How do I forgive??


I have really been struggling with something lately…In a nutshell…my H left me and our 3 kids last March and is living with another woman. Without going into too many details, we have all been through the ringer. To this day my H denies that their relationship is romantic in nature, but I don’t buy it. I have recently cut off all contact with my H (with the exception of text messaging and only regarding child and financial issues)

Here is my delima…how do I forgive my H while he is still hurting me and our kids by continuing his behavior? I know that forgiving him would set me free, and if he were to come to me and ask for forgiveness as well as do all that needs to be done to fix our marriage, family and his alcohol issues, I would forgive him (with the strong stipulation that he enter major counseling etc…) But how do I forgive while he is in the midst of sinning? I have prayed for him night and day and I realize that he may never face the issues he has produced, and for this reason I am stuck in my torment. Any advise on how to forgive, or if I even need to forgive…I mean as long as he is in the grips of sin, is there even anything to forgive at this point? Any advice would be most appreciated


I recently had a problem with a former boss. I was unable, because of things she had done, to think about her without getting angry and desiring revenge.

I took it to Confession a number of times. Some of the best advice I received was to distinguish between acknowledging that she had done me harm and being angry about it. Nothing will change the facts of the situation, but I learned to turn over the anger and revenge part to God.

At this point, I do not even allow thoughts of her to enter my mind. I say a quick prayer for her when I am reminded of her, and move on. I don’t know if I can say I have forgiven her, but I’m no longer sinning every time I think of her.

In your situation, you have already minimized contact with your husband, which seems to be a good first step. He continues to behave badly, and you need not pretend otherwise. You are already praying for him, which is also excellent. Now, if you can turn over the anger to God, you’ll be doing very well, indeed. Taking it to Confession really helps, too.

God bless you. I hope things get better for you and your family.



Kelly, in your situation it is so hard to forgive because you are reminded every day of what he did. Even if he himself is not physically present you are left to take care of 3 children by yourself. Last March is not that long a time it is still very raw you are still greiving the whole thing so do not be so hard on yourself.
Forgiveness is a process it does not come that easy, the fact that you want to and are trying is great. You say he has Alcohol issues, is he an Alcoholic? perhaps if you tried Al Anon and spoke to others who have experienced the same problems that would help you. You do need to speak to some kind of support group and work on yourself, do not concentrate so hard on forgiving him. Speak to the priest see if there is a support group or even a counselor in the Church you could speak to. If you get stronger, and continue to pray for your H on a daily basis the forgiveness will come.
Good Luck:)


You spend a lot of time at adoration, in church, at confession, and asking the Holy Spirit for help to remove your pain.

You cannot do it alone - you can only do it with the grace that the Spirit provides, so ask Him as often as you need.

He will give you the peace you seek ( I know this all too well after having a spouse that treated us poorly and abandoned his children).


"Kelly, in your situation it is so hard to forgive because you are reminded every day of what he did."

What he is DOING…This is my struggle Nordar, he is still doing it!..How would I forgive a rapist as he is raping me, or a thief as he is robbing me? I mean I feel like the offense has to be over to be forgivable…I would certainly forgive, I feel everyone deserves reconciliation if they are truly sorry and ask for it, but my H still continues his behaivor…how do I get past that? :confused:

And yes, my H is an alcoholic. A functional alcoholic (which is a strange term) He never misses work (18 years with the same company) he doesn’t get DUI’s or into accidents etc…but his emotions and feelings are where his alcoholism are affected. He has alienated himself from all of his real friends and family and moved into a trailer with a chain smoking asthmatic, hardrinking bartender. He calls the kids sometimes 4 times a day and my youngest son (age 9) has recently told me that he doesn’t know what to say to his dad when he calls all the time. He is now like the fun uncle…he takes them to movies, out to dinner, the batting cages etc…but he is not a real father and I have told him this.

He is just STUCK within his perdiciment…I also believe he is in the midst of a major midlife crisis. He turned 40 last May, and this is another reason why I don’t file for divorce. I don’t feel that he is in a healthy emotional state right now and I will not make such a life altering decision (divorce) while he is incognizant of his actions and how they are threatening him and his family. If I were in the same boat, I would hope he would do this for me.


Sounds like you could use a little counseling by a trained spiritual director, at the very least your confessor and maybe even a psychologist.

