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when is it too late to forgive?


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 29th September 2013, 4:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by James-London View Post
Thanks guys. Regarding the OM, I think she sees him as a friend who she is attracted to and has sex with every now and then. I think she would like to be his girlfriend but she knows he is not boyfriend material because he will not commit. I think she is now wanting to settle down (she's 30, and i'm 32).

She often talks about how much more important I am over him. But she is also a skilled liar. I have no idea if she is still in contact with the OM. I imagine she is as she needs constant attention and has not been getting that from me.

As seething says, she never really had much respect for me as this guy was on the scene right from the start. Maybe she "loved me" in her own way, but it was not the kind of love I recognise.

I would love to become indifferent about her. That way I would not care what she did and why. It was a mistake to write her this morning. At least she knows now that she did not answer my questions still.... I actually hope she doesn't answer now. That would make it easier to move on. Knowing the truth would really achieve nothing.
Skilled liars make terrible partners. Try to keep that in mind. It is *possible* that someday she will change. But it has nothing to do with you. Best to work on letting it go.
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Old 29th September 2013, 5:21 PM   #17
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Thanks Betterthanthis. I just got back from a dinner with a friend and he was pointing to all the terrible things she has done during the relationship, both with the lying/cheating and more generally as an unloving/unsupportive partner. The problem I found is that I could always argue that a WS could be faithful in the future no matter how many times they cheated in the past. This is because past actions can never be a perfect predictor of future behaviour. I find that when we are desperate to fix things, we can persuade ourselves of some pretty incredible things.

However, what I do know TODAY is that she is not remorseful for what she did and she is not really fighting to get me back. That much I know for certain. Unless she starts opening up about her feelings, there is no point even thinking about her past behaviour and what this means for any future with her. If she starts showing real remorse in the future, then I might be able to forgive eventually. But we are not at that stage and I doubt we would ever get there. In the meantime, I will be moving on as best I can.
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Old 30th September 2013, 12:45 PM   #18
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Thanks Betterthanthis. I just got back from a dinner with a friend and he was pointing to all the terrible things she has done during the relationship, both with the lying/cheating and more generally as an unloving/unsupportive partner. The problem I found is that I could always argue that a WS could be faithful in the future no matter how many times they cheated in the past. This is because past actions can never be a perfect predictor of future behaviour. I find that when we are desperate to fix things, we can persuade ourselves of some pretty incredible things.
Of course no one can predict the future, but past actions are all anyone has to go on. You still sound like a doormat to me who is looking for some excuse to get back with his cheating, lying girlfriend. If that's what you want then just do it. You really haven't listened to much of the advise offered to you on this forum and I don't know why you keep posting.
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Originally Posted by James-London View Post
However, what I do know TODAY is that she is not remorseful for what she did and she is not really fighting to get me back. That much I know for certain. Unless she starts opening up about her feelings, there is no point even thinking about her past behaviour and what this means for any future with her. If she starts showing real remorse in the future, then I might be able to forgive eventually. But we are not at that stage and I doubt we would ever get there. In the meantime, I will be moving on as best I can.
Ok, so is this your final decision on what action to take? Or are you going to talk your way back to square 1 again? You've dragged this drama out way, way too long. You're not married, have no children together - cut off contact with her and go find someone worth your love. Have fun being single.
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Old 30th September 2013, 1:09 PM   #19
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I think you need to accept that it's not possible to have a relationship with this woman. She is seriously screwed up. You are wanting to make her into someone that she is not. She has shown you who she is. Someone who doesn't value you enough. Someone who is infatuated with another man. Someone who will lie to you and can't be trusted. Don't fool yourself into thinking she will be what you want her to be. She has shown you who she is. Time to accept that fact. By all means forgive her for being the screwed up person she is. Understand why she is that way, from a very screwed up childhood, and then understand that you deserve more, deserve better than this. Acceptance that this is who she is, forgiveness for her being a screwed up mess, and understanding that you deserve to be treated better and deserve a relationship with someone who is able to have a healthy relationship, would be the way to move past this.
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Old 30th September 2013, 2:44 PM   #20
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Thanks for your comments. I did mention in my first post that I HAVE decided not to get back with her. The main reason for that is because she is not in any way taking active steps to show remorse or fix the situation. She still hasn't been truthful about what she did and why she did it. However, even if her attitude totally changed, I cannot seem me taking her back anyway given the scale of the cheating. I have never had to deal with an infidelity issue before so its been a learning experience to decide what is a deal breaker etc.

