When you are in a relationship, you try not to think that you could be one of ‘those people’ forced to deal with infidelity. The following statistics, provided on behalf of www.infidelityfacts.com will not make you feel any better. However, at least if you are trying to figure out how to forgive a cheater, you also won’t feel alone! According to their statistics, around 41% of people in all marriages admit to some sort of physical or emotional infidelity. In relationships as a while, around 57% of all men and 54% of all women admit to cheating. These statistics don’t take into account all the people that don’t admit to it. Perhaps even more startling is that around 2/3 of all men polled said they would have an affair if they knew wouldn’t get caught. And women, long seen as the loyal spouse fared no better with around 68% of them admitting they too would have an affair. And for many of these couples, the affair ends the marriage.
But what happens when couples decide to work things out after an affair. That leaves one partner trying to learn how to forgive a cheater? And is that even possible? Many experts say that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Can men and women who cheat change in such a way that they can become faithful, loving partners. The answers to these questions lie individually with every couple. Only you and your partner know for sure what you are capable of. You are the only ones who can decide for sure if moving forward, forgiving and giving a second chance is truly worth it. But there is some advice if you want to try and forgive a cheater!
5 Steps on How to Forgive a Cheater
- The first step is diffusing your anger. This doesn’t mean that you cannot or should be mad. The trick however, is giving yourself as much time as you need to refuel your emotional batteries, to find a productive avenue for your anger and to decide that you will not deal with forgiving until you do so. This can mean a bit of separation between you and your partner, at least until you simmer down. Once you do you should voice everything you feel on your partner. Part of dealing with anger, is sharing it with the person who wronged you. If you don’t allow yourself to feel, vent or purge your anger you will not be able to forgive.
- You need to decide, before you try and forgive, whether you are the kind of person that can! Some people can forgive and let go and move on. Others cannot. If you can’t, it is best to let go of the relationship. Decide what you will need in order to move past this point, and see if your partner will provide it. You may not even want to forgive. But pursuing a relationship that will constantly be a reminder of your hurt and pain is not fair to you. Sure, at first, you may feel justified in punishing your partner, but in the long run this is unhealthy and leaves you with a relationship that offers you nothing. Consider whether you are willing to gamble with being hurt again, and whether or not you will give your partner a real chance to earn trust back.
- Research indicates that 2/3 of all affairs occur at the workplace. Is your partner willing and able to give up all ties with this person, even if it means moving their job. If your spouse cannot do this, and you are faced with the constant realization that your partner is still seeing his or her affair person every day, chances are the relationship has no chance. All ties have to be cut to this person in order for you to forgive. Is that a possibility?
- When you consider how to forgive a cheater, the consequences of your decision have to be part of your thoughts. Can you accept the consequences of forgiving and can you accept the consequences of not forgiving. Remember, this isn’t your fault but your decision whether to move forward or not, may impact others. The only reason to reconcile shouldn’t be because you have kids at home who will be disappointed! Yet, you have to do what you feel is right and fair for all people involved.
- Is your partner sincere? You know your partner by now. You know not only what they are capable of doing, but also how deeply they are capable of loving. The two of you will have to talk about the infidelity, why it occurred and what each other feels in order for the cheater to convince you that he or she is willing to make changes. Take time to reflect on the personality traits and characteristics of your partner and decide for yourself, whether or not you feel your partner’s apologies are sincere. Only you can answer this. If you don’t think they are, then move on.
Part of learning how to forgive a cheater, is learning how to let go. You can allow the infidelity to become a defining moment in your relationship that will be rehashed forever, or you can choose to let it go. Infidelity happens, most often when communication breaks down. But the truth is that there are men and women in this world that don’t feel sex with another person is cheating. You have to be willing to address these tough issues with your partner, and decide whether your differences are irreconcilable or not.
The statistics show that once a cheat, always a cheat. Yet might there be occasions when cheating can be forgiven? Are there certain circumstances that could mitigate the crime of cheating? Should you forgive a cheater? Or should you wave adios?
A study of 500 people, led by Kayla Knopp of the University of Denver (Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Serial Infidelity Across Subsequent Relationships) indicated those who cheated once are three times more likely to cheat again. So forgiving a cheater is very likely to be a waste of time. Yet, so many people do forgive and give their unfaithful partners a second chance.
Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash
Obstacles to Forgiving a Cheater
The emotional response when someone finds out their partner has cheated cannot be underestimated. Betrayal, anger, sadness don’t even come close to describing how it feels when your whole life is ripped apart. When everything you believed to be real, safe, and sacrosanct is suddenly turned upside down. You didn’t even have to consider what constituted trust in your partner until it evaporated. Now trust, or lack of it, becomes the number one factor in whether you can forgive a cheating spouse.
Knowing your partner is capable of lying to you and manipulating you. Knowing they made a fool of you. And, of course, that they could do it again, seems like an impenetrable obstacle to forgiving them. When just looking at them brings all those emotions to the surface. How could you ever love them again, let alone trust them. It’s tough. And it makes us realize that what appeared to be a secure, unbreakable bond was really as fragile as a soap bubble in a breeze.
Common Motivations for Cheating
- Little or no commitment to the current relationship.
- Low relationship emotional or sexual satisfaction.
- Low priority given to fidelity and loyalty.
- The cheating partner has a high sex drive.
Cheaters’ Second Chance Options
What mitigating circumstances might help partners come to terms with cheating and cement a stronger relationship?
- The cheating partner commits to working to improve and deepen the relationship through counseling or mediation. This will mean they have to be open about the reasons why the cheating occurred. Both partners have to be prepared to deal with some ugly truths, and the process is not guaranteed to work. Sometimes, the cheating brings to light certain behaviors that would never otherwise be addressed. However, those who survive this ordeal often go on to create strong life-long bonds based on mutual trust.
- When the infidelity occurred because of rejection by the non-cheating partner. This is a tricky one. Sometimes the relationship is strained because one partner has physical or mental health issues. Or for whatever reason, they reject intimacy. The other partner feels entitled to make up for the lack of emotional and physical contact. In such cases, professional help is the best recourse.
- The relationship was on hiatus. Many couples decide that taking a break would breathe new life into their partnership. However, unlike Rachel and Ross, the ground rules need to be set beforehand. For example, if both couples agree that while they are apart it’s acceptable to go out with other people, then that’s fine. Be aware that the fall-out from these temporary liaisons is often fatal to a relationship. Those who consider themselves able to handle the idea of their partner sleeping with other people suddenly realize that they are not OK with it at all.
When Forgiveness is Not an Option
Perhaps you already forgave your partner once? Maybe they convinced you that it was a ‘mistake’, and aberration, a moment of madness. That their eyes were opened and they realized what they were risking, what they were about to lose. They reassured you, made promises, cajoled you, soothed you… and ultimately lied—again. How many more times will you put yourself through the torture? On how many more occasions will you forgive a cheater? The answer should be: none.
And what if the affair has been going on for a long time? It wasn’t just a fling, but a calculated, ongoing betrayal. In essence, your partner has maintained two separate lives. How does that feel? Perhaps you have known or had suspicions for a while? Perhaps you practiced a kind of self-deception, thinking it would end soon? In this case you have probably worked through all the raw emotions and come to the conclusion that the marriage is more important than the affair. But now, for whatever reason, it’s all out in the open. The betrayal visible for all to see. Some people will still be able to forgive. Most won’t.
You Cheated – Can You Make Amends?
You may not ever receive the forgiveness of your partner, but there are some things you can do to try to put things right:
- Do not lie.
- Do not manipulate.
- Do not make yourself out to be the victim.
- Do not blame your partner.
- Take full responsibility for your actions.
- Be completely open and truthful about the circumstances.
- Improve communication between you and your partner.
- Be prepared to weather emotional storms; there will be many.
- Do the work necessary to rebuild trust.
- Attend counseling, therapy, or mediation as your partner requests.
- Deliver on your promises—every single time.
From the outside, it’s hard for us to understand why so many people forgive their serial cheating partner. It’s frustrating when your sister doesn’t see what you see and opens her arms to her unfaithful spouse over and over. Remember, that it isn’t possible to know the dynamics of a marriage or long-term relationship. Even when we believe it is destructive and toxic, we still cannot know how it works for the people concerned.
