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How to forgive yourself, without asking the other person for forgiveness?


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 10th April 2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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How to forgive yourself, without asking the other person for forgiveness?

I really don't want to send an apology letter to my ex listing out everything i'm sorry about. However, this is truly the one thing that is completely holding me back, the reason I wake up crying in the night and mornings like today. Forgiving myself is such a daunting task, and it's truly my biggest obstacle on my road to recovery. Is there ANY tips people can give me on this issue?? I'm 120% lost on this right here, I feel forgiveness goes beyond working on yourself and keeping busy. Although it's dis empowering, I still can't believe what a **** up I was, I so sorry M...

Last edited by Jonp219; 10th April 2015 at 1:00 PM..
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Old 10th April 2015, 1:06 PM   #2
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What if, in writing to your ex (not in the hope of getting back together of course or even having a response) you laid out what you thought you did wrong with the notion, that whatever she thinks or accepts, you walk on knowing you sought forgiveness and peace. It doesn't have to be weak or begging, just a simple purge of emotions to the person you felt guilt over.

Now, she may accept, scorn, ridicule, or even ignore you, but as long as your intentions are true, you can feel satisfaction that you at least said healing words, which, hopefully, can give you a sense that you did right, and thus begin your own path to healing.
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Old 10th April 2015, 1:13 PM   #3
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What if, in writing to your ex (not in the hope of getting back together of course or even having a response) you laid out what you thought you did wrong with the notion, that whatever she thinks or accepts, you walk on knowing you sought forgiveness and peace. It doesn't have to be weak or begging, just a simple purge of emotions to the person you felt guilt over.

Now, she may accept, scorn, ridicule, or even ignore you, but as long as your intentions are true, you can feel satisfaction that you at least said healing words, which, hopefully, can give you a sense that you did right, and thus begin your own path to healing.
I can't, because I still love her deeply. If I said I didn't have the intention of getting back together or hoping she accepts my apology then I would be lying. I'm simply not ready to hear her response to anything I have to say. But I having a difficult time coming to terms with myself and moving on, not from the relationship, but from my actions or lack thereof. I just don't know what to do with these feelings, you know?

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Old 10th April 2015, 1:34 PM   #4
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Understandable. I just tried crafting a letter with the same intent and purpose and as I wrote it, I felt the same. I also, in writing it, sat back and thought that I wasn't THAT bad that I need to apologize to her beyond what I already have or seek forgiveness. I just had some needs that needed to be met, and she wasn't capable, for whatever reason (who she is, her degree of affection, Wtf ever) of meeting them.

I don't know how to address your need though. I always did it with a letter like above to get ky ball rolling. Hope someone else can help you.

Last edited by fireflywy; 10th April 2015 at 1:36 PM..
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Old 10th April 2015, 2:01 PM   #5
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Write it out. Read it. And then delete it.

It will only make you feel MUCH worse when she totally ignores it.

No contact and start doing new things for yourself. Hit the gym, hard. Find a new cool fun activity with other new people. Go out with your friends.

If you contact her in any way, you will only be setting yourself back in the healing process. Whatever you're thinking in your mind about what a letter would result in, its wrong. It won't at all result in what you think or hope it will.
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Old 10th April 2015, 2:40 PM   #6
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Trying forgiveness too soon just gives you another loss.

I think it's too soon for you.

Try it later.
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Old 10th April 2015, 2:55 PM   #7
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Trying forgiveness too soon just gives you another loss.

I think it's too soon for you.

Try it later.
I know Satu, I don't really want to do that right now.

I'm just having a hard time forgiving myself because I don't know how to. I've read articles saying that asking forgiveness from those you've hurt will help relieve your conscience, but in my case I don't think that's such a good idea.
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Old 10th April 2015, 3:23 PM   #8
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Write a letter. Write it by hand. Don't type. It takes more effort to write by hand.

Then hide it away somewhere. Somewhere you might even forget about it.

Someday you'll find it and read it. You might remember some not so pleasant feelings. But you'll probably realize that you feel better now than you did before. You'll realize that over time you'd forgiven yourself. And then you can toss away the letter for good.
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Old 12th April 2015, 10:57 PM   #9
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Sending a letter like that would be a very unfair, selfish move on your part. You admit to being verbally abusive and having anger issues in your relationship, both of which I'm sure your ex is working through herself right now. She may be months or years away from forgiving you for the very things you want to write about, and if you sent the letter, there would then be the expectation that she accepts your apologies. She's not a part of your recovery in any way, shape, or form. That's not her role in your life any more.

