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Co-dependency- how do I forgive myself for having an affair?

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1:59 pm
March 3, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

I just recently realized that I am co-dependent. Through trying to "help" and "fix" a friend from church, an affair developed. I am in the process of ending the affair, but how do I forgive myself?

2:05 pm
March 3, 2005


kathygy

New Member

posts -1

What were your reasons for having the affair? You are only human and were only trying to get your needs met. Take responsibility for your actions and be gentle with yourself. Think about how you could have done things differently.

2:07 pm
March 3, 2005


Anonymous

New Member

posts -1

Forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness isn't something that just "happens." It's something you have to work towards. You'll get to a point where you feel forgiveness, and then you'll shame yourself again and have to regain the forgiveness but eventually it will stick.

It's a process, just like everything else in life. It took time for the affair to develop. It takes time to end it. It will take time to forgive yourself.

Hope this is helpful to you.

Love,

Ren'ai

2:19 pm
March 3, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

I think the affair developed because I was getting attention from "church guy" and my husband's priority was drinking and having a good time. We have been married for more than 20 years and the affair started 7 years ago. The last two years, my husband quit drinking and is focusing on me being a top priority in his life. I have been slowly ending the affair for 2 years. Still trying to be friends, but that isn't working. my husband is a great person and I don't want him to know the depth of the "friendship" I had with "church guy" because I don't want to hurt him. We are really trying to work this out. I just have to forgive myself. I was so involved with trying to fix (co-dependency) "church guy" that I fell in love with him.

2:23 pm
March 3, 2005


Rasputin

New Member

posts 0

Hi Southerchick,

You as a Christian, as long as you confessed your sin to God sincerely and genuinely, then He has forgiven you. You needn't be hard on yourself and set higher standard than God.

The Bible says:

- Whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

Love,

Rasputin

2:30 pm
March 3, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

Rasputin-
I turely feel this is true. I couldn't confess until I really felt in my heart that I was not going to make that mistake again. My strength came from understanding my co-dependency and letting God take care of me. I hope Ren and Kathy are right….that it will take a while for me to forgive myself and that I must remember to cut myself some slack.
Thanks yall!

1:09 pm
March 4, 2005


kathygy

New Member

posts -1

Just focus on your marriage and put your energy there. The past is the past. Yes, cut yourself lots of slack. It is easy to turn to someone else if your husband was drinking.

10:56 am
March 8, 2005


ilovelucy

New Member

posts -1

Southernchick this is to you…….I am in your same boat girl. I am very codependent and I'm in the same situation. I had started the process of my divorce and while we were seperated I found that "church" going guy that I had always wanted my husband to be. I was seperated but it became basically an affair with this guy. He was everything I always wanted until I started seeing red flags with him, I tried to call it off but he didn't like that at all and finally I had to get the police involved, and as sick as this sounds I still miss him and hurt. I am basically grieving the man I "thought" he was. Now my ex-husband has dedicated his life to the Lord and wants to put this family back together. I know I love him dearly but the "in-love" feeling is gone…….can I get it back? Did I give up on my marriage too early because of this other guy? These are questions I am dealing with now. I begged my husband for the last 2 years of our marriage to go to church with me and my son, go to counceling and make this marriage work, he never did……….now after the fact he wants it and is trying everything possible to put it back together. What do I do?

12:47 pm
March 8, 2005


kathygy

New Member

posts -1

ilove, why did you leave your marriage? Were there problems that are solved now? It is possible to fall in love again with the same person if you have a good relationship. You could try to date him and see how you feel.

1:13 pm
March 8, 2005


ajbee

New Member

posts -1

Southern Chick,

I understand what you're going through, except my husband is a workaholic and 'toy' junkie (cars, boats) and my 'church guy' was an online friendship that centered around spiritual discussions. When my husband would criticise, online guy would comfort. He just always had a way of making me see things from a brighter perspective. But it got beyond me… and I became very emotionally attached. I'd gone throught the 'fantasy' part of codependency to deal with my husband's lack of attention (all the while thinking this was normal), but this was the first time that it was more than outside of my head.

