get healthy at some point in her life.

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