How do you forgive infidelity when it’s SO painful to even think of doing so?
There’s no doubt that it’s painful; but is holding onto unforgiveness make the pain lessen?
“The difference between holding on to a hurt or releasing it with forgiveness is like the difference between laying your head down at night on a pillow filled with thorns or a pillow filled with rose petals.” (Loren Fincher)
Okay, so you don’t want to sleep on a “pillow filled with thorns” night after night. And you also don’t want to hold onto a hurt that will continually deliver pain every time you think about it. But how do you throw that thorn-filled “pillow” of bitterness away when it has adhered itself onto you?
How Do You Forgive Infidelity?
And more importantly, how do you forgive your spouse when he or she has stabbed you in the heart emotionally? How do you release the enormous pain and confusion you feel because of what your spouse has done to you? And why do you have to? Why is it YOU that has to do so much hard stuff when you aren’t the one who betrayed your marriage partner? And where does marriage restoration come into all of this IF there is anything left to restore?
Those are a few of the many questions that will be addressed in the articles we link to below.
“There’s a big difference between forgiving someone and restoring a relationship. Everyone should forgive for their own benefit regardless of the actions of the other person.
“But forgiveness is not synonymous with restoration. Restoring the relationship will take the effort of both parties. For that reason it is therefore not always possible. Sometimes one party is unwilling to do the work of restoration.
“Within the context of forgiveness, there are two types. In the first, the offending party is truly sorry and is asking for forgiveness. This makes forgiveness much easier. In the second situation the offending party is not sorry. This makes it much more difficult. But it is still necessary to forgive them for your own benefit. You don’t want to allow that person to ruin your future as well as your past.”
I encourage you to read more that Anne Bercht wrote on the issue of how to forgive infidelity. She has lived this experience. That’s why it would be beneficial to go the Beyondaffairs.com web site to read:
• HOW DOES ONE FORGIVE AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR?
• 12 STEPS TO FORGIVING INFIDELITY
And then below are some additional questions that might be circling around in your mind.
To more readily forgive infidelity, prayerfully consider:
“What IS forgiveness? Is it never bringing up the ‘what happened’? Is it never wanting to think about it again? And, is it trusting the person? I keep hearing it is for yourself and not the other person. But what do you get when you find whatever IT is?”
Anne Bercht answers these questions in the following article that we encourage you to read:
And then, how do you forgive the woman who had an affair with your spouse? It’s especially difficult because she split up the family. And then she eventually married your husband. It’s a tough situation —to say the least. Read of how one woman discovered freedom as she finally was able to release herself from the prison of unforgiveness:
• THE HEALING POWER OF FORGIVENESS
We realize that you may be the husband whose wife had an affair. You are trying to get to a place where you aren’t imprisoned by unforgiveness. If so, reading the following article posted on Crosswalk.com. It could help you as you try to process all of this:
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips on how to forgive infidelity you can share, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Bitterness and Forgiveness
61 responses to “How Does One Forgive Infidelity?”
I married a woman with a 3 year old son. Her mother didn’t want us to take the child but when he reached the challenging age she wanted to force us to take him. I refused and initially my wife used that as a reason for her divorcing me without my knowledge many years ago. On 2-3 occasions she slept out, claiming she was in a place of “safety?” She never had a reason to sleep out. Fast forward to 20 years ago…she was stabbed and nearly killed by the wife of a colleague whom she had an affair with. Once again I forgave. Her son is 34 years old now and I still do not know who the father is. There were several other betrayals but I decided to work through it and she expected me to forgive and forget.
I provided her with a home of her choice, she NEVER contributed a cent towards the bond, rates and taxes, schoolfees etc, I gave her a domestic 7 days a week. One minute she would be very happy then a month later unhappy. It then started with her buying her own car as she wanted to be independent. A few months later she decided to leave her job of 30 years against my advise but at the advise of a 33 year old colleague . On the last day of her employ she came home very late and she said to me she discovered a wonderful world out there full of fun. She is tired of the conservative lifestyle etc. She broke up with me that night…after 32 years. She stopped cooking, looking after her family etc and one night simply send a text that she is not sleeping at home. The next day told my daughter that she was booked into a place of safety/ Clinic for three months. Two weeks later a friend called as he saw her with some guy.
A day before Christmas she ask for a meeting. A few days later I parted with R12000.00 as she claimed no money. Still convincing everybody that she was in a clinic. many visits followed, intimacy , every time parting with a few hundred rands….more money R15k then R5k. Promising not to abandon me after 32 years. My domestic found an Id in her car of a 28 year old guy…she is 51 years old? We then discovered an address in her car…she bought a townhouse(I suspect a lovenest) for cash two weeks before she disappeared.
All secrecy, nobody can visit or must know anything, I still pay for her medical aid etc. She expects me to settle her vehicle and other debt with no commitment. My life has been on hold for 9 months whilst she is having fun and I am the ATM. I still feel this deep emotional connection to her, loyalty , commitment etc. I have been on my knees since that night in August. The fact that she could just walk out on her children? No remorse?
I thought and was hoping that it is midlife crises? Am I crazy? To still feel love towards this woman? Do I need psychological assistance or does she require?
Look at it this way, you can forgive, but that does not mean you forget. You can forgive and still get divorced. Cheating causes scars that never go away. Recovery requires repentance, and restitution. That may come in different ways. My wife cheated. Her boyfriend was boastful of what he did to my family. I told him I would accept his restitution to be only his side of the story and an apology. I didn’t get either. I leave it in God’s hands. I gave him a chance to make his part of the wrong right. I put him out of my mind. He is an evil, evil person and God will judge him in the end. I just pray he doesn’t hurt others.