Many people whom we’ve communicated with have found that the path to accepting their spouse’s infidelity has been easier than the path to forgiving after infidelity.

After being betrayed and hurt so badly by the affair, forgiveness for many may not seem possible anytime soon – if at all. However, acceptance can be an important first step for moving on with your life and to possibly move closer towards healing yourself and your relationship.

So what are some of the elements of acceptance?  Acceptance means having to tell yourself the truth about what happened. Acceptance means telling yourself the truth about how it happened to you. Acceptance means telling yourself the truth that the cheater did this to you. Acceptance means that you have to let go of the fantasies and illusions about your marriage and realize that something is wrong.

According to some of the books we have read in the past, it is widely believed that acceptance must come before forgiveness can occur.  But you do not want to forgive too soon.

As we have mentioned previously, there can be some major problems if you forgive too soon:  Forgiving too soon masks the pain. Forgiving too soon after the affair can let the cheating spouse off the hook. Forgiving too soon after infidelity does not give the betrayed spouse sufficient time to explore what was most upsetting about the affair.

With this in mind, please consider the following questions for discussion…

What does acceptance of the affair mean to you?

Do you feel that you have accepted the affair?  Why or why not?

In your opinion, does acceptance make forgiving after infidelity any easier?

Is it possible that you can accept the affair but never forgive it?

As always, please be sure to respond to each other’s comments!

See also  Merry Christmas!

Have a great day!

Linda & Doug

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    59 replies to "Discussion – Accepting and Forgiving After Infidelity"

    • chiffchaff

      What does acceptance of the affair mean to you?

      Do you feel that you have accepted the affair? Why or why not?

      I think I have accepted it, it took a long time especially as the details were drip fed or dragged out of my H over many months. It was hard to accept and then hear that it was worse than you imagined, again and again. I’ve accepted that before the PA/EA my H and I had drifted away from communicating properly and had massive resentments to deal with. Accepting them was essential in being able to deal with them. Accepting that my H is capable of massive deception and almost perfect compartmentalism means that it’s unlikely I will trust him completely again.
      What I don’t know though is whether my H accepts his affair was an ‘affair’ as such. I suspect it’s a safe harbour for fantasy whenever he needs it rather than accepting that it was something unacceptable that he did.

      In your opinion, does acceptance make forgiving after infidelity any easier?
      I think as time goes on I’m less and less certain what forgiveness actually is. Yes, I have accepted that my H decided to have an affair, amongst other things, that our marriage needed help and we both needed to work on it if we wanted to stay together. Staying with him and working on it with him would be seen as forgiveness externally I know, but I no longer feel like I have to forgive him formally. He has never asked me to forgive him.

      Is it possible that you can accept the affair but never forgive it?

      It is possible, yes. I think that’s where I’m at. I can accept it enough to be able to stay and work on it and I genuinely feel closer to my H than I have done for many years but that’s taken so much work, mainly on my part for many months. However, I have difficulty accepting the selfishness that continued for so long after discovery. I will never understand that.

      • Pat

        I am trying to understand your comments about you suspecting “…it’s a safe harbour for fantasy whenever he needs it…” Do you mean that today he mentally retreats to memories of the affair, relives it in his mind as a fantasy now, and feels that is somehow ok?
        Trying to understand your pain/thoughts as the words resonated with my W, but not yet with me.

    • Natalia

      What does acceptance of the affair mean to you?
      It means that I am free to choose if I stay or if I go. I choose to stay. It also means to understand that we were both at fault and we both get another chance to correct the mistakes that led my H to have an EA.

      Do you feel that you have accepted the affair? Why or why not?
      I have come to accept the affair. After reading so many books I understand how we failed each other.

      In your opinion, does acceptance make forgiving after infidelity any easier?
      I don’t think it’s a matter of making it any easier, it’s a matter of helping you decide if you want to forgive or not.

      Is it possible that you can accept the affair but never forgive it?
      Yes. That is where I stand today. I accept that an affair happened and I accept what he did to me. However, I will never trust him unconditionally like before. So forgiving him is out of the question. If I forgive him I feel I am betraying myself and don’t value myself enough. He made poor choices he can’t erase, therefore he doesn’t get to live guilt free. If I forgive him he might just forget my pain.

      • Anita

        Natalia,
        Forgiveness is for you, it removes the poison from you.
        Forgiveness never makes the other person/s right, instead
        the poison is released from you. Those who anger you also control you(your thoughts). With forgiveness you are
        giving up the right for revenge. The best revenge is living
        your life to the fullest, and putting this nightmare behind you. Also forgiveness is when we see a scar we remember what happened, however we no longer feel the
        pain.
        By not forgiving you are betraying yourself, because this
        will become baggage you will have to carry with you each
        day. Also others may not even care if there forgiven or
        not. However you won’t be left carrying their wrong
        actions with you each day, you can leave that in the past.
        Now as far as trusting that’s another subject.

        • Natalia

          Some of you, I believe, were a bit confused that I have not forgiven my H for his actions. I don’t feel that forgiveness is the first step to start healing and working on make our marriage better. I feel it is the last step. Forgiveness has to be earned and this can only happen once everything is in place, communication is open, honesty is present, actions are transparent, and lessons of past mistakes are learned and will not be repeated.

