Forgiving After an Affair

Forgiveness is a tool for success in marriages, and relationships in general. Without forgiveness, there wouldn’t ever be any progress, any growth, or any happiness. That being said, forgiveness can be really hard. Sometimes you’re not healed yet, you’re still angry, or you’re simply stubborn and want to make a point. Forgiveness after your partner cheats is probably the hardest kind or forgiving. After your partner cheats, it’s extremely hard ever to look at them the same again. They become a different person. But, especially if you’re married, sometimes breaking up just simply isn’t an option – or maybe you don’t want it to be an option. If you’re having a hard time moving forward, forgiving, and going back to the ways things were, this guide is for you.

Decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth forgiving them.

First thing first, you need to figure out if you even want to fix your relationship. You’ve got to take some time to reflect, alone. And before you even talk with them, you need to cool off. There’re a few ways to do this, and it starts with asking yourself questions. Have they cheated before?

If so, this is clearly a pattern, and probably will happen again if you don’t end it now. If not, perhaps they deserve a second chance. How was your relationship when the cheating happened? If your relationship was on the rocks, and there were a ton of issues, this should make you feel better than if they cheated when everything was fine and dandy. Were you suspicious? If you were, your intuitions were right.

But if you were completely blindsided, it would be harder to trust them again. Do they regret what they’ve done? Are they doing everything they can to make it right? If not, this is a sign you need to kick them to the curb. And lastly, do you see a future with this person? I’m not justifying cheating, but if you want to explore the possibility of moving forward, you need to ask these questions for yourself.

Have an honest, open conversation- ask them everything you want to know.

You might be the kind of person that believes ignorance is bliss, and you don’t want to know anything about the affair. But, if you need to know everything to consider it dead and move forward, tell them that. Ask them questions. Ask what happened, how they feel about the other person, ask if it’s happened before. Ask him how he feels about your relationship, does he want to move forward too? After you do this, make sure you’re completely transparent and honest about how you’re feeling about the situation, and what you need to move forward.

Address and solve the problems that could have caused infidelity in the first place.

More times than not, something drove your partner to have an affair other than them just being an ass. I’m not saying to blame yourself- at all- but usually, there are some cracks in a relationship’s foundation that could’ve played a part in your partner wanting to cheat. These issues that can be fixed (scratch that) – MUST be fixed if you want to move forward.

These can be issues of intimacy, trust, emotional distance, or all of the above. Your partner could’ve been feeling neglected and unappreciated. Whatever the case, you need to figure it out. If you and your partner don’t figure out the reason they cheated, and if you don’t fix them, you might as well break up. But, if you do these things, you have a great chance of moving forward to an even better relationship than before.

Begin to rebuild your relationship.

Your old relationship is dead, damaged, and broken. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. The good news is, now is the time to start over. You’ve already addressed the issues that existed in your relationship, and by this time, you should both be on the same page of moving forward. It’s time for a clean slate.

Yes, it might sound sad, but this can be a positive and healing process if you let it. Look at it as a chance to start fresh and make your relationship even better than before. Your trust will be broken, and it will take the time to rebuild, so set boundaries and make new rules. Also, make a pact always to be open and honest with each other from this point forward. You’ll both need to make changes if this is going to work, and the only way to figure out what needs to change is through open communication.

Additionally, you’ll have to be more sensitive towards each other and the relationship for a while. Be committed to this.

Lastly, be committed to the forgiveness.

If you were the one cheated on, at this point you have made the commitment and decision to move forward and forgive. Too often, couples will get through the initial steps and the person who was cheated on won’t let the affair go. They constantly bring it up, and the cheater can’t do anything wrong without their partner throwing the affair in their face. This has got to stop. You should no longer be playing the blame game. You might not ever forget, but you must commit to forgiveness if you want it to work.

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