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User Topic: The path toward self-forgiveness?
JustDesserts
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Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 9:07 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'd appreciate any feedback from those Wayward's who have struggled with this issue, and those Betrayed's who have seen their Wayward's struggle...and perhaps breakthrough in this regard.

As someone who has been deluding myself epically I am concerned that unless I can forgive myself...stop hating myself...and begin to heal internally -- that whatever I do externally with those closest to me, who believe in and love me, will be somehow built on sand. I'm literally feeling ill at this thought.

How about we get it on the table right now that I'm a deluded, self-centered, damaged, shallow, callous, deceitful, naive, deserving of all the pain and suffering I have brought upon myself, D-bag with my head so far up my ass I've forgotten what daylight looks like.

If you have experiences to share...or techniques you saw, learned or employed successfully (or which failed)...I'm scared and asking for help.


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
hardlessons
♂ Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 9:35 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

JD, forgiveness IMO will be something that happens as a result of a lot of work. If self forgiveness is the goal you will miss a lot of important steps. Guilt, shame, damage are all common here and IRL. What isn't common is allowing yourself the time to one day realize that you had forgiven yourself. It is a side effect of becoming healthy not a specific thing you try to cure. Make sense?


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
BaxtersBFF
♂ Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 9:47 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Makes sense to me HL.

Justdesserts, What HL just described is pretty much what happened in my case. One day I realized that I had forgiven myself. It wasn't ready ally a goal, but became a reality at some point along the healing process.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6097 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm struggling with this myself. All I see when I think of my marriage is the wreckage I left behind. My divorce just became final a couple of weeks ago, and I just feel like a piece of shit for letting things get so out of hand. I feel awful for letting my wife down and for letting my kids down.

I know I need to get back to IC, but I just haven't had the money. I've been taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to lunch because I can't afford much else.

So, I feel your pain. I think IC helps. If you're not in IC, you should find a good one and talk through your issues.

I think eventually I will learn to forgive myself. Beating myself up hasn't done anything positive for me. For now, I'm just trying to find things to feel good about. For instance, I'm starting a new job that pays more money. I'll be able to help with my kids' expenses. I can get back to IC. I'm trying to look forward with an eye on my past and the knowledge that my issues are what caused me to be where I'm at today. I don't want to repeat the mistakes I've made. I want to live an authentic life. I think that if I continue to work on addressing my issues, eventually self forgiveness will come.

I hope you can get there pretty soon too.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced and still trying to figure out why I was so crazy for so long. I do know this however: lies and deception lead to unhappiness.


Posts: 273 | Registered: Oct 2011
outtamymind
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Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Duplicate post

[This message edited by outtamymind at 9:49 AM, June 28th (Friday)]


Me: FWS 45

Divorced and still trying to figure out why I was so crazy for so long. I do know this however: lies and deception lead to unhappiness.


Posts: 273 | Registered: Oct 2011
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm just not so sure it's helpful to call yourself all those names. Certainly, you need to identify where you need work but I also think you need to spend time - a lot of time - just thinking. Thinking about why you made those decisions and how you got to that point. Are there patterns? Look at your FOO issues and see if those coping mechanisms or dysfunction have anything to do with it.

Looking at yourself - in the dark corners of your soul - will require some self-compassion too. You didn't get there in a vacuum. You didnt' get there overnight either. That's why it will take some time and a LOT of introspective work.

Seriously, it's the best gift you can give yourself and those you love.


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me: 48
him: 51
4 kiddos in lower 20's

“Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember."


Posts: 4525 | Registered: Dec 2010
MoreWould
♂ Member
Member # 37982
Default  Posted: 11:21 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

JD

You're getting some great advice here, take it to heart.

As usual, HardLessons goes right to the core point. I always make a point of paying close attention to what he has to say, you should too.

Forgiveness isn't the path, it's the destination, and you will most likely discover that you've arrived long after you got there. But, like a mirage on the horizon, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the harder you chase it, the faster it recedes.

My two cents worth: You've got the internal/external insight right, complicated by the fact that on the external side, you are more than "too clever by half".

You are very eloquent, but I think your way with words is getting in the way of hearing your inner voice. If I was you, I'd take a Vow of Silence. Maybe if you get quiet for a while you can start to hear your inner voice telling what to do next.

