Are you struggling with how to forgive a cheater?
Here’s some thoughtful advice to get you closer to the state of forgiveness, while keeping your dignity intact.
Experts agree: forgiveness is key
You may feel that forgiveness is a long ways off for you right now, but trust the experts: it’s essential to healing and eventually you’ll want to work for it.
Ask any marriage counselor, any Psychiatrist, or any couple who’s survived a cheating incident: forgiveness can help you feel better and save your marriage in the end.
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, forgiving someone leads to healthier relationships, whereas the effects of holding a grudge bring anger into every relationship, especially your marriage. They also say that without forgiveness, you’ll be compromising your own health and sanity since holding a grudge leads to depression and anxiety.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today that forgiveness can even lengthen your life. She also reassures us that practicing forgiveness is not the same as excusing the offense. This is important since many people struggle with forgiveness because it feels like they’re compromising their dignity.
That leads us to a very common reaction to cheating…
“But if I forgive this person, I lose self-respect. They CHEATED on me!”
The hardest thing about forgiveness is getting over the initial reaction that you’re losing your dignity by accepting the cheating.
But that’s totally wrong thinking, since you’re not condoning the behavior when you forgive. There’s a way to forgive without losing your dignity but it’s truly a path and it takes some work.
What happens if you don’t find a way to forgive? Then you have to FORGET. And by that it’s meant you should forget about your marriage.
If you can’t forgive, then you’ve made a conscious decision to hold onto your anger. Holding onto negative emotions is undeniably the worst way to live your life, by the way. It sours your outlook on everything, including your marriage.
So, if you decide not to forgive your cheating spouse, then you should prepare the divorce papers. Living together with that over your heads, without the saving grace of forgiveness will most certainly destroy your marriage.
But the question still remains: how can you respect yourself if you let your spouse get away with cheating? How can you even think of forgiveness without giving up your dignity?
Countless couples have learned forgiveness and survived cheating
With the high divorce rates it might seem hard to imagine it, but many couples do learn about forgiveness, practice it, and end up staying together. It’s all about whether you can learn the process and figure out how to apply it to your life.
Anyone who tells you revenge is the answer is not helping.
Revenge is rooted in negative emotions, and will only waste your time. Once you’ve carried out your plan of revenge, you won’t feel any better and you’ll only have delayed the process of forgiveness…and possibly made things much worse between you and your spouse.
It’s a simple matter of controlling your emotions.
Reminders of the cheating are everywhere, acting as triggers to your negative thoughts. You think you see the lover in a crowd, only it turns out to just be someone with the same hair. You see a happy couple in a restaurant and all you can think of is to wonder if one of them is a cheating spouse. You see a shirt in your closet that you wore on your first date, back before all the problems began and you were so naive…
The truth is, you’ll never succeed in removing all the reminders of the cheating incident.
But you can learn to control your reaction to the triggers you encounter every day. It’s not only possible, but people do it every day. They learn the techniques for reigning in their emotions and getting control of negative thoughts so they don’t corrupt their lives and make them miserable.
And once you’ve learned how to negate the triggers, you can let your more reasonable thoughts take over…including understanding and forgiveness.
A handy list of steps is nice, but you have to know how to adopt the techniques to your life
You’ll encounter lots of self-help material on your quest to forgiveness and healing. They do help, but unless you can map those principles onto your own life and circumstances, they won’t do you any good.
Only you know what mental techniques are going to be effective. It’s up to you to develop your own blend of emotional strengthening processes that will banish obsessive negative thoughts. Once you do that, forgiveness is right around the corner.
If you want a blueprint to forgiveness…
There’s actually a book that explains how to forgive a cheater in more detail. It’s called How to Forgive and Work Through the Past. It maps out exactly how forgiveness works, and teaches you the steps that will get you to a state of forgiveness.
Best of all, it teaches you about how forgiveness works so you can actually begin to holistically come up with your own system for healing.
Here’s what to expect between now and when you finally forgive your spouse
Expect the road to forgiveness to be a long and bumpy one. Even with the book, you’re looking at constant opportunities for your anger to rise again.
You can learn through trial-and-error but this book takes you through a step-by-step process of learning forgiveness. It actually teaches you how to develop your own blend of techniques based on your personality, your circumstances, and your emotional state.
There is no cookie-cutter list of steps to forgiveness- only by truly understanding the process of forgiveness can you actually begin to adopt the principles in a way that makes sense for your unique situation.
How to Forgive and Work Through the Past walks you through everything you need to know, so you can learn at your own pace how to forgive a cheating spouse. Yes it’s going to take time to reach forgiveness but this book simplifies the process of developing your own strategy so you get there faster and easier.
Want to start your own forgiveness plan right now? Stop obsessing over the affair, start banishing negative thoughts and and make sure you’re communicating at every stage of the game.
Want to fast-track the whole process and start healing now? Here’s a link to the book How to Forgive and Work Through the Past. It comes with a 100% money-back guarantee so if you don’t feel that it’s fast-tracking your journey to forgiveness, you can return it for a full refund.