Invisible
I have read a lot after my wife disclosed a brief affair that took place 6 years ago, one of the points I am really confused about is forgiveness. I want to forgive her, I promised I will do my best. But how will I know it's time to forgive? Is forgiveness a choice, decision or a feeling? And how does that relate to healing? Do you feel better after forgiving?
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Keepabuzz
I read everything I could find on forgiveness, and still nothing really hit it for me. I wanted to forgive her (after 3-4 months). I knew I had to forgive her to find peace for myself. I do think it is a decision. I don't think that once you forgive her, that you relinquish your right to talk about and tell her about your pain, or your right to be angry, only your right to punish. Although I never felt the desire to punish her much.

I have forgiven my wife. The pain didn't magically disappear. The anger and rage definitely got a lot better, but the pain didn't get any better. The pain takes time, I still have plenty of that at 15 months out, but it has gotten better, or I just carry it better maybe. Someone on here spoke about "state of forgiveness". That makes sense to me. I have forgiven her, but I'm not yet living in the "state of forgiveness".... hope that helps
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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UrbanExplorer
I think it is always a choice, and an ongoing one. You need to have processed the "wrong" that has befallen you in order to get to that place, so there is a temporal quality to it. Forgiveness is for you, so something isn't eating you up inside.

Someone murdered my best friend years ago, and that is the biggest challenge I have faced. There are meditation techniques that deal with compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.
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Dirazz
I remember giving grace before I gave forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean we are ok with what they did. Because I will never be ok with that. But I've chosen to move forward towards a better healthier marriage. It is a choice and one that should not be given until you are ready to. God and time and my husbands actions are what has gotten me to a save secure place. We are almost at 15 months past DD and I feel like almost all the pain is gone. My husband has been truly amazing during my healing. I have never felt more loved and desired than I do now. Almost losing me shook my husband to the core! And for some WS's that's all it takes. I even got just because flowers last night. He's like a school boy that's totally smitten with me. He told me the other day that he can't stop thinking about me and he loves it!
It took a lot of work to get us where we are today but it was so worth it!!!
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Keepabuzz
Urban is right. It's an on-going choice. I forgive her everyday. I hope one day it's automatic.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Ginger
I told my husband fairly early on that I forgave him. Something happened at his job one night. He told me I didn't have to forgive him, that he didn't deserve it. With the work he does, I would never forgive MYSELF if I had not given him that tiny bit of peace if something were to happen to him.
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Heidi
I'm not sure if I've reached forgiveness or not. I prefer to think about acceptance. I accept this has happened, I accept we can move forward. I can accept he isn't that man any more.

Forgiveness seemed like too much of a pressure. Acceptance I can do.
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Invisible
It all makes a lot of sense, Forgiveness is a choice an ongoing one a commitment to make things work, in my case It's fed by the remorse of my wife and the love that is still between us, but resentment and anger keep surfacing. Here is where it gets interesting, acceptance and forgiveness aren't they similar? If we accept what happened and decide to work things out it doesn't mean we endorse the infidelity, it just we decide that we accept the facts and live with it. Maybe
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Invisible
The question remains, when do you know it's time to say "I forgive you". If forgiveness is a choice not a feeling shouldn't it be granted as a choice/decision? Conditional of course.
On the other hand can you forgive someone while you still have feelings of anger and resentment? Or does forgiving release this anger and resentment?
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Keepabuzz
I forgave my wife many months ago, and I still have anger and resentment. Now where near the amount that I used to have. I don't walk around everyday angry all the time. But when I'm triggered, that anger comes floooding back in. It has gotten better with time. I don't think I will ever be at a point where if I think about what she did, that there won't be anger.

When to decide to forgive? That is different for everyone. I wouldn't focus on it. Just focus on healing, let that come when it feels right. Infidelity does not "deserve" forgiveness. So you don't "owe" her anything. You owe yourself, to take care of yourself, and focus on what is best for you. You have said you still have love for her. If she continues to do the right things, and you continue to progress forward towards healing, I think forgiveness will come. That is a gift that you will give her, I think you will just feel it when it is time.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Anna26
I wonder if it is necesssary to make a conscious decision to forgive?  Or whether you just realise at some point that actually, you have done just that.
Perhaps you feel at some point that you still really love and care about your spouse or partner very much, so that what has happened slips into the background a bit more?
Like others have said, forgiveness is for yourself, to allow you to come to terms with things and move on.  I think the WS has to forgive themselves for their part too, and that can be a huge task for some.
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Invisible
Thank you all, I think i will take my time to heal and let it come as the time seems right. I agree i need to focus on myself and healing at this moment. I have taken the decision to try to forgive and work things out at least.
I pray to god to give me the courage to forgive and the strength and patience to hold on to it.
 
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UrbanExplorer
I get the Affair Recovery emails, and this quote was in today's article:

"Forgiveness is giving up all hope of ever having a better past."
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Invisible
This makes a lot of sense. Its usually the past that we are stuck in, trying to deal with. If we let go it you will definitely start looking at the present which is in summary forgive yourself and your partner.
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Keepabuzz
I really like that. Thanks Urban!
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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