If you have experienced betrayal by a loved one, but continue to love him, then you have probably already thought more than once about how to forgive him. Finding the path to forgiveness is not always easy, and you can only guess how to forgive your husband’s betrayal, save your family and move on.
Because when a life partner cheats, a series of unpleasant emotions arise: regret, pain, and disappointment are just the beginning of mixed feelings. Your thoughts keep scrolling through this shocking news for you. You can’t stop thinking about it, which is why it’s so hard for you to talk about forgiveness.
But at some point, you will have to solve this problem. After all, to cope with pain, heal and improve your life, you must first forgive. Therefore, in the article you will find answers to such questions:
- How long does it take to forgive a cheating spouse?
- What if I can’t forget the betrayal?
- Should you forgive infidelity?
- What should a woman do so that her husband does not cheat on her?
- What do psychologists advise to do in this case?
So, let’s understand all this.
It is important to understand that no advice from a psychologist, whether it is necessary to forgive or not, should not be taken by women as a guide to action. This is just an expert opinion. To forgive or not, to divorce or not is a purely personal decision of a deceived wife, which she must make on her own, after carefully weighing and considering everything.
Neither friends nor relatives, psychologists have the right to interfere in her decision. Especially to dictate or put pressure on a woman to force her to make a decision.
If a woman decided to leave, then she needs to completely leave this relationship. Do not maintain any love (intimate) relationship with your ex-spouse.
Women’s mistake is not finding enough strength in themselves to forgive, they also do not have the strength to leave, deleting a man from their lives. Then the problems begin. Living under the same roof, a woman harasses her husband and herself with constant reminders of the betrayal that has happened, making a life together unbearable. (These forgiveness quotes show why it is important to learn to forgive.)
How to make the right decision
Table of Contents
First. Try to be honest with yourself.
Think about these questions:
- Can you truly forgive your cheating husband without further prompting?
- Will you not, at every opportunity or doubtful occasion, reproach him?
- Will you be able to trust him further when everything calms down or, for example, he starts to be late from work?
- Will you torment him and yourself with suspicions?
- How realistic is it for you to restore trust in your husband and intimacy with him?
- How to live on after the betrayal of her husband and his lies?
- How to talk to him, explaining your feelings?
- What will be better for children – a divorce or a saved family with a father who loves them, but cheats on his mother?
- Will you find yourself on the verge of poverty after a divorce?
- Will the husband’s infidelity have a negative impact on the psychological state of the children if they find out about them?
Honest answers will show whether it is worth keeping the relationship or whether it is better to break it off to start everything from scratch. Are broken, offended relationships worth all these sacrifices on your part? Maybe it’s better to give them up for the sake of future peace, and perhaps even a better future relationship with an honest person?
Second. To decide whether to forgive a husband after infidelity or not, you must also consider whether he repents or not? Does he regret what he did and how much? Does he admit his guilt or blame his life partner for his betrayal? If a spouse blames his wife for his infidelity, then it is unlikely that he will be able to restore trust in him.
A marriage is doomed if:
- The husband did not calm down, but continues to cheat, trying to hide it more carefully.
- He accuses his life partner of his infidelity, allegedly because of her shortcomings, he began to change.
- At the slightest pretext (conflict), he threatens with new love affairs, intimidating or manipulating his life partner, wanting to achieve something from her.
These cases show that a man has ceased to value family relations with his wife and does not think about saving the marriage. Cheating for him is like a sport or a hobby, which means there is no need to forgive him.
Gradually, life with this individual will turn for the deceived wife into constant tantrums and a sense of inferiority.
But if a man has a negative attitude towards betrayal, but he succumbed to the temptation and now regrets it bitterly, then he can be forgiven. But this is decided by the injured party, who has the right to forgive or end the relationship.
The first female reaction to betrayal is shocking, then prolonged hysteria and isolation. A woman cries, does not leave the apartment anywhere, she may have thoughts of suicide or a thirst for revenge, she is so hurt and lonely.
How to deal with all this and move on?
The first step is time distance
Having learned about the betrayal, it is best to do nothing at all for the first day, especially to try to sort things out. Put aside thoughts like: “I’m getting a divorce or I hate him.” In the heat of the moment, we often make the wrong decisions. For example, in anger, you can shout so many claims that a man will break down with a point of no return back. This will lead to a break in the relationship.
A husband may think that he has only now learned the real contents of your heart, and he, the blind man, did not see this before. That your love and care was just a habit or a pretense since now you are “crutching” him with angry words. With these thoughts, a man tries to find an excuse for his infidelity, without thinking that this is a female reaction to the shocking news.
Psychologists say that mental pain is much easier to survive in temporary separation (you can go to relatives). It helps to think about what happened, calm down, gather your thoughts together and decide – what to do next? Avoid prolonged loneliness. Your goal is not to focus on thoughts of the betrayal of your marriage partner.
