Forgiving a cheating spouse takes a lot of strength. When one is hurt, heartbroken, and betrayed, it is very difficult to be objective and understand the other person’s point of view.
All one can feel is that one’s trust has been broken and heart shattered into a million pieces. When you feel this way, forgiving a cheating spouse is not something that will come easily.
It is, however, true that a relationship can recover from the setback of infidelity. Second chances do exist, yes. But it can take a while to develop the faith and rebuild the love that has been lost. How to fix a relationship after cheating is a long struggle but it is not impossible.
There’s the pain of betrayal that the most loved person has caused them. But that’s not all. The partner who has been cheated on could also struggle with intimacy issues that could be physical, emotional or both. And the trust issues that stem from betrayal can often be deep-rooted and hard to get over.
However, when things get rough and forgiving a cheating spouse may seem difficult, it helps to be mindful of the fact that life is not a bed of roses and neither are relationships. Problems will come and go, but you have to know who is worth fighting and staying for.
If you’re wondering how to get over infidelity and restart your relationship, here are a few accounts to help you understand the nature of the same.
Giving your marriage and the cheating spouse a second chance
Bonobology gathered these small but insightful bits from the various stories, counseling queries and confessions we have received over time. Affairs and betrayals are not as infrequent as we would like to believe.
It’s just that being in the society we are in, we do not share them openly, even with the closest of friends. We all want to maintain the image of the perfect, happy couple, and in the process, often deal with this traumatic phase without much support and help from outside.
These snippets are from those who decided to give their marriage another chance. The partners shared how they dealt with their everyday lives as they went through the process of forgiving, forgetting and reconnecting with their partners as much as reconnecting with their own selves. We are indebted to them for sharing this very personal ordeal with us.
We will call the day when they either discovered or were told by their partners of the other relationship, as the D-day.
Confessions of the one who forgave
Loss of affection: “It has been a year since D-Day and I have no desire to be affectionate whatsoever to my wayward husband. I hope this will pass. We have a beautiful family. But I am so heartbroken that there is no intimacy anymore. It has quickly turned into a sexless marriage. ”
Questions about the what, when, and how: “I keep asking myself, when it went from friendship to an affair. How and where did he meet her?”
Forgiving a cheating spouse is draining: “I just cuddle at night with him, that too when he is already asleep. I cannot show any other kind of affection, I don’t know whether what he feels is guilt or love for me. But I have realized one thing: Forgiving a cheating spouse takes a lot of energy out of you. I have still not been able to do it completely.”
The anger and hurt: “It has been six months since I discovered the text and the days I feel very angry I want to possess her physically. She does not resist, but it does not make me feel better.”
From partners to roommates: “I feel we are just apartment-mates going along because the children have to be sent to school and parents need to be looked after. How to fix a marriage after infidelity is the hardest thing to do, I know that now. I am numb to our marriage completely. ”
Infidelity can bring you closer: “Weirdly we have actually gotten closer after I found out about the emotional affair with his colleague at work. The indifference that had crept in our marriage has vanished, maybe because of the sheer avalanche of raw emotional expression. We cry, we share and we make love like we did in the first years of togetherness.”
Guilt sex: “I have been trying to figure out how to fix a relationship after cheating. It has been almost nine months and I dare her to say no to me every time I ask for sex. But it is not fun. It is guilty sex, not intimate.”
Not letting cheating define me: “I decided his cheating will not define me. I am more than a wife who was crazy about her husband and still got cheated on. It will not define me.”
Obsessed with the other woman: “I am obsessed with the other woman. I think of her day in and day out. I have checked her FB profile, Googled her for any information that the internet may throw up. Every image of her is embedded in my mind, tearing at my heart. I do not know what to do.”
Avoidance: “I just stay out more often. I take any opportunity I get, work, friends, etc. I don’t know how to talk to her anymore.”
Being cheated on takes its toll: “I lost almost 10 kg because I just could not bring myself to eat. My stomach was in knots. And then my hair started to fall out because of undernutrition. I cut my long hair short. When I see my short hair in the mirror I remember her.”
Everything seems forced: “I want to forget, but every time he picks up his phone the memory of it all comes flooding back. He came and confessed to me and that makes me want to work toward our relationship. But it seems forced, whatever I do or he does.”
What did she have that I didn’t: “I keep asking myself this, over and over again, ‘Why did her attention feel so good while he didn’t care about mine?’”
Being cheated on changed the person I am: “I have been on a roller coaster of emotions, hating my husband one day and pledging to work it out the next, screaming my lungs out at him for doing this to his family one day and promising to build our life again. He is now numb to my outbursts. This is not the real me. The extramarital affair has turned me into this person that sometimes I don’t even recognize.”
In a better place: “I reminded myself what was at the core of our relationship and take solace in a belief that it was a lapse on her part and that we’d get through it. Forgiving a cheating spouse can take a long time but it is not impossible. I am not completely over it but I am in a better place now.”
Making peace: “I realized he was happy with us, me and our kids, but wanted something on the side. Maybe I never had the time and space for it because of my children or else I would have done it too. I can move on. We are better. We are talking more.”
Being cheated on and trying to forgive a life partner for their betrayal can have different effects on different people, but one thing remains universal – it’s never easy to deal with infidelity.