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Think About It... Resentment is a mental process in which we repeatedly replay a feeling, and the events leading up to that feeling that angers us. With resentment, we re-experience and relive events in ways that affect us mentally, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually in destructive ways. ~ Mark Siche (author of Healing from Family Rifts),
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Author Topic: Why I Can't Forgive My Ex  (Read 3585 times)
SoCalGirl
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« on: February 12, 2009, 03:44:33 PM »

I know this sounds bizarre, but I can't forgive my ex because, because, well, I still love him. I'm afraid that if I forgive him, I'll met him in any further and I'll let him hurt me more than he ever has. I just hate this feeling inside of myself and I wish things were different but they aren't for now. I don't know if anyone could relate but it makes me sick...
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Red Raven
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 03:55:10 PM »

Then dear one don't forgive him.  At least for now.  See forgiveness I believe is a process, not just a blanket get out of jail free card.  As it was explained to me it is like an injury, a chronic injury.  Every so often your reminded of the pain and oh you ok I remember, I am a little stronger now and can forgive a little more.

SoCal the name of the game here is self care.  No need to rush your process to accommodate another's time line. This is YOUR heart on the line YOUR emotions, YOUR life, YOUR safety, YOUR sanity.   YOUR precious love too. 

You can love him until the end of time as I will my exBPDgf.  Nothing I wouldn't do for her or to see her well.  But that doesn't mean you or I have to sacrifice ourselves any longer to an all consuming relationship that will more than likely move on without us.

Guard your heart sweet lady.  You, your love, your sanity are precious gifts.  Protect them and share them when you see fit.  No guilt, no shame, no fear. 

Cool Beans?
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Today is the day you can let it go... Your chance will come!
ICanDoIt
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 05:10:31 PM »

Right on, LeeJr. Excellent advice for SoCalGirl and many of us. Thanks!  x
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NotDeadYet
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 07:39:37 PM »

I am not obligated to forgive.  How about that huh?

I am ONLY obligated to forgive when the offender admits their wrong-doing, acknowledges the damage done to me, owns their deed without excuses, "reasons", or justifications, and they must make or offer amends.

Example of a true apology:  I'm sorry I screamed at you.  It was wrong.  I know that I hurt you when I CHOSE to scream rather than speak to you, and I promise to not repeat that behavior in the future.

Example of a non-aplogy:  I'm sorry I screamed at you but you really pissed me off.  If I don't scream you act like you don't care what I'm saying.  Besides all that- you screamed at me last week.  But yeah- I'm sorry and I want you to forgive me.

While I do understand that my ex IS mentally ill I am not obligated to forgive her.  I am not bitter and I do not hate her but I neither offer her my forgiveness nor will I offer it in the future until she truly apologizes.

You may find this contradictory but I pray for my ex daily.  I pray that she will someday be well.  With that will come her apology and my subsequent forgiveness.


Peace to all (even my ex!),

NDY   
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Padfoot
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2009, 08:39:55 PM »

I know this sounds bizarre, but I can't forgive my ex because, because, well, I still love him. I'm afraid that if I forgive him, I'll met him in any further and I'll let him hurt me more than he ever has. I just hate this feeling inside of myself and I wish things were different but they aren't for now. I don't know if anyone could relate but it makes me sick...

A few months ago, my ex followed me home from class... Actually, to say she "ambushed me" might be a bit more accurate.  Anyway, she says to me, "Why do you act like you hate me?" (Actually, I just do my best to be neutral, leaning towards indifference, since I have to see her 4 days a week and I *really* don't want to interact with her more than I have to).  Then she says "I think it's because you still love me."  What can I say to that?  Truth was, at the time, I guess I still *did* love her (or thought I did), and so maybe the anger was a defense mechanism. Anyway, I knew she was re-engaging me big time, so I just said, "No. I don't." And it was actually very liberating.

8 months out of the relationship, I realized that my feelings, strong as they were, weren't love, and I certainly don't love her now.  Love should not be tied up in feelings of rage, shame, and victimization. But still, I'm angry... and yes, I agree, I think it is a defense mechanism to some extent.  If I feel tender towards her, it might make me slip in my resolve, and I can't afford that.  Having to see her so much means I can't let myself slip. 

So I'm totally with NDY...  You are not obligated to forgive anything.  You *do* have an obligation to yourself to stay safe and healthy and away from that unhealthy relationship.

Good thoughts,

Padfoot

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arjay
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2009, 09:10:54 PM »

...Forgiveness can come in many forms too.  We can forgive them for the things they did as a way of letting go and healing ourselves too.  If we have learned healthy boundaries we can still forgive yet recognize they are no longer allowed in our "inner emotional circle".  I think sometimes we confuse forgiveness with acceptance.  We can forgive them for what they did, yet still not accept it as being healthy or something we will tolerate going forward.

When we go through the healing process our emotions in the beginning are all mixed up.  Crap they put us through a meat-grinder and made hamburger out of us.  In the beginning I couldn't think about anything let alone consider "forgive"? She drove me to brink of insanity, ran my heart through a blender and then told me I didn't know how to love, was mean, nasty and ugly and the reason she was leaving.

