“Infidelity has absolutely nothing to do with love. It has to do with an emptiness or a now-bankrupt coping mechanism within your spouse that has been there long before they met you. An affair is an attempt to escape from the reality of one’s self.” – Dr. Robert Huizenga
If you have just found out that your partner has cheated, I am guessing that you are asking yourself how to forgive someone who has had an affair.
I mean, your person has betrayed you. The person you love and want to be with has been with someone else. And you wonder if you will ever be able to get past it. Ever be able to happy with your person again.
I can tell you that it is possible to forgive someone who has had an affair but that it will take some time effort.
If forgiveness is something that you actively seek, here are 5 things that you can do to get there.
1. Ask yourself if and why you really want this.
You have been betrayed. You are devastated. You are angry. You are sad. And you probably want, more than anything, to go back to that time when you didn’t know your partner had cheated. Because you were happy then.
So, let me ask you, are you seeking to forgive your partner so that your life can get back to normal? Or are you seeking to forgive your partner because you want to move forward with your partner towards a healthy relationship?
Forgiveness doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand so that you can get back to the way things were. Doing so will only prolong your pain and any chance of recovery.
Once you are clear on why you want to work to forgive, it is important that you decide whether or not forgiveness is something that you are determined to achieve. This process won’t be easy and it’s going to take determination and work to get to that place where you can forgive and move forward.
So, take a good hard look at whether you think you can get to a place of forgiveness. You might find that you aren’t sure if you can get there yet but that you are ok taking the first steps down the road.
Take it one step at a time, reevaluating as you go along if forgiveness is possible.
2. Talk to your partner…
It is essential that you and your partner discuss what has happened.
There has been a betrayal and there is a serious breach of trust between the two of you. And for you to be able to move forward, your partner needs to acknowledge what has happened and accept responsibility.
Many people, after they have cheated, refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Instead of saying, ‘yes, I did it,’ they lie, they deny, they blame, they justify.
You will find it very difficult to forgive someone who doesn’t acknowledge their actions and the effect that it has had on you.
It is essential that you and your partner are able to talk honestly about what happened so that can have the opportunity to forgive. If your partner doubles down and refuses to discuss it, you will be left with nothing but questions and pain which will make forgiveness impossible.
3. But don’t ask for details.
I have a client who, once she found out that her husband was having an affair, insisted that he let her read all of the correspondence between him and his lover. Boy, did she regret it?
On top of the knowledge that her husband was cheating on her, after reading the texts she had insight into the intimacies they shared. His declaration that he needed to be with his lover, his lover saying deprecating things about my client, their plans for going away together, and talk of the future were all devastating to see.
And once she had seen them, she could never unsee them.