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Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is

Yes, F can be a 4 letter word.. but not today.. I want to share with you my Letter F.. word.. Forgiveness... and it's for the A-Z challenge.

 "A word of encouragement can heal a wound; a choice to forgive can destroy a stronghold."John Eldredge

When my husband cheated on me I was hurt and angry and resentful...because it was adultery. People I told this too, told me I am sorry but your marriage is over now.. if he did that.. I refused to believe this... So I sought help. I had marriage counseling... We talked about the 4 most important aspects after adultery.

1. Forgiveness- They have to be truly sorry for the behavior... and they have to feel the need to repent and work on inner healing... THEN if they do this.. you should forgive them.( but if they are doing it again and again.. this is different)

2. Accountability- To rebuild trust is difficult. Both husband and wife have to work on trust.- Cheater needs to be accountable and the other needs to accept... again.. and this is not an easy task.

3. Managing Emotions- I had some very strong emotions after I found out my husband had cheated, but at some point in time those emotions need to be dealt with through step one and two above. I will never forget and there is still time when the pain comes back into my life and in my emotional bank.. but I try not to keep throwing stones at him.

Lots of people call adultery ..." The Tiger Woods Syndrome"  but there is a bit of a adultery pandemic.. I believe in some cases.. 

I think sex addicts can't just go into addiction therapy for 30 days and be healed of sexual thoughts . IN a news story on CBS they said 80% of all marriages will be affected by adultery, by either one or both spouses at some time in the lifetime of the marriage.

It's hard not to make yourself the victim, but you need to look at the problem straight on and truly see the victim is here.. it is the cheating spouse. You see, we create victimization in our selves by how we handle tribulations.....

Betrayal consumed me with hideous emotions, and the more honest I was with my feelings the more I healed. I was ashamed to admit how I felt.
  When my husband confessed more of this secrets, I was a big friend of sorrow and loss. 
Forgiveness did not come easy.. I wanted to forgive my husband, but my pain argued with my will.  I tried to be educated and read books about the addiction... Out of the shadows by Dr. Patrick Cames...  He does Carnes seminars....This book taught me that Sex addiction is not about sex.. it's about pain the person has. It was a pain killer for a pain my husband was not dealing with inside himself. I took this new information and let it percolate in my mind.
  So I thought... he was seeking comfort and above all escape. The worst part is the more a person indulges in sexual escapeades, the more shame they fee, so the cycle feeds itself. IF basic nurturing is lacking in a childhood.. children look outside of themselves for affirmation. If a behavior offers relief from the painful feelings of their shame and unworthiness, then harmful consequences become an acceptable price to pay. This information gave me comfort.. in I felt some relief... my fear of rejection was unfounded. I was taking this addiction personally. I had to shift my focus....

thus beginning a long battle of forgiveness.. that I may have finally won..... 
but in the ruthless game of cheating there are no romantic conclusions or happy endings, only rude awakenings and hard lessons. INFIDELITY does not simply fade away... like a cold... I must constantly be sure that I am not remaining in a situation where my happiness and dignity is selfishly compromised.


Ella said...

Wow Lisa, tough subject, but you faced it head are brave! xXx
I admired you willingness to forgive~

I know what your Z post will be, now that you mentioned it on my blog or at least it should be~

Marjorie said...

I don't know if I could be as forgiving as you in your situation. I commend you for that. Such a tough thing to tackle.

Hart Johnson said...

I am sending hugs to you. I read this earlier today, but Blogger at work hated me. I have an alcoholic (or more) in my life, but spent a year in my life attending AlAnon to cope with... without getting to specific... something along these lines... and my belief is very strongly, no on OUTSIDE the marriage gets it. They don't know the circumstances, and they may never forgive (my mom never did) but resentment (what happens in absence of forgiveness) will eat you from the inside and make you bitter in other areas of your life too... the price is too high.

Sometimes the answer is to sever the tie and slowly forgive, but not forget, sometimes it is to forgive within and work it out... I chose the same way you did and I haven't been sorry (though we moved across the country before I finally felt free of it) Of the demons in our marriage, another woman was the least of them, but we managed.

I wish you the very best. I admire the ability to forgive, but I also know it truly is also the best step for true self preservation.

Melissa Kline said...

Lisa, I admire you so much! This is a very honest and heartfelt post. I found it very interesting. Thanks for being so real. You're very brave! :)

Reflections on Writing

Sheila Siler said...

Good for you. I pray strength for you and your husband as you work through this difficult time. For better for worse . . .

Kmarie said...

Very beautiful. I admire your strength

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