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I have never been on here before, but have just spent over an hour reading through all kinds of questions and answers I have been asking myself! Trying to figure out all the lingo too smile I have been going through the survival of an A, and I feel I NEED REPENTANCE to get over my resentment...??? I am obsessive about what he is doing,who he is taking to and feel pretty pathetic about it. We are about to go to our 5th counseling session, and I feel like the past few all I do is repeat myself. I NEED ways to work through the trust issues, and the resentment. I've been asking for him to some how repent...but can I even ask that? We our going through the "honeymoon" stages I guess, and he is doing a good job, the transparency that I need isn't there, the " I'm so sorry I hurt you" hasn't come yet. He ALMOST cried at counseling last week....I feel like all I do is give, read (about this) and worry, he is trying to give more, but it seems so hard for him...UHHHH...any words of encouragement can help me. No one I know has gone through this, and if they have they are divorced. We have 3 kids, married 10 years...thanks for reading and responding.

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Hi GM,

welcome to MB sorry you have to be here.

It would be great if you started your own thread. Also can you give us some more info like when was d-day, how long the A lasted and how long you have been in recovery?

He is a link to the 'lingo' smile here


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Are you guys saying that a BS should repent of resentment that comes from their righteous anger over their WS's cheating?

Did Jesus repent of overturning the maneychangers' tables in the Temple?

Hanging on to resentment is not a good thing, certainly, and I believe that righteous anger/resentment actually should fade away as a process of forgiveness. The process, of course, should be much quicker, if the cheating spouse does not FUEL the resentment with continuing wayward attitudes and behavior, which indicates to me that perhaps forgiveness should not be given too soon.


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Not at all. I was saying that I personally am possibly
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Hanging on to resentment is not a good thing, certainly, and I believe that righteous anger/resentment actually should fade away as a process of forgiveness.
Just trying to work out the difference.

BL who is in very early recovery has a long way to go before his wife stops resenting his A, I dont know GM's story. The rest of us seem to be long term recovery-ers


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Originally Posted by Lady_Clueless
Are you guys saying that a BS should repent of resentment that comes from their righteous anger over their WS's cheating?.

Nope, only BL said that......and his question made me go...... skeptical

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I may be off the mark, but I read the original question as

"Repentence appears to be lacking in my FWS, I think I need to see that in order to move forward, will following MB make my FWS demonstrate repentence, because I'm starting to feel resentful toward my FWS about this."

I think of it like this, resentment comes about when our reality doesn't match our expectations and we feel someone else is responsible for the gap between reality and expectations. (Guilt and shame seem to be the result when reality doesn't match expectations and we feel ourselves are responsible).

First, I would consider whether expectations are realistic. For example, the most unrealistic expectation I see from people working on recovery is that the A never happened. (It may sound funny, but I see a lot of posters who deep down seem to think if they work hard enough, the A will have never happened). This is unrealistic. So, is it a reasonable expectation to think a FWS will be repentent? Probably. Only you can answer that.

Second, I would consider whether one is measuring reality properly. Again, resentment problems seem to arise because of the gap between expectations and reality. Just like the gap could be because expectations are unrealistic, the gap could be because we aren't looking at reality properly. The classic one I see for this is when the FWS says "I'm here, doesn't that mean something?" And the BS says no it doesn't mean anything. Well, it may not mean is much as the BS would like, but in reality, it does mean something. So, is your FWS actually repentant, but you aren't seeing it? Probably only you can answer that.

Last, if expectations are realistic, and reality is accurately being measured, then I guess it's important to consider how much does that gap matter. I mean if a FWS was perfect in every way, except they didn't seem the least bit reprentant, is that enough? What it really comes down to is a person going to eliminate their resentment by adjusting their expectations (which closes the gap) or work to see if reality can change in a way that closes the gap. (Keep in mind, adjusting expectations can include not recovering the M.)

I think MB princples can help the later. Not with some kind of magic in that one day the FWS just wakes up feeling repentent. But more likely because if both parties practice PORH, POJA, meeting EN's etc., then the gap should close one way or another. Meaning, if you say to your FWS, "when you do this, I feel like you are not very repentant, I'd like to see this, etc.", they are either going to respond with no help, (in which case you're back to to the above and adjust your expectations), or things improve.

