Forgiving infidelity is not an easy thing to do. It’s an arduous journey that is tough to undertake and even tougher to complete. Having been on the receiving end of such heartbreaking news, I know exactly how it feels.
There is no comparison to the pain that comes after though. Agony and thoughts of betrayal cloud your mind and get the better of you. Your sense of judgment impairs right when you need to be taking the most important decisions. Forgiving an affair seems like the most twisted thing you’ll have to do in life.
Infidelity is the most nerve-wracking and difficult thing to deal with. It tests not only your patience but also makes you question your own worth. You start to ask yourself if there is anything wrong with the way you are. Through such times of self-doubt and disbelief, forgiving infidelity can seem to be the hardest thing to do.
Although it seems like the end of the world, I hope I can help the ones reading this by citing my own story, my own example of how I learned to forgive my cheating partner. It is easier said than done and one often misses to see the silver lining in such darkness but your relationship deserves this last attempt.
Forgiving Infidelity And Your Cheating Partner
More often than not, a relationship with a cheating partner has two people in pain. Both the cheater and the one who’s been cheated on go through similar kinds of emotions initially. It is difficult to forgive someone for cheating and forgive themselves too. A lot of you must wonder if you really should forgive infidelity? Should you forgive a cheater? The answer to this question is yes. If your relationship is worth more than the slip-ups, it deserves a chance. If you truly love a person, forgiving an affair is possible too.
Fights were not uncommon between us, but it was only once or twice in those seven years that I had been pushed to an extent of telling her that things were not working out between us.
I wanted her to change because I used to think she was over-friendly with people or that her friendships were inappropriate. I began to justify this demand by telling her that I made similar sacrifices for her too. However, this was only partly true. I changed, but it wasn’t for her. I tried to refine myself so that I could be deserving of her love and her affection.
Soon enough though, I realized that she was the same with everyone, loving and warm. That was simply how she treated everyone around her. I had only begun to trust her when I fell face-first again.
The shattering betrayal
She cheated on me. The words rang through my ears as I tried to make sense of everything around me. I was betrayed by the love of my life in a way that couldn’t possibly repair. Or so I thought, at the time. She had gotten physically intimate with a colleague the day before I found out.
They had gone out for dinner and some drinks. I was aware of how my wife wasn’t very good at handling alcohol so when he offered to drop her home, she invited him inside. As she went to change, he lay down on her bed. The details are blurred but all I remember hearing was that one thing led to another until they got physically intimate.
Of course, when she told me I could see the regret in her eyes. While she sobbed uncontrollably, I couldn’t care less about her in that moment. Kissing her goodbye, I packed my bags and left. Thoughts ran through my mind which were difficult to pen down and harder to comprehend. I realized in the moment that if she hadn’t confessed, I would’ve never known.
I was sure that forgiving infidelity would be tough. Approximately twelve or so hours later, I began experiencing emotions other than anger and betrayal. My heart started to ease into the thought of being the unfortunate man who had been cheated on. I knew I couldn’t end things with my wife the way I did. Our relationship deserved a lot more than the way I stormed off. I decided to call her and work things out.
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How our relationship recovered after forgiving infidelity
One of the most important aspects of forgiving someone for cheating is to want to fight for the relationship as much as I did. There must not be any doubt inside your heart regarding how much you love the person despite their mistake. Always remember that you like because and love despite.
You aren’t forgiving the act of cheating or forgiving infidelity, you’re forgiving the person who stood by you through your mistakes and stuck by you always. You might not even be forgiving an affair, you’re really just forgiving the person you know to be yours, the one who loved you too much to ever leave despite your flaws.
She came to me the next day. She looked devastated, probably because she cried as much as I did. When I saw my wife in that state, I couldn’t think of anything else except wanting to give her a tight hug. So that’s exactly how I greeted her. She fit into my arms perfectly. I knew our relationship was worth saving. “I will be there for you even as the going gets tough and things feel awful,” I managed to say through the tears of pain
“Things happen. I am hurt, but I won’t give up on us. You’re more important to me than my ego. You are the love of my life, my anchor and you are more important to me than anything else in the world. Although it seems tough right now, I want to work through our differences.
“I know I haven’t been easy either. I have constantly wanted to change you and that wasn’t the right thing to do. What happened a couple of days back hurts me to the core but I am willing to fight for you, for us to get back to the way we were before,” I told her.
As I said everything that I wanted to let my wife know, all she could do was cry. Her tears stung me more than the pain of betrayal. I knew I could forgive my cheating partner because I knew that my wife was more than just a moment’s weakness. Forgiveness after infidelity wasn’t going to be simple but I would have her with me to cross this ocean of uncertainty and pain.
I wanted her to know that I would be there for and with her through each mistake, over and over again. Our relationship is more than just the mistakes that we’ve made and forgiveness is the best solution. That’s how forgiving infidelity would make us stronger.
How to forgive after an affair of your partner surfaces
Things didn’t get any easier when I decided to forgive my cheating partner. There were countless nights that went sleepless and there were many days I couldn’t speak to her about them. There were many ways in which being cheated on changed me. I cannot count the number of times when I was afraid that it would happen again and doubts constantly revolved around in my mind. I had decided to let the past go but it still haunted me.
Healing a broken relationship isn’t a cakewalk but my wife and I persevered through it. I wouldn’t pretend to not see how my wife couldn’t look into the mirror for many days after the incident. She couldn’t feel happy or good about herself any more than I could. We were both hurting in a way that was unfortunate and tortuously long.
I had accepted what had happened and forgiven my wife from the bottom of my heart. I knew she was only a human after all. It was my wife who needed to forgive herself for cheating. Forgiving infidelity was tough even for her. It was a slow and eventual process that needed a lot of internal strength.
Finally, three weeks later, she smiled beautifully and met my eyes. Maybe she finally forgave herself. I realized that I forgave my cheating partner but forgiving your partner for cheating is not the only thing that heals you and your relationship. She needed to heal too and whining about my own woes around her or fighting with her all the time over spilled milk wasn’t going to be helpful.
Related Reading: Fighting Is Fine…But How Do You Know It’s Over?
Time heals the worst wounds
I forgave my cheating partner after she confessed she cheated. If I could do it, so can you. I loved my wife more than the flaws
or the bad days. Knowing our relationship was worth it and that she was my soulmate, I held on. I would fight for her, over and over again without skipping a beat. Forgiving infidelity is hard but not impossible. Try it, reclaim your life.
The answer to this question lies in the strength and foundation of your relationship. If you think it is strong and important enough for you to struggle through the cheating, you will never regret forgiving a cheating partner.
Yes, if you really want your relationship to go back to normal and if you love the person enough, forgiving is truly possible. Always remember, forgive someone for cheating because they mean a lot to you and you do not want to let them go, not because you’re afraid to be alone.
It is a slow and gradual process that takes time, energy and patience. While the person being cheated on recovers, the cheater is often in tremendous guilt and unhappiness too. Both the individuals should mutually support each other to come out of this phase and build a relationship from scratch with strong pillars of trust and respect.