          At the beginning when I was so devastated by my discovery of his EAs, I thought I would NEVER forgive him because I was so angry and hurt. But as we worked on healing and my pain and anger subsided I felt there was no need to forgive. I couldn’t explain it, I could only feel it. Then I did some research on why I felt this way. I even saw a documentary about forgiveness and discovered that it was O.K. to feel the way I did. If I felt I was betraying myself by forgiving, then I had the right to respect myself and not forgive. This action did not make me hold on to the past anger, on the contrary knowing it was all right to feel this way made me free.

          I read that according to JEANE SAFER, Ph.D. there are 3 types of healthy unforgivers:
          “For moral unforgivers, refusing means telling the truth, asserting fundamental rights and opposing injustice. Psychologically detached unforgivers accept the painful reality that they cannot experience the positive internal connection with a betrayer–usually a parent–which forgiving would require. Reformed forgivers have faced conflicts between feelings, religious principles, ethics or social responsibilities, and reject the conventional attitudes they once accepted. None of these three types is vindictive or against forgiveness in principle; they share the capacity to forgive but do not exercise it indiscriminately.”
          I consider myself a moral unforgiver. I feel emotionally healthy, free and happy with my decision. I hold no grudges against him, I do not seek revenge for what he did to me. I read somewhere that in order to be able to forgive someone who has hurt you they must earn it by showing that they recognize their actions were wrong and have taken steps to make amends. He has shown remorse, however I’m not sure he completely understands that his actions were wrong. There have been 2 instances where I have caught him saying things to another woman which can be signs of an EA. I’ve pointed them out and he has apologized and said he needs this feedback to learn how not to cross boundaries. I’m glad he takes it this way and doesn’t get defensive or undermines my feelings. He is progressing and taking steps to amend his mistakes. However, I don’t think he’s there yet.
          Perhaps I was too quick to say that I would never forgive him. That’s not really true. I’m not discarding this possibility. However, I don’t want to fall into the belief that I SHOULD forgive because it will set me free, or it will help me let go of my anger, etc. I’m not angry. If I were I would not have stayed. At this point in my life and at the stage of healing in which my H and are in I feel that if I forgive I will be letting myself pretend that things weren’t really so bad or that I really didn’t feel that hurt or that devastated or that angry. Until my H fully and truly recognizes that what he did to me was WRONG he does not deserve to be forgiven by me. He needs to forgive himself first. Underserved forgiveness is cruel to both of us. By forgiving this way I will be condoning his actions and telling him that it was o.k. to behave that way. By not having forgiven him YET I am raising my moral standards and expecting more from him in return, which also affects his moral standards.

          • Paula

            Natalia, that is a really great explanation, and one I relate to thoroughly! In simple terms, I know I “forgive” (for want of a better word) how my ex was feeling at the time of the commencement of his affair, but I don’t “forgive” the way he acted on that loneliness and fear, there are so many other options (talking, divorce before jumping in someone else’s bed, NOT bringing her and her son on our family holidays, lol!) That said, I am not angry with him anymore either, just saddened and disappointed that you can’t undo what has been done. I have no need to hurt him in retribution for hurting me, I actually never have felt that urge! I wanted him to try to understand (he had been cheated on before, byt his very woman, 25 years earlier, so I had assumed he would never.) I think he does understand, to a large degree. He is truly gutted, truly disappointed and remorseful. I think you can “let it go” somewhat, but do not have to put yourself through the hell of living with a person who you no longer are able to make yourself trust. I don’t think my ex understands that aspect fully. He has promised to never let things get to the point he let them when this happened, but I am, by nature, a person who doesn’t forget! As I pointed out, a large part of me believes him, but the small part that says, “yeah, right, that’s what you believed before, you dumbass, Paula!” is pretty strong. That’s why I eventually left, because I just couldn’t overcome the doubt, or the sadness that he had ruined our “perfect little world.” It is a real Catch 22, because I was scared, sad and panicky with him, and I am completely miserable without him. Just keep pushing through hell, Winston!

            • ocanas

              Paula, great post!

          • Anita

            Natalia,
            Forgiveness is for you, when you forgive someone who
            has wronged you are freed from the bitterness and resentment that can saturate your soul like toxic waste.
            It never makes what the other person right. Instead it
            releases you from carrying all that toxic waste around.
            Also forgiving someone doesn’t mean we need to stay
            in a relationship with them either.
            Forgiveness is for the person who is carrying unforgiveness, its meant for you, it gives you a pathay to
            freedom, and it unloads all that toxic waste.
            Trusting the person that hurt you is another matter, and
            you do have the right to feel untrusting towards them.
            The lack of trust in their morals and wanting higher morals
            from them, I agree. Trusting him to soon would not be
            fair to the both of you, and he needs to earn your trust
            again.

            • Anita

              Natalia,
              To trust again is whats hard, forgiving is easier because its
              for you. Trusting someone after they cheated on you is very
              difficult, you can forgive their past, but to trust them with the
              future is another matter. I don’t blame you for not trusting,
              that is something that needs to be earned, and even then
              to trust them 100% again is very very difficult. I wish you
              and your husband the best.

