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Thread: How do I forgive my boyfriend for the horrible things he did to me?

  1. #1
    AmyDorrit
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    How do I forgive my boyfriend for the horrible things he did to me?

    I am very much in love with my boyfriend, but he used to be a selfish, horrible boyfriend. I want to forgive him so badly, but I find myself randomly remembering something he's done by going past a particular building, or seeing a familiar word, and I usually get very upset after I remember the past. He's sexually abused me; forcing me to take off my clothes, or give him oral "if i loved him," and he used to touch me inappropriately in public places, which made me very uncomfortable. On top of the abuse, he would ignore me for video-games or his frat buddies. He went on a "date" (he said it wasn't one) with his ex-girlfriend (they went to the park where he twirled her in the air then rolled around in the grass with her), he wanted to take another girl to a fancy-frat-dinner because I was out of town and couldn't go (after much whining I persuaded him not to take another date), then saw facebook pictures of him with two other girls making kissy-faces at him at said dinner. I know he loves me, and you might think I'm stupid, but I love him too, and I want to make this work because he knows now that what he did to me was horrible, but I don't know how to stop thinking about some of these past events. I want to forgive him, because it hurts both of us for me to hold onto these memories, but I don't know how to just let them go....i feel like he's broken my heart.

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    WockaWocka
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    Is he asking for forgiveness? It certainly doesn't sound like he's sorry about anything. In fact it really sounds like he doesn't respect you at all and he will just keep using you as long as you're willing to keep taking it. I'm sorry to say it so bluntly, but despite whatever he says, someone who loves you and respects you wouldn't treat you this way. You can't make it work if he's not putting in any effort.

  3. #3
    AmyDorrit
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    He's said he's sorry I don't know how many times...and I can tell he means it, but sometimes it seems like he forgets about the past, which is good I guess, but I'd like for him to remember it all the time because he slips-up now and then. I mean, I know he's not perfect, but I wish he would do more for me. I know he honestly is sorry about the past though. I know him very well, and he does feel sad when I remember something.

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    ForumGuy
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    Be careful, ex's are notorious for behaving well until they have have you comfortably back in their life. Then back to the old ways. Dont jump in too deep....too fast. Forgiveness and forgetting are two different things. Many people forgive, but few forget.

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    lukeb
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    I think there are a number of issues here. One may be that the fact that he abuses you is part of the attraction to him. That it is a way for you to get love and sympathy from other people, or perhaps even from your boyfriend as he makes it up to you. Maybe you see it is a way for you to be in a position where he "owes" you all the time for all the horrible things he has done for you. It could be all kinds of different things. Whatever it is probably a good idea to seek some counseling to find out.

  6. #6
    Crazyaboutdogs
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    but I'd like for him to remember it all the time because he slips-up now and then
    The fact that he slips up and reverts to past behaviours shows that this is who he is...in one way or another he will always end up resorting to some behaviour which disrespects you. The things he has done to you are pretty vile and it is no wonder you can't forgive and forget. He can more easily put it aside because he is not the one who was being hurt...and his actions towards you shows that this is in his character to behave like that. If you choose to remain with him then likely you will always have the past getting in the way, because chances are he will forget over time and slowly but surely his bad behaviours will creep up once again.

  7. #7
    AmyDorrit
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    lukeb, I feel exactly like he owes me a lot of the time, do you know what I can do to stop feeling like he does? Because I don't want to feel like he owes me, it's just a natural reaction I've had and I want to get past everything.

  8. #8
    lavenderdove
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    He is who he is... and he's someone who is capable of that behavior, and either realizes it is wrong (and stops), or stops doing it for a while because he doesn't want to lose you, but then starts again because he can't/won't change.

    So perhaps you are on guard because deep down you know he is indeed that crass person who would do those things to you, and will do them again the next time he is not on his good behavior.

    You can't cherry pick what you do and don't like about the person. They are the sum total of all the things they think/say/do, and if you are going to stay wtih him, you have to just accept he did what he did. And if he no longer does it, then you have to accept that the realized he was wrong and changed. And if he keeps doing it you have to accept there is a side to him that you find intolerable, which you cannot wish away, which means you need to break up with him.

    You can't hide cringing in a corner trying to obliterate any bad memories. You have to openly acknowledge to yourself, he did those horrible things, but i am in control and can stay or leave based on whether he continues to do them. If he does, i'm strong enough to leave and protect myself, and if he doesn't, then i can assume he grew up and stopped the bad behavior and be confident in the relationship.

    But you need to very carefully evaluate whether he has really changed or not. Look at how he is behaving, and make decisions accordingly.

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    catfeeder
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    Either someone's behavior changes, or it doesn't--regardless of how you feel about it.

    Feeling worse won't make him better, and feeling better won't make him better. It's all up to him. If you're willing to stick around and suffer the resentment you feel toward him in order to see if he'll ever change for the better, you can do that. But if you're asking for a way to feel good about doing that, I hope someone smarter than me has an answer for you.

    We love who we love, but some people are best loved from far away.

  10. #10
    agent
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    What do you mean by slips up?

    But irregardless of how much you love him, he does not love you. When you abuse someone, that is not an expression of love, it's an expression of hate - for the person who is doing it and the person who is having it done to them.

    You can't stop thinking about these things because they were awful things. You can't make them better by saying sorry.

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