Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

Should or Can There Be Forgiveness After An Affair?

Can there be forgiveness after an affair?  Are spouses or betrayed partners really able to let go of resentment, anger and fear of more betrayals?

The simple answer is “yes” although the process to get there is not an easy one.  Forgiveness is tough.  Most wonder how they can be expected to forgive one of the most painful experiences of their lives.

True forgiveness, however, brings about an inner peace in your heart and in your mind.  It allows you to be different than the events in your life.  You no longer define yourself by your injuries.

Forgiveness should not come quickly and best comes with dialogue and work with and by both partners.

Even if the person who has had the affair is not willing to work; however, and the marriage may not be saved, it is still an important step toward health for the one who was betrayed to find a way to forgive.

Let’s talk for a minute about the idea of forgiveness, what it is … and what it isn’t.

Forgiveness isn’t:

Forgetting. The affair (or affairs) happened and affected your life.  Shake hands with that experience but develop a richer and fuller story about yourself, about who you are and what your life is about.  You might be a betrayed spouse but that is not all that defines you as a person.  Remember the much bigger story about you.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Counseling Relationships Online

Healing after Affairs

Couples Counseling of Louisville

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September 9, 2010 Posted by | affairs, cheating spouse, Forgiveness, infidelity | Leave a comment

Forgiveness: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Sandy was sexually abused by her uncle between the ages of 5 and 7.

Tom’s wife, Helen, had an affair with his best friend.

Andy was repeatedly bullied and beaten by an older brother until he became big enough and strong enough to stand up for himself.

Each one of these people has a clear reason to be hurt and angry for the treatment that they received by someone with the power to affect them very intensely.  They are all on a journey to discover ways to forgive their perpetrator, in their own heart and in their own heads, even if their offender never finds out.

Could you do that?  Is it even a good idea to invite the thought of forgiveness for Sandy, Tom and Andy?

True forgiveness brings about an inner peace in your heart and in your mind.  It allows you to be different than the events in your life.  You no longer define yourself by your injuries.

Let’s talk for a minute about the idea of forgiveness, what it is … and what it isn’t.
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Forgiveness isn’t:

Forgetting.
The offense happened and affected your life.  Shake hands with that experience but develop a richer and fuller story about yourself, about who you are and what your life is about.

Condoning.
There was nothing okay about what happened and forgiveness does not mean that you find a reason to explain, excuse or even to accept part of the blame.

Letting the offender off the hook. You can choose what relationship, if any, you want to have with the perpetrator.  You can choose to involve family or legal authorities if needed.  You can take control of what, if any, consequences there should be because of the offense, and then let go.

Reconciling.
Some offenses require cutting off and do not allow for any reconciliation.  Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile.

Allowing it to happen again. With forgiveness, also comes a need to learn self-protection and self-care.  It is important to keep from harm’s way and any chance of being hurt or abused again.

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Forgiveness is:

Letting go of the desire for revenge, not investing any energy in fantasizing or planning ways to get back at the offender.  It is reinvesting that energy in taking care of yourself in protective and healthy ways.

It starts with a decision to forgive
and does not “just happen“ over time.

Forgiveness is a process, not an event.
It is a walk, not the destination.  Forgiveness is a journey.

Forgiveness involves protecting yourself
and not letting the offense continue.  It may mean a cut-off from the perpetrator or finding very different ways to be around him or her.

It is more about you than the person you are forgiving.
Most likely, you will never tell the offender of your forgiveness, rather you will engage in life with a freer heart and mind.

True forgiveness brings about an inner peace in your heart and in your mind.  It allows you to be different than the events in your life.  You no longer define yourself by your injuries.

Consider forgiveness with some of those who injured you.  Would you be healthier if you could let go of the impact of those injuries on you today?

Would you like to explore this more fully?  We would be glad to talk more with you about this.  Contact us through our online counseling site, CounselingRelationshipsOnline.com.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Forgiveness, Relationship Dilemmas, What forgiveness is. What forgiveness isn't | Leave a comment