Just my 2 cents.


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Caveat: Dr. Harley says it's unrealistic to expect the wayward to act repentant at the start of recovery. Most don't. They rationalize that they did nothing wrong. Or that it was their spouse's fault. Or that it was just physical and not emotional, or just emotional and not physical, or some other special circumstance to keep the lover in their lives or avoid responsibility for their actions.

It often takes a LOOOONG time for a wayward to show true repentance. They are often remorseful that they hurt their spouse, but unremorseful about their own actions.

You can recover without remorse. Once the couple is recovered and in love again, THEN you can often expect true remorse on the part of the wayward. But by that time, the betrayed spouse is often not looking for "justice" in the form of visible, repeated remorse on the part of their spouse. They look forward to continuing to meet one another's needs and stay in love without hurting one another anymore.

So I'm going out on a limb to say that remorse is NOT a prerequisite to recovery. It will come, but often your recovery will be complete by the time the wayward finally owns that remorse.


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Thanks for starting this thread, Vit. It's a very important discussion that I daresay all BS's can relate to. I have wrestled mightily with this myself and could've written most of your posts, word for word.

While it doesn't completely solve the problem, this may help explain it: I've noticed that, when my love bank needs a few more deposits than it's getting, this issue rears its head. When LB is overflowing, not so much. Additionally, we want to see remorse as WE'VE defined it. From OUR frame of reference (which is NOT the WS's frame of ref...THEY weren't cheated on and have not experienced what we feel about that.

With EN's, we have a right (and an obligation) to specify our need and HOW we want that need met. Have you noticed how our spouses often don't get it just right though, no matter how "specific" we've been? The MB plan does not give us the right to dictate our partner's thoughts, feelings or attitudes. That would be outrageous if we were talking about anything but remorse, I think. Easy for a BS to convince themself (and try to convince the WS too) that seeing a wayward's remorse is an Emotional Need. Gotta admit, I've seen it that way when my Taker was hell-bent on justice. But I don't think it's valid. (dammit. I'd rather be right about this!)

Just as our ENs are not the same, the way people experience their own remorse (or don't) can be equally divergent. And like the EN's, it may be that, in general, remorse breaks down differently for wayward men and wayward women. Just a thought.



Bottom line--I think a BS's struggle with this is an integral part of the rollercoaster. And we all know what happens to the rollercoaster when we're doing the right things. hug

Right Here Waiting

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Originally Posted by Brightlion
I havent been here that long, but has anyone discussed repentance of the resentment? I mean yes the WS has a lot to repent of, but at the end of the day bitterness, resentment, control, etc all need to be repented of as well. Regardless of what the WS does there must be healing for the BS and a time for them to go before God and lay all that on him...right?
I'm a little confused with this one BL.
When you mention bitterness, resentment and control, are these what you feel from your BW since d-day?
If they are since the A, these are normal for a BS. I felt the same way.
As my H acted in ways to convince me that he was now willing to protect me and restore the M, those feelings have faded.
I don't feel obligated to repent any feelings that caused LB's, that were related to the A. (initial shocks and subsequent occasional meltdowns which resulted in big DJ's and AO's)

Are you asking if your BW needs to repent her feelings that cause you to feel LB'd? (all A related)



Last edited by Vittoria; 05/13/10 05:50 PM. Reason: added sentence to clarify

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Originally Posted by Brightlion
Regardless of what the WS does there must be healing for the BS and a time for them to go before God and lay all that on him...right?

I lay my burdens and sins on Him daily. He knows exactly how I feel. In fact during the active part of the A I spent a great deal of time reading Hosea, and it was very insightful.

Healing for the BS takes time a lot more than the WS wants. I had a dream about my DH leaving me last night... over 2 years past d-day. I could have 'decided' to be in a horrible mood, angry and snappy. I chose to wake him up with SF. Thats healing and time in action.

And a great deal more fun for both of us smile


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Originally Posted by lildoggie
So how is clinging to MY resentment making me any different to Flick clinging to his resentment to justify the A? (at the time of the A, not now)
All depends.
I think there is a difference between wanting to cling onto it out of anger, or spite maybe,
and it lingering around due to lack of change of behaviour from a FWS.

Only the person holding the resentment knows the answer.


