Forgiving Infidelity And How to Heal
Marriage is an institution of love and trust that two individuals enter as a commitment to one another. When a husband steps outside of the marriage to fulfill any wants, desires, or needs, an unconditional bond is broken in ways one may not even believe to be possible. You have a personal choice now, do you stay, or do you go? Not everyone can forgive a cheating husband, and that's okay. One of the most important things to remember is that there is no weakness in having to let go and move on. However, if you are not ready to let go, and are willing to work towards rebuilding a trusting and loving relationship, there are some things you can do to start the healing process and begin trusting your partner again.
Forgiveness, Moving Forward, and The First Step to The Healing Process
Learn To Cope With Your Emotions
Once you have discovered that your husband has cheated on you and broken your trust, it's hard to remain in control of your emotions. Don't worry. It's completely natural, and you are not overreacting. This is a monumental moment in your relationship that determines whether you continue on a path together or apart. Emotions are going to play a big part in this. Acknowledge your emotions. Talk to a friend, write your thoughts down, seek counsel. The strength of your emotions can be used to your advantage. How much you are hurt is usually in direct relation to how much you care about your husband and how much you value your relationship.
Release Emotions In A Healthy Manner
Anger, pain, and confusion are very common emotions to experience after you have become privy to your husband's cheating. For many, the instant and most natural reaction is anger and a need for revenge. However, this hinders your ability to let go, forgive, heal, and move on, giving the other person power instead of taking it back for yourself. If you're experiencing any overwhelming emotion, let it out in a healthy, harmless way.
Avoid projecting your anger towards your husband. Even though he has hurt you, projecting your anger will only hinder chances of your ability to forgive and both you and your husband being able to move on. It's very common to start making passive remarks or just being passive aggressive overall. Try to be extra conscious of this, so both you and your husband don't end up feeling resentful later.
Remember To Calm Down
It's natural to be angry and hateful once someone hurts you or breaks your trust. However, if you hope to move past the lies, pain, and deceit of cheating, you are going to have to work on letting go of the past, the pain, and the anger you are feeling. When you are angry, you are more likely to do things that you will regret. You cannot take back your actions. It is so much more worthwhile to hold back and restrain yourself from anything that you may not feel so good about later. Remove yourself from situations where you feel your emotions building up.
Take A Break to Recover
Unfortunately, many people confuse the meaning of a break with a break up. If you are looking to forgive your husband, it's okay to need some space. It is often extremely healthy to take some time apart to think and let your pain out without directing it at your husband who you are looking to rebuild a relationship with. Be sure to have a real discussion with your husband where you let him know this is temporary and explain to him why you need time away. It might be difficult to discuss infidelity with your children, and you may choose never to tell them. If this is the case, try to separate yourself in a more natural way, such as spending a week with your friends or relatives along with your children- a sort of family trip.
Remind Yourself To Not Blame Yourself
When working on forgiving your husband for cheating, the worst thing you can do is blame yourself. He is a grown man who made his own choices. This had nothing to do with you, as hard as that may be to believe. When you blame yourself, you start to feel bad about yourself, thinking that you or the way you are led to his cheating. If you truly feel responsible, you may take some responsibility, but do not take the blame. Understand the difference between the two. Instead of beating yourself up, treat yourself with kindness. This will help you heal and move forward.
Communication Is Key
It might be very difficult to communicate with someone who has hurt you, but it's the biggest and most important factor when working to move past cheating in your marriage. Do not be afraid to ask questions that you need answers to. It's important to have an accurate idea of where he is so you can determine whether you should forgive or move on without him. If you are choosing to move on together, there should be some guidelines for how this topic comes up, if at all in the future. Make sure both of you are comfortable and happy with your boundaries and stick to them so you can rebuild a solid foundation.
How To Forgive? Understand That Forgiveness Is For You
It might seem like you are doing something good for your husband when you forgive him. While your forgiveness may help him and may be something he needs, he's not the goal. You are. You need to forgive, move on, and let go for you. Letting pain melt from your heart helps you. Let go of the affair. It won't be easy, but it is necessary when you are trying to forgive. You let it go both of you to move on. You have an entire future ahead; holding on to the past will only be harmful to your relationship. Be conscious of the fact that the past is your past. Try to avoid rehashing the adultery in future arguments, as it will only make both parties unhappy and bring up past hurt without purpose. This will help you both grow.
Finding out that your husband has cheated with another person can be extremely hurtful. It makes you question yourself in ways you may never have before. You may feel not good enough, you may feel angry, and you may even feel vengeful. Forgiving your husband will not be an easy process, nor will it be quick. It will take hard work, dedication to your relationship, and most importantly, patience.
The process of forgiveness is exactly that, a process. It is constant work on both you and your husband's part. Both parties need to be dedicated to rebuilding a strong and trusting relationship. If you and your husband are working on forgiveness make sure he is supportive of your feelings and accepts them. This will help make the path a lot easier to walk through, and hopefully, with time, your wounds will heal, and your relationship will become strong and healthy once more. If you are looking for a starting point to forgiving your partner for cheating, or if you are having trouble communicating with your husband after finding out about his cheating, please feel free to click here. A licensed counselor at ReGain can help you communicate and get on track towards rebuilding a successful and happy relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Forgive Your Partner? Can You Forgive A Cheater?
Sometimes it can be possible to forgive the fact that your husband cheated on you and move past the wounds of infidelity. Not all women can forgive and overcome the betrayal and the level forgiveness can vary. If you love him and the thought of being without your husband gives you separation anxiety, you might want to try to find forgiveness.
How Do I Move On and Forgive After My Husband Cheated?
You have two choices: try to work it out and stay or leave the relationship and move on with your life.
