View Full Version : Forgiveness?

01-11-2012, 09:30 PM
Hi :fishy

I was talking to my AA sponsor tonight, and she suggested that I focus on forgiveness of my ex, as a means to deal with my anger and resentment.

Of course, she also said 'fake it til I make it' on the forgiveness front.

Right now I'm just so angry (and still sad)... I want to be able to forgive my ex, but when I think about it I get even more angry.

So I am interested in your thoughts on forgiveness...


01-11-2012, 10:03 PM
The biggest forgiveness experience I've had was forgiving my mother. It felt really good to find compassion, forgive, let go of the anger, move past the hurt and into a new way of relating to her. Carrying around that anger was poisonous. BUT---- I had to feel the anger first. I don't think I could have made any progress without acknowledging and accepting the anger. Part of what made the anger so poisonous was that I had stifled it and it festered.

Personally, I would feel very invalidated by a fake it til you make it technique when approaching forgiveness.

01-11-2012, 11:11 PM
Hi Rayne

If you're not ready to forgive right now, would you be willing to be open to it in the future?

Forgiveness is a tough one for me, personally. But one thing I've learned is that forgiveness is not about the other person. Your being angry at your ex really only affects you; it doesn't really do anything to her.

From what I remember, though, your relationship with your ex last for several years, right? and your break up is pretty recent? I do agree with sunshinepoppy that sometimes if anger is what you feel, then you need to let yourself feel it. I don't believe that anger is automatically bad, it all depends on what you do with it. Scream in the shower, throw a pillow across the room, write some angry letters and then rip them up, or stick them in a drawer some place (DON'T send them). Then move on to forgiveness.

As fresh as this is for you, I don't blame you for not feeling ready to forgive right now, but you should still be open to it in the future.

01-11-2012, 11:15 PM
Hmmm, aren't you guys still living together? I think that it will be really difficult to focus on forgiveness when she is right there, reminding you of it. I think you need to process the anger and other feelings before you can try to find forgiveness.

01-12-2012, 01:26 AM
I don't have an answer yet...but let me know when you find it.

I find the idea of forgiveness to be somewhat analogous to "deny your feelings!" so it's something really hard for me - it's hard not to be angry when someone mistreats you or when a relationship ends.

However, bellydancer has a point - you being angry only really does affect you, and not her, anymore.

01-12-2012, 04:44 AM
I was brought up in a christian church that preached forgiveness as the choice we should make. I was also treated terribly by someone in the church, who asked for 'forgiveness' because he felt bad afterward. I said the words to appease him but they were hollow. I was simply saying what i'd been taught.

In the years that followed, i've come to a new understanding of forgiveness as something that might arise over time but also as something we cannot force. Forced forgiveness is as meaningless as compulsory volunteering.

I am no longer a christian and nowadays feel no obligation to appease people by saying empty words. I don't judge myself if anger or resentment sometimes arise: if they are my feelings in that moment, then that is fine. I am not defined by anger or resentment; they don't rule me but they are allowed.

Maybe just focus on self comfort and expressing yourself to trusted people. Let yourself feel whatever you feel without labelling it or judging yourself. In time, you may look back and decide that you have arrived in a place that you define as forgiveness. You may not. Either is fine.

01-12-2012, 06:47 AM
I remember in AA people suggested that in order
to forgive someone it did help to pray for that person
for thirty days asking only that god give them all the
gifts that you would ask for yourself.

They said it had worked for them and the day did come
when I decided to try it out and as strange as it may seem
it did work for me as well.

god bless.

01-12-2012, 07:27 AM
Thank you :fishy for your responses :gimmehug

:hugon ducksquack :hugoff Yes, my sponsor suggested I try it for two weeks. I have a hesitancy about doing so though. I *want* to be able to forgive her... but the hesitancy is there. Not necessarily for praying for good things for her, but for praying for good things for her as a means of forgiveness. I *want* good things for her, but I don't feel ready to forgive her. Although I know that by forgiving her I release myself of the resentment, which only hurts me and not her. Does that make sense?

:hugon askinfaith :hugoff Thank you for your reply. I have a hard time not judging myself for what I feel. I often feel like I have to do something with my feelings, especially the hard feelings.

:hugon noparenthesis :hugoff Thanks hon. I wish us both peace in finding the 'answer' :gimmehug

:hugon axi :hugoff Exactly! It's a challenge to focus on forgiveness with the pain being reflected in my face on a daily basis b/c we are living togethr still! Yet, I understand where my sponsor is coming from completely. Processing the anger has proven to be a challenge, thus far...

:hugon bellydancer :hugoff Oh yes, I am definitely willing and wanting to forgive. I just don't know if I'm there now. And yes, we were together for almost six years and we broke up about a month ago. Thank you for the suggestions!

:hugon sunshinepoppy :hugoff Thank you for your sharing your experience. I don't necessarily feel 'invalidated' by the fake-it-til-you-make-it response, I just feel like how do I do that? It doesn't necessarily feel authentic.

01-12-2012, 07:33 AM
By the time I forgave my ex, I stopped caring. What do you feel you need to forgive her for? You may not be ready to forgive her until she is no longer living under the same roof. I couldn't forgive him so long as he was still affecting me. When I returned to 'me' and he was no longer trying to change me (or shall I say I was no longer trying to prove myself to him) I realized that I had nothing to prove to him and forgiveness wasn't necessary anymore. It was me I needed to forgive...not him. I had to forgive myself for trying so hard to salvage a relationship that was never going to last beyond the first year. He is who he is and I tried to change him and I had as much blame as he did in that regard.

Relationships are fifty fifty. You both invested time and emotion. Yes, she checked out way before you and you know this. I can't say I want 'good' things for my ex, I just don't want to think about him anymore. I'm ready to focus on ME instead of him or us. Someday she will not be your focus and the relationship will not be the center of your thoughts. And the need to forgive her will no longer be a drain but rather just a simple "ok"..and you'll focus on positives rather than negatives. But I believe that any energy on her is taking away from energy on you. At some point you will need to release her.

01-12-2012, 07:37 AM
I think forgiveness is a process that starts with anger. So you need to feel the anger, frustration, hurt etc first before you can progress onto the next phase towards forgiving someone

One important thing i learned about forgiveness was you can forgive but you don't have to forget. I always believed to forgive someone was to fully cleanse it from your mind but you don't have to. Infact its good to use the lessons you've learnt from the experiences you've been thru. Thats not to say you hold onto resentment or bitterness...but rather you get to a phase where the situation is emotion neutral and you can objectively see what you have learned and apply it to your next expereince or relationship

01-12-2012, 10:10 AM
:hugon recoveryatlast :hugoff I agree the forgiveness process starts with anger. The problem with me, is, I have a hard time authentically feeling the anger. To me, it seems as though anger should be more intense or something. It's like logically I know it's there, I can sense it, but I can't really feel and express it. I also agree about the forgiveness/not forgetting piece. Thank you for the reminder :gimmehug

:hugon sflathinker :hugoff Hmm... good question. I am not sure what I need in order to forgive her. I am going to have to think about that one... I am really not sure I can forgive her while living with her. Theres not enough of a disconnect there. Ya know? You are right though, at some point I do need to release her. For me.

01-12-2012, 06:08 PM
Would you define/break down what "forgive" means to you?

01-13-2012, 07:16 AM
:hugon mollyo :hugoff Hmmm, another great question. I don't really know how I would define/break down what forgiveness actually means. I guess I'd say that it means releasing her, so I can release me. If that makes sense?!