Left alone, try to talk to yourself about all your painful feelings about the situation that has arisen. Speak out on the recorder, so that when the wave of angry emotions that overwhelmed you subsides a little, listen to your words. So you can already more calmly make a decision, considering whether it is possible to forgive him, if so, how to forgive her husband’s betrayal and live on?
The second step is to seek support/comfort.
Ask people you trust to help you get through the first time of suffering. It will be hard, you won’t want to see anyone, but this must be done so as not to lock yourself in and your grief. Try to communicate with them on abstract topics.
This support should be a sane person (relative, colleague, or psychologist). This should be a person who will not simply wash the bones of a traitor. He should understand your feelings, listen carefully, and then try to console you by saying something positive.
When they turn to you for support, understanding, then your goal is to help a woman get rid of an oppressive sense of guilt. Try to choose words in a conversation that will help the injured party calm down and gain peace of mind.
Consider when not to start talking about a woman’s grief. Also offer to help with finding a new home or job, or babysitting. So a woman will see that she is not alone with her grief, which means that it will be easier for her to survive her husband’s betrayal.
The third step is the analysis of what happened and the decisions made.
Don’t blame yourself for cheating on your husband. Neither relationship difficulties nor family tensions can justify infidelity, both male and female. Especially if the marriage partner did not have constant refusals in intimacy. After marriage, both spouses swore to remain faithful both in difficulties, sorrows, sorrows, and joys.
Try to understand (get to the bottom of) the reason that led to the betrayal to avoid infidelity in the future. Your goal is to understand what you need to fight: with a husband, a rival, or a situation that led to infidelity.
If a woman liked to insist on her own or refused her husband in intimacy, then she needs to take part of the responsibility for the betrayal of her marriage companion. So she needs to change her behavior with a life partner.
Let your spouse know that you are feeling very bad, but you are not thinking about divorce yet. You just want to be alone to come to your senses. After all, you suffer and do not know how to continue to be, what to do?
The Fourth Step – Dealing with Negative Thoughts and Feelings
Driveaway negative thoughts. Insulted feelings, again and again, will return you to oppressive thoughts about the betrayal of your spouse and your inferiority. Therefore, sometimes you have to force yourself to think about something positive. This should be done to distract from their problems.
For some women who find themselves in a similar situation, listening to cheerful music, watching funny videos about animals helped to distract from the oppressive state. This helped them to endure everything, survive and realize their weaknesses, which they are now successfully coping with.
What else can be done?
When memories are overwhelmed and there is a strong desire to speak out about everything sore to her cheating husband, then the best method that can be applied is the “empty chair” method.
Put an empty chair in front of you, maybe even with a photo of your spouse. While no one sees, says aloud everything that he wants to say about his pain and his act.
Then, after your husband returns home, you, having already calmed down, having spoken out, meet him calmly, showing attention to him and care.
Fifth step – building a new relationship
Use all the communication skills that you have, even if they can hardly be called perfect. Learn to listen carefully, and not just hear the needs of a partner. Listening is a form of communication in which one partner listens, considers, and responds to what the other is saying. He is in no hurry to give ready-made answers or solutions.
Psychotherapist Tina Tessina, the author of Money, Sex, and Children, says that infidelity often contributes to the therapy of marital partners. Trying to build relationships, they learn to communicate on uncomfortable topics. For example, sexual satisfaction, emotional needs, or ulterior motives.
“The ability to discuss what went wrong in a relationship, apologize or make changes gives both partners a lot more understanding of themselves and their marriage. It helps make their relationship more secure in the future,” says Dr. Tesina.
Restoring physical and emotional intimacy.
It’s hard to reconnect when it comes to emotional or physical reunions. Therefore, start a new acquaintance with each other to feel more comfortable. Gradually developing physical and emotional intimacy.
Weekly lunches at a cafe or bistro in the neighborhood will not rekindle your passion, says Arthur Aron, a professor at Stony Brook University (USA). He says novelty is the spice of life and a key element of a good marriage. In addition, the couple does not need to give up their usual activities, but it is worth adding new hobbies, interests, habits to life.
Travel, country walks, a workout at the gym, a fitness class, or even rides at an amusement park can all bring newness to a relationship. Just choose something that you have never done together before (or have done for a long time). Beneficial experiences will flood your brain with mood-boosting dopamine, which will be associated with the presence of a mate, Aron says.
Compliance with the rules in family disputes. To resolve emerging conflicts without prejudice, you need to learn how to choose the right words. Interesting results have been obtained by research conducted by Benjamin Seider (a graduate of the Department of Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley).
If during disagreements you use the pronouns “we”, “us”, “our”, instead of “I” or “you”, then couples will experience less stress and negative emotions. These pronouns help to unite in one team, and not be opponents of each other.