I've been trying repeatedly to let go too, or worse, just keep the friendship part. I think that's what confuses me the most. This relatioship shone a light on everything I'd been missing. It's hard to give up such a good friend. But I do love my husband, I'm just not happy. I've been honest with him though, and don't know if it's cause I wanted him to leave, understand, or change. I guess I'm learning is all I can change is myself. I'm still in much confusion, but know I have to at least do everything in my power to try and work it out with the hubby first. I do think there's hope. Anyways, just wanted to say don't be too hard on yourself for being human.

ajbee

3:07 pm
March 8, 2005


ilovelucy

New Member

posts -1

Kathygy, the reason I left my husband is because he wouldn't keep a job, he flip-flopped all the time with jobs and I couldn't stand the insecurity of not knowing if he was going to have a job the next day or not.Probably the last year of our marriage I supported him financially. He cooked, cleaned, did laundry and everything else that made my home comfortable but financially he couldn't help. But how in the world could I leave my husband because he didn't keep a job? Well, that's not the reason I actually left. He had turned to one of my good friends as an emotional affair basically and that was my "good" reason out! Now, he has a job which is great but I'm not sure for how long, I don't know when I will ever have that security. I felt like I had the whole responsiblity on my shoulders and couldn't do it anymore. I asked him to go to counseling and church and anything else to help us out and at the time he wouldn't………..now after the fact, after the divorce he has decided he wants to go and get his marriage back. I went to a counceling session with him last night and walked away not really knowing what to feel, just kinda' numb.

3:19 pm
March 8, 2005


ilovelucy

New Member

posts -1

ajbee……….that is exactly the way I feel about the person I ended up having my affair with (while I was seperated from my husband), I saw things in him that I had never seen before. I realized after being around him I had been missing out on so much. But I do love my husband very much, just not "in-love". This man that I turned to was the church goer, raising his own kids, had his own business and took care of busniness like a man should, I didn't have that in my husband and I wanted that so bad for myself and my son.

I think the question I have now is…..is my codependency kicking in once again? My husband is trying so hard to put this marriage back together am I just afraid of hurting him so I will "fix" the problem and compromise myself. I hate for people to hurt and that's what I do, I make sure everyone else is happy before myself.

3:51 pm
March 8, 2005


ajbee

New Member

posts -1

Hi Ilovelucy,

My hubby is the opposite in that he's a workaholic. I'm thankful that he's responsible but it always seems to be that I'm last on the priority list. It's partly my fault cause I never really spoke up. Sure, I asked, but then always just accepted no or wait or someday when…

My emotional affair started very innocently. It was someone I met on a mb and eventually started emailing. We had good discussions about faith, life etc. You and I are similar in the fact that I too have often asked for my hubby to join me at church, for my sake and the boys if for no other reason. The problem with what happened is I've gotten a taste of what is possible… the question I guess is do I need to have all my needs met in one place? Just, next time I need to be more careful about who I let in my heart as a safe friend. The other thing we seem to share in common is that when I finally told him all this in December, I received an old family ring for Christmas. This from the man who could barely remember to give me a birthday card. Why do they need to wait until there's a crises (or worse) to try and hear us? Hm. I'm hearing my resentment as I type.

I'm not sure if my marriage has hope or not. I'm sure it does if I keep being the pleaser, and being submissive. But the anxiety and depression tell me I can't go on living that way. Yet… was what I experienced with the other person real? I mean, it's easy to be everything to someone over a computer screen with no other responsibilities attached. Grrr… sorry. I'm confused and frustrtated.

I'm hoping with some help, some understanding, and lots of patience, communication and work we can work it out. He was my first love. That's hard to replace. Yet I need someone who cares about my needs. I guess I'm at the same place you're at. Am I wanting to save the marriage for the right reasons. I don't expect the 'in love' feeling to last, but there has to be something that bonds us together more than our kids.

hugs, aj

9:08 am
March 9, 2005


ilovelucy

New Member

posts -1

aj,

You have taken the words out of my mouth. I truly feel now that the reason my whole marriage started was because of my codependency. I attracted someone who obviously needed fixin…….but out of this marriage came my miracle child. I was told previously that I couldn't have children and was married before and had no children. With this husband I had the love of my life (my son). This is were it's hard to hear God, do I make this work? There was a reason for it to even happen………….right?