I have read many posts now from other people on LS and I can really see the difference between a WS who was truly remorseful and the way my ex-GF is still behaving. This could be because she is just not that into me. Or maybe she is but she is also into the other guy and she feels I am not compatible enough with her. Or maybe she is just far too emotionally messed up to know how to do anything except for hide under her bed like the coward that she is.

I guess it doesn't matter the reason why she is not taking any positive steps to fix this now. The point is that she isn't taking these steps, and that on its own is plenty reason not to get back with her. In the (very unlikely) even that this changes, I can review the situation.

7 weeks down the line, the only thing that is really still occupying my mind is - did she ever really love me? And, what was real in the relationship (if anything)? I have read loads of articles on this now and opinion seems to be divided. I guess that means the answer is "sometimes". My personal view is that this girl has got MAJOR issues around loneliness, abandonment and self-esteem. When we started going out, she was not even that attracted to me. As soon as I was not physically sitting next to her, she felt abandoned again! For some reason she could also not emotionally open up to me, and she could do this much easier with the OM. I will probably never really know what he had that I didn't and I need to learn to accept that.


I guess I will never really know if she is so upset now because she loved me (as she says) or because she is losing her emotional security blanket. Again, I think I need to get comfortable with never knowing how she felt because a) it doesn't matter now I'm not going to be with her anyway, and b) she will very likely never tell me. I am trying to be indifferent about this, but its taking some time.

At the end of the day, she betrayed me in the worst possible way and she is making no effort to make amends, or even be honest. Hell will freeze over before I take her back without her doing the hard work of explaining and rebuilding my trust.

Last edited by James-London; 30th September 2013 at 3:15 PM.. Reason: corrections.
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Old 30th September 2013, 3:17 PM   #21
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Thanks for your comments. I'm sorry if I was not clear in my last post but I HAVE decided not to get back with her. I just wanted to share my reasons and rationale with you guys because I am very open to your feedback.

After looking at the experiences of so many other BS on this forum, I could really see the difference between a WS who was truly remorseful and the way my ex-GF has behaved. This is because she is (and always has been) totally into this guy, and she had doubts that it would work out with me anyway. I had these same doubts too.

My point above is that it is not worthwhile even considering what she has done when there is so little evidence NOW that she is desperate for me back and trying to fix things. She still hasn't been honest about when she was with him and why she did it. Unless her attitude that totally changed, I could forgive or trust her again anyway.

The one thing that still occupies my brain (7 weeks down the line!) is - did she ever really love me? And, what was real in the relationship (if anything)? I think she did love me - she has no motivation for telling me she did if she did not, especially as she knows it is over anyway. Because of her childhood she couldn't get emotionally close with me, and she constantly felt abandoned unless I was physically sitting next to her. It seems the OM helped her with these needs, and she was really attracted to him anyway. I also think she wondered if the OM was a better match for her anyway.... but after all of this, I do still think she loved me. I have spent a lot of time (too much actually) reading forums about whether you can love and cheat at the same time. Opinion seems to be really divided on this. I guess the answer is "sometimes". If she really didn't love me, I don't think she would have bothered to lie so much about or be so upset about losing me. She hasn't really tried to fix things because she is just too emotionally useless to know what to do, or maybe she doesn't think it can be fixed.