            • Anita

              Natalia and Paula.
              When I talk about forgiveness it is for us, so we don’t carry
              the toxic waste with us each day. We got hurt by their affair
              however we can leave that past hurt behind us, by forgiving.
              Forgiveness is for the past.
              Trusting someone after they hurt us in itself is very difficult, yet alone to trust them with our future is so very hard.
              For myself, I forgave my exhusband for his past, however
              I would never trust him again to have a future with him.
              I love him as the father to my children, and our past memories that were good. However to go down that
              road again for me to trust him I wouldn’t because I don’t
              trust him. I believe he is a good person, however we are
              not right for each other, and that was proven when he cheated on me.
              I have healed and forgiven, but trust will never be there.
              God asks us to forgive others when they hurt us, however
              the Bible doesn’t not tell us we need to trust that person.
              Our trust is in God, not people. As long as we are in a
              relationship with any person sometime along the way
              we will be hurt or get hurt, even if its unintentional, thats
              why we forgive, so that hurt doesn’t take root and grow
              into bitterness and resentment therefore hurting us and
              not the other person, its like being upset with someone
              and swallowing poision expecting it to hurt them, when
              actually it hurts you.
              Trust on the other hand, God doesn’t not require us to
              trust others, he requires us to trust him and forgive
              others.

            • Anita

              I meant to say in the above post, as long as we are in a
              relationship with anyone, sometime along the way we will
              hurt them or get hurt by them, and that’s why its important to
              forgive. However we are not required to trust them, however we are to trust God, and leave it in his hands.
              Sometimes marriages do work out after and affair and
              other times they don’t. However God knows that and in
              my case both my exhusband and I are forgiven, because
              we are believers in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
              and all our sins have been forgiven.
              Also I have no right to not forgive him, it is required for me
              to forgive if I want my sins forgiven. For me not to forgive
              is a sin, just as much as is was for him to commit adultery.
              So we forgave each other, however we each went our
              separate ways, because trust is no longer there.
              On the other hand there are marraiges where it does
              work out after an affair, and they stay together, wheater they
              are happy or not, I guess that depends on them and
              the marraige, also I would imagine trust has to be rebuilt
              with time over the years to come.

          • tryingtoowife

            Natalia – This is a great post. Thank you for explaining some things that I feel but did not know, how to express it, and I have only read about having to forgive to heal. I have asked myself so many times, – Have I become such a bad and bitter person, incapable to achieve what everyone expects me to do? Forgive my husband and move on?
            I am trying to move on in the best way possible that we can and know, with still some unexpected set backs from my part mainly. I believe my husband is doing his best to show me that he cares for me and that he deserves to be accepted back in my life wholly, but I see the work as separate avenues.
            This weekend, after watching a film with him, and being triggered about adultery, I lost it, and became so fragile and angry that it was as if I was back on the firsts weeks after DDay. The behaviour of one of the main character was typical to the ” feeling young again, ego stroked” explanations about reasons for the affairs happening. I thought that by now I was stronger than that. Instead I just broke down in a sobbing heap. It showed to me how fragile this fine line between the old and the new life we are trying to build is. My husband is a changed man and suffered from my words, I suffered for my pain.
            So, then I rethink about it all: – How can I achieve (complete) forgiveness towards someone that did this to ourselves? Was it so hard to see into this choice of our future, by the choices he made in our past? This is the future of the past he willingly chose for us
            I believe that I have forgave him a little, as Paula says, when at times I understand that he took actions in response to the way he was feeling then, but I find really hard to separate that selfish person from this one and forgive him, and although I can see the changes, I can not trust and bring down my guards. Trusting as I did before was once in a life time. Then I am left with the same question. Is it possible to have a fulfilling relationship if i am still in the protection mode all the time? It is a catch 22 situation. I want it all, I want a fulfilling relationship but I can not give it!

    • onmyway

      I have been struggling for the last 8 months to accept that what happened happened. I think that when I hit a road block a few months ago and really started to get angry, the third stage of recovery from what I know from reading the resources here, is when my acceptance of what happened really began.

      I can accept that our marriage had issues prior to my husbands cheating. I knew as much and tried to adress it so I have never been under any illusion that we had a perfect marriage before. Our relationship, one on one, has improved tremendously as we have worked together our marriage itself. It is the affair issues that are the obstacle.

      All of the other things listed above about what acceptance means have been a terrible things to adress. I have not looked in the mirror and said yes, this is what happened. We have spoken of it together but maybe I just need to face myself and admit out loud that this all happened to make the acceptance really stick. I still get blindsided by these moments of , ‘holy sh&t he really cheated on me’. I think that shows that I have not fully accepted it happened.

      I want to forgive but I agree that it can’t be done without fully accepting the affair occurred and all the truths that go along with that. I am not certain of my ability to forgive all aspects of the affair. I hope to be able to forgive him enough in the future so I can be free of the insecurity and self doubt that still has it’s hold on me. I think that will take quite a bit of time, unfortunately.

    • Hopeful

      This is a tough one.

      This above comment by omy about being blindsided (holy shit my H really cheated on me) made me think about what it is I actually have to accept. I’m a year removed from DDay now and we are well but I still think about this everyday and her and worry and then feel ok and then get blindsided as such. I want to forgive and move on, but I’m not there entirely. Still in cycles of despair at times, but less so.

