Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts

Forgiving Too Soon

Forgiveness is not just black and white - it comes in all shades of gray. In order to be able to fully forgive, it may first be useful to reexamine what forgiveness is and isn't. It is the opinion of PAH to not even attempt to truly forgive until at least 3-6 months after Discovery Day (aka 'D Day'). There is no need to rush. Strength is born from pain. Don't be tempted to sweep it under the rug quickly as this can delay your healing and/or lead to depression.

Forgiveness starts with letting go of resentment. I know...this is easier said than done. But it is necessary.

Forgiveness is a process, not a one time event. It is easiest when done week by week, day by day, moment by moment.

Forgiveness is not letting him lapse into porn use again and again. You don't have to tolerate his addiction, nor should you.

Forgiveness for pornography addiction should not be based on his actions, but on your outlook. Things will not always go our way in life and we will get hurt from time to time. You can choose to stay stagnant in bitterness, shame and sorrow or you can keep your focus and trust on a Higher Power. Forget about punishing him for his misdeeds. Think about Karma. What comes around, 
goes around. When you choose to forgive, you return to The Universe the ability to provide punishment if that is the lesson that he needs.

Not every ending is a happy one. Forgiveness may not lead to reconciliation.
You can forgive someone even if you are no longer together.

There is no requirement for you to forgive every time. If you are forgiving again and again, look into the possibility of a
 co-dependent relationship.

Even if he is in denial over his porn habits, you should try to forgive him.
Forgiveness is a choice to better your outlook on life, not his.  

Don't make forgiveness a game. If he hasn't asked for forgiveness, there may not really be a need for a big announcement of it from you. Many a wife or girlfriend have done this with manipulation in mind to make him feel guilty. This self righteous, prideful tactic just adds more fuel to the fire rather than providing true healing for the two of you. Withholding forgiveness is gamey as well.  
Discovering his addiction may have made you feel very insecure about your current circumstances and your future. Everything seems out of your control. If you are withholding forgiveness as a means to feel powerful in an otherwise seemingly powerless situation, please rethink your tactics. Your decision to withhold is really based on fear - fear of going back to being powerless if you forgive him.

Some wives or girlfriends are pressured into forgiveness before they are ready to do so. If you are tempted to go down this lonely road, please know this is an act for him and others in order to not be judged or rejected and may not be true forgiveness. He is the one that fell into addiction and you still want affection and acceptance. Give yourself permission to speak your truth and heal your pain. Resist the pressure to declare forgiveness before you are ready. Perhaps all you can give him right now is “I want to forgive you, but right now I'm struggling emotionally. I promise I will work on it.”

Forgiveness doesn't have to be an all or nothing scenario. You may forgive him for some aspects of his indiscretions and other aspects may be more difficult in coming. Example. You may be able to work through your individual heartache regarding his online addiction but what if he got caught at work, lost his job and led the family into foreclosure and financial ruin? You may forgive him the first time you found him in the XXX online chat rooms. But what about the second time? Or the third time? You can choose to forgive until the next time, which may be the last time.

You are grieving for the loss of the relationship as you knew it to be. You are grieving for the loss of the man you thought you were with. You are smarting from all of the cover ups and outright lies. At some point, you will need to make a conscious decision to let go and stop the anger and sorrow. In order to fully heal, you will need to come to forgiveness. This is not for him. This is all about YOU. At some point, the best thing you can do for yourself is to move past this horrible time in your life  - for you.

A Forgiveness Path For You To Consider

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