8 Steps To Completely Forgive Someone Who Cheated On You

forgiving someone after cheating

Is it even possible to completely forgive someone who cheated on you? Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you forgave and moved on – together or your separate ways? Forgiving someone who cheated on you is not an easy thing but many people do it and find their own peace.

The value you attach to the relationship changes proportion the moment you find out your partner has strayed. And you might feel anger, betrayal and disappointment to the point you might feel grief beyond repair. The concept of forgiveness after cheating can seem alien when you’re in this distraught state of mind.

But forgiving your cheating partner is not about them, it’s about you retaining your peace of mind. It might seem impossible to forgive someone who you have loved so madly only for them to cheat on you. You might assign blame to yourself and ask, “Where did I go wrong?” Or “Is it me who turned the relationship sour?” But remember: infidelity is a choice, and your partner chose to cheat on you.

Forgiving your cheating partner, however, more than a prerogative is a necessary step for you to heal from the infidelity. The question is: how to forgive someone for cheating?

Aria Shafer (name changed) says, “Forgiving someone who cheated on you is hard. I am telling from experience because my husband has cheated on me several times. The first time it happened it shocked me and I grieved for days. Then, he apologized and we mended the relationship. But he has been a serial cheater and he is in therapy now. I have forgiven him because he is a great father to our four children.”

Infographic on how to forgive someone who cheated on you
How to forgive a partner for cheating 

8 Steps To Completely Forgive Someone Who Cheated On You

Forgiving a cheating spouse or partner takes time; forgiveness does not come in a day. When the blow of infidelity is dealt to a relationship, it’s unrealistic to expect that you can just shake it off and move on as if nothing has happened. Sure enough, cheating can change the nature of your relationship in many ways, even if you choose to stay together.

That being said, forgiveness after cheating is possible. The process of forgiving a cheating spouse or partner comes in steps. Whether you’re wondering how to forgive a cheating girlfriend and move on or trying to figure out a way to forgive your spouse for cheating and rebuild the relationship, here are the steps to completely forgive someone who cheated on you:

1. Accept your emotional, mental state

Being cheated on takes a toll on mental and emotional health. To forgive a cheating partner, accept the fact you are grieving and it’s okay to be sad. Don’t bottle up your emotions; they tend to lash out in other hurtful ways. Accept the emotional and mental consequences of infidelity. An extramarital affair is bound to have a profound impact on you and that is about right.

forgiving infidelity
Accept your own emotions first

2. Express yourself

Write down what you have been feeling. Do you want to cuss? Pen it down. If you feel like crying, let those tears flow. If you cannot express your feelings of anger and hurt to your partner, do it with a friend or a family member who would understand your situation and won’t be judgmental.

You can also talk to a counselor who would help you process your feelings and find a perspective. You need to express yourself to give vent to your bottled-up emotions. This is the only way you can get down to the process of forgiving someone who cheated on you.

3. Communicate with a confidante to forgive someone for cheating

Sometimes, talking to a person you trust, or someone who you think will understand you, is the best thing to do when you are going through mental trauma. It is good to get a different perspective on your grief. Don’t try to heal by yourself. Seek and get help from the confidante.

Sometimes going out with friends helps. You don’t have to discuss your situation with them but just talking about school or college days and laughing out loud can prove to be therapeutic. Communicating with people always helps to work as a stress reliever. You will not have the time to dwell on the negative emotions you have been feeling if you communicate with people around you.

To figure out how to forgive a cheater, you first have to heal from the setback. Surrounding yourself with people who bring you joy will allow you to do just that.

Related Reading: 5 Women reveal why they have forgiven their husbands who were cheating on them

4. Give yourself and your partner some space

Clinging to your cheating partner to inspect every move is not only going to destroy your peace of mind but also ruin the relationship. If you are considering forgiving, give yourself and your partner some space. It might help you re-evaluate your stance on the relationship.

You can take a break from the relationship for some time and start staying separately. This way you would realize how important you are to each other. You have built a life together over time and if infidelity has happened, there is a thread that connects the two of you. Once you stay apart you can start working on reviving that connection and forgiving your cheating partner will be easier.

This becomes even more imperative if you’re trying to forgive someone who cheated on you multiple times. Since repeated betrayal can lead to deep-seated trust issues in the relationship, some distance and perspective on what you want for yourself. Do you want to give them another chance or make a clean break? Remember forgiveness after cheating and taking a partner are not essentially interdependent.

