Maybe it has been sometime or maybe you just found out your wife cheated on you.
The revelation left you shaken, devastated and completely broken.
Perhaps you’ve spent years creating that happy family you dreamed about, and now it all seems to be falling apart.
It hurts so much and it may seem that no one understands the pain you’re going through. With infidelity comes a feeling of grief, despair, and fear about your future. But this experience can mean a new beginning. You can pick up the pieces, recover, and emerge stronger than ever.
After finding out about the affair, your first thought is probably that your marriage may be over. While it’s true that some marriages don’t survive cheating, know that infidelity may lead you back together again. Instead of giving up on the marriage, you may find that talking things out resolves the underlying issues that led to the cheating. While you may choose divorce in the end, reconciliation may still be possible.
However, if you want to work things out and save your marriage, there is one mental monster that you need to deal with… forgiveness.
Is cheating forgivable?
In most cases cheating is forgivable, but not really forgettable. To forgive being betrayed by your spouse is very difficult to begin with.
Can you forgive her?
Whether your spouse is worth a second chance or not is something only you can decide. Trust is a serious issue and it’s also very personal.
Everyone messes up at some point. Whether your wife deserves a second chance or not depends on a number of factors.
So ask yourself.
- Has she taken steps to rectify the breach of trust?
- Do you feel she has changed her ways so it won’t happen again?
You must trust your basic instincts to decide whether you believe she’s telling you the truth and have intentions to follow up accordingly.
But know this; whether you two decide to make a go of things or go your separate ways, the forgiveness is not for the cheater. It is for you, so that you can heal and move forward. Forgiveness helps you move past the pain and hopefully begin afresh with your wife.
Experts agree that the path to emotional wellness begins with forgiving and forgetting. However, you may very well wonder, “How do you go about truly forgiving your wife when she has so grievously hurt you?”
If you’re willing and able to work on your emotional focus and release any desire for revenge, you have an honest chance of attaining your objective. It’s not possible to totally wipe the betrayal out of your head. But while the memory of what she did will remain with you, you can still “forget” by putting the past behind you and moving forward.
Follow these four vital steps to be able forgive and in time forget about her betrayal:
1. Acceptance. The first step to forgiving and forgetting is accepting that your wife cheated on you. You must accept that the affair happened and find a way to live with it. While the past is out of your control, you can control what happens in your future. Acceptance is the starting point for moving your life forward in a positive direction. Whether that means alone or rebuilding your marriage together.
2. Healing. It’s important to give yourself enough time to heal from the deep pain of betrayal. Healing may take some time, but it will come. The amount of time you need to come to grips with your pain varies; as each person heals differently.
Take positive steps to heal, but give yourself permission to feel the hurt from the betrayal. Over time, you’ll notice the hurt becoming less and less as you take action toward a new direction and a bright future.
3. Revitalize your relationship. All relationships, whether romantic or completely platonic, need nurturing in order to thrive. If you ignore nurturing your relationship for too long because you’re upset, it’s likely to wither away and die.
Once you’ve begun to experience the fruits of your healing process, begin spending time together. Go out for dinner, hang around your house or just spend a day together at the park. The location is of little importance, but the company is essential to revitalizing your relationship.
4. Rebuilding trust. This should be done simultaneously while revitalizing your relationship. Your wife should be working diligently towards making you feel secure in trusting her once again. Be open to her love, affection, and attempts to rectify her wrongs. If you hold a grudge, you may be stuck in this rut for a lifetime.
It’s also important to let your spouse know that it’s okay to trust you. Yes her mistake was brutal enough, so she’s more than likely expecting you to reciprocate and get revenge. Make an honest effort to reassure her that you wish to reconcile and start anew.
Trust is a very important part of any relationship. Without trust, an air of suspicion always clouds the relationship. Trust is the glue that holds any worthwhile relationship together.
To move forward, you must be willing to let go of everything you once thought was true and form a new reality together. This is the foundation for truly forgiving and forgetting.
But in this case, it takes two to tango. Both you and your wife must be willing to put forth an honest effort. Though it may seem unfair to ask you to make an effort when you’re the one that’s been wronged, this is the price you pay for freeing yourself from those toxic shackles.
People do change. Trust can be restored if both you and your former wayward spouse are willing to work at it. While the healing process may take time, two people who are willing to reconcile and consistently seek each other’s happiness will experience that happiness for themselves and an intimate relationship that will withstand the test of time.
Your wife’s infidelity can alter the course of your life in ways that may surprise you. It may be the end of the road for your relationship. Sometimes, however, infidelity is the catalyst to fixing the things that are wrong in your marriage and you may come through this with a stronger relationship than ever.