Although all the above could also be nonsense. It could be that she never romantically in love with me and was just using me until something better came along. I need to get comfortable with never knowing how she really felt, although it does still nag at me... I am trying to be indifferent to that, but its taking some time.

None of this changes the decision though. She betrayed me in the worst possible way and she is making no effort to make amends, or even be honest. Hell will freeze over before I take her back without her doing the hard work of explaining and rebuilding my trust.
She's too messed up to try to rebuild anything with her. She's not capable of having a healthy relationship in the state she's in. That's not going to change anytime soon. There is nothing you can do to make this work. I know you want answers and want closure of some kind. It sounds to me like she was using you as her fall back guy. Her safe guy. While she pursued someone else, hoping that it would eventually work out with the other guy. Or maybe she loved you in some way, but needed that attention from the other guy, and needed his love as well. Some people who have not gotten enough validation from parents, are extremely needy as adults, and need constant attention and validation from as many people of the opposite sex as they can manage. Those are the types that have a lot of trouble letting go of their exes, and are very susceptible/receptive to getting attention from others outside of their primary relationship. They are trying to fill a need that was never satisfied as a child, and they are like a black hole of unending need that can never be satisfied. No amount of attention will ever be enough for them. I know both a man and a woman who have these borderline tendencies (fear of abandonment, obsessive need for validation). Perhaps she did love you in some way, or perhaps you were just her fall back guy while she pursued the one she really wanted. I don't know, but whichever it is, she is not capable of having a healthy relationship. Understanding that will help you to let go and move on, even if you don't have all the answers you feel you need to get closure. I doubt she even knows how she really feels, or has any understanding to her feelings or emotions.
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Old 30th September 2013, 3:28 PM   #22
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Thanks Kathy. I think you hit the nail on the head. There could be any number of reasons why she cheated, and is still behaving in a disrespectful way. I think the thing is that I have identified my boundaries and my own needs, and this girl is falling way short of the minimum level of respect I deserve.

If she is doing it because she really wanted me but is emotionally messed up, then I pity her. If she is doing it because she wanted him and I was 2nd choice, then I wish her well in getting him. (Ironically, I think he is treating her in a similar way to how she treated me). What is clear is that she was never that invested or committed to me, and I need to find someone who is.

Thanks for all your help!... I think this is resolved now. Well, I hope so at least!!
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Old 1st October 2013, 5:09 AM   #23
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James, I am so glad you came to what seems an obvious solution. Keep standing up for yourself whilst it seems tough, and she tries again in between whatever else episodes she's up to. You will be strong again soon to meet someone else, it just doesn't seem like it now.
You will come out of this well if you manage to stand your ground.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 1:35 AM   #24
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thanks Pete. I spent 2 hours on the phone last night with one of my friends trying to work out why she did it and what I meant to her. in the end, we just didn't know. I suppose it was useful to define the boundaries of what we still don't know and think about best/worst case scenarios.

The thing is that she understands it is over - she knows I will not take her back. So, I don't understand the point of holding onto her secrets about when she was with him, why she did it, and what she really felt for each of us. Although I still do not know the actual answers, I feel I have gone through it all and at least defined the range of possibilities. I found that quite therapeutic. I also know I have asked her for this information clearly and repeatedly with no results.

Part of my culture and upbringing is very much this idea of "fair play". So, if I was in her situation, I might have lied a bit if I thought it could save the relationships. But I would have definitely told the truth if I knew my other partner wanted the truth and the relationship was over anyway.... After 7 weeks of this hell, I just find her behaviour of still holding back from me to be really immature, cowardly and selfish. She is only thinking about herself. And she probably thinks that my memory of her will be better if I don't know the whole truth. She is mistaken. My last memory will be of a person who never had the honour to own up to all the things she did, even at the very end.

I suppose this behaviour just makes it easier to move on. She is clearly someone who does not share my values or just does not have the moral character to act according to them.
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