If you’ve ever been cheated on, you’ll know how awful it feels. The pain of finding out, the shock that you’ve been deceived, and the urge to get out of there as fast as possible.
Once trust has been broken – in any situation – it can sometimes be impossible to rebuild. Not only are you now faced with the fact that your other half has gone behind your back and done something incredibly hurtful, but you also begin to think about all the other times it could have happened.
When he didn’t come home that time and said he’d gotten drunk and stayed at a friend’s house? When he always seemed to be chatting to that same girl on Facebook who he said was an old friend? When he stuck his phone in his pocket the moment you entered the room? Everything that might have been totally innocent now seems like just another time the wool was pulled over your eyes.
Although there’s going to be a huge period of anger and hurt to begin with, over time things will become clearer. In some cases, the damage is irreparable. In other cases, there may be a way you can move on and grow together again as a couple.
First things first, you need to be able to clarify what forgiveness means to you, and if it’s really worth it. Obviously if you have no desire ever to be in the same room as your former partner at any point in your life, forgiving them is out of the question. But if you truly believe that you could build things up again, ask yourself, can you put the past behind you and move on with a guilt-free heart? There’s no point in trying to work things out if the cheating is going to be a constant elephant in the room.
Secondly, and possibly most importantly, your other half needs to be openly and completely sorry for what has been done. If there’s an implication, no matter how subtle, that you are the one to blame – run. Even if your relationship was in a total shambles when he cheated, betraying you was not the answer. The answer was to talk things out, or to end things if needed. Never let yourself or anyone else feel that you are the one to blame for what happened. You are not the one who cheated.
Forgiveness isn’t the right answer for every couple, in fact in the majority of cases it definitely isn’t. But if you truly believe that there is still hope for your relationship – and if the feeling is mutual – it may be worth giving things a go again. Just make sure you’re both re-entering the relationship on even terms.