Of course, if there are other factors, such as abuse, drug-taking, harm to children, then witnesses to the marriage must do their best to extricate the victim partner. Unfortunately, in these cases, it’s easier said than done. Professional advice should be sought.
For most people, though, a single betrayal is enough to destroy trust and love. Those who do manage to forgive and forge a new beginning sometimes admit that it actually saved their relationship. However, partners who go on to cheat more than once are rarely forgiven. Time’s up, you’ve had your chance, now go.
Caught your partner out? Need guidance? Contact one of our expert psychics who will be able to help.
Getting cheated on is one of the worst feelings in the world. Giving your heart and trust to someone only to see it crushed can be traumatizing. In this day and age, forgiving a cheating partner can give you mixed reactions from society. However, if you think there is a way forgiveness can save your relationship, choosing that path could be your choice. If you want to forgive your partner for what they did but are unsure how to, we have you covered. Keep reading.
In This Article
Why Do People Cheat In A Relationship?
1. Lack Of Connection
A lost connection and feeling of drifting apart from each other may push a person to cheat on their partner. The hope of finding a connection with someone is the driving factor behind a partner’s infidelity.
2. A Lack Of Love
There are times when the love and affection between two people decrease due to various factors. The cuddles, kisses, and hugs become less frequent with time. It is in times like these either or both of the partners may search for love outside of marriage.
3. Fear Of Commitment
If a person is afraid of committing to a relationship, he/she will knowingly or unknowingly try to find a way to sabotage it – and the most preferred way to sabotage a relationship could be cheating.
4. Low Self-Esteem
Most often, people with low self-esteem will act in certain ways to get attention and validation from others. In some cases, validation from just one person can never be enough for certain individuals. People with low self-esteem may also feel insecure in a relationship and may find cheating to be a way to boost their confidence.
5. Addictive Sexual Behavior
People with addictive sexual behavior may find it hard to be with one person for a long time. This addiction may be compulsive and they may have a hard time controlling their desires.
No matter what the reason, being cheated on can be terribly agonizing. It may leave you clueless about the next course of action. You may also wonder if forgiving your partner is the right thing to do. But worry not – the following section can give you some clarity.
The Pros And Cons Of Forgiving A Cheater
- Forgiving a cheating partner may help you let go of the anger and grudge you have against them. This can be beneficial for your mental health.
- Forgiving a cheating partner may also help the person that hurt you to heal.
- Forgiving can also be the first step to fix your relationship. It may give you a window to understand the reason behind their actions.
- There are chances that a cheating partner who is forgiven may take advantage of you again. If a person has broken the commitment once, it could be easy for them to break it again. It is very common for first-time cheaters to cheat again.
- Forgiving and continuing your life with a cheating partner is not easy. Living with them may serve as a constant reminder of their hurtful actions.
If you have decided to forgive your partner after weighing all the pros and cons, here is how you can do it.
How To Forgive Someone Who Has Cheated On You
1. Accept The Reality
To start the process of forgiveness, you must first accept the fact that your partner has cheated on you. To forgive, you also must feel all the associated emotions like hurt, betrayal, and disappointment. You also have to stay strong, as any new information about your partner’s infidelity may push you to the brink of depression.
Going through all these emotions can be a major challenge. You may take time to totally accept the reality. Be patient and seek help from your friends and family.
2. Think About The Other Person
Take a minute and think about what the other person wants. Do they really want to give this relationship a chance? Have they totally broken all contact with the person they cheated you for? Also, analyze if your partner is worth putting so much emotional work into. If you decide your partner is worth all the trouble and they also are willing to improve themselves, you may go ahead to forgive them.
3. Be Honest
To start anew after your partner’s infidelity, you have to be honest about the affair. You also must be aware about the reason behind your partner’s action. This will give you a clear understanding of what went wrong in your relationship.
Admittedly, going through every detail of your partner’s infidelity is really hard. Reading through text messages or listening to every detail of the incident can be extremely hurtful. To repair a relationship that has been damaged, everyone should maintain a level of transparency with each other.
Additionally, having a clear picture about when your partner started an affair may help you identify what problems you were having at that point in time.