    • Hopeful

      Oops, I sent too soon. Basically, let me think through was this acceptance means:

      obviously that he cheated on me
      that he fell in love/lust (whatever) for another woman
      that he felt sexually attract to someone else and it made him very excited and feel alive
      that he didn’t think about me at all through this, except as an obstacle or as an annoyance when i raised concern over them
      that he saw when she emailed and his heart fluttered
      that he thought she was amazing and smart, beautiful, exciting, and on and on
      that he kissed her and touched her
      that they did some romantic, date type things together
      that he disrespected me and belittled me
      that he witnessed me falling apart because of his actions during and after the EA yet continued his actions
      that he couldn’t empathize with me
      that he didn’t think this affected me or that he would lose me or maybe didn’t even care
      he didn’t think about how he would feel if i did this.
      he didn’t even think about her or what she needed or her committed partner (she is a desperate woman who clung to someone who made her feel amazing)
      that he withdrew and placed all his love and best parts of his imagination with her
      that he talked badly about me to her and made our life sound empty, lifeless, unfulfilling, dull.
      that he was not my friend and lied and lied and lied to my face over and over and over again
      that he was so selfish to do this.
      that I allowed myself to lose faith in my own instincts and self-worth
      that i wasted my time thinking about them and her for over a year and didn’t do my own work and now suffer from this
      that i let myself go during the recovery period completely fell apart

      it is a lot to accept. I guess I do not fully accept this, but I also know that if I want intimacy between he and I that I must or a wall and barrier of resentment will continue to grow. I have to fight that.

      I have no idea how to accept this but I see it, name it, hold it up for viewing, ….

      I get it and it hurts less and I guess this feeling of blindsiding is still with me. I can be fine and then wow, what the f.

      • tmc76

        Hopeful, I am pretty much at the same place you are. I am still desperate to keep him with me and even though I know that anything I do or do not do will not prevent him fom going back to her I do it anyway. I harbor anger towards my husband for having an EA but mostly her. The rage I feel towards the other woman scares me sometimes and I pray everyday that I can let go of this anger because as everyone has stated it is poison that is destroying me. I just cannot get over that she had not contacted me for any type of apology or anything! I would never o anything like she did but if I had it would eat me alive. I know a few people who have cheated on their spouses and they have all apologized to the other spouse, doing it for them of course but if she did at least I would know she flt some kind of remorse because I don’t think she did at all during the affair. I feel so jumbled up right now, my H no longer wants to talk about it because he’s ended it, wants to move on and thinks I should too and by talking about it we are going backwards but it has only been 4 months and only 3 since his last contact (that I know of) so how can he expect me to just move on? Believe me I would LOVE to just forget about everything but I am a different person and trust will take a long time if it ever comes back and I don’t see myself forgiving if we cannot even talk about anything. So basically I’m a mess and I don’t know if I’ve accepted the affair. Slow process for sure!

    • Anita

      I think this is a excellent topic.
      Since my exhusband’s affair and our divorce happened
      a few years ago this very topic is a good one.
      Myself I have accepted everything the good and the bad.
      I also have forgiven everything, and it is now part of my
      past.
      I believe acceptence has to come before forgiveness also.
      The last stage of grieving is acceptance, however I had to
      make the choice to forgive. I chose to forgive because
      I wanted everything to be in the past and over with, if
      I didn’t forgive I would be left carrying the anger of the
      past, and that’s not the kind of baggage I want to carry
      with me each day.
      I believe when we don’t forgive we are the one’s eating
      the poison of unforgiveness, it doesn’t hurt the person
      who hurt us, instead we are eating it. Forgiveness
      never makes the other person right, however your not
      left eating the poision of it either.
      Also those who anger you also control you, forgiveness
      takes that way. Also when you don’t forgive you get to
      carry that baggage with you each day, and the last thing
      in the world I want to carry with me each day is someone
      else’s past actions.
      I value my life enough to leave my exhusband’s affair and
      our divorce behind me.
      However as I have mentioned before, I have had that
      time to heal and forgive.
      I also have decided to give my new relationship a fair
      chance and I am glad I did, because it’s growing and
      feelings are just starting to sprout, for me.
      Also the last thing I need is to drag my past with me.
      I am enjoying my life now.

      • Anita

        Today I am on the other side of the stick. After much thought and prayer I ended the new relationship I was in.
        The feelings I thought were sprouting weren’t, it was me trying to force myself to have them.
        When I woke up this morning, instead of feeling happiness
        and excitment, I felt dread, and a heaviness of feeling smuthered. This guy is really really nice guy, and the last
        thing in this world I wanted to do was hurt him, however
        I had to remain true to myself. I told this guy I wasn’t
        ready to open my heart to him. He was very disappointed,
        but thanked me for not dragging it on any further. So today
        I am the one needing the forgiveness of him. I did apologize a couple of times to him.
        I feel bad that he wanted more, and I couldn’t give it,
        however I felt worse forcing myself to feel something I
        didn’t.
        Since I have been down this road before honesty is best,
        and the sooner the better.

    • Paula

      I read this post first thing this morning, and really didn’t know if it was worth posting, as these issues are the very ones I have not put to bed, even after acceptance that I can’t accept what happened! I believe I forgave my ex in that I understood how alone he felt at the time of the start of his affair, but I haven’t really forgiven the fact that I gave him my all, and asked him to talk to me about his “issues” which he brushed aside telling me he was fine – he wasn’t, I knew it and I wanted to help. I struggle with forgiving the “unforgiveable” – that he never considered what his actions would do to me, that he wasn’t at least considerate of my health in using protection whilst screwing a person who was obviously not trustworthy in that she was engaging with a supposedly “unavailable” man, the complete whitewashing of his memories of our wonderful 21 earlier years. I struggle to understand fully why he didn’t come clean with me when I belatedly (and when he already knew he wanted to end things with her) started asking the pointed and direct questions, and he fed me the lies, that I swallowed whole, without even digesting! I know there is a measure of acceptance and forgiveness, but not fully, not completely, and not enough for me to “let it all go.”

