How to forgive infidelity in your marriage, and help it survive this tough time
Marriages Surviving Infidelity: Advice for Forgiving Infidelity
Infidelity in a marriage can be devastating. The break of trust and the marriage bond, coupled with feeling of rejection, jealousy and desire for revenge can throw a long-term relationship upon rough waters. If you find that you have been faced with this all-to -common dilemma, and want to learn to get past the anger to forgiveness here are some ways to deal with the betrayal and move toward a trusting relationship again with your loved one.
It is also important for you to discuss your feelings regarding the infidelity. Tell your partner how that breach made you feel, and how it has affected you. Make sure he or she understands the magnitude and the effect their actions have had on you and your relationship. Once they understand, you must move on. In order for forgiveness to occur, you have to realize that although your partner made this error, you are not allowed to use it as an excuse for cruelty in your arguments. Make sure your partner understands the ramifications of their actions, but also know that your relationship will not survive continual salting of the wound. Be heard, then be still.
Communication between you and your partner is most likely a key issue in the development of an adulterous relationship. If your partner has turned away from you by involving him or herself in an affair, chances are there may be some crucial communication issues that need to be addressed. Infidelity can be a symptom of unmet needs within the marriage. A partner may enter a sexual relationship with someone else not because they are not satisfied with your relationship in the bedroom, but because they may not feel heard, understood, or respected in other aspects of the relationship. This, of course, does not excuse their poor judgment, but discovering the key issues of discontent may reveal areas within the marriage that need attention. If both parties are able to communicate the underlying issues in the marriage, it is a good first step to redeveloping trust and security.
You love each other and have decided to make attempts to get past this and move forward with your marriage. Recommitment by both partners is necessary. The marriage, the relationship, is your number one priority. Both partners must accept responsibility now to mend the trust and foster better communication and mutual respect. Once issues have been communicated, write down what needs each of you feel are unmet, and then together come up with specific actions each person can do to meet those needs. If your partner feels that you do not spend enough time talking, make a date each evening to go for a walk, and discuss the day’s events. If you have children and one to one time is difficult, commit to spending 10 minutes before you turn off the lights and go to sleep to hold each other and talk. Plan a date night and rekindle the spark that drew you together in the first place. As you recommit to each other you will find the trust beginning to rebuild and the reliance on each other, instead of outsiders, increasing.
During this time if your spouse is not “holding up their part of the bargain” discuss this. What is holding them back? After you try and try again, if you do not receive any response from the other side, consider if the relationship is truly a priority to your loved one. If not, its time to re evaluate your efforts and the future of the relationship.
Overall, forgiveness of infidelity, while not excusing the behavior, will only help you to move on, continue to grow as an individual and as a couple, and will prevent you personally from being poisoned by anger, feelings of rejection and sorrow. Forgive for yourself…if your partner earns it as well, all the better.