Cheating is the number one cardinal sin in a relationship. It invokes feelings of betrayal, shock, anger, and numbness. Usually it means the beginning of the end. It is extremely difficult to get forgiveness after cheating and requires an immense amount of patience, devotion and communication. Remember, the bonds of trust are broken here and trust doesn’t grow back overnight, it has to be earned.
It is important to give your spouse or significant other time to process, accept, and then heal from the trauma. They must experience the full range of emotions – usually shock, anger and then acceptance. There are only two ways this story can end – with your lover or without your lover. Either way, you must mentally prepare yourself for either outcome.
First and foremost, you will have to listen to what your significant other says. No matter how painful this process might be, it is a natural step towards healing. Once this is over, it is crucial for you to sit and contemplate your reasons for cheating, and whether your relationship is worth staying in. Reacting out of fear or loneliness is not only unfair to your significant other, it is unfair to yourself.
If you conclude that the affair was symptomatic of an unhealthy relationship, it may be best to take a break from each other. This gives your significant other time to heal and for you, time to reassess your priorities. Usually when we step back from a situation, we are able to define the behind our actions. An unhappy relationship always finds a way to end and, unfortunately, it sometimes ends with an affair.
However, if you find that your affair was a reaction to a personal dilemma, and not due to the nature of your relationship, then it may survive if your significant other is able to forgive you. To do this you must, above all else, have patience. It will take an extremely long time to regain the trust that has been broken but remember, not all hope is lost. Take the extra effort and time to reassure them daily. Always let them know where you’ll be and who you’ll be with. This will make your significant other feel important and a priority in your life. That is a fundamental building block in restoring a relationship. By remaining focused about your goals in life, such as your relationship, you can slowly get back on track. It may not be the same as it was before, but it can be beautiful despite the difference.
Keep in mind, though, that no one is perfect and that sometimes we all make mistakes. However, you also have to own up to your shortcomings and deal with the consequences. Earning forgiveness is difficult but not impossible and in the end, it is worth it.
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