      Anita, I am so pleased that you have shared a lot of your process in getting this far in your life journey, I believe many here have found your input helpful. I know your sitaution is a little different than many here, in that your ex was a serial cheater, and had been since before you were married to him, that must be VERY painful, but many of us have managed several wonderful decades with a lovely person, who “lost it” for a bit, and it just feels so wrong not to forgive and move on, but I know I can’t do it! I hope I don’t offend you here, but if you have accepted, forgiven, moved on, etc, may I ask why you are still such a regular on this site? I wonder if we sometimes tell ourselves we are healed, but are not completely? This may sound harsh, I apologise, I am just curious, I have been a long time reader/contributor here, because I am still struggling with healing, but I hope there is a day sometime in the future where I do not need to check in here, that will be my moment of healing as far as I can be healed, that will be my moment of reclaiming my mind and my life 🙂

      • Anita

        Paula,
        Your right about that, and I agree I should be off
        doing something else. However today I got to be on the
        other end of this, where I needed to be forgiven.
        I ended that new relationship I was in. The feelings that
        I thought were sprouting weren’t, it was me forcing myself
        to have them. This morning when I woke up I felt dread,
        instead of happiness and excitment. He’s a very nice
        person, however he’s not right for me. So I ended
        it so it wouldn’t go any further. Since I had been down
        this road before, when honesty wasn’t spoken it ended
        up hurting more the longer we wait.
        So I guess we all have to either forgive or be forgiven.
        Paula take care of yourself, my heart goes out to you.
        I know someday this will be all behind you.

        • Anita

          Paula,
          Sorry I didn’t address your question.
          I came to site by mistake last fall, and when I started reading it, I decided I wanted to get my marriage annuled.
          In the process of my annulment I had to reopen the door
          to my past. I thought I had healed from my past however
          I soon realized not as much as I thought. However between
          this site and going throught the annulment process it has
          given me a chance to understand everything to where I
          have accepted and forgiven all of it. I am waiting to hear
          now on wheather or not the annulment will be granted.
          It has been a long road for me, and I’m am ready for it to
          be behind me.
          Paula my divorce was a civil divorce and in my church I am
          still married, thats why I want to have it annuled, so I will
          be considered single instead of married.
          However I am glad that I came to this site and for the annulment process, because it gave me healing that
          I never thought was possible. I feel like my old self
          again, except a little wiser.

          • Paula

            Anita, that’s wonderful. I don’t think you need to feel bad because you ended a new relationship. Honesty is not a crime! I know it must have disappointed your male friend, but not as much as if you had been dishonest and kept trying if it was never going to happen. I’m very glad you have found some more “completeness” to this saga by joining us here, as I said before, many here, especially those who have Christianity in their lives, have no doubt found your comments helpful, I wish you all the best in the completion of your annulment process. Thank you for your answers 🙂

            • Anita

              Thanks Paula,
              I wish you the very best!

    • Gizfield

      According to the dictionary, the closest definition to use in this situation is “believing” . Well, I guess I believe it since he told me, and saw a lot of their special little emails. I guess the hard part of this one is believing THIS particular man would do this. I actually picked a man for admirable qualities and got this Crap. at this point, I am notreally feeling the forgiveness thing and I’m not going to force it. I have forgiven all kinds of people for all kinds of things, so I’m not going to worry about it at this point. I see no reason to forgive the other tramp ever, I do not like her, met her once years ago, and was not favorably impressed. If God has a problem with my lack of forgiveness with her, he can take it up with me when I meet him. I am not trying to be flippant, but just because I am a Christian, doesn’t mean I will put up with everything. Personally, I think my anger helps me at times. I was a doormat for way tooooo long as it is. So no I dont think not forgiving at this point is hurting my recovery. Now if this is still like this years from now I will consider it a problem. It hopefully will be gone and forgotten, my ultimate goal.

    • Gizfield

      I meant the definition of acceptance, because I wasn’t really sure what ya’ll meant by it in this situation. So I looked it up in the dictionary, lol. One if the definitions was to look upon something with”favor”. Oh, ugh. Not in this lifetime.

    • Greg

      This is a good post for me since today is the one year anniversary of d-day for me. In the past year I have gone through angry, rage, hatred, depression, grieving, and a host of other emotions. I have also accepted and forgiving my wife’s EA. For me accepting meant that I looked at what happened and ad to see that it did happen and yes she did this to me. I don’t think that you can forgive an affair unless you do accept that it happened, otherwise you are just forgiving something that is not the truth of what happened. As for accepting but not forgiving it is very possible and I think that is where a lot of people get stuck, they have accepted that the affair happened but are unable to forgive that it did happen. In those cases I don’t think the marriage is repairable. If you are unable to forgive there is always going to be this level of anger at what happened that is going to taint everything from that point forward.

    • Patsy50

      Acceptance means to me— realizing that an EA happened in my marriage. It is what it is and we can’t undo it, so we accept and let it go.

      Yes I do feel I have accepted the EA, if not, I could and would not have been able to move forward and get to the place I am at now.

      Actually, I forgave my husband first. I needed to make sure we both wanted to make our marriage work. The acceptance of the EA and everything else that came along with it, I had to come to terms with, so we could move forward and start healing.

      For me, forgiveness and acceptance go hand in hand but until I take my last breath, I will never, ever forget. It’s always just below the surface and every so often you see it’s there, but not so painful anymore and you can take a step back and see how much you both have accomplished together in moving forward in this new marriage.

    • Fighting

      What does acceptance of the affair mean to you?
      Acceptance mean that I have understood all the “why`s” and made peace with what happened because of that.

