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Barriers to Forgiveness


CanadianEagle

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The following self-reflection note is an exercise for my relationship counselling. I am interested in seeing what the forum has to say, compared to what the counsellor will say. I will not read this thread until after my next session. I guess it will show if the counsellor is worth her big bucks.

 

The question is, "What is holding me back from forgiveness?"

 

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It’s not fair. I guess I feel like what She had was a positive experience with him. Living recklessly; not having to worry about consequences until tomorrow. To be young, free, having fun, and to abscond from responsibility. I didn’t always feel this way about promiscuity though.... I used to be naive and believe that love conquers all. I thought that if I tried my best to treat women with respect, and to care about their feelings, something very special would come my way some day. Well, something special did come, but for a brief moment in time, it was everything that I thought was wrong.

 

Now, there is an internal battle in me, and great confusion. What is Love? What is the purpose of it? What is the value of it? Was it worth being what I thought was “good?” Or did I simply cheat myself of an important phase in young adulthood?

 

What does it mean if I fully forgive, and fully accept? Does that mean that I concede and agree that those actions are okay? If they are okay, then I must ask again, did I miss out on the party? On the other hand, if I concede, and those actions are not okay, does that mean that I am with a bad person? Neither of those options sounds appealing to me.

 

What if holding on to some resentment is my affirmation to myself that it is not okay to do that?

 

Also, there is a sense that I did miss out on an important phase from life; that I should have acted with reckless abandon when I had a chance. She took a week long “break” from our relationship, and acted on it. I recently took a month long break from our relationship, but I don’t feel like it would have been okay if I dated and slept with someone. I firmly believe that I could have. But I did not want to act as such, because I knew it would complicate things if I were to get back with Her. It would hurt Her. But not only that, it could deeply wound and confuse the 3rd party if I abruptly left to return to my previous life. There I go again, caring about other people’s feelings. Are not all people entitled to be selfish sometimes? Did I cheat myself yet again? Is this a personality “trait” of mine, or merely a flaw that prevents me from living life to the fullest? Does this trait have value? Is it positive or worthwhile?

 

Honestly, does being “virtuous” truly have any value? Would it have the same value if I took a night long break from it? Week long? Month long? Is it okay to be virtuous “most of the time?” If so, then I cheated myself yet again, and should have taken what I wanted from women, regardless of hurting their feelings, taking advantage of them, or getting their hopes up for a relationship ... ... it feels wrong even typing that...

 

I really don’t know what to feel about this. Or to where my moral compass points.

 

==============================

 

Background from previous thread: 291226

 

Background: She had a BF of 3 or 4 years when I met her. She had thought of leaving him, because he was cold and unloving. But, she has 2 kids (not his), and he provided some stability, and the possibility of financial security for the family (although he did not share any of it at that point).

 

We became friends, and had what I thought was an amazing spark. We each thought that the other person was amazing and deserved oh so much. We made out, she left her BF, we started sleeping together.

 

She gets confused, wants space. After struggling with that for a while, I give her space. She ends up sleeping with a random guy that she met through friends. Regrets it lots. I found out later that needing space also meant she was sleeping with her ex.

 

Me = totally heartbroken and devastated. Don't talk for over a month. Start talking, dating, sleeping together. Plan to break up with her for the summer to "find myself"

 

Oops = pregnancy right before I leave.

 

I try to do the right thing, and be there for her. We try to stick it out. Tried a couple of counselors. None helped.

 

Fast-forward a few years. Lots of fights. Year 1, mostly lots of nasty words from me. Year 2, escalation... physical on both out parts sometimes. Year 3, turns down a notch. Sometimes nasty words from me still, and her throwing stuff.

 

Leading up to Present Day: I left for a month after a fight. We are now working on things and going to counselling. Things have been pretty decent for the last few weeks since I came back home.

 

Why are we even together still?: Doing a lot of relationship exercises at one point, we score AWESOME on compatibility, values, family, money, career, etc. We fail on the point of forgiveness.

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Is it really failing on the point of forgiveness...or is it simply that her values aren't actually in sync with yours? Look at what she did...she was with her ex and had no problem cheating on him with you. Then she needs to sleep with the ex again when on a break from you. I would say that the problem is not forgiveness, the problem is her track record and the fact that you can't believe in her and trust her because of this hideous track record of hers. Yes, virtuous people who try to do right by others often end up with the short end of the stick..they are prey to the people without a conscience who can rationalize any kind of bad behaviour..they can rationalize cheating, hurting people etc. Sometimes what people have done is indeed unforgiveable....the thing is, if you can't forgive her then you shouldn't be in a relationship with her...if you can't trust her..if, in the back of your mind you will wonder if she will do it again down the road, then you should end this relationship.

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This scenario, apart from the children involved and the longevity of this relationship sounds very similar to mine. (see recent post on strange cheating situation etc).

 

I would say, stop beating yourself up. Over the last few days, with a couple of close friends who I've talked to, in depth, who've been through similar strange situations like this (and believe me, they are not clear situations to experience when you are in them)...nothing is black and white. Don't blame yourself. You have a very open heart, like myself... and many others. We are foolhardy optimists. And we make mistakes.

 

For your own sake, I would say focus on staying open, staying optimistic and valuing your worth. In these cases, it seems to me, that less than good people (in the relationship stakes) are good at spotting a good 'un, like you...like me - and countless others. But for them it's not enough. That is their problem as you can see: They can't give up on you... because they know you're good. BUT their sense of what is healthy, and what they will give you, is quite alien to the likes of you and me.

 

It will take time to find the door out of this... but step, by step, you will get there.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for the responses. To add more depth to this... I think our roles have reversed now. She has grown up and changed for the good. With my conflict of values, I may have changed for the worse.

 

I'm no longer completely honest with her, and she caught me on lie. (Did you look at pictures of girls online while we were seperated for about a month). Now she doesn't feel like she can trust me. I don't really blame her... but I do feel confused....

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Thank you for the responses. To add more depth to this... I think our roles have reversed now. She has grown up and changed for the good. With my conflict of values, I may have changed for the worse.

 

I'm no longer completely honest with her, and she caught me on lie. (Did you look at pictures of girls online while we were seperated for about a month). Now she doesn't feel like she can trust me. I don't really blame her... but I do feel confused....

 

Forgiveness is hard. It doesn't get any easier to forgive until you start to actually forgive. Part of being able to forgive is to be able to be honest. Don't lie if you think it will hurt someone, be honest because you love her. Besides does it really matter if you looked at girls' pictures if you werent together?

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Forgiveness is hard. It doesn't get any easier to forgive until you start to actually forgive. Part of being able to forgive is to be able to be honest. Don't lie if you think it will hurt someone, be honest because you love her. Besides does it really matter if you looked at girls' pictures if you werent together?

 

It mattered to her I guess. And it mattered more because I lied about it.

 

And... I also lied about having feelings for another girl while we were apart.

 

Since I already knew this girl, she thought I broke up with her (for a month) just for this girl. Now she took the house and kids and told me to eff off....

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It mattered to her I guess. And it mattered more because I lied about it.

 

And... I also lied about having feelings for another girl while we were apart.

 

Since I already knew this girl, she thought I broke up with her (for a month) just for this girl. Now she took the house and kids and told me to eff off....

 

There's a level of accountability during these situations that you should be wary of so that the other person will not manipulate you into feelings of guilt. The act of lying is more painful to someone than the actual lie in most cases, but you have to remember that when you two are apart you are apart. You should be able to retain the freedoms of a normal single person just like anyone else. Why is she even asking such questions? It will only serve to hurt her feelings.

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