Author Topic: What does forgiveness look like?  (Read 1507 times)

aquarius25

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What does forgiveness look like?
« on: November 21, 2017, 08:58:51 PM »
I have been doing some journaling on forgiveness and really pondering what forgiveness looks like. I feel like my husband and I are in a good place overall. There are still areas where I can feel the hurt well up but they are slowing becoming fewer and fewer and the hurt has less power over me. I have some really great days and usually, from out of nowhere, I will have a day where my mind just can't move out of the awareness of the hurt. Today was one of those days. Thankfully, I was able to do my breathing and quick meditations through the day and I did not allow my day to be ruined by yesterdays sadness. That brings me to my question. What does forgiveness look like? Every time I think I am there and consistently doing well with everything I feel like I am smacked my a bad day. What does forgiveness look like long term? I am hoping that maybe the bad days continue to become fewer and further between? I am hoping for more connection and closeness to develop. I have lots of hopes. I can't be the only one, lol. What do others hope for? What is your long-term goal?

Hypatia156

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 12:58:05 AM »
Good question. Not sure I know the answer either.

My long term goal is honesty. I know my hubs will have problems and maybe relapses here and there but I really feel that as long we we both strive to get to the center of this, the why of it all and keep up that journey with honesty, I can forgive and move on.

I told him the other day that each time he lies it brings the castle of our relationship crashing down. If its been a week since disclosure of something then he lies again, its just a small crash. If its been a year, the entire castle goes. I think forgiveness for me looks like a well built castle with strong foundations that lasts.

Silly metaphor I suppose, but it works for me.

Those sad days do seem to come out of nowhere. I tend to journal when I get those and often it helps me find the internal process/voice in my head that tended to cause it. Maybe that would help.

Take care!

4moa

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 08:32:09 AM »
Just my thoughts.....

You are still with your husband after this massive betrayal.  You are willing to move across the country for a new start. You have been working on yourself and your recovery...... forgiveness may look exactly like that.

Forgetting may be the hardest thing to truly do. Especially with all of the triggers that are possible to run across each day.  I think forgetting really could take years and years for him to prove that it's safe for you to forget. Or maybe just a few big events where he does the right thing showing his willingness to be connected to Only You.

I guess my point is that if you find these feelings flaring up it seems pretty natural to me.

These are just my thoughts and if you found anything offencive please disregard it. I truly I'm only trying to give you my viewpoint

Emerald Blue

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2017, 11:05:56 AM »
Speaking from my own experience, forgiveness is a process which happens gradually over time, and not so much an event. It’s certainly not a one time thing.

I could forgive the acting out behaviours relatively easily once I understood what porn addiction is — that it became a compulsion to feed the reward centre in the brain — and that it stemmed from an inability to deal with difficult feelings and life events.

It took longer to forgive the deception and the lying, because that’s the part that hurts more than the behaviour itself, but eventually I understood that deception and addiction are inextricably interwoven, so that was probably the next stage of forgiveness. It happened slowly. It wasn’t as if I came to a decision to forgive, it was more the realisation that it wasn’t an issue for me any more.

I don’t think forgiveness can be forced, and nor should it be seen as a duty or an obligation, or even a “goal”. It’s OK to forgive some things but not others, and I it’s OK to defer forgiveness until you feel safe to do so. Some partners can’t move into the forgiving stages until they know that the acting out has stopped and/or their spouse is owning the consequences of their past behaviours.

There’s also the issue of forgiving yourself, because sometimes we can beat ourselves up over what we did, or didn’t do or where we went wrong, etc. I was (and still am) prepared to acknowledge my own role, not so much in my husband’s porn addiction, but for not acting in the best interests of the relationship during his addiction. I knew, I tried, I gave up, I gave in — and I feel bad about that because I knew that his interest in was not quite healthy, let’s say, and I did say that he had to quit or we’d need to seek professional help. But instead I left him to it and I didn’t do anything. I need to forgive myself for not putting my money where my mouth is.

The hardest part of the forgiveness process is forgiving the unknown behaviours that may have occurred in past. This is a very tricky one because it’s a very conceptual version of forgiveness. Within recovery circles, we know that full disclosure is rare, even where there is no intention or conscious attempt to deceive. Some undisclosed behaviours may be relatively trivial or even forgotten because they are trivial. Sometimes there’s “more of the same” that hasn’t been disclosed, perhaps because the memories are vague or perhaps the addict hasn’t quite acknowledged it in his own mind. In any case, these types of non-disclosure would not make any material difference to the relationship or the recovery process. In my mind, those ‘unknowns’ are forgiven.

If there are any more serious ‘unknowns’ I also have had to go through a process of forgiveness, of how I might forgive should I unexpectedly discover something that was not disclosed when I gave my husband the opportunity to do so? I’ve thought about this and I have put in place a sort of a contingency plan for the forgiveness process. I’m talking about behaviours that MAY have happened in the past, so in that respect I have already accepted that whatever happened in the past can’t be undone. I may know everything. I may not know everything. But I can still be forgiving of what I DON’T know.