4. Analyze Your Relationship
Once you have learned all the details behind your partner’s affair, you may use that information to pinpoint the reason that drove your partner to take such an action. But do remember this – someone else cheating on you doesn’t have to mean that it was your fault. Never blame yourself for your partner’s fault, and never allow anybody else to blame you either.
Communicate the problems you two have with each other and with the relationship. A clear and honest conversation about what is wrong with the relationship and what behavior either of you find hard to accept may help you identify the steps to take to repair the broken relationship.
6. Take Time
You must remember that the process of forgiving someone is not going to happen overnight or in a week. It may take months or even years to finally be able to forgive someone. Hence, be clear about this process with yourself and your partner. Be patient and work together with your partner to put the affair behind you and move forward with your life.
Does a relationship go back to normal after such a terrible incident? Let us find out.
Can A Relationship Go Back To Normal After Cheating?
You might be wondering if it is possible to go back to your normal life after finding out that your partner had cheated on you. There is no one right answer to this question. It all varies from person to person.
But you have to understand that cheating doesn’t always mean a lack of love. If you work along with your partner hard enough, you may be able to restore the lost spark in your relationship.
In the end, trusting your partner and building a renewed relationship is your choice. However, forgiving them is what that you should do to keep your mind at peace. We hope this article will help you through this difficult journey. Do remember that all bad times come to an end. You only have to be a little patient and strong.
Things are easier said than done, and when it comes to forgiveness the case is no different. Hitting the nail on the head, forgiveness gets even tougher when we get hurt by the ones we love the most.
And the sad reality is that, irrespective of how much we tend to condition our minds into thinking that our partner won’t hurt us, in the long run, they eventually will.
However, it doesn’t matter who hurts us or how much hurt gets inflicted on us, be it from our partners or lover, the question is, how do we respond to it.
It gets even scarier if the person we loved the most like in the case of a life partner cheats on us sexually with another person.
So because of this, we’ll be focusing our resources today on how we can forgive our partners no matter the level of offense they commit against us, like in the aspect of infidelity.
What is forgiveness?
To have a better understanding of what we’ll be discussing, we’ll first have to define what we mean by the keyword “forgiveness”.
As defined by the Miriam Webster dictionary, forgiveness is simply the “the act of forgiving”. Invariably, it means if you wish to forgive, you’ll first have to follow its golden principle which entails that forgiveness doesn’t mean you are weak but just another sign of strength.
Let’s put it this way, if you don’t practice the art of forgiveness from a very early stage even before courtship or during courtship, you’ll end up finding it difficult to forgive when you’re married.
Everything is a process and forgiveness on it’s own is no different. You have to practice to be good at it because, they might come a time when you’ll have to forgive someone who offended you so deeply and it if by any chance you weren’t accustomed to the art, it will become more of a daunting task.
So that being said how then can we learn to forgive and love again even when we’ve been hurt.
If there is anything that makes forgiveness easier is the virtue of open mindedness. It takes an open minded person to forgive when they have been deeply hurt.
But if you weren’t born with this virtue, how then can you cultivate it? It’s quite simple, all you can do to imbibe this nature is by staying positive always, avoiding the harboring of grudges, and always knowing that no one is perfect.
Only by practicing these three arts will you then understand how it feels to be an open minded person. And once you become open minded, knowing that every human have flaws and are bound to make mistakes, your cheating partner inclusive, only then will you be able to forgive and heal your relationship with your spouse when they offend you knowingly or unknowingly.
The reverse is the case for people that are not open minded.
Other than being open minded, love is the next on the list of priorities for forgiveness. In a relationship it is important that both partners or at least of them strives to keep the love candle burning. This is not just to make the relationship romantic, but so that in case anything comes up that will require forgiveness, then it’d be easy for one to forgive the other.
Love is forgiveness, just like Mother Theresa said, “if we really want to love, we must first learn to forgive “. So, in order to be able to forgive our spouse even in the face of infidelity, we must always make sure that our love for them don’t die off. It is important than most people do view it.
CLICK HERE & Find Hidden Truths Any Cheater Doesn’t Want You To Find
Lastly, in order to have the ability of forgiveness, you have to know the benefit that comes with it. Do you know how burdensome it is to hold a grudge, and worst case scenario, a grudge against a loved one who hurt you? I believe its heavier beyond analysis.