Time heals all wounds too…but yours are fresh. And with all things that are newly confronting you, the challenges must seem overwhelming. In addition perhaps go to one of the patron saints of divorced and separated people and ask for their intercession in your healing.


divorced people [LIST]


**Kelly I know he is still doing it, in reality you do not need help with forgiving him right now that will come later. What you need right now is help in dealing with what is going on in your life.
You can’t be working on forgiving him when he is continuing to hurt you, rather futile don’t you think? If you really do not want to give up on him and he does sound like he has trouble with Alcohol then why don’t you try Al Anon they are in the same boat and deal with the same issues?

 Or like I mentioned before and the other poster a counselor either way you should speak to someone. Continue to pray for him, and pray to Our Blessed Mother for yourself ask her to take your prayers to her son for strength. She is your Mother she will help you.**


Thank you so much for your advice Nordar, and all, and I will most assuredly follow it, especially about asking our Blessed Mothers for help and guidance.

One question though…I tend to think of my H’s alcoholism and his infidelity-abandonment as two different entities. I am surely going to an AL anon meeting this week to deal with his alcoholisim, and my dear parish Priest has also given me this advice as well, but what does his alcoholism have to do with his choice to leave his family and live with another woman? I am having a hard time wrapping that around my head…:confused:


Alcoholism is a disease, you say the woman he is with is a hard drinking bar tender. No doubt an Alcoholic herself, she is not the problem here, and if he is an Alcoholic he did not leave his family for her.
I know that is difficult for you to understand, that is why I suggested you try Al Anon. It sounds to me like he just wanted to drink and he found someone he could just drink with without bring hassled.

        I am not saying you hassled him, I am saying that is what he as an Alcoholic felt. He did not want the responsibilty of a family he just wanted to drink. He may have gotten away

for a long time with no DUI’s and no other trouble. Eventuall though progession takes over ane the control comes off and you cannot do that anymore.


We are called to forgive those who come to us in sincere contrition (sorrow for what they have done) and a resolve to not do it again. There is no environment for forgiveness while neither of these scenarios are in place.

What you need help with is still being a light of Christ to this hurting soul while you are at the same time being hurt. Only God can give you the strength to do so. God Bless You during this trying time.


I have found that forgiveness, for me, comes through understanding. If I can figure out what happened, what was wrong, how the person might have come to be the way they are, it helps me alot.

For example, for many years I bore ill will against my parents, but when I became a parent, when I learned about mental illnesses they seem to have, when I found out more about their own home lives and backgrounds, it all came into better focus and forgiveness came much more easily.


Nordar…this is the biggest crux of my situation…I have trouble thinking of him as an alcoholic because he has always been able to hold a job, get up early in the morning with seemingly no hangover, avoid DUI’s etc…but, the rational side of me (as well as our 17 year old son) remembers him missing the toilet while he urinated late in the evening, him bumping into walls on his way to bed, and his incoherent slurrings just before he went to bed. I used to tell the kids that daddy is just tired or daddy is just sleep walking. The major red flag for me came when we went on a weekend trip and stayed on the Queen Mary. We were only there for one night…one night…and my H could not go without drinking beer before bed. He got a large bag of ice and a 12 pack of beer and dumped it in the hotel bathroom sink. I remember thinking, wow, he can’t go one night in a hotel room without having his “stash” and since then, he always did the same thing whenever we traveled. I just turned a blind eye…I suppose the other woman is not the reason he left, but it sure hurts deep down in my heart that he is with her…no matter how dysfunctional she/they are. I suppose it would be easier if he became a compulsive gambler, or took up shop lifting…but the addiction of choice for my H was another woman…:cool:


At the moment it may seem impossible. Down the road, IF he comes to his senses, you may consider it.

There is always hope. Two of my sisters had problems with their husbands’ infidelity. Both have since reconciled. With my younger sister, my brother in law seems to have gotten back on the right track. With my older sister, there is some doubt as to whether her husband has truly turned his life around.

Alchohol was not in the picture in either case so that may make things more complicated.

Sometimes it takes years for some things like this to sort itself out. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there, who have no clue as to how much they are hurting their spouses and family, and a lot of others out there who don’t seem to care that they are real home wreckers.

There are some societies where infidelity is punishable with a death penalty. I’d be curious if such harse punishments are much of a deterant against wayward spouses.

I will pray for you and your family.


Kelly his addiction of choice is not the other woman it is Alcohol. I know how very difficult it is for you to see that, she is just a by product of his Alcoholism. Alcohol is more important to him than any woman. If you like you can PM me.


