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Newest Member: KstinTX

General :
Question for any Christians in the group

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Hesaliar (original poster member #62222) posted at 12:14 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

I'm a member of the found out years later club. 20 years later. After some hellacious trickle truth that put us at the brink of divorce, my wh figured out I would no longer tolerate the elephant in the room. He got into IC, he went to group therapy, he attended my therapy when asked, and he found a new church for us. He made amends, got honest, and found humility and empathy.
I struggled for a very long time to find forgiveness or empathy for him after the tt. About 3 months ago, I was sitting in church and our minister was speaking about forgiving. I had a clear picture of my wh with his head buried on Jesus' lap. As my husband cried into his robe, Jesus comforted him and looked at me in a way that let me know that he, Jesus, had forgiven my wh. It was a very powerful moment. Forgiving my wh has been surprising and ongoing.
My issue now is forgiving the ap's. I don't dwell on any of them much. One is dead. On a good day, I pray that she sought God's grace and forgiveness before she passed. She never cared about my forgiveness and I never knew of her when she was alive. Two other ap's I texted back when so they knew that I knew about them. One compared her tryst with my husband as similar to her jealousy of her now husband's ex-wife and child. She was single at the time of the affair. Her words assured me that she was not sorry and our short exchange showed me she was not changed and was damaged in some way.
The other one I made contact with...I did so not long after my mother-in-law passed. She knew my in-laws. I wanted her to know she was not welcome at the funeral. She never answered but did not show up either.
Unfortunately, I also, in my anger, told her I would always be a better person than either of them (her and wh). I have deep regret over that statement. My mom used to say..."you go to hell for lying just the same as you do for stealing." Sin is sin. I have struggled these last months with reaching out to her again and apologizing for that statement.
Our minister is big on praying for those who hurt us. You can't hate someone and pray for them at the same time. A few years after this ap's affair with my husband, she married. I was told that in the aftermath of an affair she had with her husband's uncle, her husband committed suicide. This reminds me again of how screwed up her life must've been. I have let go of my hatred of her.
I know we always recommend no contact but I'm struggling with realizing my condemnation makes me a holier than thou creep. My sin may be different but a sinner I am.
Any suggestions on resolving this?

posts: 61   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2018
id 8807264
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 1:54 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

I’d be happy to PM you my thoughts, but you don’t have that available. I am not sure how to have this conversation here and not run afoul of guidelines.

To Mods: Is it acceptable to state thoughts and beliefs on this topic but avoid debate?

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 1891   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8807267
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 2:25 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

IMO I think the fact that you are sorry for your words to the AP is sufficient.

I would let the sleeping dog lie so to speak. I believe that there are times when the past needs to stay dead and buried and this is one of them.

You can ask for forgiveness and gain the peace you are looking for w/out reaching out to the OW.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13923   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8807271
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:31 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

I’m Catholic so that’s the perspective I’m coming from, fyi.

My understanding is that a requisite of forgiveness is admission of wrong doing and repentance. A priest can’t absolve you of a sin that you are actively participating in and/or a sin for which you have no remorse and have not sought forgiveness. Therefore, I don’t really see how it’s possible or required of you to forgive someone who is unrepentant.

But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy (emotionally or spiritually) to actively hate someone or wish ill upon them. As you said, you can’t really pray for someone sincerely while despising them.

Therefore, I recommend that you pray for God’s help in relieving your pain and letting go of your hatred. If you ever reach the point of indifference toward the APs, you can pray they experience remorse, repent, and seek His forgiveness (even if they never ask for yours).

Hope that helps!

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 2:33 AM, Monday, September 11th]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1943   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8807272
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 2:41 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

I read Bluer’s post.

I am going to hell because I pray that the OW who tried to destroy my life has some 30yo woman try to ruin her life by cheating with her H (the AP is now married but was not at the time if the affair).

I’m not that nice after all. 😡

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13923   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8807275
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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 3:33 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

I am a Christian and also in 12 step recovery. The 9th step in AA states "Made direct amends to those we had harmed except when to do so would injure them or others."

You, my precious sister, would be included in the "others."

The idea is that making amends is to be a process of healing, of rebuilding what was broken. And so making direct amends must always be balanced by the need to do no further injury. I believe as Christians we are called to forgive, but not necessarily to share that information with those we forgive. We forgive in order to restore our relationship with Christ, not with other people. We apologize or make amends to restore relationship with other people. This AP wronged you. You (maybe) hurt her feelings. I tend to believe (I’m a Christian but maybe I’m from the South side of the Kingdom) you just told her the truth.

At any rate, there is no healing to be found in seeking out an unrepentant AP and apologizing for what you said. If she were to approach you with a sincere and heart felt apology, then you could certainly reciprocate if it felt right in the moment. I said some horrible things about the AP in our situation here on SI. I found out much later that she had read here, knew the things I’d said, including a nickname I thought was so clever. She apologized to me in a way that made me believe it was sincere. I believe that she used the information available on SI to become a better person. I did apologize for the name and some of the horrible things I’d said. There has been NC since and that’s how it needs to be so we can all continue healing and being the people we should be.