      Do you feel that you have accepted the affair? Why or why not? No, I haven`t accepted the affairs because there is a lot of unanswered why`s and my husbad`s continuing attemt to justifie and his lack of remorse. He is sorry, yes, but I still don`t see honest remorse. He still explains meeting her with that it was her that made sure that they were at the same place at the same time. As if he was forced into the situation. And after catching him chatting with a woman (innocently of course) he still expresses that “if he only hadn`t answered the first womans textmessage” and “If he only hadn`t answered the second womans contact on facebook”. That only tells me that he doesn`t feel remorse. He doesn`t truly regret it. You don`t do it over and over again if you truly are sorry, do you? Even though the chat was somewhat innocent, it runs in the same path as with the two other women. They also started with innocent chat. If he can`t see the connection, how can he stop himself the next time?
      That leave me in a state of constant fear of being hurt again.

      In your opinion, does acceptance make forgiving after infidelity any easier?
      Acceptance is the base of forgivness. So as long as I can`t accept it, forgivness is hard.

      Is it possible that you can accept the affair but never forgive it?
      Maybe. If I feel that he understands himself, his patterns, his way of reacting to attention, his lack of bounderies. Maybe then, can I start to accept and then forgive. But I will never forget. I can never ever get back to where we were…

    • tryingtoowife

      What does acceptance of the affair mean to you?
      It means that I have the facts that shows it happened, and I can do nothing to change that. I had the e-mails, the dates, the OW call to inform me of her love for him and that he loved her and not me (he has always denied he loved her). I have the knowledge that the precious time he could have spent with me and our family was willingly given to someone else. I have the fact that I meant nothing to my husband while he was so involved with his “girlfriend”, therefore he did not intentionally wanted to hurt me, as I was for that time nonexistent in his mind and life. I was nothing, because he made it like that to be able to enjoy the life he wanted and chose to have. I accept I can not change the facts, as painful as they are.

      Do you feel that you have accepted the affair? Why or why not?
      I have accepted that it happened, but I still don’t accept the affair, as this is the most selfish thing my husband could have done to me/us. If he had problems, I was not unreachable as he made me to be. He recreated me in his mind to justify accepting his Slut in his life, so he would not feel guilty. His slut “girlfriend’ was given a choice to enter this mess, I was given no knowledge of what was happening. She knew about me, I had no idea of the tramp existence. I, after 18 years of working towards building something that I, in my innocence thought it was good, faced the reality that he in a self serving manner, was able to forget it all and so easily. It will take time to make me feel this trusting again if at all possible!

      In your opinion, does acceptance make forgiving after infidelity any easier?
      I still can not answer this, but as my name implies, I am trying all the time. Sometimes I believe I got there, acceptance, and then something just crush me down, it hits me hard and I feel weak again. I believe that I one day will be able to accept properly without the huge pain, but forgiveness is something not connected to acceptance.

      Is it possible that you can accept the affair but never forgive it?
      Yes, in IMHO I can accept, but from where I am looking from, there is no forgiveness, neither forgetting. And although we are moving on our healing, I don’t think that I have to forgive. I wish I could say the opposite but I cannot forgive something that I would not do myself. Hurting someone that trusted you like this, is beyond my understanding. I believe that although I will not have the need to talk about it one day, and all will be a faint pain in the heart and memory, the not forgiving issue will not matter so much.

    • Gizfield

      Tryingtoowife, you just gave what my true definition of Cheating is. “You took time that belonged to us and willingly gave it to someone else.” And caused me to spend my time thinking about something that is truly disgusting to me. I am sure I would be horrified if I had a true count of the hours I’ve spent on this crap. These are some of the most special times in my daughters life, and in my mind they are tainted by my husband’s actions and his affiliation with a whore. Truly disgusting. When it was’ nt flat out arguments it was bad feelings, withdrawal, just in general not being myself.

    • E

      Forgiveness to me is very much like acceptance, although forgiveness is acceptance of another person. Accepting that they are human and they made a huge, terrible mistake and not keeping a mental scarlet letter over their heads. I gave forgiveness quickly to my husband. I do not think it hindered my healing. I really don’t think it let my husband off the hook. Forgiveness does not mean that I continued to let this go on while I stood back and watched, although I did this for several months before I finally had the courage to walk out and made it clear that I was willing to end the marriage. When I left, there was no anger, or even tears for that matter (at least until I was in my car alone!). I had forgiven, I was simply not willing to keep living that way. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, I never will. Forgiveness does not mean the hurt goes away.

      Acceptance of the reality that this happened to me … that was a tough one and took much longer for me. I lived in my own world of denial for those 6 months that he kept going back to her and even for many months after. We live in this world because that is what we want to believe. Acceptance of this reality takes time, but is a necessary step to our personal healing.

      Can you accept the affair and not forgive? Sure, this is possible. But I don’t want to live with that anger and resentment. I don’t want to hold something over the head of the person I share my life with. I do not believe this is healthy for a marriage. If I could not have forgiven, I would not have remained in my marriage.