From a mans point I went through the same with my past wife, leaving most.
Firstly I realised that I didn’t own my wife and so I offered her to Jesus and that ment putting it to the cross, which ment letting go which ment forgiving every day especially before I went to bed. This gave me a better sleep. I told her that I forgave her, and regardless of what respones or reaction she gave i never looked back.

I want, I desire, I need Jesus to forgive me for ALL my sins so I know I have to let go and forgive to be forgiven.
By my letting go the situation was now on her sholders, it was her decision of what she would do. The hatred was so intence the people she built up to try and show her rightsiousness never touched me.
I nailed my former marrage to the cross of Jesus Christ.

I still pray for her even after 13years and we both being re married. I in the church after an annulment, 13years latter. I refuse to be remorse even though it is not easy and she still shows her bitterness.

God bless


I have to disagree with this part of your statement. Forgiveness is about the person doing the forgiving and the state of their heart. It is not conditional on some behavior by the person who wronged them. It can certainly be easier to forgive someone who is contrite and who won’t hurt us again, but it is not a requirement. Remember what the Our Father says about our own forgiveness being related to how we forgive those who have harmed us!

I have not received acknowledgement or contrition from someone who was quite abusive toward me when I was a child. I will likely never have the conditions you placed on forgiveness in place. Should I allow that to stunt my spiritual growth and hold me hostage to hurt, anger and bitterness?

With my own spiritual growth and the grace of God, I have been able to forgive the person in my heart and prayed for his conversion to a true life in Christ. I realized after my own conversion experience that **I didn’t want Satan to gain one more soul **even if it was the soul of the person who hurt me so horribly. My ability to forgive is about my relationship with God more than it is about my relationship or lack thereof with the person in question. God has given me graces in abundance since that time. I now feel peaceful and powerful beyond measure because when God is with me no one can stand against me.

It took almost 30 years for me to get to this place, so the OP may have a long road before forgiveness happens if the person never makes it easy on her by ceasing the bad behavior. However, she can do anything with God’s grace. I pray that she experiences the peace of Christ that will allow her to grow and move on to beautiful new things in her life that God is waiting to provide.


What if Jesus comes back for you today? You know He said
we must forgive in order to be forgiven.

One thing I have learned about God is, He doesn’t expect us
to do what we can’t do but what we can do. If you can’t
forgive him, God knows it. But say this to God: I
forgive my husband for running off with another woman.
You just give the obedience, it’s God’s job to provide the


Originally Posted by Orionthehunter
We are called to forgive those who come to us in sincere contrition (sorrow for what they have done) and a resolve to not do it again. There is no environment for forgiveness while neither of these scenarios are in place.

JC Servant
I have to disagree with this part of your statement. Forgiveness is about the person doing the forgiving and the state of their heart. It is not conditional on some behavior by the person who wronged them. It can certainly be easier to forgive someone who is contrite and who won’t hurt us again, but it is not a requirement. Remember what the Our Father says about our own forgiveness being related to how we forgive those who have harmed us!
From a personal point and from a counseling point and from a biblical point, I have to agree with JC servant, that forgiveness is between the person wishing to forgive and God, no other if the other person concerned refuses to forgive or cannot be found is dead or wishes not to forgive.
Otherwise where is God’s mercy in this?
When counseling, the person concerned has had it pointed out that the setting free is between that person wishing to forgive, and their giving the person and the situation they wish to forgive to be nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ ( if a Christian, or not but accepting to go this far).

I had to stop two youth fighting over a past situation. One wished to forgive and the other refused so how could God not allow forgiveness for the one wishing to forgive and carry on? However, when I spoke to the girlfriend of the one not wishing to forgive she spoke to her boyfriend who refused to forgive and he turned back apologized to me for being pigheaded and said he would forgive. They both forgave shook hands went off renewed, arms around necks and had a few drinks and renewed friendship. I have used this pattern on many occasions and it has never failed.

Jesus tells us not to go to sleep with unresolved issues on our heart, and from this point about forgiveness one can see the reason why Jesus warns us that there are consequences if we don’t resolve conflict.
The reason why? Because it is in the dark of the night that satan comes to steal away our peace, as Jesus tells us that the person had the spirits taken away and latter satan came back, the person had not resolved issues(was unaware) and with 7 worse than itself satan ruined the persons life.
Be strong gain strength in Jesus and remember our prayers are for you based on Jesus “truth” in loving each other.

God bless


JC- Servant, excellent post, forgiveness for someone who is continuing to hurt us is not an easy thing. All we can do is keep praying for their souls, and ask Jesus, Mary and the Saints for continual Help.


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