To summarize what has been said, watch this video, in which you will learn how to live on after infidelity.
If you want to save your family, follow some rules:
Forgive and forget
Forgiveness after betrayal and betrayal is always difficult. It is difficult to truly forgive a cheating husband, but it is even harder to forgive a rival with whom her husband cheated on her. To forgive betrayal, you need to get rid of anger and hidden resentment.
And this is possible when the realization comes that it’s already enough to live in the past, raking up the wrongs caused. It’s time to start a new life!
Avoid Constant Reminders
The constant reminder of infidelity shows that you have not truly forgiven your spouse. Reminders of what happened do not heal the wounds but open them up. Over time, this will cause mutual irritation, which will most likely end in divorce.
Having forgiven your husband for the sake of preserving the family, learn to re-build relationships with him without nit-picking and reminders. If divorced, then build your life by applying the lessons learned from experience. Now the ex-spouse has his own life, you have your own.
Women who have experienced their husband’s infidelity say that gradually hostility and anger towards the traitor and his passion will pass if you do not dwell on resentment. And having created a new family with a good person, you will understand that you got the best one.
Learn to trust again
Trust is like a precious vase – it is easy to break it, but it is impossible to glue it together without seams. Even after learning to trust your marriage partner again, you will still sometimes have doubts about his honesty or fidelity. But you can learn to trust, and the husband plays an important role in this.
Give yourself time to heal. It won’t be easy to forget what happened. This wound will make itself feel for a long time. It can take at least a year for a cheated wife to feel like she can trust her partner again.
In order not to reproach or suspect the marriage partner of new affairs, you should learn patience. A man also needs to understand this and be patient. After all, he brought grief to the family and did not hurt him.
Forgiveness does not mean just forgetting, because betrayal is not forgotten. Forgiveness means that the innocent party no longer harbors resentment and no longer reminds of the betrayal at every opportunity.
Questions to the psychologist and answers to them
What to do if the husband is cheating and lying
Each situation is individual, which means that there is no universal advice on what to do. But here’s what you can do:
One of three decisions must be made:
- Reconcile, pretending that nothing tragic happened. Saying, “it’s okay, walk up, he will come, he will be enough for everyone.”
- Forgive from the heart, truly fighting to save the family.
- Divorce, take the children, and then think about how to live on.
Psychologists also advise:
- You should not take all the blame on yourself, trying to justify the betrayal of your marriage companion with your shortcomings. Usually both spouses are guilty of family tensions, conflicts, but this is not an excuse for adultery.
- Scandal is far from the best method of dealing with her husband’s infidelity. Even a marriage companion caught red-handed cannot be corrected by a scandal (unless he cheated on his wife through negligence or while intoxicated). But if lying or cheating on a life partner has become the norm for him, then the scandal will not help. The husband will either leave the family for his passion, or become very careful and secretive so as not to be caught next time.
- Learn to contain your emotions. This is difficult, because feelings take over because of anger, resentment or disappointment. But if you do not learn to restrain emotions or get rid of them correctly, then innocent people in this situation may suffer – children, friends, relatives. A psychologist, gym or sports training can help in the fight against negative thoughts.
- Having decided to save the family, you should not undertake the search for a rival in order to teach her a lesson. By this, the offended wife will only humiliate herself more or become guilty of breaking the law.
- Talk frankly. Try to calmly, keeping yourself in control, find out from your husband why he is cheating on you? Maybe the situation can be solved by changing something in your behavior, appearance, habits. Explain to your husband, if he wants to save the family, that this is possible only on the basis of mutual trust. Infidelity, betrayal, lies cut at the root of any family ties.
What to do so that the husband does not change
How to try to re-arouse interest in your spouse? What do psychologists and experienced wives advise to do?
- The first thing to start with is to try to understand what lies behind the alienation of the husband, that is, why did he lose interest in you as a woman? Perhaps the reason was your behavior, habits, appearance or manner of communication from which it breathes coldness, rudeness, neglect or ridicule. Therefore, he is looking for the missing understanding or warmth on the side.
- Having found out the reason, try to calmly make it clear to your husband that you value the relationship, you want to save the marriage and you are very bothered by his alienation. Therefore, you are ready to make an effort to change, correct and work on yourself. Ask your spouse to suggest what you should work on.
- Try to surprise him sometimes. Experiment with appearance, clothing style, hairstyle to appear in front of him in a new way. Impress your husband with your achievements or abilities in fitness training, dancing.
- Don’t discount the intimate side of your married life with your husband. You should not take revenge (if you decide to forgive him infidelity), refusing intimacy.
- Experienced wives, when asked how to arouse interest in their husband so that he does not cheat, are advised to occasionally take a short separation. For example, without him to go for a few days to relatives. A man will miss his life partner and will look forward to meeting you.