And yes, the other guy I miss, but in my heart I know he was not good for me anymore, I saw red flags, but he was I guess like a drug for me and I'm going through the withdraws. He said and did all the right things that my husband didn't.

I went to counseling with my husband and walked away kinda' numb and our assignment was to write each other a Thank You letter for all the good things. This has been hard for me to even start, why?

3:30 pm
March 9, 2005


ajbee

New Member

posts -1

Hey Ilove,

Is the numb feeling perhaps a way to protect yourself from feeling all the emotion and pain? I do that sometimes.

I wish I could answer you. I too think I married for the wrong reason. But I married the strong, silent type. Does it have to mean it was all bad? Is there no way to salvage what was good while working on healing the dysfunctional parts? (and that involves a lot of work on my own self).

I had a counselling session today, crying my head off wondering if there was any hope for us to have a happy life. I'm going to trust in God's grace that there is. I need to be patient and at least try with the new insights I'm learning. I ask myself too if I'm doing it not to hurt him or the kids, all at my own expense, but I could drive myself nuts thinking that way. After all, that's kinda what we married for, better or worse. I guess I'm trying to see it as a blessing to have someone who loves me unconditionally in my life with whom I can work out these issues. I know for myself, I have to try. Our biggest obstacle is intimacy. We stopped sharing and dreaming. Maybe because the expectations of marriage didn't live up to what we thought they'd be.

As for the other guy, we're kindred spirits I have no doubt and I've never met someone like that before in my life. But there were red flags for me too. I know I have to let go. With all the good, there has also been so much that was not healthy. Dependency being the most obvious, which led to wondering and thinking obsessively. I was using the relationship to fill a void I didn't know how to fill, avoiding doing the work that needed doing. I realize how selfish it was on my part, but we do better when we know better, eh? I don't think one person can fill all of our needs, and I only wish they taught us that as kids. Wonder if we can sue anyone for the whole 'happily ever after' concept. :)

Sorry for rambling. Best of luck on what you decide. Be patient and loving with yourself and God bless.

9:24 am
March 10, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

Ilovelucy and aj;

I've been out of town for a few days.
It was great to read your stories. I don't feel so lonely in my situation now. It's strange….my church guy owns his own business and got custody of his kids and also is a drug user. I have finally realized that I cannot be friends with him. I have to withdraw and have been doing so for almost two weeks. I feel better and I am focusing on my problems, not his. I bought a couple of books that someone suggested: Women who love too much; and codependency no more. I can't wait to read both of them.

1:49 pm
March 10, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

aj-
I just reread your threads and and it's amazing how much we have in common. Many of the things you have described with your husband and many of the same feelings and beliefs I have. My husband is a great man, and I am trying to do my best for us and our kids.

2:13 pm
March 10, 2005


deeply confussed

New Member

posts -1

I have made the same mistake more than once in my marriage. My husband is not a drinker,he is a control freak. He never showed me the right attention I needed and I thought I had found comfort in another mans arms. I am not proud of my self. We have been together for 17 years now. We have three children. They are my world. Sometimes I feel like thats the only reason I came back again, again and again. I can't live without my children. And I feel like I can't make it on my own cause my husband drilled that in my head over the years. I believe he has treated so un justly.

2:26 pm
March 10, 2005


deeply confussed

New Member

posts -1

I don't know how to explain how I trult feel sometimes,cause sometimes I don't understand myself. I know I feel guilty about I did to my husband.I have asked myself many times what happened to me in my life to make feel this way. All I know when I met my husband I thought he hung the moon and was my White and Shining aromor coming to resue, As time as passed I feel like he just wanted someone he could make into his perfect person and everything has to go is way. Then I feel like without him in my life I won't have a life. I hope I didn't confuss anyone but like I said I get confissed about it my self.