5. How to forgive someone for cheating? Consider therapy

Relationship counseling can help you immensely or try couples’ therapy to openly communicate with your partner with professional help. Counseling can iron out the knots in your relationship for which the infidelity happened in the first place.

Often partners find it hard to communicate with each other after cheating has happened. There is constant awkwardness, suspicion and the trust is completely lost. How can you forgive someone who cheated on you when you can’t even bear to look at them?

A counselor can help you to get back the communication in the relationship, even make it better and help rebuild trust.

6. Be understanding

Not of the infidelity. But what led your partner to stray (these will come up in the therapy sessions). Often infidelity may happen because the partner felt neglected, unappreciated, or was unhappy in the relationship. Though that does not excuse the cheating, it’d help you understand their state of mind when they chose to betray your trust.

If you want to forgive your partner who cheated and start afresh with them, you need to be able to get past the stage of blaming them for doing what they did. Understanding why they cheated in the first place will help on the account. However, that doesn’t mean you place blame on yourself for your partner straying.

7. Don’t plot revenge

How to forgive someone for cheating? Start by acknowledging and accepting that forgiveness and vengeance cannot co-exist. Getting even is a common reaction. “My partner cheated on me, so I will cheat to get even” is a foolish move and you might end up hurting yourself and the relationship even more.

The anger channeled into ‘getting back at him’ will worsen the situation even further. A couple who cannot move past the anger will have serious issues of trust even if they stay in the relationship. You must move past the anger. Gradually, let go of the anger and don’t be vindictive. You need to find a grip on your own emotions. Never feel guilty for your partner’s infidelity. Find your composure and focus on your career, home or hobbies.

Related Reading: 7 ways to know that your partner isn’t cheating on you any more

8. Get past the insecurity

After learning of your partner’s infidelity, you are bound to feel insecure about their moves every step of the way. But forgiving a cheating partner has more to do with learning to trust your partner again than to be insecure and paranoid about them.

It is normal you would be jumpy when your cheating partner is around the phone or if they get late for work, your mind would go into overdrive. In that case, your partner will also have to take steps to ensure that you don’t feel insecure anymore. It’s the only way to seek and offer forgiveness after cheating.

Healing Yourself When You Forgive Someone Who Cheated On You

Can you forgive someone who cheated on you? This question is bound to weigh on your mind in the immediate aftermath of cheating. At the time, it may even seem like the answer to this question is a clear, resounding NO. However, as time begins to blunt the hurt, forgiveness after cheating begins to seem more plausible.

But before you forgive your partner who cheated, you must heal and recover fully. Infidelity does not mean the end of an affair. Some things cannot be undone and before you end things and decide not to forgive, think of the toll it is going to take on you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you love your partner?
  2. Do you want to stay in the relationship?
  3. Will you be able to trust your cheating partner again?
  4. Are you willing to move past the affair?
  5. Are you willing to work on the relationship?

If the answer is yes to all of the above, you will first need to heal. Healing means learning about the past and not letting it ruin the present. Here are a few things to remember if you are looking to heal yourself.

1. Know where you stand

Are you ready to forgive a cheating partner and move past the infidelity? Do you think you can manage to be in a healthy relationship with a person who has broken your trust once? Will you be able to move past the hurt and try to trust again? Evaluate within yourself before you take the plunge.

2. Don’t ask for the dirty details

If you want to move past, do not ask for the dirty details of the affair. It will only hurt you as you will keep imagining your partner having sex with someone else. Of course, you will have a million questions about the what, why and how of it all. Ask your cheating partner the right questions that will help you put this incident behind you rather than replay it in your mind on a loop. The best thing to be done is to not dwell on the details of the act.

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3. Trying to heal overnight

How to forgive someone for cheating and heal? Accept the fact that your trust has been broken and it cannot be fixed overnight. Trying to pretend everything is back to normal will impede the healing process. Instead, talk about what scares you in the relationship with your partner. Give the relationship and your partner time to get better.

4. Keep grudges away

The key to how to forgive a cheater is to let the past bury its dead. Holding a grudge and not moving past the affair will not get you anywhere. Constantly nagging about the affair, or using the affair as a tool to manipulate your partner or to put them down shows you still hold a grudge. Holding onto a grudge makes it hard to rebuild a relationship in a healthy way.