- Never play on your man’s jealousy by flirting or flirting with other members of the stronger sex. Most often, this ends in family conflicts, insults or a break in relations. A man from a hunter can turn into a rapist. Don’t play with fire!
Should I cheat on my husband in revenge?
The unequivocal answer is no! But what if you want to cheat on your husband? Think about some of the consequences of this step to come to your senses.
- Shame, guilt and regret for having succumbed to momentary weakness – these are the constant companions of a woman. It looks even more tragic when the marriage companion repents, and will try with all his might to restore confidence in himself in the eyes of his wife. Then these pangs of conscience and torment become unbearable.
- Deciding to take revenge on her marriage partner by cheating for cheating, a woman does not get satisfaction from revenge. Her companion will be a constant fear of being exposed, disgraced, and then – depression, stress. All this will destroy your marriage. Then it was pointless to forgive her husband’s betrayal in order to cheat on him herself and destroy her marriage.
- Is a woman ready to face the condemnation of relatives or children who may not forgive her for this rash step (just like her father)?
- Is a woman ready to be abandoned, abandoned, often without material support from a former marriage partner?
What are the reasons for male infidelity
Not only sex. For some, this is the novelty of a relationship, for others, receiving psychological support. Still, others declare their self-esteem increase, and for the fourth – this is an emotional upsurge. (If your man is a womanizer, then you need to learn how to behave with him?)
In most cases, why men cheat on their wives, there are two main reasons:
By negligence. They did not notice the danger that led to treason. For example, being alone with the opposite sex, flirting, talking on intimate and personal topics with a woman at work, led to attachment, alcohol intoxication.
Intrafamily problems. Often, male infidelity does not occur from scratch. They expose hidden, deep psychological problems in the family between partners.
For example, a wife tries to suppress her husband with her “I”, wanting to keep the last word. And if a lady turns up for a man who knows how to put man’s virtues on the podium, and not his own, he can change.
The next problem is that after marriage, a woman stopped taking care of herself, developing intellectually, and reading. For a man, she becomes an outdated model of something attractive in the past. He stares at girls capable of providing him with aesthetic and intellectual satisfaction.
Conclusion: wanting to prevent adultery, a woman should not stop developing and working on herself.
Why husbands cheat on wives but don’t leave
- He wants to stay with a pure, honest woman who will keep the family hearth, feed, wash, and even provide intimate warmth.
- The thought of the court, the divorce process, filling out the relevant documents strains him, so he tries to avoid all this.
- A man is afraid of the division of property.
- Due to possible career problems due to divorce.
- I don’t want to lose relations with children, who most often remain after a divorce from their mother, and they rarely see him.
- Fear of losing part of their income due to monthly child support payments.
- Because of problems with relatives.
- A man likes to play the role of a decent family man, while secretly dating other women.
A husband who has been forgiven for infidelity must help his soulmate learn to trust him. To do this, you need to be honest in everything you do, to be completely open.
You may need to report in detail to your spouse about everything you do or plan to do, says marriage counselor Zelda West-Meads. She says that it is much easier for a woman to learn to trust her marriage partner when he informs her about where he is going, what time he will return. At the same time, he will try to keep his word.
A man needs to be patient because it will take a long time for his soulmate to regain confidence in him. Gradually, the pain passes, and the woman notices that she has learned not to dwell on her suffering and not think about them for months or even years.
What else can a husband do?
Do not focus on the shortcomings of the spouse, spend more time with her, communicate, assure you of love and your regret about what happened. Praise more, saying how valuable she is to him. The husband needs to remember the main goal – to heal the spiritual wounds of his wife, and not cause new ones.
Despite centuries of struggle, treason remains one of the common sins of mankind. The statistics are shocking, for example, more than 70% of men and more than 20% of women are ready to change without any hesitation. Therefore, experts are increasingly talking about the addiction of society to adultery, as an inevitable phenomenon.
For example, almost 90% of women believe that there is no family without cheating. That at some period of married life, under certain circumstances, the husband will change anyway.
But, despite these figures, it is unbearably hard for deceived wives to come to terms with their husband’s infidelity and betrayal. Cheating makes them choose whether to forgive or not, especially if the spouse asks for forgiveness? For the sake of the family, children, should you think about how to forgive your husband’s infidelity, and then live with this burden further or not?
Two observations can answer these questions:
- Often both spouses are responsible for the betrayal that has occurred. One for the act he committed, the other for letting down or provoking his mate to do so.
- Even after infidelity for a man, his wife still remains the closest person. His family is what is familiar to him, what gives him strength. The euphoria of love and dizziness from the joys on the side passes. After all, every day “eating the same cakes” will soon make you sick.
And here it is important how the spouse behaves! Many have been able to forgive, forget, and then build happier relationships.