4:22 pm
March 10, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

DC-
I know how you feel about your kids. Mine are my driving force in my life. I am trying to work on my co-dependency traits so my kids won't be co-dependent also. Did your husband find out about your affairs?

4:43 pm
March 10, 2005


jbear

New Member

posts -1

I am so happy to find this site. I can so relate to you, but I haven't a sole in the world to talk to about it and it is killing me. I can't afford a therapist right now and I really need to get it out.
I started having an affair with an addict and I have fallen in love with him throughout the process of "helping" him. I feel like I am trapped in web of confusion, depression, and worry. I guess I have two huge issues that I am dealing with inside myself. One – The guilt I feel for the hurt this would cause my husband if he found out. Two – The worry I am feeling for the safety of my lover.
I love my husband and feel safe with him. He is very caring, however all the intimacy has disappeared. He does not seem to be attracted to me, yet he is completely content. I feel very strongly that he does not look elsewhere, he just doesn't seem to have a sex drive and I was fine with that for 9 years. Then last year, "J" stepped into my life and made me feel like the most beautiful and sexy person in the world. I guess I craved the attention and did not know it until then. Anyway, I found out that "J" had a VERY bad drug problem, not to mention family and mental issues to boot. I am such a loving, non-judgemental person that I easily slipped into this role of providing for him, caring for him, and saving him. (Obviously co-dependent) I'm not so naive to think that he did not recognize that and use it to his advantage from time to time, but I know that he loves me deeply. Anyway, I have been through so much drama with him as a result of his addiction. It is so amazing that my husband has not found out. It makes me feel like real crap to know that he trusts me as much as he does and I have been deceiving him. I do love him dearly.
Anyway, "J" has made some efforts to get help but it seems so difficult being put on waiting lists and then falling before having a chance to get up. He has hurt me repeatedly and I just keep forgiving him, mainly because when he is clean and sober, he is so wonderful and full of life and love. I guess I just have wanted that so bad that I keep hoping something I do for him is going to straighten him out, even though I know he has to do it himself. So anyway, I found out that he lied to me recently – again, and he is not showing up for work, so I figure he is back into something again. I told it was over the other day and that I didn't want him calling me anymore, (even though for some crazy reason I do want him to)He never accepts that and calls me at least once a day. However, today he hasn't called and I am in fear for his life. He lives very close to the Mexican border and I know that he has been going over there. I fear that he has gotten himself into something over there. Although there is nothing I really can do, I am riddled with confusion, knowing I have to let go and work on my marraige, yet worried to death over him. I wish so badly that I could just stop thinking about him and find what I at least saw as being content previously, but I just don't know if I could. I hurt so badly over all of this.

5:22 pm
March 10, 2005


ajbee

New Member

posts -1

SouthernChick, Hi! I'm glad to read your response. I thought I'd rambled a little too much. :) I guess sometimes it just has to come out.

It is nice to hear a voice that says "I understand". I've been reading a book that is, in an odd way, bringing me some comfort. It's called A Severe Mercy. Not the same as what we're going through, but still deals with grief and losing a great love for a higher purpose. I find a kind of peace in knowing I'm only giving up something in time and space for something more permanent. And I do believe things will get better. With work… lots and lots of work! It's not easy. I'm guilty of sticking my own head in the sand all too often.

How are you doing after a couple of weeks? I almost wish I could do this in person. It's all on email… so I don't know. I haven't heard anything for a week… and am almost relieved. But if and when I do… yeah. It's going to be hard.

Hi DC. Hey, I felt the same way about my husband. He was very controlling. When I became a stay at home mom, it got worse. Probably because my own self-esteem went down the tubes as well. Isn't that partly what we got out of the indiscretions? Some validation. I often take on all the responsibility and guilt, but I refuse to this time. (Learning boundaries? yay!).

My hubby has at least admitted to being rather aloof and cold, and he is trying to soften a little. The other guy, well… he knew I was married, but persisted anyways. He put his hand in the cookie jar and has to take responsibility for his own actions too. And me, my biggest guilt is in how much energy, time and emotion this took away from my kids. But alas, we do what we need to do to survive sometimes.