Nevertheless, if you forgive, you’ll stand the chance of emancipating yourself from this gravid burden, and believe me, there is nothing more lifting than having that feeling of an in depth happiness without any form of grudge in your heart. It’s such an unbridled feeling.
Forgiveness is one of the reason why most experts recommend marital union for adults with matured minds. As an adults, you should get into the understanding that keeping malice is old fashioned and childish(immature). Thus, if you get offended by your spouse, be it infidelity or in any other area, bring the issue to the table for discussion, and solve it. That’s what makes us adult, its what differentiates our love from high school love stories.
When you forgive, this does not mean that you stop seeking fairness.
- The Importance of Forgiveness
- Find a therapist near me
Betrayal can be very painful and difficult to overcome. When the resentment builds, it is important not to let it have its way. Otherwise, it could live within you for a very long time, chipping away at your happiness, making you mistrustful of those who may be worthy of trust, and spilling over to your loved ones. This is why betrayal is such a challenge, particularly the effects of such betrayal that can take the form of excessive anger, anxiety, and depression.
Here are six suggestions that may be helpful to you as you consider forgiving:
First, you need not have forgiveness wrapped up in a day or a week. Forgiveness is a process that takes time. Be gentle with yourself as you begin to consider forgiving.
Second, to experience some emotional relief in forgiving, you do not have to be a perfect forgiver. Even if you have some anger left over, as long as the anger is not dominating your life, you can experience considerable emotional relief. For example, in a study of incest survivors, all of the participants started the forgiveness therapy with very low scores on forgiving. After about 14 months of working on forgiveness, as the study ended, most of the participants were only at the mid-point of the forgiveness scale. In other words, they began to forgive, accomplished it to some degree, but certainly had not completely forgiven. Yet, their depression left and their self-esteem rose. Forgiving to a degree, but not perfectly, made all the difference in their emotional health (see Freedman and Enright, 1996).
Third, as you forgive, try to see the humanity in your boyfriend. Is he more than the cheating behavior? If so, in what ways? Does he possess what we call “inherent worth,” or unconditional value as a person, not because of what he did, but in spite of this? Do you share a common humanity with him in that both of you are special, unique, and irreplaceable because you are human? This is not done to excuse his behavior. Instead, it is a thought-exercise to see both his humanity and yours.
Fourth, are you willing to bear the pain of the cheating so that you do not pass it on to your brother or sister, to your classmates or co-workers, or even to your boyfriend himself? Bearing the pain shows you that you are strong, in fact, stronger than the cheating and its effects on you.
Fifth, as you forgive, bring justice alongside the forgiving. In other words, ask something of him. What is his view of fidelity? Does he need some counseling help to deal with a weakness of commitment? Does he show remorse and a willingness to change? If so, what is your evidence for this? You need not unconditionally trust him right away. Trust can be earned a little at a time, but be sure not to use this issue of “earned trust” as a weapon or punishment against him. Allow him to redeem himself as he shows you he can be trusted.
Sixth, and finally, know that there is a difference between forgiving and reconciling. If he does not deeply value you as a person, if his actions show self-centeredness, and if this seems like a pattern that he is not willing to change, then you can forgive and not reconcile. Forgiving, in this case, may not give you this relationship that you had desired, but it will free you of deep resentment and allow you to be ready for a more genuine relationship in which you are open to the true affection and care of another.
Forgiveness is hard work. It takes time because it occurs in the face of great pain. If you choose to try it, then forgiving is worth the effort to do the important rehabilitation of your heart.
- The Importance of Forgiveness
- Find a therapist near me
Freedman, S. R., & Enright, R. D. (1996). Forgiveness as an intervention goal with incest survivors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(5), 983-992.
Dealing with a cheating husband was surely not something that you imagined the day you were married. Loyalty and trust are the two fundamental traits of any successful marriage, which is why cheating is a huge ‘no.’ While there is no way that you could forget you were being cheated on, forgiveness is a blessing, and in some situations, your husband might be worth one.
Now, before we get further into the matter, we suggest you check out the Save the Marriage website as it offers valuable tips on how to cope with distress in a relationship. Forgiveness is not something that can happen overnight, but if you do think that the marriage you have is something special, it is worth a try.