On a practical note, if you don't shut up before your BW gets wise to your game, she just might bitchslap you into the next county. You probably deserve it, but if there's a less painful way to learn the lesson, I'd take it.

Get yourself into IC and start unwinding that ball of string. Give it 5 years.

[This message edited by MoreWould at 11:24 AM, June 28th (Friday)]


Me BH/WH, 63
Her WW/BW, 62
Her DDay Dec 1976 OMW at the door
My DDay, ~ 2years later, confessed ONS the next day
R via "Sweeping under the rug"
Still married, 40 yrs, mostly OK
2 kids, 24 & 20

Posts: 357 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Colorado
JustDesserts
♂ Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@hardlessons: that does make sense.

@Outta: I am now back in IC. Sporadically in the past, including going back to childhood. I like your words: I want to live an authentic life. I hate being such a shallow sham inside, which is directly opposite of what I have spent so much time and energy on making sure people saw when they looked at me from the outside.

@rachel: I'm not usually the gentlest person with myself, and, hey, that allows me to be tough on other's right? As long as I'm more of a douche to me, it gives me that right, right? Oh, boy...

I appreciate your words. One problem is my "best thinking" thought me right into a deeply entangled, fantasy fueled, delusional EA/PA which I am having trouble letting go of...even though I am coming to understand just how corrosive and toxic is was and is to my life, my healing, and my growing. And, sadly, the relationship with my wife which I would like to repair. I usually "get" the theoretical parts of things. It's the damn practical implementation part, the slow growth and acceptance part, that finds me thinking my way right back to negative and obsessive thought patterns...which are not in any way based on reality (Exhibit A: my "Cheater Get's Cheated On" thread).

There are patterns in my past, and transferrance. I'm an alcoholic/chemically dependent person approaching 19 years of recovery. Unfortunately, my affair became like a drug, and I became dependent on it. Withdrawal hasn't been easy, and I've been in denial over the paralell's until recently.

Talk about self-delusions meet contradictions. Strong enough to recover from a disease that, every single day I'm alive on this planet, wants to kill me. And so weak and lacking in self-awareness that I couldn't identify I had become "hooked" on a relationship built on deceit, lies, and two users using each other.


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
lost_in_toronto
♀ Member
Member # 25395
Default  Posted: 11:41 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great advice from HL and the other people who replied.

For my WS self-forgiveness took a year and a half of IC and a lot of hard work. It meant not being afraid if the really shitty feelings and letting himself sit with them until he understood himself, his actions, and his responses in a way he hadn't preA.

I think it is great you are still here after your last thread got a little(!) heated.

Oh - and I agree with RachelC. You may have been acting self-centred, deluded, etc...but that shouldn't be how you define yourself. I think it is important not to use self-flagellation as a fall back response to your affair. I am not sure it's a constructive tool at this point.


Me: BS/39
Him: WS/37
DDay: August 23, 2009
Together 14 years.
Reconciled.

Posts: 1652 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: not toronto anymore
JustDesserts
♂ Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@MoreWould: I appreciate your thoughts. And I'm already about 5 counties over right now. Next stop is probably a leper colony. IC started the day after my "Cheater" thread. And I now feel very willing to do something I haven't done in a very long time: Admit I need...and be willing to ask for and accept...help. I am by nature a "strong silent type" (all evidence to the contrary), and suffering in silence, isolating, and going in circles trying to figure out things in my own head are my "go to problem solving moves"...which have kept me from growing and clearly seeing myself...at various times throughout my life.


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
JustDesserts
♂ Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 11:55 AM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@Lost:
I think it is great you are still here after your last thread got a little(!) heated.
That wasn't exactly my idea of a walk in the park. But things were said, many bluntly, that I needed to hear...badly. It was a gift.

I will endeavor to reduce pity potting to a minimal, and while self-flaggelation is something I have employed in the past, you are correct in pointing out it's severe limitations as a corrective tool. More of an avoidance tool, reading between your lines. So helpful observation.


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
MoreWould
♂ Member
Member # 37982
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

More of an avoidance tool

I would say that the majority of your behaviors that people here have been reacting to fall into this category one way or another. Take it to your IC and start digging.

