Having a cheating partner is extremely painful and traumatic, but in order to heal, you must first learn how to forgive.
When we enter a relationship, we all have expectations: we want it to be perfect, to be strong and healthy, and we want it to be free from lies and deceits.
We expect our partners or spouses to be loyal, fully committed, and to love us unconditionally.
After all, it’s why we enter relationships in the first place, right? Because we want to feel safe, secure and loved. We want to be happy and to be free from heartaches.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect partner or a perfect relationship. There will always be moments of heartaches, misunderstandings, and conflicts.
Even so, people still fight to make these imperfect relationships work. We give our best to our partners and we sacrifice a lot of things to keep it going.
That is why it hurts so bad when the other person decides to cheat. It feels like all our efforts and the time we allotted for them have gone to waste. Like our trust is not that important.
If you’ve been cheated on, you probably feel like it’s the end of the world for you and that everything else seems hopeless. I know it sounds cliché, but these feelings are all normal.
But let me tell you this: it may seem like the pain is going to be permanent, but it won’t be. Healing is possible as long as you learn how to forgive.
To Forgive Or Not To Forgive
Right now, you might be thinking to yourself, “why would I forgive someone who caused me so much pain and made me feel insecure about myself?”
That is a very valid question. If the wound is still fresh, it is normal to feel resentful and to question the point of forgiving.
What the unfaithful partner did was terrible – there’s no doubt about that – whether they are claiming that it was just a one-time thing and a mistake or they are a serial cheater.
Whatever their reason may be, it doesn’t change the fact that you lost the image of a good relationship, that you are emotionally falling apart, and that they made you feel broken.
Be that as it may, dwelling in the past and staying resentful won’t do you any good.
Imagine carrying this emotional baggage wherever you go and projecting the pain and insecurities to other important people in your life. It doesn’t seem peaceful, does it?
The thing is, it is entirely up to you to decide whether you will forgive your cheating partner or not. After all, you’re the one who felt the pain of betrayal and experienced the emotional trauma.
But if you want to move forward and to heal from these wounds, you must choose forgiveness over bitterness.
How To Forgive A Cheater
Forgiveness is a tough decision and it’s even tougher to forgive the person who hurt and betrayed you.
But if you feel like forgiveness is the right path, here are some ways to forgive your partner or spouse for cheating on you:
1. Allow yourself to mourn
For you to find forgiveness and to truly heal from the infidelity, you must allow yourself to mourn the loss of a seemingly perfect partner and an ideal relationship.
By doing so, you are giving yourself the much-needed time to reflect, have a deeper understanding of what happened, and accept the things that cannot be undone.
Feel what you need to feel. Cry if you must. Let go of all the negative emotions so you can move forward.
If you’re struggling with this emotional burden, a therapist may help you take that weight off your shoulders. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here.
Remember, a clear head and heart will give you a much better outlook on life.
2. Stop the blame game
When you’re hurt, it’s a normal reaction to point fingers and to focus on the negatives. But blaming your cheating partner or yourself will only worsen your situation.
You see, the cheating has already been done, so what’s the point of blaming the people who hurt you? Or worse, on yourself?
You’re not setting yourself free from the pain, but you’re only imprisoning yourself in the past, and the past is not a good place to stay.
Instead of healing yourself, or possibly your relationship (if you are planning to stay with your cheating partner), you’re piling up all the negative emotions and waiting for them to explode.
Simply speaking, how can you truly forgive if you are not willing to look past the mistakes and let go of the “what ifs” or “could have beens?”
3. Seek help
Being cheated on is not the same with a friend forgetting to greet you on your birthday or your child unintentionally breaking your favorite mug.
It is the kind of experience that can leave you emotionally scarred for life. Hence, forgiving the person that broke your trust can be extremely difficult and may even feel impossible.
When the negative emotions start to feel overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek help. It may be in the form of emotional support from therapy or even friends or family.
Talking about your emotions can help you breathe, and if you’re in therapy, your therapist can help you find healthy ways to cope with the infidelity and find the path to forgiveness.
You can learn more about therapy here.
What Does It Really Mean To Forgive?
Choosing to forgive someone who hurt and betrayed you doesn’t necessarily mean that they have won or that you are too weak to remain angry.
It only means that you love yourself enough to get rid of any negativities in your life and that you want to have a better relationship with yourself.
You see, at the end of the day, what matters is what you are feeling on the inside.
Now, you might be considering forgiving them for cheating on you because you are thinking that perhaps there is still a chance that your relationship might work even after infidelity.
If this is your reason, it’s okay. Staying in a relationship after infidelity is a choice that only you can make.
But if you are thinking about staying, make sure that it won’t compromise your mental and emotional well-being.
They say that time heals all wounds, but your wounds will only be healed if you are willing to forgive your partner’s cheating and move forward.
As easy as it is to remain angry about infidelity, think whether a life full of pain and resentment is what you want for yourself.
You deserve a life that is happy and peaceful, and you can only achieve them once you learn how to forgive those who hurt and broke your trust. Choose the path towards healing.
Recommended: Can Therapy Help With Forgiving A Cheater?