Before you invest any effort into restarting your relationship, your husband needs to accept that he was wrong and that he is willing to do everything in his power to prove loyalty and trust from there on forward.
Accept Your Emotions
The first step into forgiving a cheating husband is that you accept how you are currently feeling. Don’t be afraid of your emotions but rather be aware of them and try to use the feeling of sadness, confusion, or betrayal to figure out how much your marriage really means to you. It is perfectly normal if you feel like all the years that you have had with him were for nothing.
But while you may be in disbelief, coping with your emotions will bring clarity and allow you to think things through. Counseling with your best friend will not only give you the much-needed support for moving on, but you may also hear from their examples.
Once you have accepted your emotions, you should deal with them by spending time doing what you love or simply relaxing and staying present in the moment.
Whether it is dancing, listening to music, or chilling in a bubble bath, give yourself time. Remember — if you feel like you need to take some time away, go for it. A weekend trip may help you figure out what your next step should be. Just be sure not to blame yourself, but rather think things through and try to find the best solution.
Communicate With Your Husband
No matter how mad or distressed you may be, you need to find the strength to communicate about the issue with your husband. Start by asking the basic questions such as where and when he has met the other woman, as well as what was his motive behind it. While hearing some of the answers may confuse and hurt you even more; this step is necessary in order to move forward.
Don’t forget to ask him whether he is interested in restarting the relationship or he wants to leave. As the Save the Marriage website says, both parties are needed to make things work once again. This is why, unless he is genuinely willing to change, there is no point in you bothering or even thinking about forgiveness. While you are hearing how he felt, your husband should be ready and open to listen to you no matter how mad you may be.
Your feelings have been hurt, and you have every right to want to talk about the issue. Work towards confirming the outcome of your relationship before moving on to the next step of forgiveness, if that is what you have decided on.
Forgiving Him is Forgiving Yourself
Now, as we mentioned above, you should never blame yourself for the fact that he cheated on you, but know that the forgiveness will affect you more than him. What we mean is that while he will feel relieved, it is your decision and you are the one who needs to have the strength to pull through the issue.
Still, whether you decided to forgive him and not continue your relationship, or you are willing to try and save your marriage, letting go of the affair is a must. While you may feel a lot of resentment, the only way to rebuild trust and start all over is by accepting, not forgetting, but still moving forward without bringing that subject back on every once in a while.
Be Ready to Start All Over
What this means is that you two should be acting as you have just met doing your best to impress and gain the loyalty and trust of the other party. Yes, the main pressure in this game will be on your husband, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cooperative and willing to compromise. Go along with his suggestions for a weekend trip, or a dinner by the river.
Only by feeling loved and admired will you be able to regain trust and cherish the bond that you have with your husband. If it is necessary, you two can even go for counseling sessions. While working things through on your own is the best solution, hearing an objective opinion, as well as tips on how to cope with the issue, can be worth it.
Give it Time
At the end of the day, you can’t expect things to get back to normal immediately, no matter how much you would like that. Being cheated on is a serious violation of trust, and it will take weeks if not months before you can finally trust your husband once again.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and be open to what he has to say and the methods that he uses in order to prove loyalty and trust. Think of this time as escrow — if you have already decided that you want to make things happen once again and that your husband is worth forgiving, be patient.
No one said that being on the forgiving side is an easy thing, but for things to work, both parties will need to be willing. There is no point in your husband trying to regain your trust if you have decided that the marriage you two have is not worth fighting for.
Thus, accept your emotions, have some time off, be ready to hear your husband, and work out the best solution from there on! Now you know a few tips on how to forgive a cheating husband.
You made the mistake of cheating, and now you can’t forgive yourself. So first, let’s acknowledge that you are reading this article because you feel accountable for having cheated.
But some people don’t.
Some never arrive at the place of feeling guilty. Rather (for whatever reasons), they keep arriving at the place of deception – literally and/or mentally.
Note: Ellen Evans is a professional Psychotherapist with 10+ years of experience in counseling.
How Reflection Helps You Heal
You are more likely to sit in a reflective, self-aware space when you acknowledge your deceptive behavior and its consequences.
You are also likely to shift to healthier ways of being as a result of this reflection.
