TimT
I'm writing a manual of important steps for betrayed spouses to take after learning about the affair. If you a personal example that helps illustrate this point, whether positive or negative, please post it here. Anyone can post here, but if you are a forum member (so I have access to your email) and your quote is used in the book, I'll send you a free copy once it's released.

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Were you slow or quick to forgive? Slow or quick to trust? What has been your experience in wrestling with these two choices?
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PainfulGrace
Before we separated I was quick to trust anything my husband was saying... because I was so desperate for it to be real and true.  Any time I would see a positive change, I would immediately trust it and return with full belief that my husband intended to leave the AP and move forward to work on our marriage.  There were two major events where I trusted his words and small actions, when I wish I would've kept him at a safe distance and waited to see if he really meant it.  All along I have wanted to forgive, but haven't been able to really understand what that means or really looks like yet, especially because the affair is ongoing.  Now that we are separated and I know what I need to see in order to trust again, I think it would be a very, very slow process- if it ever comes to that.   My experience has been that as soon as I begin to trust anything, the rug gets pulled out from under me every time.  And it has happened countless times.  I want to believe the good stuff, and I tend to err on the side of being optimistic and hopeful.  It is easier for me to be hopeful, rather than to question, doubt, and speculate... but after all of times my trust has been proven wrong, it has changed my thinking.  There are times that I wonder if I'll really be able to truly trust anyone again after this. 
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awaggoner1999
Were you slow or quick to forgive? Slow or quick to trust? What has been your experience in wrestling with these two choices?

I think this is problematic for me currently... prior to moving out, I was actively working to forgive. However, my WS refused (refuses) to admit to anything, and I do mean anything. How can I forgive to quick or slow? When my WS admits to nothing, despite the substantive proof I have. Absolutely no trust. That pains me.

Trust is an unfathomable abstract that is out of reach for me presently, as my WS has no intent to disclose anything. I feel like he is not safe to trust if he cant rust to disclose anything. *(seems like weird circular logic...)  Any thoughts on any of this?[smiley-think005]
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TimT
awaggoner1999 wrote:
...However, my WS refused (refuses) to admit to anything, and I do mean anything. How can I forgive to quick or slow? When my WS admits to nothing, despite the substantive proof I have. Absolutely no trust... Trust is an unfathomable abstract that is out of reach for me presently, as my WS has no intent to disclose anything. I feel like he is not safe to trust if he cant rust to disclose anything...
It's hard to forgive when you don't know what you're forgiving. At some point, for your own sake, you will be better off to let go of his offenses and not hold him accountable. As long as you believe he still owes you something, you will be hindered in your efforts to move forward freely.

But the question is whether you "move forward freely" with him or without him. That's where his full confession and commitment to openness/honesty is absolutely necessary. There is absolutely no way for intimacy and trust to be re-established in a marriage without a commitment to truthfulness. 

If he doesn't get this or, worse yet, gets it but refuses to give it to you, you'll have to decide whether to avoid divorce but live in a marriage without trust/connection or leave the man who is unwilling to come back to the promise he made to you (love and faithfulness).

It starts with being honest about what is or is not acceptable to you, despite what he thinks should be acceptable. "I love you. I am willing to do my part in forgiving you and making this marriage work. But I am unwilling to commit to a marriage with someone I cannot trust. If you want my trust, you have to earn it. You have to start by being honest and stay committed to truthfulness. If you're not willing to do that, then you make it impossible for me to feel safe with you again."
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awaggoner1999
Well, I am already out of the home. I made the decision that the truth was the only way I will continue forward. I have to forgive I know...but it still seems so fresh...I have been gracious and kind and patient and really trying to afford all the opportunity to show to him I was in it for the long haul, but he is committed to not telling the truth. SO I am committed to taking care of me...so that is what I am doing. Thank you Tim.[smiley-greet025]
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daisy
TimT wrote:


More About This Topic:
Were you slow or quick to forgive? Slow or quick to trust? What has been your experience in wrestling with these two choices?


After D-Day #1- I was willing to forgive anything and do anything to get my husband back, expecting nothing in return. I would trust anything he said. After D-Day #2-  Forgiveness came relatively quickly, but, trust came very slowly. I think it took about a year for me to feel like I could trust him. Even today, there are triggers that heighten my awareness and make me doubt. For example, if he comes home a little late from work, or if I see him texting on his phone more than usual. He has no problem handing over his phone and letting me see everything on it and being open and honest. So far, I feel he is doing everything to recover my trust, but I can't help but get flashbacks sometimes.
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Intuition77
awaggoner1999 wrote:
Well, I am already out of the home. I made the decision that the truth was the only way I will continue forward. I have to forgive I know...but it still seems so fresh...I have been gracious and kind and patient and really trying to afford all the opportunity to show to him I was in it for the long haul, but he is committed to not telling the truth. SO I am committed to taking care of me...so that is what I am doing. Thank you Tim.[smiley-greet025]


There's no shame in forgiveness taking a while. Especially when the wrongs commited against you haven't been repented so to speak with honesty and remorse. I became obsessed for a time with forgiveness and how I needed it to move on. I've realized that in order to move forward in my marriage I would have needed a desire for forgiveness and an intention and hope. But without honesty or effort on his part my brains inability to forgive was really just self preservation. A big not safe to proceed sign. And who am I to go against mother natures built in protections? To move forward without my marriage (no honesty either and like you I just couldn't be a part of that) forgiveness is really just about letting go to free myself to move on and I'm
Less concerned now with when it comes. I've realized it will take a lot and probably a long time and that's ok. Doesn't mean I'm stuck without it. Feels more like it eludes me while I'm stuck in pain. So the further out I get and the more I piece back together on my own, a life without him the closer it seems to come. I did recently in a situation feel Intense anger at my WS for recent actions (not the affair but still the aftermath regarding kids finances etc) it involved more lies by omission and half truths now with financial matters and lack of repainsibility. and was able to put it aside u til I was ready to process it while he was angry and blaming and out of control with meanness and selfishness. And I simply looked at him and said I have indeed treated you repeatedly with a kindness, grace and personal integrity you truly haven't deserved. And walked away. And it felt good. To not rage at him. To not be turned I to that person again. To process it and simply accept that I choose a higher ground and will conduct myself as such. And to see it as many years from now when he is simply someone I knew once and nothing more and my life is full again and this betrayal far behind me I will not regret
Being me. Being kind and considerate and having Integrity or offering grace. Because it has less to do with him not deserving it and more to do with me being the type of person who offers it.
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Sweetc786
Trust is earned and from where i sit he has not started work yet.
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