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Vittoria, actually this is based out of what has been posted. I am not sure what the confusion is, but it seems I must not of worded myself properly. My question is this.

Even in light of the WS betrayal, does not the Scriptures tell us that we must have no part in bitterness and resentment? If it does and I am reading it correctly then regardless of whether the bitterness/resentment is justified by the betrayal it is something that needs to be repented of before God. It would seem for the health of the BS they would need to "cast their cares on him" which would include those feelings of bitterness/resentment. How each individual decides to walk this out is between them and God. I am just asking the question. If I have read correctly it appears that it doesnt matter whether the WS repents, begins to apply MB principles and works on the marriage or they dont because the WS will still need to receive healing so that they can continue on with whatever their life holds with or with out the WS.

As far as my wife and I go...there has been a lot of bitterness and resentment. I have done what I can. I shoulder the blame and from the beginning told her that it wasnt her fault. When she reacts in triggers I TRY (not always successful) to just tell her I am sorry and that I am working on making things right. I know that I am to blame for the majority of what is taking place. What I cant change is how she responds. I can change my actions, but not her reactions. So I just keep working on me and pray that God reveal to both of us what still needs to be repented of and what we can do to completely recover.

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What began as a question of whether MB can influence repentance seems to have turned into a discussion of righteous anger and resentment...

First off, Jesus did not repent of his anger in the Temple. He had no need to repent of it. His anger was in deed RIGHTEOUS anger. It was not anger over being cheated or being attacked in His person. It was anger over the mishandling of the things of God in the Name of God.

The word repent literally means "to think again." It implies a change not in action but in the way one thinks about what he or she is doing. From a biblical POV, repentance is the realization that we do not have the right to choose between right and wrong (Recall the story of how Eve was tempted? "You can be like God, knowing good and evil." It's the only lie the devil ever had to tell since we all buy into this one.)and when we "repent" it is thinking that we can even choose good over evil, as in having the ability to make the choice, that we must change. It isn't what we DO that must change, it is what we believe about our ability to stand before God based on our own ability to do what is right.

From a MB POV, the mistaken thinking of the past is what must change. This mistaken thinking is really the belief that we can do anything at all that does not either add to the marriage or take away from it. Dr Harley's most basic concept is that just about everything we do affects our spouse either positively or negatively. This doesn't mean only those things our spouse takes offense at or only those things our spouse knows about or only those things that cause a strong emotional reaction of either a positive or negative nature. Whenever we do anything at all, the consequences of our actions either make the marriage stronger or tear it apart.

For a WS this should cause an awakening in the way they guard what they feel should be within their own domain and not a part of the marital union. Since nothing we do has no affect on our marriage, there should be nothing that is kept hidden form our spouse. It should lead to total transparency and an abandonment of the secret parts of our lives that make it possible to cheat in the first place.

But there is a change in thinking that the BS must undergo as well in MB. It is really the same shift in logic as the WS must undergo. It is a coming to the realization that what we do does in fact cause our spouse to either be in love with us or fall out of love with us. Each little choice that is made in our life pushes the relationship one way or the other. This is the action correction taken by a BS doing Plan A. We see that we need to fix some stuff about the way we relate to our spouse and we remove those things that get in the way of romantic love (Love Busters) and begin to provide those things that enhance romantic love (meeting ENs.)

As for resentment and revenge and anger and the word people hate so much, forgiveness...

C. S. Lewis said "Forgiveness is a beautiful word, until you have something to forgive."

There is this notion that biblical forgiveness is required of us in all circumstances. Well, yes and no. It depends on how you define forgiveness and it depends on whether or not you expect God to forgive you when you screw up on your own.

We are NOT required to restore relationships with those who hurt us. We are told however that if we fail to forgive those who have hurt us then God will not forgive us. It is those who have been forgiven what they feel is the most who have the most to lose and so those people are the ones most likely to freely offer forgiveness. He who is forgiven much, forgives much.

But I'll take one more step along that road and say that if you think you have nothing to be forgiven you have really missed the whole point and are probably still trying to justify your own actions before God and still buying into the lie of the devil thinking that you can even make the choice yourself.

