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#383093 06/01/00 09:06 AM
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Lapeine Offline OP
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H betrayed be in an EA and then a PA one weekend. He has always been a very religious person. I asked if he has asked God for forgiveness. He says he doesn't feel right asking God to forgive him and he knows he can't ever forgive himself. I have forgiven him (although the forgetting is not so easy) and I have told him so. Is there anything out there that might help him forgive himself and know that God can also forgive him? Is there anything I can do to help.

#383094 06/01/00 09:20 AM
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I would think you would be happy he was feeling pain for what he did? <P>I don't think you can help mitigate that pain of guilt. I don't understand why you would want to. Pain is a warning something is wrong and a reminder not to do something again.<P>Anything you do to relieve his guilt would be to remove his punishment for his EA.<BR>If he is a religious man than you don't need to worry about this guilt because eventually God will take care of him but only when He thinks your H is ready.

#383095 06/01/00 10:53 AM
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Ah, but to trully love someone you hurt when they are hurting. Which makes me think there is some hope to our relationship. He hates that he is hurting me. Yes, there is a part of me that wants him to hurt but I can never hurt him the way he has hurt me, so nothing will be gained by doing that. The only way to move on is to move past the pain and focus on the problems. We can't start to do that if he is still so mired in guilt he can't see how to climb out of it enough to focus on the issues. If he can start to forgive himself than he may be able to see things more clearly and figure out what he wants--me, her, or to be alone.<P>I don't want the hurt or the guilt to go away. You are right, that means there is some form of remorse there. But until he feels that he can forgive himself and learn from his mistakes and realize that God can forgive him, our relationship cannot move forward and be salvaged.<P>H doesn't understand how anyone could love him right now. He doesn't see the positive things about himself that made him the man he was before the affair. I can still see those things even through all the pain and the hurt and the confusion. I know that man is still there and we can survive, but he is going to have to want it. I can't do it alone.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Lapeine (edited June 01, 2000).]

#383096 06/01/00 10:56 AM
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Guilty 1<P>Your words may be perceived as being harsh, but I agree with you. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>My H never felt remorse. He just continues on. He has the unnerving ability to compartmentalize to the point where he never even thinks about what he did.<P>He would be the first to admit what he did was wrong and would probably kill anyone who did the exact same thing to his daughert someday that he has done to me, but then he can just go on and act like he is the good man so many people think he is.<P>Guilt is not a bad thing unless it leads to the feeling of hopelessness and damnation that could then lead to turning away from God.<P>Lapeine -<P>Your H needs to have faith that the Lord has forgiven him and that his soul is still "saveable", but I don't feel he must forgive himself. He definitely should not forget all about it like my H has.<p>[This message has been edited by Tired LuLu (edited June 01, 2000).]

#383097 06/01/00 11:09 PM
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Lapeine:<P>I'd completely disagree with Guilty1 and Tired LuLu: if you haven't lived with someone who's constantly beating themselves up for the past, you don't realize that it's not any different than living with someone who shows no remorse---the bottom line is that the marriage doesn't heal as quickly.<P>There are some good books on forgiveness (NSR can provide links---Smedes comes to mind), but it's an internal process that your husband has to go through. If he's willing to see a counselor, a cognative behavioral psychologist (who's a Christian) might be able to help him reconcile his "sins" with his humanity. And help him move past. There are plenty of biblical examples of this as well (think David).<P>How long has it been? Time can be a factor in this as well. And does your husband tend to "hold a grudge" with others?

#383098 06/01/00 11:37 PM
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Lapeine, I completely understand your husband's not believing he can be forgiven by God or even you, but with time and consistent effort to build the marriage into something better, he will heal.<P>I think that as a betrayer starts to give something to their marriage instead of take, their feelings of self worth are recovered - slowly. It's a long process, but with time it does happen. Remember, guilt is not something God condones...it's something that's necessary for us to know we've done something wrong, but we need to overcome it by doing the right things, or we will never heal (or our marriages). Also, I agree with K in that speaking to a christian counselor may be a good thing right now for him. We all fall short of glory in one way or another, and I think that if we can learn a valuable lesson and make our marriages better, than that's what should count.

#383099 06/01/00 12:10 PM
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Well said, K<P>Guilt serves its purpose when it causes someone to change their behavior from wrong to right.<P>I too wanted more remorse at one point, but the changes in behavior have been there. I now see it was better this way. Too much "guilt" is really self-pity. It's much easier to bemoan ourselves than to do the hard work of recovery.<P>

#383100 06/01/00 01:10 PM
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Exactly, too much guilt is self-pity. That is where he is right now, and it is not helping anything.<P>I still believe he has to forgive himself--but you are right, he should not forget. He should not forget the pain he has caused me, himself, or this OW. Only by learning from ones mistakes can one avoid them in the future.<P>And yes, his guilt is causing him to feel hopeless and turn from God. That is why I need to know how to best help him.<P>Thank you for your posts. I suppose I am not a patient person and I have to learn that everything takes time.

#383101 06/01/00 03:28 PM
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There is no perfect reaction because this is such a terrible thing to have to go through. My H never showed guilt, but he does show self-pitty. He feels sorry for himself that our marriage will probably end in divorce. He acts as if it is my fault. If I were just stronger we could get past this and finally have himself a satsifying marriage so he won't need to screw around anymore.<P>Guilt can motivate action or it can paralyze. Paul was guilty of persecuting the Jews before he was converted. He always felt bad and guilty for what he did. He doesn't just go on with his life and act like he never did anything wrong. He even states that he truly felt he was doing what was right at the time. He had a clear conscience. <P>He did have faith that God had forgiven him and he worked to do even more than what was right, he made up for what he had done.<P>Judas screwed up and he went and hung himself. <P>


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