If you feel what you said was wrong, you know how to handle that. Repair your relationship with the One ultimately wronged. And walk forward in grace.

Hugs.

Me, 56
Him, 48 (JMSSC)
Married 26 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4955   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8807283
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 4:04 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

The1stWife, weirdly, I think I would still hate OW#2 if I were still married to my ex because I would still be putting up with all his nonsense and disrespect on top of trying to cope with his infidelity.

But she won first place in the 2014 Pick Me Dance finals… and her grand prize was to put up with all my ex’s BS, plus raising their child as a single mother because he can’t be bothered to care for anyone but himself.

My consolation prize was a new husband who is faithful, hardworking, compatible with me on every level, and a superb father to our 3 beautiful kids, who would’ve never existed if I were still married to my ex.

I feel like I can afford to be magnanimous.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1943   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8807287
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 Hesaliar (original poster member #62222) posted at 6:47 AM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

Thanks all for the comments. It's tough to forgive myself, I think. The words chosen in anger and rage are not who I ever was or wanted to be. Infidelity has been the biggest challenge I've ever faced. It's hard to give myself the same grace I'd give someone else. I guess, my struggle lies wondering why I should be exempt from asking forgiveness if I am indeed repentant. I keep thinking of being told to leave the church and go make things right with the person you wronged. Maybe it's mental gymnastics on my part to think I need to look at this more as wronging God and not the ap. Maybe the sin of arrogance is more of what I need to recognize in this.

posts: 61   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2018
id 8807299
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 1:20 PM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

BluerThanBlue. So glad it worked out for you.

I think sometimes we have to recognize we are human and forgive our own "less than perfect" choices, actions and words.

For a long time I felt bad having said to my H I was going to D him. In 25 years of marriage it was never said once by either of us until his midlife crisis affair. Until he decided to be a lying cheating jerk.

Then I realized that I didn’t say those words to hurt him. I was forced to make a decision to save my sanity and stop living in an environment where I was forced to live with anxiety, lies, etc.

I forgave myself. Something I think we all can do.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13923   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8807304
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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 3:13 PM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

Hesaliar,

If you feel you were arrogant, then confess that. Lay it down where it belongs.

When we are told to go and make things right, I am almost positive that is in the context of conflict with a brother or sister in Christ. We are also told to shake the dust off our feet and walk away from certain circumstances.

There is a HUGE difference between conviction and oppression. Conviction is when we recognize our sin and feel that pain/humility/shame until we make things right with God. Oppression is when the enemy brings those old sins up and tries to make us feel defeated and ashamed.

Honey, we were created with a vast range of emotions, including anger. Jesus Himself became angry. So angry, in fact, that He turned over tables and thrashed some people. He called them vipers among other names. You were betrayed in one of the worst ways a person can be betrayed. You were wronged. You became angry and said something ugly.

Let. It. Go.

There’s an old song by Dara McLean called Suitcases that I’m reminded of.

How can you move when they're weighing you down?
What can you do when you're tied to the ground, yeah?
You carry your burdens heavy like gravity
Just let them go now, there's freedom in release

You can't run when you're holding suitcases
It's a new day, throw away your mistakes
And open up your heart, lay down your guard
You don't have to be afraid

Me, 56
Him, 48 (JMSSC)
Married 26 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4955   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8807323
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 Hesaliar (original poster member #62222) posted at 6:06 PM on Monday, September 11th, 2023

HFSSC, thank you! Writing this out has helped me immensely. I had a hard time with what at the time felt like righteous anger vs the mindset of being better than someone...anyone. I do think arrogance is at the heart of my conviction on this. Not someone I want to be and it made me feel gross. I DO need to lay this down where it belongs. I've put off joining a Celebrate Recovery group. I think I need to do this.
I think it's harder to forgive myself because I do know better. I know my wh had Foo issues that played into his choices and I can only guess that the ap's must've had ugly issues too. Me...I've had my own struggles to live up to the person I want to be. My faith says it's all been paid and I can be forgiven. I need to remember I am indeed like all the other humans...a work in progress!

posts: 61   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2018
id 8807342
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gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 12:05 AM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

As with all matters Christian, the Bible has the answers you seek, but I’m pretty sure giving a Biblical answer here would roil the caretakers.

posts: 366   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8807412
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 8:10 AM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I agree with BTB’s perspective .

My WH and I are Catholic , and so is the married AP. My understanding is based on my believe as a Catholic .

The AP and I had a conversation after Dday . She never apologized or feel remorseful, but she mentioned how she already asked God for forgiveness and she was sure, that she has received God’s forgiveness . She had a perception that God would automatically granted her forgiveness if she asked for one .

I differ from her believe, regarding God’s forgiveness. I believe that even if she went for confession for forgiveness , or if I reach her to give her forgiveness , I don’t think God will forgive her unless she genuinely have remorse in her heart !