You're an alcoholic/substance abuser with an addictive personality that just transferred your game to a new venue. That's an important insight, I've got some of that running in me.

That also means there's a high probability of it running in your family, "The sins of the fathers visited on three generations" and all that. If there is, Google Adult Children of Alcoholics and see where it takes you. I wandered in the wilderness for quite a while trying to make sense of my FWW's motives until I found that, and then it all fell into place.

And last, I'm going to get all Zen on you. You think too much, and your thinking drives your avoidance behavior, addictions being just one symptom. That means you can't talk and think you way out of this mess. Part of your practice has to be internal and external silence. I know your type, because I look at him in the mirror every day. Meditation is not going to come easy for you, but I strongly recommend it. If you can find the right guide, yoga can be a good path in the door, using the body to quiet the mind.

Take IC and Yoga, and call me in a year to see how it's going.

[This message edited by MoreWould at 1:26 PM, June 28th (Friday)]


Me BH/WH, 63
Her WW/BW, 62
Her DDay Dec 1976 OMW at the door
My DDay, ~ 2years later, confessed ONS the next day
R via "Sweeping under the rug"
Still married, 40 yrs, mostly OK
2 kids, 24 & 20

Posts: 357 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Colorado
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

t/j: I haven't seen that many 2x4s since my first SI post. Talk about head up ass.

(Hopefully end t/j. I'm still not totally clear on that etiquette.)

This is a very confusing process, I am right there with you. How do I accept full responsibility for my As (which I have done) yet not self-flagellate, which I am also currently doing? How do I strike a balance between the care and feeding of my BH and our M, and the massive restructuring I now realize my psyche requires? I feel like I have no standing, no right to even discuss any of our pre-DDay M problems...but if I don't discuss my feelings with BH, then I risk once again building up all the resentments I employed to justify my As.

It is a side effect of becoming healthy not a specific thing you try to cure. Make sense?

Yes. Currently I'm avoiding self-forgiveness, which is probably as misguided as pursuing it.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1046 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
JustDesserts
♂ Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That also means there's a high probability of it running in your family, "The sins of the fathers visited on three generations" and all that. If there is, Google Adult Children of Alcoholics and see where it takes you. I wandered in the wilderness for quite a while trying to make sense of my FWW's motives until I found that, and then it all fell into place.

Fortunately, and amazingly, no alcoholism or abuse in my immediate family tree.

And last, I'm going to get all Zen on you. You think too much, and your thinking drives your avoidance behavior, addictions being just one symptom. That means you can't talk and think you way out of this mess. Part of your practice has to be internal and external silence. I know your type, because I look at him in the mirror every day. Meditation is not going to come easy for you, but I strongly recommend it. If you can find the right guide, yoga can be a good path in the door, using the body to quiet the mind.

Oh, boy...methinks I'm doomed. Been doing yoga already...you should see my Warrior III. Tried meditation after a cancer diagnosis (cured after a couple of scary years)...and it didn't stick. But I didn't stick with it. Not adverse to having another go. My time on the yoga mat is usually very calming, despite the controlled intensity needed to practice. It is usually a time when my mind IS quiet, in spite of itself.

Appreciate the thoughts.


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
uncertainone
♀ Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am by nature a "strong silent type" (all evidence to the contrary), and suffering in silence, isolating, and going in circles trying to figure out things in my own head are my "go to problem solving moves"...which have kept me from growing and clearly seeing myself...at various times throughout my life.

Oh boy can I relate to this. Not the strong silent part (duh) but the isolation and autonomous way of functioning. Share nothing. Never reach out and ask for help. I'll fix it. I'll solve it. I'll deal with it. Sooooo much easier that way. You don't have to trust someone else. You have complete control. Things are done on your schedule when you want it done.

I'll never forget right after my ex and I got married. I was cleaning the kitchen and he asked me something. I was damn near hanging from the ceiling fan. I "forgot" he was there...as in living in the same house with me...because you know, we were married.

I have many reasons for that when I was younger and it made perfect sense, but that attachment style can really reduce the depth of "your" relationships and you can find you have very little skin in the game.

