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Joined: Nov 2000
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Forgiveness is a Gift You Give Yourself<BR>Are you someone who walks around feeling angry with your spouse or loved one much of the time? Do you have a little inner voice that constantly reminds you of all of his or her wrongdoings? Have you become expert at remembering all the minute details of past injustices just so that you can keep score? If this describes you at all, you better read what I’m about to say and take it to heart. <P>Lack of forgiveness imprisons you. It takes its toll on your physical and emotional health. It keeps you stuck in the deepest of relationship ruts. No matter how justified you feel about your point of view regarding your partner’s insensitive behavior, you still are miserable. When you wake up each morning, a gray tint shadows your life. You walk around with a low-grade depression. You can’t feel joy because you’re too busy being angry or feeling disappointed. <P>In the face of these fairly obvious disadvantages, you hang on to your belief that, since you feel let down, you must not “give in.” To you, giving in means forgiving, letting go, making peace. To do so, would be tantamount to giving up your soul. So, you keep your distance. You interact in perfunctory ways, never allowing your partner to step over the emotional line you’ve drawn. And though the distance often feels intolerable, forgiveness is not on your short list of solutions to your dilemma. <P>I have worked with so many couples who say they want to heal their relationships. And yet, when they’re offered the tools, they can’t seem to move forward. These are the couples who, instead of finding effective ways to get beyond blame, continue to repeat their mantra, “Our problems are your fault and you must pay.” As long as they maintain this mindset, they are doomed to failure. How very sad. Even sadder are their children who, on a day-by-day observe their parents being “right” but “miserable.” What lessons are they learning about love? <P>If any of this strikes a chord with you (and you wouldn’t be reading this if it didn’t), you need to internalize that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Letting go of resentment can set you free. It can bring more love and happiness into your life. It opens the door to intimacy and connection. It makes you feel whole. Forgiving others takes strength, particularly when you feel wronged, but the fortitude required to forgive pales in comparison to the energy necessary to maintain a sizable grudge. The person most hurt by holding out or blaming is YOU, no matter what the circumstances. <P>“All this sounds good,” you tell yourself, “but how can I ever forget what my partner did to me?” Good question. You don’t! Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting. You will probably always remember the particular injustice(s) that drove you into your corner. But what will happen, is that when you forgive, the intense emotions associated with the event(s) begin to fade. You will feel happier, lighter, more loving. And these renewed positive feelings won’t go unnoticed. Others will be drawn to you. <P>Just keep in mind that forgiveness isn’t a feeling. It is a decision. You decide that you are going start tomorrow with a clean slate. Even if it isn’t easy, you make the determination that the alternative is even harder, and that you are going to do what you must to begin creating a more positive future. <P>So promise yourself, that no matter what the reason, you will not go another day blaming your partner and feeling lonely. Make peace. Make up. Make love. I promise you that the benefits of deciding to forgive go far beyond anything you can picture in your mind’s eye at the moment. Your decision to forgive will create a ripple effect of exponential changes in your life. <P><BR>Written by Michelle Weiner-Davis - the most wonderful marriage counselor in the world. <A HREF="http://www.weiner-davis.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.weiner-davis.com</A> <P><BR>------------------<BR>You may be just one person in the world. But you may mean the world to somebody<p>[This message has been edited by NoLongerSadnLonely (edited December 21, 2000).]

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Nice <A HREF="http://www.divorcebusting.com/forumlinks4.html" TARGET=_blank>article</A>, but you should give credit to the author: Michele Weiner-Davis.

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K,<P>I did not mean to take credit for it, yes it is from Michelle. She saved my marriage and I found this today and wanted to share it with everyone. It is so inspirational and life changing.<P>I'm glad you are familiar with her!!!

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Hey Miss Thang, it sounds like you're doing great! You go girl! I take it the "alien" is out of the picture, then? I hope so!<P>Thanks for sharing that, it is so true! We're moving along fairly well in recovery ourselves, but yes, forgiveness is the key!<P>I've gotta run, I'll try to make a cameo before I head out to SC. Have a merry Christmas!<P>Ali

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Hi, I'm new here and have posted some in "just found out"<BR>Thank you for posting this article, it is so true!<BR>I could not/ did not want to forgive my H for what he had done (PA) and then one weekend (2 weeks ago)I decided that I would no longet let it destroy me. I was not going to think about them anymore, when they met , what they did. But I was going to focus on working on OUR marriage. It made my day's happier, brighter and a lot more fun. I can enjoy being with him and do things we both like.<BR>Thank you so much for making me realise what kind of decision I made that weekend.<BR>K

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NLSAL and others,<P>If this topic interests you, you should begin working through the Choosing to Forgive Workbook. (See my post re: Healing..)<P>As far as you printing Michelle's article, why not go back and edit it to add her authorship? It is customary to always give credit to an author if you post more than SEVEN of their words. Besides, don't you want everyone to know how great her stuff is? <P>K wasn't being mean, (I don't think?), but just informing you of the custom here on the board. Actually, we are supposed to get permission from every author we quote here, but I'm sure most of them would like us to quote them correctly and then tell people where to find their book!<P>Merry Christmas,<BR>lizpearl (we are 16 months into recovery!)<p>[This message has been edited by alias (edited December 21, 2000).]

