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-   -   forgiveness (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47445)

genebean 05-20-2013 11:17 PM

He cheated and lied..it hurt. I am having trouble letting it go, it keeps popping up in conversation and turning a conversation into a fight. I am angry and hurt and I can honestly say that I hate the female that participated. I have never wanted to hit someone over the head with a frying pan more in my life. Forgiveness is not my strong point. Any tips on forgiving him and her?

opalescent 05-20-2013 11:51 PM

Me neither. I've been known to hold a grudge for a very long time. I've gotten better at forgiving and moving on as I've aged but it - and patience - will never be my strong suit.

There is so much on the forum about cheating and how to recover from the loss of trust and painful feelings. It's a long, hard road if one really gets to the point of true forgiveness. Search for cheating, trust and keywords like that.

Is this the same partner that you've written about before here?

My only question is do you want to forgive him? What's in it for you? You stay in the relationship with him? If that's the price of admission for you to stay in the relationship, then is that worth it for you? Is he and the relationship you have worth doing the hard work of forgiveness? (I am speaking about both of you. It is possible to forgive those who never repent but I do not suggest staying in a romantic relationship in such a situation.)

LovingRadiance 05-21-2013 12:09 AM

Its a long, hard road. I don't know if its worth it for any relationship. The successful "forgive after affair" situations that I have known of, were all situations where there were shared children & property.

genebean 05-21-2013 01:52 AM

He is one and the same. I feel its worth atleast some effort, though its difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I care so very much for him but I sometimes feel like he would rather not have to consider a significant other. He vehemently denies that this is the case and says that he made a big mistake in doing what he did. I know that he regrets cheating on me but at the same time he did it multiple times, so it was a choice not a "what have I done, I feel so bad, ill never do it again" kinda deal. We are working on it, but I have so much doubt and uncertainty that it clouds things up a bit.

nycindie 05-24-2013 02:14 AM

Ohhhh, genebean. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing but there is such a thing as being too forgiving. There is such a long history of Polypenguin being an ass toward you, treating you disrespectfully, and then you always just sit around and mope about it, wondering what to do. Then he comes here and complains that you won't give him what he wants. You always forgive him and then he disrespects you again. If you stay with him, the two of you seem destined to hurt each other. You both seem to be emotionally ill-equipped to handle your relationship. It's getting ridiculous now.

So, I ask you - how much more crappy treatment are you willing to put up with? How much is too much? When the hell are you going to get up and walk away from someone who treats you like shit? When will you actually do something about it and create a better life for yourself instead of sticking with the same loser and wondering why you're unhappy?

You can love and care about someone to the end of the universe, but an asshole is still an asshole even if you love him, and there's no reason to continue letting him treat you like dirt and cheat on you.

LovingRadiance 05-24-2013 06:37 AM

Love doesnt equal compatible.
I love my Spicy Peas dad.
But OMG I am SO glad we ended it 20 yrs ago! We get along much better as exes raising a child, both of us invested in lovers we ARE compatible with.

Loving someone isn't a sign that there's a good relationship probability.

Marcus 05-24-2013 02:03 PM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 206220)
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing but there is such a thing as being too forgiving.

Forgiveness is just about getting over the resentment, guilt, shame, etc feelings which tend to come with betrayal of trust. It's just about being able to move on and 'be ok' with the past... not letting it fuck up your present.

It is *not* a statement about what to do from there. Just because I don't feel a knot in my stomach about when someone has betrayed me in the past in no way suggests that I should have them in my life or that I should allow myself to be set up in the same or similar situation again. I still get to learn from my experiences and pick the best path for my present.

LadySFI 05-24-2013 04:21 PM

I am so sorry you are going through this. I myself, am absolutely zero tolerance to cheating. I am not sure I could get over it. I know some people who have gotten past it, but I don't know that they ever got over it. I think it can be especially hard for poly people who need an exceptional level of trust and security in their relationships.

I hope you figure out what works best for you. You have a lot of questions to ask yourself. At the very least, I would take some time just for you, without him around and figure out the answers to these questions.

Change can be scary. Especially when you have known one thing for so long.

While you are contemplating your choices, please remember.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. -Einstein
Are you planning on doing something different? or just getting over it? If you don't change anything, nothing will change. Seems logical, but when you are hurt, simple logic can slip by covered by heartache.

Chimera 05-26-2013 01:11 AM

I'm in a relationship with a long-term partner who cheated and lied. I won't pretend it was easy and there's so much to say, but there are a few reasons why I am here still with him right now:

1. He took full responsibility and it stopped.
2. What we have together is really important -- values, interests, shared experiences (no kids, no property)
3. We did couples counseling with a poly counselor who pretty much put him on the spot as we worked through issues. I decided I was done with him and he asked me for one last attempt. Things aren't perfect, I don't fully trust like I used to, but I do believe that he has changed, continues to change, has become a better communicator and better at understanding his motivation and behavior.

But the most important is this:
I was ready to leave him. I was clear. My life could go on without him and could be wonderful and I would survive. In a very real sense, it was an ultimatum, witnessed by the counselor, that he had no space for mistakes anymore. The issues that continued prior to seeing the counselor were not cheating or lying, but were about not keeping agreements to the letter (weaseling around time, etc.). At that point, it was all or nothing and I told him if he really felt he couldn't live up to it, that was fine, but he couldn't be with me anymore.

I will also say that one of the things that swayed me to try is knowing that I've made mistakes myself and that some of us do have the capacity to change. But, again, I set a limit and it was important. Forgiveness is a choice. I have chosen not to forgive my childhood abuser, but in this case I did the "math" (yes, it was that clinical of a thought process) and decided I had more to gain if it could work out.

BoringGuy 05-26-2013 01:38 AM

An ultimatum is ok if you mean it. It is not ok if you are using it to try to trip someone into doing your bidding. In general, people on here counsel others NOT to issue ultimatums due to the fact that the manipulative type of ultimatums, "you better or else" almost always backfire, and when they do not backfire, there are often repercussions that set the relationship up for failure at some point. But when a person is genuinely DONE "trying" and not getting anywhere, it is perfectly ok to say, "these are your choices, i am fine with either. Pick one and let's move forward". While that is by definition an ultimatum, it does not deserve the negative quality usually attributed to the other type of ultimatum.

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