Relationships and marriages are built on trust, respect, love, and two people committed to one another. However, when your significant other is choosing to break that trust by giving in to their wants or desires, everything you’ve built together gets broken in a blink of an eye.
But can there be life after an affair? Or, is it possible to forgive someone even though they broke your heart? You’re left with two choices now, you either forgive them and stay, or you forgive them, but go anyway.
It definitely sounds a lot easier than it is, but either way, it’s up to you if you feel like you can forgive them and move on, or if you can’t trust them again which means that there’s no point in staying in the relationship. Maybe you feel like you can’t forgive them for hurting you like that, and that’s ok. However, cheating doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of a relationship. According to psychotherapist Matt Lundquist, those who can stay and deal with the situation with their partners are more likely to do successful work to recover from the affair. Infidelity happens for many reasons, and none of them are good. Sometimes people tend to cheat out of boredom, because they want something new, because of ego, ignorance, or stupidity, while others do it just because they can.
It’s easy to lie to yourself saying that it doesn’t mean anything or nobody will find out, because in reality, it means everything. And just like that, in a simple moment, you can lose everything you have, because infidelity calls everything into question, and your partner might never trust you again. And now the question is, can you forgive an adulterous partner? Read on to find out!
How does an affair happen?
Infidelity can hurt a lot and is definitely a devastating act of betrayal, but it can also be a sign of loneliness, lack of affection, the desire to feel loved, wanted or the need for power. These are the reasons people come together and fall in love with each other.
However, these are also the reasons people fall apart. As humans, we thrive when we’re connected with other humans when we love and we’re being loved by the people that are the most important to us. The need for love, intimacy, and validation is primal and even though it is ignored, it will never disappear.
Additionally, if those needs are not being met, they will eventually destroy the bond, allowing a third person to join, and that’s how infidelity occurs. According to heysigmund.com, “When an important need remains unmet, there are two options – and only two. We can either let go of the need or change the environment in which we’re attempting to meet the need.”
However, you won’t manage to let go if that particular need is important to you, which will lead to the temptation of finding someone new to meet that need.
Is infidelity linked to falling out of love?
There’s definitely not a right or wrong answer here, because we’re all so different and anything can be possible. Even real love can feel dead for a while. If your partner had an affair it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you anymore.
Additionally, it’s important to acknowledge that just because your partner has cheated on you doesn’t necessarily mean they’re liars or bad people. We’re all human and sometimes we make catastrophic mistakes and hurt the people we love.
Also, cheating doesn’t mean your partner wants to be with someone else or wishes to be in a different relationship. As humans, we want validation, affection, intimacy, respect, love, and a lot more other things to feel complete. And even though this is not an excuse to have an affair, it’s important to try to understand what made them be unfaithful to you in the first place. You can’t move on and work on the problem if you don’t know what caused it.
Is an affair the end of the relationship?
The truth is, affairs can be the end of some relationships, while other people will find it easier to forgive and tolerate betrayal. Some people will see affairs as a turning point and a good opportunity to start fresh, while others will find a way to reconnect with their partners and become stronger together.
After all, it’s true what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But in order for this to happen, you need to be brutally honest with one another, reflect on the problem and what got you there, and try to find a solution.
How to heal from an affair-Learn to cope with your emotions
The truth is, it’s very hard to control your emotions when you’ve been cheated on. You might feel very hurt and angry at the same time, which is completely normal, and no, you’re not overreacting.
Learning how to cope with your emotions is very important for your mental health and plays a big part in the future of the relationship as well. It’s important to acknowledge what you’re feeling and don’t try to hide it.
You can either talk to a good friend, seek professional help or write down your thoughts. Even though it’s not a very nice feeling, being hurt will help you understand how much you love your partner and how much you want them in your life.
1. Express your emotions in a healthy manner
As previously mentioned, it’s normal to feel pain, anger, and confusion when you discover that your partner has cheated on you. The first emotion you’ll probably feel is anger, followed by the need for revenge, which is definitely not good for your mental health.
Even though you want to make them pay for what they did to you, this will make it very hard for you to heal, forgive and move on. Instead of coping with your own emotions, you’re allowing the other person to have the power.
According to regain.us, “Avoid projecting your anger towards your husband. Even though he has hurt you, projecting your anger will only hinder chances of your ability to forgive and both you and your husband being able to move on.”
While the need to make aggressive remarks and blame them for what they did every single minute is natural, this will prevent you from moving on and the relationship will likely end.
Here are 11 Signs Your Partner Doesn’t Love You As Much As You Love Them. CLICK HERE to find out more!
2. It’s important to calm down
Infidelity often leaves people broken-hearted and angry, especially because they love the other person very much and would never do something to hurt them. And it’s quite hard to accept the fact that even though you would never do this to them, they did it to you.
Therefore, you feel angry and hateful towards them, you hate them for hurting you and breaking your trust. But the thing is, you can move on if you don’t let go of the past. And even though it’s not easy, try to leave the pain and anger in the past, and focus on finding a way to make the most out of this situation.
3. Communication is very important
You might not feel like communicating with the one that hurt you and cheated on you, but it’s important in order to move on. Asking questions is also very important, as it will help you understand what made them do what they did.
This is also very important in order to understand whether they deserve forgiveness or not. It’s also important to establish some rules when it comes to this specific topic. For instance, if you choose to forgive them, it’s important that you do not mention their infidelity with every small argument.
Also, establish some boundaries that you’re both ok with, and try to follow them if you want the relationship to work.
