Brandi
All the ws out there-how long did it take you to forgive yourself? Tomorrow marks 4 months since Dday and last night my ws told me he has forgiven himself and he's not a horrible person and 'there is only so much more he can take' He says I lash out at him at least 3 times a week which isnt true. So just wondering how quickly you all forgave yourselves
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TimT
My guess is that the amount of time it takes for someone to "forgive" his/herself (which can mean different things to different people) depends on how emotionally healthy they were before the incident that needs forgiving. It would take less time for someone who was well grounded in a healthy self-identity coupled with a proper empathy for others. (I have a hard time believing you can properly forgive yourself if you lack empathy for those you hurt.) 

I think these things will be true of someone who really does forgive him/herself in a healthy way:
  • They no longer define theirself by their failure, but accept the grace view that focuses on the story they are telling from this day forward. They readily acknowledge their wrongdoing with proper remorse, but are no longer weighed down by its shame.
  • When confronted by accusation or the pain of those they have harmed, the person who has forgiven him/herself is BETTER equipped to bring comfort/relief to the hurting person because they can truly focus on the other without being consumed by their failure.
  • When they are not being forgiven by someone else, they can establish appropriate boundaries, governed by compassion rather than anger.
By the way, I work with a lot of couples and 4 months is certainly enough time to see some progress, but NOT enough time to expect that it's time to "move on" from everything.
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TimT
Oh... and it took me years to forgive myself, but I was not in a healthy place and did not have healthy support.
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Brandi
He has no empathy for my pain. He apologizes for making a mistake but not for my pain. And he's sick of hearing about it.
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Guiltguilt
I don't know how long it will take. Through therapy I've been able to see how my thinking became twisted during our marriage, how an affair became an option, and for the first time in my life, the back story. I accept all this, but have a problem forgiving myself. Some penalties will have to be paid for the rest of my life, I imagine.
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Kalmarjan
It took me a while to wake up, and forgive myself. Clinging to the past and being there... Wallowing in the guilt was counter productive to my recovery.

Without placing the blame on anyone, except taking responsibility for what I did... I finally just asked myself a question. Was I okay with what I did. Knowing what I do now, the pain and hurt I caused everyone, including myself... Am I okay with it?

The answer of course is no.

There's no point in Wallowing in guilt and anger. You have to let go, and accept that you, please excuse the term, f@#ked up. But, acknowledge that, and make amends.

You don't have to be that person anymore, and you can work towarda being a better husband, person, whatever.

Staying in the guilt, refusing to acknowledge what you have done, hiding from the repercussions of it... Those are marks of an immature person. If your WS isn't interested in forgiveness so they can make amends, then they are Wallowing in their guilt.

Oh, and to be clear.

Forgiving myself has nothing to do with shirking responsibility. Quite the contrary.

It's accepting the fact that I made choices that hurt everyone. That I shouldn't have done it, and that I have to make it better. Before I can do that, I have to accept that I made that choice then, and this is now. I won't make those choices that way again, so to let go of the guilt to forgive yourself is the only way forward.

As for time length? It wasn't until I stopped thinking about myself that I forgave myself. That could take anyone up to how long, I have no idea. For me, it was around 6 months from when I first broke it off with my AP.

I came to true forgiveness of myself when I told the AP to NEVER contact me again, told my wife ECERYTHING, and accepted what may come. If my wife chose to walk away, that was her choice, and decision, and I wouldn't have deserved any better.

Lucky for me, she chose to stay with me.

I still have guilty feelings, but I put those aside and remember what I have learned. I don't wallow in it, because then I would be back at "that" relationship, and the relationship that deserves my attention is the one I am committed to, the one with my wife.
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Scarlett
I think it took me about 8 mo. to forgive myself which occurred through individual counseling, friends and family. The only one yet to forgive is my husband, and it has been 1.5 years. I have come so far and have worked so hard that I have to say I am about to give up. I do think 4 months is too early. My husband and I had just gotten back together from separation at that point. It took 3 months just get out of the affair fog, so there's no way I could have dealt with everything by 4 months. 
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Dirazz
It took my WS about 3 months to forgive himself. That came with IC, couples counseling and talks with our pastor. He asked God to forgive him. But honestly he didn't think about himself for the first few months. His thoughts and actions were only geared towards me feeling safe and secure with him. His physical affair lasted about a week before he told her he couldn't do it anymore. All out of guilt. Which after DD she confirmed that he broke it off after the second sexual encounter. I know he goes there when he sees the hurt and pain in my eyes. But that's something that I cannot hide. I hope it lessens one day
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Brandi
Oh see his thoughts and actions are geared towards him and only him. I asked him to do 4 small things to make me feel safe and he did none of them. When confronted about them it becomes my issue and I am the one that is wrong. We arent doing IC right now because our MC said we needed to work on our relationship first and then work on ourselves. Well that was until yesterday when she said he needs some serious help. But after 4 months (and 1 day) he is already sick of hearing about it and talking about it and just wants to 'move on'. our MC said he doesnt have access to his feelings so I will never get the apology that I need or want.
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mhoward1456
Brandi, its the opposite. Work on yourself first and then the marriage. Your hubby sounds a bit narcissistic in proclaiming he has forgiven himself in four months. If he is "sick" of hearing it and doesn't want to help in the healing process of your pain the only thing I have seen that helps with indifference /ambivalence is time! Allow God to soften their hearts to the true damage they have caused. They might still be in limerance (please look up that term) and still in the fog of the affair.
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Brandi
Oh he has (or so he says but hes a narcissitic liar) that he hasnt spoken to her since (well i've been given like 4 different dates) but almost 4 months. He is in denial about how shi*tty of a person he is. We were both going to IC bur our marriage counselor said we needed to stop (because they focus on individual and not the marriage. she said to heal the marriage and then healing of self would be easier) But that was before she realized that my ws is a lying manipulating jerk. And if after 4 months he is still thinking about her after not talking to her then he is free to leave and go be with her.
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