And part of the shift includes forgiveness – one of the main “healers” when it comes to pain and making “mistakes.”
Life is interesting. If we didn’t make mistakes or indeed allow for mistakes, then why are we even here? What would be the point of life if we had no more to learn?
We have free will and the immense capacity for growth – growth often nurtured through the challenge.
Cheating vs. Forgiveness
As part of my training as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist, I remember being told this simple wisdom about relationships.
They rapidly quicken self and soul growth. And, of course, this is not always a comfortable or easy space to find yourself in.
Cheating is a common aspect of relationships.
It is worth exploring how this behavior can create the space for reflection, forgiveness, and the chance for deeper partner and self-love.
The subject of forgiveness is huge in itself.
To forgive someone is hard.
To forgive someone after cheating is even harder. And that takes strength, making it a fundamental human quality, as well as a spiritual one.
“to make a mistake is human, to forgive is divine.”
The subject of cheating is also a broad one – a deceptive act that can happen in several ways.
The Different Kinds Of Cheating
- The emotional and/or mental kind of cheat, where one’s emotional or mental needs are largely (or solely) met via someone other than your partner.
- The betrayal could take the form of many acts. For instance, a continuous pattern of sleeping with other people while one is away on business trips.
- The partner could be living a double life. Perhaps, the person sees not just one but multiple partners outside of the primary one.
- The “crime” committed could be a one-off. A drunken one-night stand where he or she may barely remember the “dirty deed” being committed.
I use the words “crime” and “dirty deed” for a good reason.
Why Your Intention Matters
Depending on the intention, though cheating is generally not considered evil, some betrayed partners may feel so enraged and hurt that this loaded word could easily take center stage in their vocabulary.
So first, ask yourself where you stand in terms of your behavior on the path to self-awareness and forgiveness.
What one person may perceive as vile conduct may be considered as only a slight deviance in “loyalty” by another. In other words, the gradient of the act doesn’t necessarily match the amount of guilt.
For example, a man who has cheated on his wife numerous times may not feel particularly culpable. Perhaps he discovered long ago that his wife was emotionally distant and felt righteously permitted to continue his affairs.
In another case, perhaps a woman who has been with a partner for two years has just experienced a one-night stand and feels horrified about what she did.
Whether you feel racked with guilt or feel that all you need to do is sit in the naughty corner for a while, the first step to forgiving yourself is to acknowledge what happened.
Anything less than that and you ironically fall under the same category as the act itself: the category of deception.
Underneath any form of cheating lies deception and the betrayal of trust, which makes it hard to forgive someone. Thus making honesty is the best way to regain that trust.
And that is something you and your partner will need, too – the ability to trust yourself and your decisions.
What You Need To Forgive Yourself
Honesty is what you need to heal the lie. All else is more of that same lie drawn out.
This is where self-reflection comes in. It can be tough to own up. It is much easier to blame someone or something else.
The example of the man who feels permitted to have affairs because his wife is emotionally unavailable is a classic case of an unhealthy dynamic between the two.
“It takes two to tango” is relevant here on the deepest level.
Both partners need to look at how the relationship has broken down to have any chance to build it back up again.
If both of you are still willing to work on the relationship together, you could maybe use therapy.
Therapy can sometimes help you both understand your relationship’s shortcomings and mend the damage caused by cheating.
“To understand somebody else as a human being, I think, is about as close to real forgiveness as one can get.”
When acknowledgment, compassion, and forgiveness (usually in that order) are at the forefront of the healing process, then rifts can mend.
Love can even deepen between two partners if they understand the motives behind the “bad” actions.
If they recognize that humans are fallible.
Whatever one struggles within life – whatever mistakes are made – it is vital to realize that those mistakes do not define you. Perhaps you did something disgraceful, but you are not disgraced.
Perhaps the person who had the one-night stand was triggered during the day by past trauma, and the reaction manifested in sleeping with a random stranger.
Along with owning their actions and the hurt they caused, they also need compassion, not punishment.
If, after cheating, you have opened your heart, your wounds, your truth to your partner, there may be no guarantee that your other half will forgive you.
However, you will be more whole in your own being. You will have learned more about yourself and will perhaps choose a different course of action next time.
