Steps to forgiveness after an affair
Learning to trust again after an affair
Trust and Infidelity
There are several key steps to getting over an affair and learning how to trust again. The most important one, as always, is learning how to forgive yourself for feeling like a fool. If your marriage or a long-term committed relationship ended because of infidelity, then the worst thing that you can do to yourself is blame yourself for your ex’s extramarital activities. No matter what, it wasn’t your fault, and beating yourself up about something you had no real control over will only make matters worse.
There is likely nothing you could have done differently to prevent the infidelity. If your husband or wife felt like you were emotionally distant or cut off, then that’s telling you something too. Likely the relationship had run its course.
It happens often that people like the idea of the relationship more than the relationship itself. They’re afraid of change so even though they’re emotionally distant from their spouse and their relationship kind of sucks, they still fear what the upheaval of a divorce or breakup would bring. In this case, you need to be fair to your spouse. If their not getting what they want from you, they have every right to go seek out a fulfilling relationship with someone else, and it’s on you to fix emotionally what’s wrong in your life to get you to a point where you can have a fulfilling relationship yourself.
This doesn’t excuse their infidelity, but it does explain it. Most marriages end because the spouses take on another for granted. Husbands and wives feel resentful of being trapped in marriages that are either sexually or emotionally unfulfilling. Trust and infidelity generally destroy one another, so here are a few steps you can take for learning to trust again after an affair.
Forgiving a cheater: Be honest with yourself
Forgive yourself, yes, but be honest with yourself as well. Even though infidelity is never the fault of the person being cheated on, you have to be honest about your willingness to commit to a serious relationship like a marriage. Marriages are a give and take and require active involvement from both individuals. If the marriage is too one-sided give-wise, then the other party will seek out what the marriage is supposed to offer from others outside the marriage.
Moving forward after an affair requires a renewed commitment from you in either your marriage or your next relationship not only to forgive yourself and your partner, but also but the effort and the energy into the relationship to make it work.
For some people, the rigors of a marriage become too much. The family life and work are just more effort than a person can give, and the loving bond between husband and wife fall to the wayside and they seek out excitement in other ways, ways that remind them of how things were when they were younger.
When this is the case, whether the marriage can be saved or not, learning to trust again after an affair, will be paramount to the renewed happiness of the individual being cheated on, and whether the marriage can be saved will depend entirely on the circumstances surrounding the cheating. The worst thing you can do is become embittered toward all members of the opposite gender and carry that bitterness around with you for the rest of your life.