The first step to overcome an infidelity is forgiveness. Then you will renew your life. With your partner or not, but with a soul clean of grudges, willing to grow as a human being. Forgive infidelity. Stay with your partner? & H
When Angela heard her husband’s confession, she imagined herself in a nightmare: the man she had lived with for almost twenty years now confessed his infidelity, calling it a mistake. The weight of her regret was such that she did not feel, in her words, capable of continuing to hide what had happened a few months ago. She hadn’t even suspected it. She had always been an excellent husband; a good father, loving and thoughtful.
Graciela was going through a situation similar to Angela’s, but unlike her, it was not a confession that opened her eyes, but she herself discovered her husband’s infidelity. Another divergence is that this situation is not new to her, since her husband has been unfaithful on more than two occasions during their ten years of marriage.
Arsenio began to suspect his partner’s deception. His silences were more frequent, he looked distractedly toward the window with a smile on his face; he preferred to spend time in front of the computer; he received many phone calls from “friends” that he had never mentioned before. And that was how in an oversight he was able to discover the messages between his wife and the man with whom he had a relationship.
All three, as friends of mine, asked me the same question: “Should I forgive her infidelity?” To which, without a shadow of a doubt, I replied, ‘That’s final. You have to forgive in order to overcome all the pain that you are experiencing today. Now, deciding whether or not to continue with the relationship depends on each circumstance and each person. That is a personal decision in which no one – other than the couple and perhaps a therapist – should intervene.
Each of the situations outlined at the beginning is different. It may be easier to understand a mistake after twenty years of marriage than recurrent infidelity. Perhaps a confession from someone repentant is not the same as discovering an infidel who is far from repentance.
Forgiveness is accurate
Before making the decision to continue or not, you must forgive yourself. Forgiving is a choice. Let’s not confuse the terms: forgiveness is one thing and reconciliation is another. The first thing we have to do to forgive is replace all our negative feelings with positive ones. That is, to remove all resentment and desire for revenge, replacing them with a desire for good for the offender.
What it means to forgive
Forgiving does not imply forgetting. Forgetfulness is something that will occur over time, as life gives us new satisfactions. Alone or with our partner, our path will be restored, so that the memories hurt less and less. Nor does it mean to disregard the wounds inflicted; on the contrary, it is necessary to analyze all the damage that this situation has caused us, in order to decide how it can be repaired.
Forgiveness is something you owe to yourself, regardless of whether the offender deserves it, asks for it or needs it. Forgiveness relieves our spirits so that we can move forward as individuals. Because, as the therapist Marcel Duvois says: « It is scientifically proven that when we forgive our mind produces substances that bring us well-being and inner relief. The weight of pain and anguish that we feel in the center of our chest begins to disappear with time and practice.