Finding it Hard to Forgive After an Act of Infidelity? This is The First Step To Saving Your Marriage
"Forgive and forget" is easier said than done.
You've been betrayed. The person that you considered your best friend, the one you trusted most has lied to you, cheated on you — shattering your life as you know it. This tragedy has left you angry, shocked, afraid and with no self confidence what so ever. It's a horrible feeling. The previously solid foundation of your marriage, built on fidelity and trust, is now broken. This is probably the biggest crisis that a relationship can go through.
But you have decided you want to save your marriage, despite the cheating and move forward with your life. There's just one problem: You do not think you are able to forgive your husband or wife.
The pain is too deep. You can't trust him any more and you don't know if he will do it again. You know you won't be able to go through something like this ever again. But if you don't forgive, it'll be very difficult to rebuild your marriage.
Do You Feel You Just Want Things to Go Back to The Way They Were?
Most of us do. We just want our relationship to go back to the way it was before the betrayal. But, why would you? The way it was is exactly what has led you to the kind of pain you are going through, right now!
Trying to return things to the way they once were won't solve your problems. There is a different path to take, you can try to make your relationship BETTER than it was before. But, that means you have to forgive.
How to Forgive a Spouse for Cheating
You probably realize by now that you can't just "decide" to forgive. It doesn't work. Forgiveness takes time and work, if you're seeking a genuinely deep reconnection. The work starts with step number one — ACCEPTANCE.
The work you have to do starts with acceptance. Acceptance is the road you take on your way to forgiving. Without this critical first step it is very hard to achieve real and sustaining forgiveness. It will allow you to cope with your anger, anxiety, and help you rebuild the trust again.
What Does "Acceptance" Mean?
It means you have to come to terms with and face head on the terrible events that happened to your marriage. A betrayed person can spend most of his time shocked. You feel amazed that this thing happened to you and curious to know, how it happened behind your back when you were certain that everything was OK.
You have to get past the initial denial. You can't undo this reality. You can't go back to how things were in the past and if you are honest with yourself, you know that things weren't so great then.
Accepting means realizing that forgiveness will not happen in a day, a week, or even a month. Take that pressure off yourself. These awful feelings will not disappear soon. Accept that and don't try to ignore it or "just get over it." It will only make things worse.
What to Do After Acceptance?
When you really accept your situation you are saying to your self - "I don't like what happened. I don't like the feeling the way I do, but I am willing to tolerate it so I can move on and work on a better relationship than ever."
Once you are able to do that, you will be able to move forward to the next steps — work through your anger, get rid of obsessive images and negative thoughts, and even rebuild the trust back to your marriage.