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Hi NoLonger...<P>Thanks so much for posting this article. I personally don't care if it was written by Charles Dickens...it was very inspirational. I have moved into (I hope) forgiveness, but my oldest son will have nothing to do with his father, so I'm going to print it out and leave it for him...I hope he gets as much out of it as I did, for his lack of forgiveness is destroying his soul (he's 18).<P>We are all here to learn. We are all here looking for answers. Know that your post helped me in my journey.<P>allison

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I'm new here, my husband and I are in our 6mo of recovery...and just the other day we had an arguement about why I still bring up the affair. I still find it sometimes so hard to let go. But reading this article was just what I needed to hear. Thank you for posting it. <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by alias:<BR><B>NLSAL and others,<P>If this topic interests you, you should begin working through the Choosing to Forgive Workbook. (See my post re: Healing..)<P>As far as you printing Michelle's article, why not go back and edit it to add her authorship? It is customary to always give credit to an author if you post more than SEVEN of their words. Besides, don't you want everyone to know how great her stuff is? <P>K wasn't being mean, (I don't think?), but just informing you of the custom here on the board. Actually, we are supposed to get permission from every author we quote here, but I'm sure most of them would like us to quote them correctly and then tell people where to find their book!<P>Merry Christmas,<BR>lizpearl (we are 16 months into recovery!)<P>[This message has been edited by alias (edited December 21, 2000).]</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>

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oops...sorrry forgot to delete the previous post. <P>Thank you again for the article. <P>

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Carolina Bell<P>Have a wondermous time when ya go back home. Glad to hear you and H are doing better!!!!!!<P>I'm glad it has helped you guys. It helped me to move forward, heal and love again.<P><p>[This message has been edited by NoLongerSadnLonely (edited December 21, 2000).]

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Yes! is all I can say. I found out 2 months ago my husband was cheating. I decided right away to forgive him because I felt that I had contributed to his needing to do it (although it was a tremendous shock and devastation). But I went into the stages you describe, depression, anxiety, pain, and jabbing at him about it every chance I could! So, although I felt I owed him forgiveness, I wasn't there yet. I do think that all that anguish and resentment may be a necessary stage (well, maybe not the jabbing) to get to personal healing. But I want to be my husband's best friend, something I've never truly been to him, and so treating him that way and holding in that resentment has no place in that good scenario. I don't hurt as much as I did (mainly because I'm learning to turn off the tapes that played in my mind). So now, I can begin to truly love him. I had decided not to come back to this forum anymore because I felt I was getting to the place where all the bad stories were hurting me more than helping me and were just building up in me a fear he would do it again. ButI decided to come one last time and look for something positive, and I found your article! Thank you. It is a tremendous help and a boost forward into forgiveness for me.

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I've read the forgiveness article before and I'm glad to read it again. I'd like to add that giving <B>ourselves</B> the gift of forgiveness is important too. None of us live in a vacuum, and each of us contributes to the problems within our marriage. Yesterday was day 8 of my separation, and the feeling of being trapped in some sort of mental quicksand keeps dogging me. Perhaps if I forgive <B>myself</B> for being x, y and z, I'll feel better. Thank you NLS&L.

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Excellent article. Just what I needed. I have forgiven H for the A. I know that I contributed to it by not meeting his EN.But what I'm having a har time forgiving is his deciding to end the marriage without trying. He says that he made up his mind before the A began.Just didn't tell me. OW knew before me!How can I move past that hurt to forgive him? Or do I forgive first and then heal my hurt?

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Hello All,<P>I am in the midst of trying to apply the whole practice of forgiving in my relationship. My H has mistreated me (verbally, controlling behavior) over our 7 year marriage. I reached my breaking point, and last year, got involved in a relationship, and left. <BR>It has been a long year. I have ceased that relationship to see if anything can be with my H again. My H has evolved, very much so for the better. We remained close throughout this time, as we also have a two and a half year old together.<P>We recently decided to try at our relationship again. He seems over my past relationship. I am still struggling with the past, the pain I experienced. I am in a huge rut now, feeling like trying is better than finalizing a divorce, but at the same time feeling emotionally drained towards him.<P>I have read this article several times. I am not sure what does apply to me. I am slowly feeling like, as my H becomes increasingly aware of his actions in the past, why he acted in such a hurtful manner, and is able to share this with me, that I am able to begin forgiving.<BR>But, I want to be in a place where I can begin to see if any intimate feelings are possible for me. <BR>I have been in a battle with myself on this since August. It is an emotional imprisonment. I can't seem to commit to a direction...in, out...the "love" isn't there for me, maybe hasn't been since the VERY beginning.<BR>H is ironically my stability, is the guy who is the wonderful Dad, my friend, just a minor obstacle of him being my lover. Though he gets a A for effort.<P>Anyone living or has lived a similar experience? Thanks.<P>


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