If you’ve been cheated on, then right now you’re wondering whether or not you’ll EVER be able to forget your wife’s betrayal.
Right now, you don’t understand how it’s even possible to forgive cheating…Is every man who’s ever repaired his marriage after an affair really just jading over their feelings of jealousy and betrayal?
Or do you believe that full forgiveness really is possible? That you and your wife can get your relationships with each other back on track, and things can go back to the way they’re supposed to be?
If you want you and your wife to have the kind of happy and fulfilling marriage you’d wish for your children, then this is the article for you.
What You Need to Know Before You Learn
How to Forgive a Cheating Wife
As you continue reading you’re going to be learning exactly what you can do to increase your odds of coming back from this affair – whether emotional, physical, sexual, or even virtual – stronger than your marriage has ever been.
You Can Only Marry One Woman
Unlike every single other relationship that you’ve formed in your life (not counting your parents) you’ve had the CHOICE to befriend/date/talk to whoever you want…In other words, you chose to develop loving feelings for your wife, just like you chose to develop a bond of trust with your close friends.
However, the difference between a friendship and a marriage is that there’s only one woman that you can marry. You’re going to have to live with both her perks AND her flaws. There’s a tails-side to every coin.
So what am I saying, exactly? Where am I going with this?
What I’m saying is this:
You may be tempted to fill yourself with regret for ever marrying your wife, but the fact of the matter is that everyone makes mistakes, both men and women. So yes, there may be other women out there that wouldn’t cheat (all though fewer and fewer meet that criteria), but they have their own problems that could be just as bad and emotionally traumatizing.
They say that an affair is the worst thing you can do to another person, and honestly I agree for the most part. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t eventually see an up-side, or at least find a way to recover from it fully.
Who knows, your wife’s infidelity might be just what your marriage needed to kick start itself into full gear! God works in mysterious ways (or fate, if that’s your thing).
Is it Possible to Forgive Your Wife?
In all my experiences, YES, you can love your wife again with true passion and desire. In my experience it’s entirely possible to learn how to forgive a cheating wife.
Yes, someday you will be able to look back at your wife’s current affair and say that you honestly can forgive her for infidelity. You’ll be able to look her square in the eyes and say that you do NOT hold a grudge against her for cheating. You will fully forgive your cheating spouse.
Learning to forgive a cheating spouse is difficult, but with time it can certainly be done. Healing the pain, and in fact even using it as the starting point for a new marriage, is more than possible.
If you’re a Christian, then ideally you’ll come to recognize that infidelity and adultery is equal to any other sin, and that your wife’s affair was a weakness, nothing more. The biblical answer, and the golden rule of forgiveness, is that we all have weaknesses and we all make mistakes, yourself included. If you love your wife unconditionally, you’ll be able to come back from it.
I’m not saying you’d ever cheat on your wife, and I’m not saying that adultery isn’t grounds to get a divorce, because it certainly IS. What I AM saying is that I’m willing to bet you haven’t always been perfect. Again, I’m not trying to compare anything you’ve ever done to what your wife has done by cheating on you, but none of us can read the future, none of us can say we’re perfect, and in the end, all of us need forgiveness every now and then.
However, You Will NEVER Be Able to Forget Her Unfaithfulness
You will always look back on this as one of the hardest periods in your life, but again, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to learn how to get over her affair, it just means it harder. The old mantra, forgive and forget, can NOT be applied to this situation.
No matter how hard you try, the experience of this affair will remain in your mind. I’m sorry. It will be years before you will forget what the pain of infidelity felt like, and the memory of it will always stick with you.
So what’s my point?
What good does it do you for me to let you know that forgetting is likely impossible? Well my hope is that you’ll spend your time focusing on only one goal:
Forgive your wife for cheating.
Forgiveness comes before forgetting, so if you hope to someday be completely free of the emotional response caused by your cheating spouse, focus on forgiveness above forgetting, ‘moving on’ or leaving ‘it’ behind you.
Forgiving your wife for cheating on an intimately and emotionally conscious level, should be your TRUE goal, and nothing else.
If you believe that your marriage can be saved, and you’re willing to do everything possible to learn how to forgive a cheating wife and get your marriage back, then it’s time for you to take action for love.