Forgiving a Cheater is Possible

When a husband or wife discovers that their spouse has cheated on them, they have two choices: they can end the marriage or they can try to forgive their spouse and rebuild their relationship in an effort to save the marriage. Forgiving a cheater is an often difficult decision, that takes a valiant effort on the part of both the person who was cheated on and the person who cheated. Forgiving someone who you love who has hurt you in this way may well require more effort than anything you have ever done before.
The forgiveness process will take time and there will be lots of sadness, anger and confusion to wade through. It's important to know that forgiveness does not mean you are condoning the actions of your spouse. It also does not mean that you will forget what has happened. What forgiveness does mean is that you want to move past the cheating and toward the future. The only way your marriage can recover from this damaging event is through the act of forgiveness. If instead of trying to forgive, you hold onto the angry feelings, there is no way your relationship can be restored.
You also need to remember that while you are offering the forgiveness to your spouse, forgiveness is really more important for you. A person who is unwilling or unable to forgive will literally become filled with the anger and bitterness that is created by holding onto the hurt you feel. Refusing to forgive won't change what has happened and will ultimately hurt you more than you have already been hurt.
Many people struggle with forgiving a cheater because of things they hear others say. Well meaning friends and family may ask "how can you forgive" or "I couldn't forgive" or "you are being a pushover by forgiving". Trust me when I tell you that while these people do mean well, they don't know what you are going through. It takes a lot more strength of character to forgive and try to salvage the marriage than it does to hold onto the anger or walk away and file for a divorce.
As was previously mentioned, forgiving your spouse for cheating takes time and effort, but couples who put in the time and effort will find that their relationship will be stronger in the end. Many times some type of professional help is needed to help both spouses work through the aftermath of an affair.
By Dena Tilson


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