4. Is your partner regretting their affair?
In order to heal, you need to understand what happened and why it happened. Most of the time, people do not regret the affair, they just regret the fact that they got caught. Is your partner feeling truly sorry for what they did? Are they showing regret and remorse?
After all, you can’t forgive someone who’s not even sorry for causing you pain. Forgiving someone is easier when they would do anything to make things right again.
5. Take a break if you feel like you need one
A break doesn’t mean a break-up, but you need some time for yourself to deal with your own feelings, which is especially important if you plan to forgive them. Taking a break from everything is also very important for your mental health.
However, it’s important to let your partner know that you need some time for yourself and that it’s only temporary. If you have children, it will definitely be a little more difficult, and you’ll need to make them understand why you need a few days for yourself, without telling them what really happened.
Discussing infidelity with children is never easy, and some people choose to never tell them.
6. Try not to blame yourself
The worst thing you can do when your partner has cheated on you is blaming yourself for their actions. It’s important to understand that your partner is an adult, and they’ve made their own choices, which probably had nothing to do with you.
By blaming yourself for their actions, you’ll start to feel insecure and feel like something you’ve done, or didn’t do, made them had an affair. It’s important not to take the blame for something you didn’t do. take responsibility if you feel like doing so, but that doesn’t mean you should blame yourself for their infidelity.
In order to heal faster, you need to treat yourself with kindness and understanding.
7. If you choose to forgive them, do it for yourself
If you choose to forgive your partner, understand that you’re not doing it for them, but rather for yourself because you love them and want them in your life. And even though they might need your forgiveness, you shouldn’t concentrate on that.
You should focus on yourself instead, and make sure you’re well and happy with your decision. It’s important to forgive and move on for your own well-being, and learning to let go of the past will help you heal faster.
Try to leave everything in the past, even though it won’t be easy. You can’t forgive someone if their affair keeps leaving rent-free in your head. Try to focus on the future you two are going to have together, and leave the past behind.
Also, try to avoid mentioning adultery in future couple fights, because it will mean that you never forgave them and both of you will be unhappy.
8. Do you really want to be in this relationship?
It’s important to ask yourself if this relationship is worth fighting for, and whether you can trust them again or not. Some people choose to forgive infidelity just because there are children involved or they are afraid of being alone.
According to heysigmund.com, “If one person is satisfied with a relationship of convenience and the other wants love and connection, the healing isn’t going to happen. What’s more likely to happen is that the relationship will be fertile ground for loneliness, resentment, and bitterness, and it will stay vulnerable.”
If you want the relationship to work, it’s important that you’re compatible.
9. Is it possible to forgive a cheater?
Of course, you can forgive someone who cheated on you and you can leave infidelity in the past, even though it won’t be easy. It’s important to understand that not everyone can forgive infidelity and overcome betrayal, and it is normal since we’re all so different.
The context of the affair is also very important. Additionally, if it happened more than once, it’s probably a sign that they will do it again when they have the chance, so forgiving them might not be the greatest idea.
However, it’s definitely your choice and it’s important to do what’s best for yourself.
10. How can you forgive your partner for causing you pain?
The truth is, the path to forgiveness looks different for each individual in particular. Even though you might love your partner very much, it’s still normal to ask yourself whether everything can be forgiven or not.
In this situation, couples therapy might be very important in order to rebuild trust in the relationship. Additionally, you need to see the dedication from your partner and changed behavior in order to be able to trust them again.
Therapy will help you forgive and connect with your partner again on a deeper level. But try not to force yourself to forgive them if you don’t feel like doing so. Even though they’re putting in an effort and show interest in becoming a better partner, if you don’t want to continue staying in the relationship, it’s totally acceptable.
Make your own choices and don’t feel guilty for doing so, after all, each relationship is different.
11. Does infidelity pain ever go away?
Most people say that it gets better with time, but trusting the other person again won’t be as easy as it seems. Infidelity will stay on your mind for a lot of time, and even though you might not want to think of it, it’s still something that bothers you.
But will the pain ever go away? I think so.
Can the relationship/marriage survive without forgiveness?
Maybe you don’t want to end the relationship, but you can’t forgive them either. Can a relationship survive when there’s no forgiveness? Well, you can’t have a healthy relationship when you can’t forgive your partner and their mistakes.
A strong relationship needs forgiveness in order to thrive, and it’s not good having to constantly worry that they will cheat again because you can’t live in fear. This fear will probably put you in a situation where you check your partner’s phone or become mad every time they do not answer their phone right away, thinking that they’re having an affair with every small inconvenience.
As previously mentioned, each individual is different, so there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but not forgiving them will definitely lead to frustration and resentment on both parts. If you’re not able to forgive your partner or don’t know how couples therapy might be the best option for you.
For the one that was cheated on…
Learn to forgive yourself, and try not to be too harsh on yourself. After all, it’s not your fault that your partner had adultery. Forgive yourself for feeling angry, hurt, or even hateful. Forgive yourself for now knowing, but also be kind to yourself and understand that healing is a process that takes time.
Try not to feel shame for choosing to stay in the relationship even though they’ve hurt you a lot, for leaving, or for not being able to forgive them. Forgive yourself if you’ve missed something, or for not giving your partner something they needed.
It’s important to understand that even though you didn’t give them what they needed, they could have said something about it, instead of finding someone new to meet their needs. There are no perfect relationships and sometimes a situation as bad as this will make you stronger than ever.
Give yourself time to grieve, cry and eat as much ice cream as you want. Be patient with yourself because you owe it to yourself.
Make sure to also check: If Your Partner Is Using These Two Words, A Breakup Might Be Inevitable.