Jump to content

how to forgive...


Recommended Posts

Hey all,


I wrote a few months ago about an issue that I am about 60% over but would like some advice from anyone on how to forgive your partner for a betrayal. What has worked for others?


The story is: I found out a few months ago that my fiance (now husband) had a drunken one night stand with someone else a month after we started dating (nearly 4 years ago) and right after we had first started sleeping together. When it happened, we were in that uncertain beginning phase and hadn't talked about exclusivity yet. I ended up getting an STD from him and he told me that he'd gotten it from a one night stand BEFORE we started dating (a lie). Three years later, he fessed up that it was after we started dating and it crushed me. I decided to go forward with him anyway because other than this incident, our relationship was (and is) great - and, I sought a lot of advice (on here and elsewhere) and the consensus was that since we weren't exclusive and it was a one time drunken mistake, I should let it go and simply be clear with him about expectations going forward. I know why he lied back then: to keep me. However, no amount of logic has been able to help me to really move on from this internally and fully forgive him. It shattered my ego to think that he'd think so casually about me back then and that he would have actually had sex with someone else so soon after we'd started sleeping together. He claims that it was drunkenness and his resistance to getting into a relationship, and that the woman threw herself at him. I cannot seem to move fully past this and it has gotten to a point where I'm so frustrated with the situation and myself that I'm miserable about it although I keep that to myself and don't talk to him about it anymore. I know that forgiveness is the right thing (whether I chose to stay with him or not) and that it benefits him and me by lifting the negative weight off of both of us. But how?? Has anyone successfully moved passed feelings like mine? And before I get responses saying there is nothing to forgive because we were not exclusive, I will caveat this with the fact that he feels like he did something wrong by having the one night stand, passing along the STD, and lying about it - so "there is nothing to forgive because the talk hadn't happened," is a technicality. I just want to release this finally. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Link to comment

I thought things were great for you now? Why bring up something (in my mind a little trivial but that's just me) that happened a long time ago?


Yes, he's admitted he did something wrong when you were not exclusive and you want to churn it out? I don't get it?


Is there a current trust issue?


Sorry, I don't mean to come accross terse...

Link to comment

Thanks for responding. That's not a terse response at all. I am not bringing it up anymore with him I am just having trouble letting it go internally - ie, I think about it more frequently than I'd like to admit, and when I do, I cannot seem to jump over the hurdle of being hurt over it and into being OK with it. I know everyone is different and for him, clearly, it was an unimportant drunk hookup and a mistake that merely led to some discomfort. For me, it's a sign that he wasn't that into me when we started dating and sleeping together. And you know that "honeymoon phase," people have when they first get into a relationship with a person they fall in love with? I feel like he must have simply skipped that part with me. For him to have thought of another woman as worth having unprotected sex with days after he'd first had sex with me (which was after a good six+ dates), it just crushed me to realize. And now I just can't figure out how to let it stop bothering me inside. I feel like a prisoner of my own negative thoughts about it and nothing has made me feel better. I go through the motions now and the effort of pretending it doesn't bother me and I'm exhausted! I just want it to go away and cannot find a way to make it go away. Sorry, I know that sounds negative but it is the truth.

Link to comment

It's not an excuse, but he was on the booze. I have certainly done some odd things before when been on the naughty water!


Anyway, the only way I see you being able to put that wolf to bed is to perhaps talk to him in a very nice, non-confrontational way about it? The thing is, I don't know how he will react, because I don't know him. It's a problem you have and maybe he just doesn't see it as anything relevant.


Me personally? It would probably annoy me if you brought it up. That's something I am trying to address though (a whole other story!!)


I don't want to ruin anything here so maybe see what other comments arise!!

Link to comment

hey there blanchett,

well im not sure how exactly you can go about letting this go...... you just have to really...let ....it.....go!!! yes , it was wrong. you were wronged. he knows it and you know it. other people can say whatever about you not being exclusive at that point but it doesn't matter, you feel betrayed and he feels he betrayed you.


ok so, having said all that. he fessed up. it was 4 years ago- at the very beginning of your relationship, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY he seems like a lovely guy who is WORTH forgiving. he made a mistake, he acted out of character. dont make this be the ruin of a great relationship.


i am a person who is very loyal, i don't cheat or even act inappropriatly with anyone else when i am in a relationship. but one time i did. once i was involved with a guy whom i really really liked. i was 100% into him but we were not yet exclusive. one day i bumped into my ex who i hadn't seen in over a year. we got talking and feelings for him started to come back to me. i ended up spending the night with him. my bf was outta town for the week so i knew i wouldn't get caught. i ended up spending the WHOLE week with the ex . it was so strange. i couldn't resist him. in reality i was just weak . i kept saying to myself well we're not exclusive. once my bf came back we talked and became 'exclusive'. i never fessed up and i never cheated on him again.


my point is...... i don't know how i did that. it was so out of character for me and i know for sure it will never happen again. thats not who i am and im ashamed that i did it. even reading now what i have just written makes me feel disgusted. how did i do THAT??? but i did and you know what? i cant take it back.

but if anyone now ever mistrusted me in a relationship or questioned my faithfulness, they would be sooooo wrong. i am not that person.


it seems that your husband really regrets what he has done and i think that,that is the no 1 in the reason to forgive him. a lot of people ask for forgivness but some of them don't really believe that what they did was all that wrong especially in the case of exclusive v/s non exclusive. but i think your husband feels really regretful about this. he is not that person and you know it. let.... it ...... go.... now. hold onto your relationship and enjoy it. if you don't you may find yourself posting on the breaking up site and that would be a real shame for something that happened such a long time ago before you all were truly committed.

Link to comment

I don't, and never did, buy the "I was drunk excuse", and I do believe it's used all too often as a "copout" for cheating.


But, as long as your marriage is going well, plus the fact that he fessed up to you, shows that he cares, and is being sincere, IMO.


I'm sure it all plays out in your mind, but you have to give yourself the gift of forgiveness, before you can truly forgive him. Also, he does sound like he's worth it to me, but that's something you need to find within yourself.


Wishing you the best...

Link to comment

Thanks, guys! There is no point in talking to him about it, I agree that would be annoying and unncessary. And I agree that this was somewhat out of character for him based on what I've known since. I agree with HGO that I have to "give myself the gift of forgiveness," by giving it to him and therein lies the problem. I wonder if there is a manual laying around somewhere (? Ugh. Thanks again for advice and if anyone else has sage thoughts I appreciate those too.

Link to comment

Regarding that last post, however, that I have to decide whether one night is worth throwing away 4 years: I think that it would be fair for someone to throw away a relationship of even 20 years if the spouse or partner cheated, even for just one night. It's a completely subjective decision - some people have higher thresholds for these things - but I wouldn't think a person was wrong or irrational for saying, "I can't handle even one night of infidelity," (or the opposite approach). That is why framing it as one night versus four years doesn't help me move forward.

Link to comment

Thanks, Victoria. You touch on the hardest part of these problems in your last post. The past is not going to change and short of developing amnesia, I will not forget this, you're totally right. So I guess it's a big circle - I have to decide whether this is "deal breaking" for me and if it is, leave. And if it is not, try to move forward. And if I cannot move forward and don't want to leave over it, keep trying, and then fail, and keep trying, and keep failing (at least that's been the pattern thus far). It's so frustrating and I don't think that it is easily controllable or a decision that one makes to simply "move forward," or get past hurt. From what I can tell, it just comes more easily for some people and does not happen at all for others.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...