As for the control I felt my husband had over me? I just decided I couldn't live that way anymore. I started doing more things for myself, including playing sports, taking some university classes, getting some counseling… all things he sulked about. I decided if he was going to leave me for being myself, being who I needed to be, then it was best if he did. Better than dying a slow death inside. But, when he saw I was still here, he softened, and even encourages me more now in these pursuits because he sees that I'm happier, and thus so is everyone else. I think he's just as frightened, insecure, but doesn't know how to voice it. It takes courage, but I think as we face the things that scare us, we can grow together. I've seen it at work over the past few years, so I have hope. But… it doesn't make saying goodbye to the person who got me through those years any easier. It seems a little unfair… sigh. I called him my beans. You'd have to have seen Cheaper By the Dozen to understand that one.

Oh, and I totally get the Knight in Shining armour thing!!!! I think that's part of my problem. Going from hi expectations to disillusionment to no dreams or visions at all. I'm sure there's got to be a happy place of realness, simplicity and contentment… and that's what I'm hoping to find if it takes me until I'm old and shriveled! There's a song by Alanis Morrissette called Precious Illusions. It's almost my anthem at this stage. :)

You'll rescue me right?
in the exact same way they never did..
I'll be happy right?
when your healing powers kick in

you'll complete me right?
then my life can finally begin
I'll be worthy right?
only when you realize the gem I am?

but this won't work now the way it once did
and I won't keep it up even though I would love to
once I know who I'm not then I'll know who I am
but I know I won't keep on playing the victim

these precious illusions in my head did not let me down
when I was defenseless
and parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

this ring will help me yet as will you knight in shining armor
this pill will help me yet as will these boys gone through like water

but this won't work as well as the way it once did
cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
and though I know who I'm not I still don't know who I am
but I know I won't keep on playing the victim

these precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was a kid
and parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend

I've spent so long firmly looking outside me
I've spent so much time living in survival mode

Am I the only one who feels like she really doesn't know who she is, what she wants? I've spent so much time trying to please everyone else thinking that would garantee the same for me in return, that I never figured out that it had to come from within myself. And I feel so lost as to how to find the road back sometimes…

11:53 am
March 11, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

aj-
the last two weeks have actually given me strength…knowing that I control my destiny. I may be further along in recovery than I realize. I khow what I am doing is the right thing for myself and my family….it's just so hard.

Bear-
I think one of the worst things is trying to get over all this stuff by yourself. no one to tqalk to….can't cry at night because your husband is right next to you. I have really come to love this web site. It has really given me an outlet to get a lot off of my chest at the strength to do the right thing. Stay strong and keep writing.

5:23 pm
March 13, 2005


ajbee

New Member

posts -1

Hi SourthernChick,

Hang in there!! You're giving me hope. I just went through my first week of 'zero contact'. (it's been months working up to letting go, trying, writing back again). I realize I've used this online relationship for many of the same reasons others have mentioned: excitement, passion, challenge etc, but realize I need to find ways to find those things in a healthier way. What's the hardest for you? I find after reading a lot of what others have said here, after 4 years, I don't want to go through this pain anymore. I realize how unhealthy it's been (the charmer/abuser thread opened my eyes quite a bit!! I'm so grateful for that!). What I'm noticing now as being difficult is two things: not knowing what to do with myself now that I don't have the distraction/fantasy and becoming more aware of the marital issues I'd been avoiding. But for God's grace… I'm thankful for the awareness, but the growing pains are difficult. Good luck.

8:39 pm
March 14, 2005


SouthernChick

New Member

posts -1

aj-
I think the hardest thing for me is accepting the fact that I really can't be freinds with church guy. He e-mailed last week to update me on his kids……I was ok with the update, but I don't want to get into talking about personal stuff because it will put right back into wanting him in my life again. I've done real well this week because my husband is out of town and I haven't picked up the phone to call church guy. I really think I am into recovery. And it feels good!!!!


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