How To Forgive An Affair

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Forgive Anyone considering marriage is aware of the stats, but those who still go through with marriage don’t believe it will happen to them.  It really doesn’t matter what you decide about the future of your relationship, you still need to forgive the affair to be able to function in future relationships.

Give Yourself Time to Heal

The tidal wave of emotions that comes rushing over you when you find out your spouse has been unfaithful is enormous. The last thing you want to do is make a bad situation worse by making any snap decisions. When your hurt you immediately get defensive. Trying to make life altering decisions in this state of mind isn’t a good idea, especially if children are involved. You might be thinking,”my spouse didn’t give any thoughts to those types of things why should I?” That is exactly why you should. Someone has to consider those things for the sake of your family.

Get Some Space and Focus on Yourself

The last thing you want to do when you feel betrayed is have to look into the face of the person who betrayed you. Especially, the person who promised to love and protect you for life. Giving each other some space will allow you to heal, and give the cheater time to reflect on his or her actions, and future intentions. If your spouse doesn’t want to be married to you anymore now would be a good time to know it.

Use the time apart to work on yourself. Maybe you’ve gotten a little of shape of the years. Now would be a perfect time to get back in the gym. Maybe there is a class that you have always wanted to take, now would be the time to take that class. Use this time to turn a negative into a positive. After spending enough time focusing on yourself, the decision you are going to have to make about the future of your marriage will begin to come into focus.

Now is where the Hard Work Begins

The time spent apart and working on yourself also has the advantage of taking some of the hurt out of your spouse’s infidelity. It won’t heal all the wounds, but it will make them easier to deal with, which will help clear your head enough to start to begin thinking about the future of your marriage.

When you get to that point ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is this the first time your spouse has cheated on you?  Once, maybe even twice might be explainable and forgivable, but if your spouse is serial cheater cut them loose. Its not worth your time and heartache wishing he or she will change when they most likely never will.
  2. Does he or she regret their actions?  If your spouse doesn’t truly regret his or her actions then its time to let it go. If your spouse has no genuine remorse then he or she will absolutely cheat on you again.
  3. Do both of you agree the relationship is worth saving?  Your marriage won’t survive the affair if both of you aren’t willing to do the hard, and at times painful work required to fix your marriage.
  4. Do you believe you will ever be able to trust your spouse again?  It’s not your job to automatically trust your spouse again. It’s his or her job to earn your trust again. Is he or she okay with that? If you don’t think your spouse will ever be able to win back your trust its better to move on. If not, you will spend the rest of your life wondering what he or she will do the next time he or she comes across a similar situation.
  5. Does he or she have an explanation for what happened?  A drunken indiscretion is easier to explain than an ongoing affair. Could you possibly see yourself doing the same thing if faced with the exact circumstances? It’s easy to just snap to a direct answer of no, but really give it some thought. Understanding the circumstances is not giving the act a free pass.

Time to do some Self-Analysis

The work above was geared toward addressing your relationship, spouse, and his or her actions. Now its time to look inside, and see what changes you might need to make in order for your relationship to thrive long-term. Since cheating is almost always a symptom of deeper problems in a marriage its important to examine those problems, and your roles in them.

  1. What condition was your relationship in when the cheating occurred?  Were you all communicating? Was there a lot of arguing going on? How was your sex life? Were the two of you still feeling as connected to each other as you once were?
  2. Are you prepared to make the personal changes necessary to address those underlying problems? You have to be honest with yourself about your shortcomings, maybe you spend too much time at work, or maybe you are not the attentive listener you once were, or maybe you don’t show your spouse the same amount of attention you used to.

Your Old Relationship is Done

Your old relationship is done. It won’t ever go back to the way it was, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your old relationship got off track, and your spouse ended up cheating. Fixing those underlying problems will let you and your spouse rebuild a newer, stronger, version of your relationship.

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