There is also this idea that forgiveness requires repentance. Yes and no. No it does not require that someone be repentant in order that we might forgive them. (See Romans 5:8) God did not wait for us to repent before providing for our forgiveness.

The answer though becomes "yes" when we look at it from the side of the one being forgiven. It does not require the transgressor to be repentant to forgive them but it does require that they be repentant in order that they might be forgiven in that in order to receive the forgiveness already offered, their own thinking must change.

So the transgressor cannot demand forgiveness since that is based on self justification and self justification is the very thing that needs to be repented of in order to be forgiven.

Resentment leads to entitlement and entitlement leads to self justification of doing what we want to do without regard for our spouse. So Resentment is antithetical to MB and to a healthy marriage since those are the very things that lead to affairs. "I can do this and it won't affect my marriage because..." (I'm entitled to it, because I feel like it, because he/she hurt me, because____.) If resentment can never be let go of, the marriage can never become a great MB marriage since holding power and leverage over our spouse is NOT good for the marriage and is one of those things that affects our spouse negatively.

If you find it hard to let go of the resentment, examine what you believe gives you reason to think you are entitled to resentment. It might be that you do not see full investment from your spouse and THAT can mean that there has been no repentance on his or her part, that is, they still believe THEY were entitled to what they did and they didn't mean to hurt you but they thought they could just do this one thing and it wouldn't matter to you because it was all about them....all that wayward self justifying entitled crap that we know so well...

But first be sure that you aren't hanging onto resentment so that you can have leverage in future negotiations. In Euchre you might have the Left and Right and an Ace to back them up. You can play them at any time...

But once the game is over and you are playing another hand, you can't play those cards any more because they are no longer yours to play. You don't get to keep them when the deal passes and when the next hand is dealt. If you want to play your power cards, you have to do it during the hand that is being played. You can't keep them to be played at a later date in order to give you an advantage over your spouse for the remainder of your marriage.

Righteous anger comes from outrage over wrongs being committed. Anger that comes from being wronged is NOT righteous anger at all. It is anger from our own selfishness. Jesus did not need to repent of His anger because His anger was over the wrongs being done. When a week later the same people were nailing Him to a wooden beam to put him to death in the most agonizing and shameful way ever invented, His words were "Forgive them..." He was not angered by the most horrific personal attack ever committed on a totally innocent Man.

If you don't let go of resentment, you will never heal your marriage. Resentment is antithetical to PORH and POJA. Holding back resentment in order to gain advantage works against restoring the relationship.

I did NOT say you are not entitled to feel hurt nor that you can't be angry over being personally attacked in such a way. But the anger must be controlled in order to have a good marriage since AOs no matter the trigger are detrimental to the marriage.

Feeling hurt by what has happened is NOT the same as holding resentment for what has happened and so the whole thing about hanging onto resentment does not apply. However If you wish to stop feeling the pain over and over again, you have to learn to control what you choose to think since we can't choose how we feel but we can choose what we think and recalling the painful events is what triggers us to feel the pain all over again. Some can do it alone. Some need help. Some need meds. Some need to divorce in order to get over it...

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There were times that I wondered if DH would forgive me. And I believe in forgiveness. I could have told him that story of the man who was forgiven the large debt by the king and then refused to forgive his friend the small debt. I could have shown him verses about the root of bitterness and not repaying evil for evil. I could have taken a stick and poked a hornet's nest! Quite honestly, I had too much to do removing the log and its horrible damamge from my own eye to worry about the speck in my DH's. He did forgive, but it was a process, not an event. And he did it on his own. Just like repentance cannot be forced, neither can forgiveness. And considering I was the one who caused/did what he needed to forgive, it really wasn't my place to tell him when and how to do it. In fact, when I hear someone become more and more concerned about how others should be responding and less and less concerned about what they themselves should be doing....red flags start popping out all over the place.

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Dang Mark...I just became a fan smile

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Originally Posted by rprynne
I may be off the mark, but I read the original question as

"Repentence appears to be lacking in my FWS, I think I need to see that in order to move forward, will following MB make my FWS demonstrate repentence, because I'm starting to feel resentful toward my FWS about this."
Almost right, rprynne. I don't think I'm starting to feel resentful over the lack of repentance that I percieve, like I said though, maybe I still have some resentment from before d-day.
Maybe you hear it in my posts and I'm not recognizing it as such. IDK.
So, the first part of your statement is correct.
When I started the thread, I think I felt more anger/anxiety.
Hearing from others that time and practicing MB not only the tools but as it relates to infidelity, can affect repentance has settled my anxiety on that, somewhat.


