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So my BF had a WW - on more than one occasion. He's attending IC at my encouragement. I realize he may not be ready for a relationship but that's another topic. What I'm trying to understand is what he said to me and how can I respond?

He said his counselor told him he had to forgive himself. I asked what for and he said "for my failed marriage". I've lurked a lot here trying to gain understanding and from everything I've read it seems, although it takes both people to make a successful partnership and he's not faultless in the marriage going down hill, SHE is responsible for the decision to cheat.

Have any betrayed spouses had this problem? He's was raised catholic (but isn't now) so I suggested he go to Confession as he's somewhat religious. Can't hurt to ask for God's forgiveness and I thought he might be able to forgive himself if he realizes God can. Not sure what else I can say as I don't really understand how he feels guilty. Insight? Thanks.
 

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Well yes it is the cheaters choice to step out, but does your bf understand what he does that contributed to the situations that lead up to the poor choices? If he doesn't, he will be doomed to repeat the same dysfunctional behaviours.
 

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Well yes it is the cheaters choice to step out, but does your bf understand what he does that contributed to the situations that lead up to the poor choices? If he doesn't, he will be doomed to repeat the same dysfunctional behaviours.
I don't know, honestly. I know they tried MC and R was apparently not successful since 2 years later she cheated again with others. We need to have some in-depth conversations about this, I think.

We like to email each other with lots of questions and bat it back and forth during the day and I had asked him this very thing a couple weeks back but he was busy and that particular one went unanswered but I haven't forgotten. I think it would give me a good idea of things to look out for in OUR relationship - was he distant? Was he a workoholic? I need to be sure to communicate my needs and knowing his prior pitfalls will help our relationship be stronger.

Infidelity really screws up more than the 2 people directly affected. It screws up future relationships, relationships with extended family... I love him but I don't want to fix him, which is why I wanted him to see someone and I"m glad he did. I don't want to be his savior I want to be his girlfriend.
 

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Well yes, forgiveness of self is really hard. Honestly, it doesn’t matter who is to blame for some of us. That the marriage failed is enough to feel I failed personally. It a question of “why wasn’t I good enough?” I have no idea how to advise you other than it may be a self-esteem issue and something you could help with....

Talking about “it” doesn’t help btw. All that does is keep it fresh in his mind continuing the self-defeating cycle. You should instead be focusing on what IS great about him. Help create new memories, new hobbies, new experiences. Feed positive his way, not questions or continued reliving of the past (I can assure you he is doing enough of that on his own).... Stop treating him like a girlfriend, and instead try to see him as a man.
 

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Well yes, forgiveness of self is really hard. Honestly, it doesn’t matter who is to blame for some of us. That the marriage failed is enough to feel I failed personally. It a question of “why wasn’t I good enough?” I have no idea how to advise you other than it may be a self-esteem issue and something you could help with....

Talking about “it” doesn’t help btw. All that does is keep it fresh in his mind continuing the self-defeating cycle. You should instead be focusing on what IS great about him. Help create new memories, new hobbies, new experiences. Feed positive his way, not questions or continued reliving of the past (I can assure you he is doing enough of that on his own).... Stop treating him like a girlfriend, and instead try to see him as a man.
Thanks - yeah I want to help but I don't want to be a counselor. I like that he will confide but I don't want to belabor it. I do give him lots of reassurance as a man - how great or thoughtful or good in bed - whatever. I try to emphasize the positive. I'll keep doing that and try to leave the rest alone - that's what the professional is for. It only worried me when he shared that because she (counselor) said he needs to forgive himself before he can forgive his STBXW and I know he can't commit fully, emotionally, to our relationship until he's at peace with the old one.

Note to self, if this doesn't work don't EVER EVER EVER date a separated man. I knew better. He said he was over her. He might not love her but he hasn't reconciled it all yet.
 
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