As I started to unravel this "hair ball" of emotions I realized I was a much better, kinder, gentler and loving person than she would ever see, because she was "ill" and I was not.  My "more mature self", realized that forgiveness is part of the process of healing ME.  I let go of so much anguish when I could say to myself "she was ill, I didn't deserve this, but I forgive her for her ignorance".  When I did that the need to continue to look for "validation" from her started to wane.  I began to realize that I didn't need her validation to let-go and find peace.  I only needed to validate my own feelings, forgive her and accept that the relationship in its entirety, was unhealthy.

Forgiveness helped me to heal myself.  It is not being weak nor does it mean by doing so we are opening ourselves up to more of the same.  Forgiveness combined with healthy boundaries means we have grown in wisdom and maturity ourselves.  We can silently forgive them as a way to get on with our own lives.  It is in no way "accepting" what they did as healthy or anything other than abuse. 

Peace
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upfrmhere
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2009, 10:51:53 PM »

hey socalgirl

this whole thing is a process and it takes time

  at first for me my unforgiveness was wrapped about me like a shroud of protection. i had forgiven and gone back so many times only for more pain, that when it really was over, i didn't, could'nt trust her anymore nor myself. if i let down my armour i risked going back . if i let all my hurt out at once i would certainly dissappear in it all.  i was so confused by the whole thing.i was afraid of it too.(the cycle, our cycle) i was angry bitter resentful and destroyed. these things protected me for a while so i could stay out long enough to see some light. i still have to process all the feelings. i can't just jump over them and forgive. that usually comes back for a bite. but i cant remain in unforgiveness either.

  after some time i realized my negative emotions were ruining me and she wasnt even there. i couldn't live like that any longer, so i began to make forgiveness my intention. so it could manifest...this doesnt mean it was a 'poof' ''still work .. i still dont have a handle on forgiveness or acceptance but it is what i want and need for a better self, a better life.
   
   but i can not do it any sooner than i can. it happens of itself as long as we are moving foward. don't stress over it . dont force it . you will know, it is a process and it is yours. i have made so many mistakes on this journey. they are just that ,mistakes.  i have to forgive myself as well you know. that for me usually comes after i give forgiveness.  i am not there yet but so much closer than i was, hang in there

best to you    upfrmhere 
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ICanDoIt
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2009, 07:40:56 AM »

i had forgiven and gone back so many times only for more pain, that when it really was over, i didn't, could'nt trust her anymore nor myself. if i let down my armour i risked going back .

Throughout the whole relationship, no matter what he did, no matter how many times he broke up with me or how long the break was, I always forgave him. It was automatic. Perhaps it wasn't really forgiveness at all, just acceptance, tolerance, being laissez-faire, enabling. I don't know. Then I finally broke up with him. And I'm consciously aware that I'm not willing to forgive him yet. And this pisses him off, why can't I forgive him, give him a 2nd chance? He doesn't see (or is that care) that I'd forgiven him or let things slide hundreds of times, that I'd given him dozens of 2nd chances already. It was too little too late. But I'm the bad guy for that. barfy
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arjay
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2009, 08:57:51 AM »

i had forgiven and gone back so many times only for more pain, that when it really was over, i didn't, could'nt trust her anymore nor myself. if i let down my armour i risked going back .

Throughout the whole relationship, no matter what he did, no matter how many times he broke up with me or how long the break was, I always forgave him. It was automatic. Perhaps it wasn't really forgiveness at all, just acceptance, tolerance, being laissez-faire, enabling. I don't know. Then I finally broke up with him. And I'm consciously aware that I'm not willing to forgive him yet. And this pisses him off, why can't I forgive him, give him a 2nd chance? He doesn't see (or is that care) that I'd forgiven him or let things slide hundreds of times, that I'd given him dozens of 2nd chances already. It was too little too late. But I'm the bad guy for that. barfy

We have all done this and more.  I cannot count how many times I had to let go of her behavior, accept whatever my responsibility was in it, and yet continue to be invalidated by her, that her actions were way too often simply abusive.

After reading the book "Boundaries", I realized my willingness to let the "door of abuse swing open" over and over was in fact "my choice".  I could blame her for what she was doing, but could only blame myself for allowing it to continue.  That is where we the "nons" often have our own issues.  We think by forgiving/tolerating/accepting continual blame for their behavior, that they will somehow see this as love.  In fact I believe that just the opposite is true.  The can see we don't respect ourselves enough to "walk away", so they lose even more respect for us as a result.

When we really respect ourselves, articulate our "boundaries" and stick to them, they may continue with their behavior, but we can also walk away, something I didn't do soon enough.  I let it continue, and hurt myself more.  It took a BPD to see how much I needed to grow myself.

Peace
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TonyC
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009, 10:16:57 AM »

forgiveness...hmmmmm

i used to think the same thing... but when it comes down to it, it was all my fault..i allowed it , i tollerated it, i chased her,  i let her come back.., i let her go to years of wasted therapy and meds..

i chose to forgive myself...they are what they are with out changes.taking place.. she was consistant.

so i forgive myself..

its like a guy comes to you with a gun... and says help me rob this bank..and you do it..
he didnt make you.. you chose to...
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