Quote
I think of it like this, resentment comes about when our reality doesn't match our expectations and we feel someone else is responsible for the gap between reality and expectations.
This in particular made much sense to me and I'm guilty of this. It's my own expectation that is dragging me down.
I think this is normal for a BS to do in order to want to protect themselves.


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Originally Posted by Doormat_No_More
So I'm going out on a limb to say that remorse is NOT a prerequisite to recovery. It will come, but often your recovery will be complete by the time the wayward finally owns that remorse.
While I understand what you are saying DNM, this part I see differently. I think there has to be some level of remorse to begin R.
No remorse to me equals a WS who isn't willing to agree to NC, change the environment that set the stage for an A, or follow EP's.



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Originally Posted by rightherewaiting
I have wrestled mightily with this myself and could've written most of your posts, word for word.
Another thank you for knowing what I'm feeling is par for the course.

Quote
While it doesn't completely solve the problem, this may help explain it: I've noticed that, when my love bank needs a few more deposits than it's getting, this issue rears its head. When LB is overflowing, not so much. Additionally, we want to see remorse as WE'VE defined it. From OUR frame of reference (which is NOT the WS's frame of ref...THEY weren't cheated on and have not experienced what we feel about that.
I so agree with this. In the past we both have been able to identify when our UA is down, with a resultant low $LB.
This isn't the case now. My $LB was good, until my H started talking....... and the fog was revealed. This is why I can relate to what ryprne posted about expectations.
And you're right, it's how we the BS define the remorse. I also understand that there is a degree of fog that will take a long time to fade away, and this happens as romantic love is achieved. I get that.
When a WS still has a part of their mind believing that the A was the BS's fault, that is too much for me.

Quote
The MB plan does not give us the right to dictate our partner's thoughts, feelings or attitudes. That would be outrageous if we were talking about anything but remorse, I think. Easy for a BS to convince themself (and try to convince the WS too) that seeing a wayward's remorse is an Emotional Need. Gotta admit, I've seen it that way when my Taker was hell-bent on justice. But I don't think it's valid. (dammit. I'd rather be right about this!)
I feel it is an EN right now, a big one. It's actually a LB, and so much so that I'm not really feeling like I want to meet his EN's.
I know, I know, I know, I see how this is so wrong, I'm being honest.

Quote
Just as our ENs are not the same, the way people experience their own remorse (or don't) can be equally divergent. And like the EN's, it may be that, in general, remorse breaks down differently for wayward men and wayward women. Just a thought.
Sometimes I think that cuz I've been here reading and learning and growing, (yes, I think I have wink ) I'm so much further ahead than my H. I wonder if he will ever get it. I want him to, I need him to.
I don't want the M that we had before, that part of his thinking, is still there. ugh.







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Originally Posted by Vittoria
Originally Posted by Doormat_No_More
So I'm going out on a limb to say that remorse is NOT a prerequisite to recovery. It will come, but often your recovery will be complete by the time the wayward finally owns that remorse.
While I understand what you are saying DNM, this part I see differently. I think there has to be some level of remorse to begin R.
No remorse to me equals a WS who isn't willing to agree to NC, change the environment that set the stage for an A, or follow EP's.

One issue I have with the remorse thing is that on one hand you have people saying unrepentant/unremorseful waywards are wayward forever, and then in SAA page 84 Dr Harley says if feelings of remorse are not felt by the WS, then they should not apologise. Focusing on the future M not the past M is preferable.

Later on on page 90 he says sue NEVER apologised.

Jon and Sue apparently did all the required policies, fell back in love and as they say 'lived happliy ever after'
But Sue never apologised. I think there was something in there that she felt she had done something for herself finally.


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Vit - I've kind of skimmed through this post, so I apologize in advance if this has been covered already.

What is it you're looking for from your H? Has he apologized at all, has he taken steps to clean up his side of the street? Assuming for a moment he has done those things, what would repentance from him look like? What specific behaviors are you looking for from him, that you aren't getting?

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