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Forgiving After a Betrayal.

Emese Taylor, 28 November 2017

To be cheated on by your partner, someone to whom you have given your trust and your love is a terrible betrayal. More than just a thoughtless act, it sets in motion a series of complex and increasingly toxic feelings, breaking down everything you have worked so hard to nurture and causing deep wounds that many simply can’t recover from.

It can be hard to understand why someone would cheat on you. Sometimes it can be due to a chance encounter or opportunity that comes about without any planning or intention. There can be issues inside the relationship that are not being addressed and one of those involved will look for external comfort or affirmation. They might feel bored or unattractive as their relationship has become a routine and seek excitement and escapism elsewhere.

Whatever the reasons behind an affair, many find it impossible to forgive their partner and feel that once their trust has been broken they are unable to reclaim it. It is very common for this to be the end of a relationship, but for others there is a genuine desire to rebuild and repair what has been tarnished.

This is no easy task, but often there are factors in the relationship that make the need for reconciliation more important, such as children, financial investment or the feeling that too much work has already gone into something to just walk away from things.

So if you are set on the idea of forgiveness, how can you go about such a seemingly daunting task?

Reflection is important. Time away from your partner so that you can gather your thoughts and feelings on the matter is essential and also serves as a cooling off period. This is when options are considered and you must decide if you do want to move on with forgiveness or end things entirely. Once an affair has been revealed, the trauma will cause feelings such as anger and betrayal and these resentments will have to be addressed.

As such the next step is communication. Arranging a meeting with your partner to discuss things after the event will be a difficult time for you both. Broken trust is an exceedingly difficult wall to break down and the aggrieved party will feel like hitting out in anger at the one who has hurt them, who themselves will be suffering from guilt and remorse, making them equally as prone to emotional outpourings.

Many find the use of a therapist or counselor beneficial during these times, as someone with the ability to mediate and offer their own perspective and expertise on the issue can help to defuse the situation. An affair is often symptomatic of other problems in the relationship and for many it can serve as a wake up call, an opportunity to address these issues rather than leaving them to fester, although such a rational response during this period of resentment and emotional upheaval is far from the norm!

In conclusion, an affair is much more than a series of physical acts. It will never not feel like a betrayal of trust and confidence and it’s outcome will depend very much upon the persons involved. There is no standard set of behaviors or expectations as to how you should react and the situation must be resolved on it’s own merit. However, if you have the capacity to forgive and believe your relationship deserves a second chance and if your partner shows willingness to work to regain your trust and become a better person then it is possible to move on.

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