For me, I think forgiveness is peace of mind and living a life with meaning and fulfilment. I think it’s a state of mind.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Kimba

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 12:46:11 AM »
Well... I have thought about this one and was going to answer a few times but got sidetracked. I finally got my sorry not verbally but written down with flowers and chocolates. I was very very happy and relieved to think he was getting it finally...  We have gone over and over how it all makes me feel him perusing the net perving etc, he said he feels embarrassed about it all and he does not have an addictive personality so it’s easy, he’s done it He Said !! Soooo I felt awesome felt finally I can let it all go, he’s amazing and really wants an honest relationship!! Ok so couple of days ago on tv their was an ad saying the Victoria secrets have their 2017 opening gala or whatever ! So today I checked his phone as I had turned off the restrictions and thought yep he’s got it, well their it was in top hits Victoria secrets lol oh yeah gut wrench !! Oh the reason I checked his mobile, he has been protective over it so I New something was up. So at this stage I haven’t said a word I’m not sure what to do. So thinking tonight of saying to him I want to turn restrictions back on his phone and when he asks why I shall tell him... I’m pretty sure I’m going to do councelling now for sure ... I’ve thought I could handle this but I just don’t know anymore... Sometimes I just think I should move on ...
Three things that cannot be long hidden
The Sun
The Moon
The Truth

Gracie

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 06:48:43 AM »
Yep I know.  Mine has not done anything.  Yet with all the harrassment, movie, ads etc it keeps us looking, wondering, worrying.  Do we ever get back to that sweet spot of trust?  I forgive him.

Yet, when these men say "I didn't know I was hurting .......(whoever)". My husband and I talked about this.   I am like all men know they are hurting a person.  It is secret.  They are on the sly.  Why can't they be truthful, why couldn't you be truthful.  They and you just didn't care you were hurting someone.  Then I hear " I was lying to myself". NO!  You were lying to me.  Why is it so hard 6 years later to tell the truth?  Jeez o pete. 

aquarius25

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 11:28:17 AM »
I can see and hear where each of you is coming from and it sounds like there is good progress being made. I don't think forgiveness is something that you arrive at one day. I feel like, at least where I am today, forgiveness is the willingness to try. For me, getting up each morning and being committed to look to the future and try to work on myself and our relationship and work towards something each day rather than look to the past. When I look back I feel sad, hurt, despair, anger, and all of the emotions that will inevitably create resentment. The physical act of me trying each morning is me showing forgiveness. Seems like as time passes I have more days that are easier than hard but those days still creep up, but even amidst the hard days, me trying is me learning to forgive.

Emerald Blue

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 12:22:26 PM »
Kimba, life after porn addiction. There’s no return to a time of innocence, the way I see it. The responses are “automatic” only in the sense that they inadvertently conditioned their brains to respond to the visual cues that are everywhere. It’s not realistic to be in contact with any media without unexpected exposure to sexualised imagery, but it’s the response that matters. If a supposedly recovering porn addict sees something, and makes a mental note to google it later, that’s not consistent with a healthy recovery. Creating the impression of quitting is more about appeasing the partner, it’s not coming from within. I’ve see it a lot. The partner wants to feel that their porn addicted spouse is quitting because he loves her and values the relationship he has with her, but true recovery comes from the addict wanting to quit for himself. He had to reach his own rock bottom. He knows that chances are you won’t leave him, if he hides it it will just be an occasion row, as long as he gives the impression of quitting then he can carry on if he’s careful enough. Wrong, wrong, wrong! He needs to hit rock bottom. It took my husband many, many years to reach that point, by which time porn wasn’t making him happy any more. In fact, he was feeling lonely and miserable and couldn’t see any way back. If I could put the clock back I would have just gone all out to bust him at the times he was doing it. To burst into the room, make him stand up and move away from the computer. Delete every fucking video app , download apps, the browser be set up for porn, told him I was going to go through every drive, every device with a fine tooth comb, and tell him outright porn is banned from the home. Any porn, anything that looks like porn, it gets deleted on the spot. No ifs, no buts. That’s what I wished I’d done. That I’d just took control. But I didn’t. I just got more and more depressed and stuck in my state of learned helplessness. If you’ve got any fight in you, just go in all guns blazing. I wish I did.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 12:24:41 PM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Kimba

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Re: What does forgiveness look like?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 01:04:44 AM »
Ok so I did have it out and since his phone had been on restrictions for the last year that sort of site would not of shown before in Top hits so he explained that he hadn’t been on it in the last week since I turned off restrictions, he said he is not interested in going on or going out of his way to look for anything. After pushing a little he admitted that he would of been on that site prior to all this S..t coming out so basically it’s just me finding more leftovers from his running around the net perving.

I did however tell him that it pissed me off that when I asked him about it he was confrontational and annoyed with me as he feels it’s a year now and I should be over it or go and seek councelling. I did remind him that this has been years of knowing but not having evidence and him lying and reassuring me that he was t doing anything, HA !! I reminded him also that he lied to cover his activities and I do not trust him yet and I feel I’ve come a long way but was triggered by the Ad of VC on tv.  He swears he does not have an addictive nature etc etc ... I do believe him, he has changed even though he says to me he feels no different, my concerns are his lack of empathy and that has always been the case, he is more worried about how he feels and his dignity pride or whatever has been attacked by me and my lack of trust. So all is ok but I sometimes wonder if eventually this will just eat us up anyway, all this BS !!  I think he quit because he New I was serious and I haven’t let it go this time but only time will tell thanks EB  :)
Three things that cannot be long hidden
The Sun
The Moon
The Truth