    • CookieMomster

      I guess I do accept that it happened. I have entirely too much evidence to live in a state of denial anymore. Someone mentioned the evidence coming out in drips and dribbles though and that’s especially hard on the “getting to forgiveness” part. My H tells me absolutely nothing. At 133 days post D-Day and about 3 months since no contact, he still prefers that we both pretend nothing at all happened. A couple weeks ago I discovered gifts she had given him. Since he won’t talk about the EA at all I’m always left to myself to work things out. I liken discovering new details to finding a new piece to a puzzle and each time it happens you have to re-examine all the other pieces to see where the new piece fits in. This is exhausting and counterproductive, but I’m powerless to stop it. I would like to get to a more accepting level, but how can I when my husband insists that we live in la-la land? He thinks if we act happy and pretend nothing happened that all will be just hunky dory. I tried approaching him last night, as a matter of fact, for the first time… thinking he was finally ready to share. He says that all of the problems he told her about our marriage have now just magically disappeared now that he knows how much I care and therefore we don’t need to discuss any of them. I’m glad he feels so much better but doesn’t it concern him at all that I’m a wreck?

      • tryingtoowife

        Cookiemonster – As you have read here and everywhere else. If your husband behaviour does not change, eg: letting you ask questions, and him at least trying to answer them to a satisfactory acceptance level that would make you feel that, he is making you his first priority for once, and therefore the healing of your relationship; he is acting in the same way as he did while in the affair. In a complete selfish way with no regards to anyone else, but himself and how he wants to see and feel the world around him.
        If he works with you, there is hope, otherwise he will hinder your healing (and his own). This pretense that everything is alright is the behaviour of someone still disconnected from real world. And, the lack of real facts makes you create in your mind a reality that quite often is worse than the reality itself. His problems might have magically disappeared, but that was when yours started. If you decided to keep the marriage, the healing cannot be done by yourself, without real knowledge of what went on. This is like someone giving you a text in a foreign language you don’t know and say: Interpret it and find the solution for the problems. You can only do it with knowledge and the tools for it. I am talking as someone that gets the help I need from my husband (he tries) I asked and asked and could still ask some more and I still think that this is an absolute hell that I NEVER in our lives thought that I needed to go through, but here we are, and it sucks!!! It is bloody hard work! Good luck to you.

    • Dakota

      I am not sure in what stage of this healing I am. We are not married, but we are living together, in his home. I moved in with him somewhere around 2004.
      Before I discovered his affair in 2009. I was squedule to go on a training for a consecutive week 5 hours away from home, so we had decided months ago I was to stay with my sister during that week of training. This was the first time I was going to be away from him. Well for 3 or 4 weeks our sex life has deteriorate our communication has deteriorated a month or two before and I was not sure why, and we did not talk about any of it. It felt it at least for me that something was out of place.
      I decided to go ahead go to my training for that week , in the hopes that when I got back things will be better because he would had missme and viceversa.
      He was not in a good mood when I left. To my return when I got back home, he was not home.. He did not call me and he knew I was comming back that day. In fact he did not came home until about 2.pm in the morning..and told me some bad lies…I discovered the same morning when I seeing her text message..my whole world shattered..I still could not believed I was in shock…
      He continue with her for months…I was devasted, after 6-7 months he decided he was to leave her…I believed.
      That only lasted for 2 months ..then he was at it again..
      lies more lies….then he wanted to be with her ..so he decided we were going our separate ways ..against my will I tried everything to get him back…today we are together he decide to leave her for good..but is being a long road..because I know by the way he speaks that he still has strong feelings for the OW.
      Yes it is Possible to accept the fact that the emotional affair happened. But I havent beeing able to forgive or forget..

    • Dakota

      Anita, Just based on what you wrote ,, about forgiveness
      it feels and maybe Iam wrong ..that is much more easier to forgive your CS if the BS decide to go separates ways.
      It seems to me that because we are facing or CS everyday and has to relate and looked at your CS spouse face everyday if you want to heal, and keep your marriage or relationship at the same time that we are trying to forgive our CS. It seems like it would just be a lot harder if we choose to stay in the relationship.
      So Iam begining to think if it would be really worth it, to stay. Or would be much easier to just walk away from this relationship, even though you feel so hurt ,and do not want to leave your CS, in order to forgive them and move on with your life..

      • Anita

        Dakota,
        Healing from the wounds of infidelity is a long hard
        process. Its up to you to decide if this man is worth that
        long hard road or not, do you trust him never to do this
        again, do you have children? So many factors you need to
        consider, does the pain of staying out weigh the pain of
        leaving. Do you want a new beginning for yourself?
        Do you feel you deserve better???(YES) a hint there.
        I will be honest being your not married, you deserve
        so much better!

    • Gizfield

      Dakota, I agree, I think it is much harder to stay with a cheater than it is to leave them. So I guess the forgiveness part is harder as well. I haven’t done either so I dont really know. I know my friends who divorce get tons of support, whereas I get none, lol. I still know I’m doing what is best for me, and my daughter, and that is what matters.

    • Rachel

      My husband just gave me a check to file for the divorce. So I’m on my way. He’s been waiting for this for a long time. He’s not in love with me, wants to fall in love with some one else doesnt have any emotional connection doesn’t want me and now wants to find fulfillment.
      Geez, no wonder my dr. Said that I’m having a nervous breakdown. Could he be any meaner with his nasty words?

    • Gizfield

      Very sorry to hear this, Rachel. At least you know you did everything you could, and are not to blame. Sometimes people dont have the maturity level to make a marriage work. Best wishes…

    • Surviving

      Rachel,
      Why isn’t he filing if this is what he wants?

    • Rachel

      Surviving, He knows he will have to leave the house and the kids. If he prolongs this hell he can live here as long as he pleases.

    • Surviving

      Rachel,
      Do after you file then he will move?
      Has he said what his plans are once he moves out?