My problem is about my forgiveness to her. I still can’t ! But I don’t think I need to reach her if I ever decide to forgive , this will be between God and I .
I wish you all the best in your healing .

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 114   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8807450
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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 4:16 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

This is going to be long in order to provide context.

I was sexually abused as a child by my uncle, who lived with my family for about a year. I have very recently learned a new piece of information that I am processing, but it doesn’t negate the healing that has taken place up to now.

I never told anyone about the abuse until I was an adult. And discovered that he had abused my siblings and cousins as well. He was an awful person—angry and rude to just about everyone. He had one daughter who he somehow got custody of in 1966 after his wife could no longer stand to be married to him. But as a firefighter he worked 24 hour shifts so my cousin/sister (L) grew up in a series of unofficial foster homes where he’d dump her. My mom wanted her to live with us and he refused. When L was 9 he sent her to a local orphanage where she stayed until she was 13. At least 3 weekends out of 4 he would tell her he was taking her for the weekend. She’d have her little bag packed and be waiting every Friday until the house parent would call my mom and we go pick her up. So she spent most weekends with us and when she was 13 she finally came to live with us. She calls/called my parents Mama and Daddy and her bio dad by his first name. Did I mention he was a really awful human being??

When I got sober in 2008 I’d been trying to fill the hole that was left in my soul with drugs and alcohol since I was 19 years old and had my first drink. I’d endured further abuse and betrayals through the years, but none that destroyed me so completely as my uncle’s abuse and my mom’s tacit complicity. I remember sitting in my counselor’s office at the rehab center (my 3rd rehab attempt).

TL;DR. I suffered horrible abuse at the hands of a horrible man who was allowed access to me by my mother, and went on to spend 20+ years in addiction trying to make the pain go away.

I asked my counselor how I was supposed to live as any sort of functional and/or healthy person with all this in my past. She said, "HF, you don’t have a past. Every single thing that has ever happened to you is still right here because you carry it all around with you all the time. It’s like this suitcase you cart around so you can pop it open and revisit all of those things like some kind of souvenir. The purpose of the 12 Steps is to give you a past. To allow you to put all those memories away in their proper place. That will allow you to use them for growth and to help a fellow suffering person."

I was nonplussed. I had literally never imagined such a thing. I pushed on. "How am I ever supposed to forgive this man?" She told me not to worry about that. She said my job was to get sober and stay sober. And that if I kept doing the next right thing I would be one day be surprised to find out I was healing.

Y’all, I can’t adequately express how much I hated this man. My mom and his daughter continued to feel duty-bound to help him as he aged. He was kicked out of several local nursing homes because of his hateful behavior. Ended up 90 miles away in a VA home. My mom called me one day, whinging about how bad the place was. And I snapped. I said "Good! I hope he's in the worst nursing home in the entire country. I hope they leave him to sit in his filth and when they do change his diaper I hope they laugh at his junk." And I told everyone in the family that when he died, nobody better ask me to sing for his funeral because if they did, I would get up and sing "Na na na na! Hey hey hey, Goodbye!"

I stayed in rehab for 30 days. Came home to discover JM was at the very least in an EA. Previously this would have been my reason to start drinking or using again. But something had changed in me and I just knew I had to stay sober. I went to meetings and poured all this stuff out. I was in IC and worked so hard to keep moving forward no matter what. I didn’t think about uncle. I worked on healing me. Several times my mom or my sister/cousin would tell me that uncle had found God at the nursing home. "Good for him," was all I had the energy or mental space to think.

Then one day L called to say he’d had a massive stroke the night before. She said, "I know you don’t care." And the words came out of my mouth, "You know what? I think I do. And I hope he is comfortable." shocked

Wait. What???? Where in all heaven and earth had that come from?? I had no idea. But somehow, all the hate was gone and I felt only pity. And a tiny glimmer of hope that what I’d heard was true. He died the next day and L asked if I’d consider singing. I did. In fact, my sister played the piano for the service. I sang a hymn, "My Faith Looks Up to Thee". My brother and some male cousins were pall bearers. The service was performed by the chaplain who had gotten to know him at the nursing home. And I came to believe that he had made things right with God. Standing around his grave beside all of my siblings and cousins who had been abused by him I realized we’d all found our paths to healing.

So what’s the point of all this?

I believe that the willingness to forgive is all that is needed to allow God as we understand him to work in our hearts. As I stated in an earlier post, there’s no requirement to verbally announce forgiveness to the person who wronged us. And forgiveness is in no way saying that what that person did is okay. Forgiveness from me does not absolve that person from accountability for their actions nor does it relieve them from consequences. Forgiveness allows me to have a past, and to live freely in my present.

I know there are a lot of people who don’t believe the same things I do, and that’s okay. But this has been my experience, and I hope it can be of benefit to at least one person.

Me, 56
Him, 48 (JMSSC)
Married 26 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4955   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8807483
Topic is Sleeping.
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