5. Give trust a second chance

To practice forgiveness after cheating, work on rebuilding trust in the relationship. It won’t be easy to trust your partner again but make sure you keep trying until you no longer find yourself second-guessing everything they say. Trust is the building block of any relationship so find it in your heart and mind to trust and forgive your partner.

Healing from a relationship betrayal is hard. But with time and patience, the re-built relationship can be even stronger. There is no doubt that forgiving multiple affairs is even harder and if you cannot do that it is understandable. But as we told you earlier you have to ask yourself the most important questions before you forgive someone who cheated on you.

FAQs

1. Is it weak to forgive someone for cheating?

In fact, you are actually strong if you can forgive someone after cheating. It needs the strength of character to be able to focus on the positives of a person and move on from the betrayal.

2. Is it possible to forgive someone who cheated on you?

After grieving, you process your feelings, and gradually, it is possible to forgive someone who cheated on you. To be able to truly forgive a partner for cheating, you need to heal from the setback completely and not negate or bottle up your emotions.

3. Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating?

It might take time because a partner can keep feeling tormented but if both partners make an effort to rebuild trust a relationship can go back to normal.

4. How long does it take to forgive someone for cheating?

It depends on an individual and how much they are affected by the cheating. Some might take a few months, some a year or two and some may never fully forgive. A part of them can keep nursing the hurt.

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Readers Comments On “8 Steps To Completely Forgive Someone Who Cheated On You”

  1. Forgiveness means accepting the fact, looking cheater as a human being prone to drift away and overcoming negative/revenge emotions on cheater. First and foremost in forgiveness is overcoming revenge feelings on cheater. Revenge involves broadcasting whole world about the act of cheating and bring blot to the cheaters character in the eyes of near & dear ones, their children,their parents and siblings , friends, and society in large, making cheater survival miserable for the life in this material world and finally a violent divorce. Revenge inflicts pain to self as well as cheater and hence should be avoided. Revenge is an animal trait.
    Cheating falls broadly into below cases
    1.Whether cheater has discussed issues in the marriage with significant other and significant other stonewalled or became insensitive hence cheater was forced to cheat. However, problems in a marriage can’t be license for cheating and cheater should have threatened/walked out of the relationship which she/he did not.
    2.Cheater simply chose to cheat without any efforts to resolve the issues in the marriage. Cheater intentions are clear as cheater is courageous enough to drop cloths and enjoy the act with third person and act drama at home but unfortunately for the cheater, destiny has other plans and cheating was exposed.
    3.Cheater did stray and due to guilt and genuine repentance disclosed the act immediately to the loyal spouse and seeked forgiveness and promised not to repeat the act. Here cheater very well knows that he/she is risking the marriage by disclosing & yet disclosed.
    Forgiving some one who caused immense hurt is divine no doubt. But whether one should forgive the cheater and continue the marriage or forgive cheater part ways mutually is what to be decided based on individual capacity to absorb the hurt/naked truth and bitter reality/true face of their so called beloved.
    4.Forgive and continue the marriage
    This requires strong mental strength and personal traits. If one forgive and continue to stay with cheater, one has to overcome feelings of insecurity, inadeuacy,shame,etc negative emotions. This requires strong mental strength and personal traits otherwise one can succumb to depression/drus/suicidal thoughts. One can take spiritual help to heal the process and forgive cheater. As per spirituality,we are all Atmans with material bodies. At Atman level, supreme soul is our father and we are all his children. All Atmans have distinct identity but qualitatively similar without any superiority or inferiority. Hence no need to hate. But having committed immorality/sin, cheater soul experiences sins of fruit either in this birth or in future. Your relationshp wiith cheater is only as long as ur body exists in this birth. Our relationships not on sexual platform but soul connection. Be compassion toward cheater and forgive and move past.
    5.Forgive and move forward
    You are very ethical person and can’t tolerate lapse on personal integrity. Also you are sensitive and emotional can’t absorb the fact and continue the marriage. Then consider that If one is meritorious soul, he/she end-up with life partners who showers selfless love otherwise end-up with selfish crooks/cheaters & that is destiny and accept it. You can pity for them instead of anger, with compassion pray God for their wiser sense and prosperity and express ur inability to continue the relationship afterall u are also human like cheater but not a saint. Without hue and cry, without damaging the cheaters reputation with mutual consent part ways.

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