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      I’m sorry to hear this, take care of yourself.

    • Rachel

      Surviving, once I file I hope he will move out. Although knowing him he will stay until the last possible minute.
      He has plans to fall in love with someone else and find fulfillment. That’s the word of the week from his crazy therapist. Enough damage has been done to this family from this very selfish man. It is time for my boys and myself to start to heal.

    • Rachel

      Anita, thank you for your kind words.

    • Carol

      Rachel, sending prayers and good vibes your way. Please do hold your head up. It’s obvious to everyone here that his behavior is erratic and immature, to say the least, that his therapist should hand in her license, and that you have put out a good faith effort to keep your family together. Now please be sure to do something good for yourself. And I do think he’s the one who should move out, since he’s the one who wants to ‘find fulfillment’ (good luck with that, pal; fulfillment isn’t something one ‘finds’ externally, out there, with someone new, but something one generates from within oneself — but then again only mature people realize that, heh). Hugs to you.

      • Dakota

        Well said Carol..god bless

    • Surviving

      Rachel,
      I agree with everything carol said.
      Please keep us updated as we all care.

    • StephenO

      Acceptance and forgiveness… As the guilty party in the affair things are slightly different for me than what I have been reading here.

      I’ve accepted that I did this, I and I alone am responsible for ruining what I had with my SO. She knows I have accepted responsibility for my actions.

      Forgiveness is something harder. I have trouble forgiving myself for the destruction and pain I have caused, not just to the woman who truly loved me but for the pain and suffering I have caused the other people involved. Forgiveness is something I am not sure I deserve.

      Acceptance and Forgiveness are separate things although they have a connection. I believe it is possible to Accept but not Forgive, and I don’t feel Accepting makes Forgiving any easier.

      This is brand new for us, we are just beginning our journey to hopefully stay together and piece back together what I destroyed. Both parties need to accept and then hopefully forgive. Never forget. I think these things have to happen in order to move forward and heal, to begin rebuilding the trust and faith that was shattered.

      • Natalia

        StephenO: I read your post and shared it with my H. Your honesty hit home. I agree with you when you say that acceptance doesn’t make forgiveness any easier. In my case acceptance was the first thing we did to start healing. Forgiveness is taking a little longer but will eventually come. Like I said in a previos post, my H has to forgive himself first before I can forgive him. I wish you and your SO the strength to put the pieces together and heal. The cheating party is the only one capable of healing the betrayed party. If you truly show remorse and make attempts to amend your mistakes your relationship will grow strong and the pain will heal. I say this from experience. It’s been 2 years, 3 months from Dday and even though we will never forget, we are moving forward and rebuilding trust.

    • Dakota

      Rachel my thoughs are with you …I though about your situation and I hope you do what is the most comfortable and easier for you & your children… and do not just make it easier for you H, who is hurting you so much w/whoever..very tipical that all CS always wants to have the upper hand, while handing the BS the shorter side of the stick..so of speak. Remember keeping our head up at all times we do not have anything to be ashame of…keep your faith remember we are here and strong for you…warm hug…..

    • Rachel

      Carol, Surviving and Dakota,
      Thank you for your kind words and support. I’m not sure where I am finding my strength from. I told my H no he is not coming on vacation with the 3 of us. He said that he didn’t file because he wanted to go on vacation with us and knew if i was served I wouldn’t allow him to come.
      Tomorrow I will go to another attorney for advise. I want the best for me and my boys and will do whatever I have to.
      After seeing my oldest having a panic attack and reassuring him that the 3 of us will be ok was the drawing line for me. How does a father tell his wife of 25 years that he doesn’t want her. Now changes it to he doesn’t want to work on us. It’s sickening how he changes what he says constantly. I said to him this morning that I will let the ow’s H know what was going on behind his back. Well my H was furious. Very rarely does he react about any of this except when he is protecting that thing.Why would you do that, what if they are getting along you will ruin them?? Who knows what he’ll do when he finds out. I said to him well, I guess you should have thought of that before you started your affair!!

      • ocanas

        Rachel, for me, telling the OM’s wife about the affair my W was having with her H was a matter of fairness – if I knew about their affair, and my W was suffering the consequences of her decisions, it was only fair for the OM to suffer the same consequences of his decisions – all the best for you and your kids – at the end it may be way better to be without this man that causes you so much pain – God Bless You

    • Surviving

      Rachel,

      YES, I can’t tell you how happy I was to read your post, it’s all from inside you ……

    • Rachel

      I filed for divorce today.

    • Surviving

      @Rachel,
      How are you? How did your husband react?
      When do you leave for holiday?

    • Rachel

      Surviving,
      I’m ok. It was time. He will not change his mind. He doens’t want me, so why continue this life of heartache for my boys and myself.
      The H doesn’t know that I filed. He could care less anyways.This is what he’s wanted for 20 years. He can now find that someone else to love and find fulfilment. He will be served this week. They just drop off the paperwork at the house.
      We leave tomorrow.
      Thank you, Surviving.

    • Surviving

      @Rachel,
      Glad to see your posting, have a good holiday
      and keep us posted.

    • Rachel

      Surviving,

      I will post during my vacation. You guys keep my going. I told my mom last night when she wanted to come to water plants and get the mail. I told her that he wasn’t coming and why . I t just came out. She was so supportive and is upset that I had to go through the most difficult with out them. My dad has cancer and I just didn’t want to burden them with more problems.
      Thank you all for your support, take care.

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