Finding out that your husband has been cheating on you can be extremely traumatic. With this being said, read on to learn how to forgive a cheating husband.
It’s pretty much one scary roller coaster of feelings and emotions and most certainly one that threatens to derail and plummet into the dark at any point.
You’ve found out, confronted him, and he’s told you how it only happened just the one time. These days, you spend your time feeling really angry, but also really hurt, because that’s what being cheated on does to you.
Once the initial rage has simmered down, it leaves you feeling hollow, scared, and confused. Your mind won’t stop spinning with questions and thoughts and you just want to drown out all of this noise.
To add to it, your partner has already finished apologizing a hundred times. You’ve meted out all the anger and spite you can, and now each time he comes to you seeking forgiveness, you’re torn between letting all of it pass in one instant, and wanting him to keep feeling terrible, in another.
How can you better cope with these feelings? What’s the first step towards the calm, now that the storm has almost passed? If you feel strongly enough not to forgive your husband for what he did, or if he hurt you on purpose and you want to end it all, that’s your choice too.
But if you decide to forgive him and look at your marriage afresh, you’re going to need a lot of patience and some solid advice.
Forgiveness isn’t going to come that easily. You’re hurt, and will take time to heal. But if you give yourself the time, you’ll eventually work your way through your emotions, and take positive steps towards rebuilding your relationship.
Don’t Suppress Your Emotions
As a wife and maybe even a mother, maybe you won’t be able to show how you feel about your husband’s affair all throughout. That doesn’t mean you ignore your emotions, or sweep them under the carpet.
This is extremely important to remember when you are figuring out how to forgive a cheating husband. Every single emotion you feel – the anger, the betrayal, the hurt, the neglect, the fury – it’s all a part of the coping process.
You’re never going to be able to get over these emotions if you leave them bottled up. Not only is it unhealthy for you, it may also give you the illusion that you’ve dealt with the cheating much before you actually have, causing a lot of uncertainty in the future.
Find an Outlet for Your Feelings
If it means you must get away from your partner for some time, do it. Find a way to channel your emotions, however volatile they are, but make sure you never do anything that’s harmful either to yourself or others, be it verbally or physically, especially when you feel really angry.
Chances are, your family (parents, children) are just as baffled by what has happened, and the last thing you want is to alienate them because you’re upset with your husband. Write in a diary, go for solitary walks, take up a new workout if you think it’ll help you vent.
Steer Clear of Revenge
Either you end things, or you work on them. Revenge, however, is a terrible idea. It may seem oddly satisfying and even tempting, to give your cheating partner some grief in return, but it will also harm you.
Revenge often feels good at first, but leaves you feeling hollow and meaningless later. If it’s forgiveness and peace you’re after, dismiss that vengeful thought the moment it appears in your head.
Talk It Out
Yes, you have every right to turn away and not talk and feel like you are at the receiving end of it all, but remember, cheating is never easy on the cheater, especially if they have a conscience. When you feel up to it, try and understand why your partner cheated.
It might shed light on some problems in your marriage that neither of you was able to see clearly. Hear him out, and give him the space to talk it out. There’s nothing worse than being manipulated into believing that they can be honest with you, only to have you use it against them.
Get the Answers You Need
Don’t hesitate to ask for the answers you need. Ask your husband what made him do it. Learn about what might make him do it again. Ask him if something about your marriage pushed him into doing it.
It’ll be so much easier to deal with the storm in your head once you’ve heard it from him, instead of your mind making you believe in things that may not be true. Clarity is always good; if nothing else, it’ll spare you from the exhaustion of endless overthinking and soul-searching.
Set Expectations and Boundaries
If you’re taking the effort to understand his side of the story, and even trying to forgive, make sure you let him know how hurt you feel, and what you expect of him going forward.
Setting boundaries doesn’t mean you become a control freak, but have him know you’ll find out if he cheats again. Tell him explicitly if there are things you’d want or not want him to do, such as not hiding his phone when you ask to see it, or giving you honest answers each time you ask him something.
We’re not saying rush into his arms at the first instance when he does something to win you back. This is cheating, remember, and not a lover’s tiff. But if a gesture from him genuinely warms your heart, let him know.
He’s as scared as you are, and probably dealing with guilt, so telling him that something he did made you feel better, or made you feel reassured will go a long way in cementing your relationship once again, this time without letting any cracks show.
In all of this, don’t lose sight of yourself. You don’t owe it to anyone to forgive your husband if you’re not going to be happy doing it. Remember, forgiveness is more for your own peace than anyone else and you shouldn’t feel cornered or pressurized to forgive him for the sake of something.
Stop blaming yourself for what he did, and most importantly, be honest with yourself, even if it means having to answer some very difficult questions.
And if you find that you’re struggling under the weight of it all, spend a minute at Save My Marriage Today. It’s a resource dedicated to women in your exact predicament.