Forgiving the cheater: A how to guide
Forgiveness after adultery
Being cheated on is not a club exclusive to members only. Depending on which study you read, the odds are astronomical that women and men alike will suffer the misfortune of experiencing this at least once in their lifetime. Be it adultery during marriage or at the time of a committed relationship, it happens to the best of us.
When you are cheated on, you are consumed by a host of emotions. You may find yourself wavering between hatred and explosive anger. Resentment and revenge creep as you fantasize about getting even. All these are sprinkled with bouts of depression and self-doubt. Although all of these emotions are valid, they are often unhealthy and destructive. You need to ask yourself how much more punishment should you continue to subject yourself to. Forgiving an affair is the first step towards healing. It is imperative that you start by forgiving yourself.
“Why forgive myself”, you ask? Because you are not responsible for the actions of another. You can not dictate nor control their behavior or impulses. It is both unwise and unhealthy to second guess why you were cheated on. Afford yourself the compassion you so desperately deserve and don’t take responsibility for someone’s selfish impropriety.
Once you’ve conquered this enormous hurdle you can move on to forgiving the cheater. “Hell no!” is probably what you are shouting right now. Why should I forgive him/her! Simply put, hatred is a poison that slithers through your veins until every part of your being is infected. Your physical, emotional and spiritual wellness are adulterated by it. Think of all the mental and emotional energy wasted while holding on to resentment and hatred. How exhausting, stifling and wasteful of your precious time. Cheating forgiveness is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish, however, it does not mean you are “alright” with how you were treated. It does not excuse the transgressor of their betrayal. This is especially true of forgiveness after adultery which shattered the vow of faithfulness. A trust and commitment is seemingly violated beyond repair. Forgiving them, however, you will lift the veil of resentment that weighs on you and prevents you from moving on with your life. It is a critical component in the healing process.
Consider how freeing forgiving the cheater could be for you. It will open up a world of possibilities. One of which will eventually give you permission to trust again. Without trust a real relationship doesn’t stand a chance. If you feel you simply can not forgive of this person, you will inherently judge a future romances by this cheaters indiscretions. Better to start a new relationship with fresh open eyes, free from the negativity of the old.
Forgiving and Affair
If you are considering giving your partner a second chance, consider setting some ground rules. Communication is necessary for both parties. Whatever initiated the affair in the first place must be addressed openly and honestly. Forgiving them for having an affair must remain in the past.
Do not keep bringing it up, this will not rebuild the trust and bond for a solid relationship.
Give each other space to sort through the emotions and discomfort you both face. Accept the fact that things will never be the same as they were prior to the affair.
Forgiveness is a process. Don’t expect to wake up one day and all will be forgiven. Give yourself time. Be patient. It is normal to ebb and flow between forgiveness and anger.