You've made a lot of progress since you first came on here, which is very encouraging. But I agree with Satu, you're not ready for this yet. Your emotions are still leading your actions, and dealing with this sort of thing is going to require a little more impartial perspective than you have right now. It'll happen, but there's going to be a period where you just feel lousy before you can get there. And that's where time comes in, smoothing the edges and taking the sting out.
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Old 12th April 2015, 11:26 PM   #10
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Sending a letter like that would be a very unfair, selfish move on your part. You admit to being verbally abusive and having anger issues in your relationship, both of which I'm sure your ex is working through herself right now. She may be months or years away from forgiving you for the very things you want to write about, and if you sent the letter, there would then be the expectation that she accepts your apologies. She's not a part of your recovery in any way, shape, or form. That's not her role in your life any more.

You've made a lot of progress since you first came on here, which is very encouraging. But I agree with Satu, you're not ready for this yet. Your emotions are still leading your actions, and dealing with this sort of thing is going to require a little more impartial perspective than you have right now. It'll happen, but there's going to be a period where you just feel lousy before you can get there. And that's where time comes in, smoothing the edges and taking the sting out.
No, I don't want to send the letter, that's the last thing I want to do. I'm trying to overcome this guilt on my own, that way both parties don't get hurt. However, wouldn't it all depend on the severity of the abuse? In no way shape or form am I trying to diminish the extent to which I abused her, but now thinking back at it, I don't know if I did. I don't really know what would constitute as abuse in the case of me and my ex. Anyway, you're right now is not the best time to do that.
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Old 12th April 2015, 11:59 PM   #11
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I can't, because I still love her deeply. If I said I didn't have the intention of getting back together or hoping she accepts my apology then I would be lying. I'm simply not ready to hear her response to anything I have to say. But I having a difficult time coming to terms with myself and moving on, not from the relationship, but from my actions or lack thereof. I just don't know what to do with these feelings, you know?
Writing out the letter would be a good idea. It helps release some emotions and is a good method of therapy. However, sending the letter would be a bad idea. You know it's a bad idea, however you would kill for the chance to talk to her even though you say you're not ready to talk to her.

You said yourself there is an underlying intention of getting her back or hoping she accepts your apology. That right there is a bad sign. She won't all of a sudden want to give it another try just because you said some "words". What if she does accept your apology? She'll say thanks and continue on with her life. And it will feel like another shot to the stomach that she just said thank you and nothing more.

There truth in when people say "talk is cheap". Improving yourself and giving her space is the best chance to achieve two different things. First would be improving yourself without her in your life is the best chance you have to make her realize she might have made a mistake. But second, and the much more important thing is you will be a better person. By improving yourself without her will help you move on, have a better sense of who you are, and give you a chance not to make the same mistakes for future relationships.

I used to work with this late 30's mother of 2 a few years back. She was a super sweet and down to earth woman. She got married in her early 20's and I remember asking her how was that? She said she loved her life but still a part of her wishes she got to do more before she settled down.

But to get to the point, I asked if it would be a good idea to send a letter to C? I was going to say all this stuff about I'm sorry about my insecurities and sorry for going behind her back, accusing her of lying, etc. She was brutally honest with me, and I needed it. She told me the only reason I wanted to send a letter like that was because I wanted to get her back. She was right, I was fooling myself with all this talk about wanting to send the letter to help myself move on etc. She explained to me that the letter wouldn't do anything but make me look sad and help confirm in her eyes that she made the right decision. She said C broke up with me for a reason, whether it was mostly my fault or not, she made the decision to break it off and a sappy letter wouldn't change a thing and chances are she would laugh when she read it.
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Old 13th April 2015, 12:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jonp219 View Post
I know Satu, I don't really want to do that right now.

I'm just having a hard time forgiving myself because I don't know how to. I've read articles saying that asking forgiveness from those you've hurt will help relieve your conscience, but in my case I don't think that's such a good idea.

Those articles should be titled "how to seek approval"...

How to forgive yourself: "I did what I thought was best at that point in time"

Hindsight is 20/20, stop beating yourself up.
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Old 13th April 2015, 1:00 AM   #13
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Do you have a thread on here somewhere where you outline exactly what you did to her?
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Old 13th April 2015, 10:20 AM   #14
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Do you have a thread on here somewhere where you outline exactly what you did to her?
Actually, no I never wrote out what I did to her, but here's a checklist.

-Hot & Cold behavior
-When we would fight (argue) I would call her names at times.
-Bad temper (at times would yell)
-Didn't show as much support as she did for me
-Insecure & Jealous

I think that's it. I made her feel like she was walking on eggshells at the time. She told me to go get my **** together, so after the break up I immediately went straight to therapy.

Just writing this out made me feel weird. I know i'm nowhere near the level of forgiving myself for all these things. Especially since she has supported me through therapy times before, this time she just got fed up. Eventually it was going to happen..
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Old 13th April 2015, 10:37 AM   #15
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I sent my ex a letter about a month and a half after she left me. It was fairly short, but was a nice letter I wrote, and wasn't really expecting a reply. She did reply the next day around 1am, hers letter was better than mine lol.

It's your life if you feel the need to write her a letter then go for it, just know she may or may not reply. If it makes you happy and helps you move on then go for it.
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