If you try to work things out with your husband and move past or heal the wounds of infidelity then you must know that it’s a hard road. Depending on the level forgiveness can vary. If you decide that you cannot work through this rough patch and cannot get over the wounds of infidelity, it’s okay to walk away. Remember that depending on the level forgiveness can vary.
How Long Does it Take to Forgive a Cheating Spouse or Forgive My Partner for Cheating?
If your husband cheated, it may be hard to forgive him. He may feel regret and remorse for cheating. However, forgiving infidelity is hard and you don't need to force yourself to.
How do I forgive my partner for hurting me?
The path to forgiveness will look different for everyone. If you’re thinking,
"I love my husband and want to forgive him but can all be forgiven?”
Couples therapy is likely the best route to go. You can work together to rebuild trust, and as you do that, you should see loyalty on his side. Seeing dedication, effort, and changed behavior will help you to forgive your spouse. The therapy process will help with connection, trust, affection, and forgiveness.
If you’re interested in individual therapy or couples therapy, please reach out to contact@ReGain.us.
However, if you feel like you’re forcing yourself to forgive your husband and are no longer interested in continuing the marriage, that is an equally respectable choice. If he’s not putting in the effort (or even if he is), it remains your choice. Lack of forgiveness isn’t a character flaw, and he did betray you. You might even choose to forgive and walk away. Every situation is different, and it’s important to remember that you have the power to make your own choices. Don’t feel guilty for your choice, whether it’s to stay or go.
How do you let go of resentment and forgive your partner in a marriage?
Couples therapy is the way to go. With the help of a licensed mental health professional, you can get to the root of the resentment and engage in exercises that’ll help you and your spouse establish forgiveness, trust, and affection. You and your spouse will be able to share both of your thoughts and desires in couples therapy or couples counseling, which is part of why it is so helpful to so many couples. Hearing him express his desire to be with you and working together to overcome this will help you to let go of resentment, as will getting it off your chest. Don’t hold anything back; if you keep how you feel inside, the resentment will stay and become internalized, which could affect the marriage. He betrayed you, so be frank about how you feel. Being honest about your feelings is the first step to working through all parts of the resentment.
If you’re interested individual therapy or couples therapy, please reach out to contact@ReGain.us.
Can a marriage survive without forgiveness?
What if it cannot be forgiven? You might wonder if you’ll be unable to forgive your husband. That’s normal. The question is less if a marriage can survive without forgiveness and more if it can survive healthily without forgiveness. If you’re going to stay in this marriage, you want it to be a healthy one. Forgiveness in marriage is important if it’s to be strong, healthy, and trusting, but the onus isn’t fully on you to forgive your husband. He has to put in the work, too. Without forgiveness in marriage, you might worry that the cheating behaviors will continue. Perhaps, you’ll be tempted to look at your husband’s phone or will worry about him doing it again. It could be that there was emotional cheating, that your husband slept with someone else, or a combination of both. This is part of why couples counseling or couples therapy is the key to so many couples who are looking for forgiveness, so it’s an excellent option if you worry about being unable to forgive your husband.
If you’re interested in individual therapy or couples therapy, please reach out to contact@ReGain.us.
Should You Give a Cheater a Second Chance After Infidelity?
The decision to forgive is yours and yours alone. There might be a period of time where you’re unable to imagine how to forgive your husband for cheating or forgiving infidelity and that’s okay. You might be searching for the following:
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in attempts to find answers. This is a hard place to be, and especially if you just found out the news of their infidelity, you might be very shocked.
If the thought of losing your cheating spouse gives you separation anxiety, it may be worth giving them a second chance after the infidelity. Mainly, this is relevant if you’re wondering how to forgive your husband for the infidelity because you want to continue to be with him and he is expressing that he is sorry and wants to work things out. Sometimes, good people make bad choices. If you believe that it was a one-time affair and will never happen again, it may be worth giving him a second chance.
Does Infidelity Pain Ever Go Away? Is Forgiving Infidelity Possible?
You found out that your husband was having an affair, and you started crying. When it comes to infidelity infidelity is a complicated matter that is different for each relationship. When trying to heal from infidelity infidelity and thoughts about the infidelity will always be on your mind. You wonder,
"Will it ever stop hurting so bad? Will it always be hard?"
Many say that it gets better with time.
How Do You Practice Healing and Forgiving Infidelity? Is Forgiveness even possible?
You might wonder,
“I'm devasted! How do I forgive my husband and start healing? Can all be forgiven? Is that even possible after I caught my husband cheating?”
“How can I heal? Can all be forgiven? Will I be able to trust again and start moving on?”
The best thing you can do for yourself is to take some time and focus on you. If there are things that you have wanted to do but never did, this might be the time to try something new. Don’t let a cheating husband ruin your life; you are so much more than his wife.
How do you get over and forgive your spouse's betrayal with infidelity?
No matter his reason to cheat or commit infidelity, it makes sense that you feel hurt and betrayed. First, if you’re wondering how to forgive your husband, acknowledge your emotions. Don’t expect yourself to forgive your husband right away. It's important to remember:
Forgiveness can be difficult but it is for you
Part of what that means is that whether or not you forgive in your marriage is a choice that you get to navigate as the betrayed spouse. It can be difficult to forgive after cheating at all, let alone if the cheating was long-term or if there were other parts of the relationship that were problematic.
The ability to forgive is powerful, but again, part of that is knowing that to forgive your spouse or forgive your husband doesn’t always mean to stay. You can forgive people without staying in a relationship with them or even keeping them in your life. If you do choose to split, an individual counselor can help you to work through it. You may also seek divorce counseling with your current spouse if you wish to separate peacefully and aren’t sure how to navigate the divorce amicably.