Just like the recent financial crash showed us...easy to walk away when little of ourselves is sunk into the endeavor.

I struggled with this very much. It was only after time and a solid start on the process of healing and fixing that I was able to even beging to contemplate it. It came in bits and pieces. Not complete yet but starting to get a good look at the picture


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 6:45 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am right there with you on this.

I agree that the forgiveness comes with a lot of hard work and self discovery.

I fee like my first step is knowing who I am, and figuring out what makes me tick, and what wade me tick. Once I can figure out all of the whys, and know that I am in a much healthy place, I think I can look back and feel self forgiveness. I hope so at least.

And I agree with Rachel - enough with the name calling. It really isn't doing you any good, and it doesn't replace the digging into your character flaws and correcting them.


Good luck


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 725 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
lost_in_toronto
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Member # 25395
Default  Posted: 8:18 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've been thinking about this thread off and on today. Two thoughts -

One - I find it interesting that where I used the word constructive, you used the word corrective. It could just be a simple word choice, or it could be deeper than that. FWIW, I like my word choice better!

Two. I think what I really wanted to say about the process of self-forgiveness for my WS was that first he needed to figure out what he needed to forgive himself for. Early days, he would have said sleeping with another woman, telling her he loved her, etc. Eventually, he realized he needed to forgive himself for never learning good communication skills; for spending his life scared of becoming his father; for being unable to find joy in his accomplishments; and more.

Glad to see you so open to SI. Amazing community here!

[This message edited by lost_in_toronto at 8:19 PM, June 28th (Friday)]


Me: BS/39
Him: WS/37
DDay: August 23, 2009
Together 14 years.
Reconciled.

Posts: 1652 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: not toronto anymore
JustDesserts
♂ Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 8:44 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lost: I stand corrected. Constructive IS indeed the better word choice. Maybe if I start making better word choices, I'll start making better life choices. Baby steps, right?

Right here, right now, if I could choose one thing to forgive myself for it would be for having spent my energy, both physical and emotional, on my xAP, and not having spent that energy on showing my wife just how much I appreciate her strength, beauty (which flows from within) and grace. I'm ashamed of losing sight of that reality based fact, and sinking my energy into the black hole of lies, deceit, and pathetic-ness that was my fantasy based affair. In the spirit of better word choices, I'd like to replace "affair" with "charade".

I do feel glad to have found this place, even though it took just an eentsy weentsy crisis to get me to knock on the door and ask for help. Perhaps some day a decade or two down the line we can all look back and have a great laugh at my first post. Maybe it will even get voted into the Delusional Poster's Hall of Shame. In the meantime, I do feel just a bit better deep down inside...and a bit less alone.

[This message edited by JustDesserts at 8:50 PM, June 28th (Friday)]


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
looking forward
♀ Member
Member # 25238
Default  Posted: 8:54 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Self-forgiveness began with letting go of the lies and telling the truth after 22 years of rug sweeping.
It continued with admitting that I was an alcoholic and becoming sober almost immediately after DDay (1523 days as of now).
Self-forgiveness has become attainable knowing I have my husband's forgiveness and God's grace.

A wonderful book that has helped me, especially at the beginning, is Dr. Keith Ablow's Living the Truth.

(ISBN 0-316-01782-5) ~ Dr. Keith Ablow, bestselling author and host of a new daily one-hour daytime-TV talk show, presents his first self-help book. Based on more than 20 years of clinical experience and highlighting stories from his own practice, Ablow shows how ignoring or burying painful memories and experiences can negatively affect every aspect of our lives, and he presents strategies to help the reader transform the pain of the past into the power of the future. In a world where short-term talk therapy and medication are the latest trends to "fixing" an unhappy life, Ablow's message is controversial. But though examining the past can be daunting, LIVING THE TRUTH is as comforting and rewarding as it is transformative. And through Ablow's fine storytelling skills, empathetic voice, and straight-up advice, the experience of reading this extraordinary book becomes the first step to living a truly authentic life.

Best wishes for your healing.
Don't be scared. This is a wonderful support site for all of us.
~ lf


Memory and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow.
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." (Joseph Campbell)

Posts: 2839 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: Where a river runs through it
Topic Posts: 19

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