If your partner cheated and your marriage is in predicament, your New Year's resolutions more than likely entail forgiving a cheating spouse and saving your marriage.
But the injuries inflicted through the revelation of betrayal may still be new, and you've got so much anger, you don't understand how you'll ever arrive at the point where you are able to move ahead.
Your spouse may have said "I'm sorry," but it rang hollow to you-the words not giving you the closure you thought they would. Or, perhaps you are still waiting to listen to your spouse communicate remorse, and you're feeling your life is on hold until he or she does.
With this article, you will go through an exercise that will help you examine a few of the underlying feelings you may be experiencing and what the thought of forgiving a cheating spouse means to you. It may provide you with an innovative idea of how to move forward into the New Year.
What "I'm Sorry" Means For You
If you're waiting for your spouse to express regret for having an affair, there are a range of reasons why you, personally, really need to hear those words-and see your spouse actually means it with all of their heart.
Whenever a cheating spouse says "I'm sorry," it validates the pain you are feeling as this person you loved and trusted stepped outside of your marriage. It also demonstrates that your spouse understands that their actions have caused you hurt, negative feelings and emotions that have left you devastated.
A genuine apology is often the first slat with the bridge you'll require to build to save your valuable marriage. If you haven't heard those words yet, you could feel you can't begin forgiving your cheating spouse and move ahead because you're still waiting for this person to come to you and unlock the door with admissions of guilt and accountability, and recognition that you are the victim.
A unfaithful spouse owes an apology. Period. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean the victim of an affair is going to get a request for forgiveness. Several spouses never hear an apology.
So should you stay rooted in limbo, waiting for words that may never come? Or, as the victim of an affair, should you make the decision on your own as to whether you ought to forgive your cheating spouse?
Whether you choose to forgive or not-it's your decision. No one can make this choice for you. Anything you decide, you have to comprehend what forgiveness means to you, to healing the destruction to your marriage, and ultimately-to saving it.
The idea of forgiveness is usually confusing. Culturally, many of us have learned that real forgiveness is something only a divine being is capable of. We've also learned that old adage, "Forgive and forget."
If you're in pain after learning your spouse has cheated on you, you may wonder how your partner saying a simple "I'm sorry" is going to make you put out of your mind all about the nasty after-effects with the affair. You wish it were that effortless to escape the excruciating thoughts and pictures, but you realize it's not an immediate cure for your pain.
Here are some steps you should use in determining whether to forgive your partner, and whether or not it in fact will change anything for you personally:
Step 1: Define what "forgiveness" means to you
Consider everything you've ever heard regarding the idea of forgiving a cheating spouse, whether from your spiritual background or what you've witnessed in your personal life.
Write out your thoughts on what you recognize forgiveness to mean.
Step 2: Look at what "I'm sorry" means for you
Hearing your spouse say "I'm sorry," what does this mean to you? How will it affect your life? What do you see changing? How can you imagine yourself feeling, or what do you see yourself able to now do?
Write out your thoughts on forgiveness the way it relates to your world.
Step 3: Imagine what no spousal remorse does to you
If your spouse were never to apologize, what would this do to you? How do you picture your life and how you would like to live it, without admission of guilt in hand? Do you think your living will-or ought to-keep on in limbo? Could you disregard the whole idea of forgiveness, and simply rebuild the marriage?
Sometimes, the one way to move forward so that you can repair your marriage, is by redefining your own thoughts. Take your time in doing this exercise. Later, you might even see things in a brand new light, that the words "I'm sorry," expressed with remorse or not, may not hold the power over you they once did.
What continues to be your belief on the thought of "forgiveness?"
After doing the methods with this exercise, did your ideas solidify? Did you redefine your own ideas?
If you've heard the words from your spouse, what did it signify to you? Were you instantaneously relieved? Did it change the amount of effort you put into forgiving your cheating spouse and saving your marriage?
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,
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