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Question:how do you forgive him when he cheated?

I love him and want to try to work it out i just cant bring my self to forgive him will he do it again i dont know

Asked by tashamc911 on 5/8/08 10 Answers»
Brenda Della Casa


Dear TashaMC911,

I am so very sorry you are going through what is no doubt a painful and emotionally turbulent experience.

Cheating is an vicious attack on trust and the heart of another and what makes it worse for so many betrayed partners is that it always starts with a choice. There are many, better ways to deal with unhappiness outside of cheating and not all cheaters say they were even unhappy!

Now, how does one forgive? Some find they can after a significant amount of time has passed and their partner has shown dedication to change and making things right. Others can never move past the betrayal or simply don't wish to live with the "what if's" hanging over their heads. The truth is, only the individual dealing with the infidelity knows what their boundaries or limits are and no one on the outside has a right to judge their decision.

Working through infidelity is not easy but it can be done if both partners are dedicated to mending the rips in the relationship and in their own personal souls and the cheater is willing to take responsibility for their actions and the pain they have caused.

Ceasing all contact with the other person is essential as is total transparency. You need to think of what you need to have in order to feel safe and the cheating spouse needs to do all they can to meet those needs.

Once an anything does not mean always an anything. As we all know, change is possible but most people are simply too lazy or fearful to take the steps needed to truly shed their skin and develop new habits. It is not unnatural to notice other men and women or to even have thoughts about them but cheating is called cheating for a reason: you're cheating your partner out of the relationship you promised them.

You need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. How is my partner responding to my needs? Is he taking full accountability? Is he showing remorse? Is he making excuses? Is he blaming me?

2. What was our relationship like when he cheated? How is it different now? Was he distant/critical? Is he more involved and loving now?

3. How willing is he to be there for me while I work through this?

4. How open and honest is he being with me?

5. Is he willing to see a counselor with me?

6. How did I discover the infidelity? What was his reaction?

None of us know what awaits us in our future but we do have a strong gut instinct and a good head on our shoulders--we just need to listen to the messages they are sending to us.

Good Luck,

Brenda Della Casa
Author, Cinderella Was a Liar

Answered by: Brenda Della Casa on 12/18/08


Hi. I went through this a long time ago and it still has power to hurt me. My ex and I were high school sweethearts, got married, bought a house, got a dog, had a baby then he went over-the-road as a truck driver. I believed he loved me enough to be faithful. I was dead wrong! One of the big hurts was that he had unprotected sex then would come home to me. He not only risked his health and life but he risked mine as well! I tried to worked on the marriage-he didn't. I got a divorce. About 10 years later, I became a Christian. I watched Joyce Meyers on tv and she had a message one night that "forgiveness isn't a feeling, it's a choice." She also stated that forgiveness isn't to benefit the other person, but yourself and to follow God's commands. That was a really strong message for me. I CHOSE to forgive him for every wrong he ever did me and sometimes I have to do it again, but it healed ME. He doesn't know I have forgiven him, but my heart and soul are much better for my choice. You have my very best wishes for finding what you need to get past this horrible betrayal.

Answered by: carmenjclum on 5/27/08


Cheating is a nasty-habit, that both individuals, men and women fall prey too. I have seen it, been victim too it, and did it myself. I forgave all situations, and put them at bay, and left them in the dust, falling off my feet, as I kept stepping. Now, not everyone can do that, and it took some real courage, and get up and go to accomplish that horindous feat. But, it can be done. First have the evidence to prove it, step up to the plate, and be prepared for all the different balls that can be thrown at you. 'Oh honey!..I was drunk, it was her carisma, it only happened once, may twice. I didn't want to hurt you, so I tried to break it off. They don't mean anything to me, give me a second, third, fourth, trillion chance. I didn't know what I was doing,it all happened so fast. I fell asleep, and woke up with someone there, naked. My car broke down, they came to help me. My cell phone didn't work, I didn't have it on me.
And the list goes on. I have heard it all, seen it all, felt it all, smelled it all. Down to the core bone of my being. Once they cheat, it always continues. Although there are a few exceptions to the rule. Some can change, but I bet cha' the craving is still there.
It's diffently not your fault!...Be nice to your self, and go out on the town, buy something you want. And paint the town what ever color you want. If you bump into him, along the way, paint him too, and who ever else is around, and keep on stepping.
Next time, state it up front and personal: 'Hey!..Nice to meet you, my name is So-n-So, if you want to get with me, I don't want baggage, other women or men, personal bad habits, unless they work with mine. Don't mind kids, just leave the Ex where they are, keep it clean, work it, and don't break it."
Or don't be bothered at all.
I had to forgive myself for the wrongs I did, which were caused by being hurt by so many other's. I had to forgive them, and figure out how I could find the right person who would be faithful, and true.
I could write a book on this subject, and maybe I will, later, but for now, the best advise is to tell you, or anyone reading this is to stop putting up with it, say to yourself: 'What does love have to do with it!" like Tina Turner said in one of her songs. Feel the pain, and all that goes with it. Grab a bowl of fruit, aaah! forget that, add some icecream to it. Find the Girls, and pop some pop corn, and gossip. Or go out to the movies. Sometimes the Girls, don't help, they keep the pain going. So do it yourself.
Once you respect yourself, and realize that you did everything to love him, and be there for him. And he found someone else to 'fling around with, then he doesn't deserve the goodness you are. There's someone out there just waiting for the doors to be opened for them to enter. Take a nice Milk and Roses bath. Sprinkle some jasmine oil to lift your spirits. Promise yourself, that you are going to be good to yourself always, first and foremost, before anyone else. Stand up and take a walk.
They will cry, beg, plead, promise all kinds of things to keep you there. Bottom line, they will never change. Sooner or later, the temptation will come. And you will holding your heart alone.
Being upfront from jumpstreet, is the way to be. Trust your inner instincts, and not nor passion, or so called 'Love' for them. Don't get me wrong, love is important in a relationship, but don't expect it to be the glue to fix it. Love is it's own foundation. If there relationship is lacking it, (cheating is the test of this), then 'Love' stands alone on it's own, and it is not the foundation of this relation ship.
In my relationship with my man I have lived with for 9 years, I started with the basic truths, and background of what I would like from him if he wanted to be in my world, or wanted me in his. I stated that cheating was not going to be tolerated, or allowed. If I ever suspect it, I will gather my facts, and present them, and take that walk with out ever looking back. Love will always stand the test of time, but it will not tolerate infidility. I have a strong bond, and understanding, respect for him, and he the same with me. And we both know what we don't want, and what we do want. Each other. If you don't have that, or don't see it, then leave it alone.
Forgive, but keep the info tucked away, for future reference.

Answered by: AngelNaphtalie on 5/21/08


First of all, I agree with the person that said "Remember it is not your fault". No matter if you have gained a few pounds or do not look 20 anymore,(who does). Do not put the blame for his straying on yourself. If things have not flamed as they used to it is up to both of you, not just him, and not just you, to rekindle the sex and the romance. Usually the problem is the cheating, but it goes much deeper, it is a sign that something else is going on. Much like drinking or drugs, addiction to relationships and sex, have a root problem. Forgiving him, forgetting the hurt, all of that is irrelevant unless he is willing to go to counciling for the both of you and work at the relationship. If he wants you to just sweep it under the rug and forget about it, I say back his bags or yours, because it will happen again and you would save yourself a whole lot of hurt. I have seen it get easier and easier to cheat each time. Let him know that this behavior is not acceptable, it is not going to be kept in the dark and it needs to be addressed and some sort of healing needs to come out of it or he will loose you. If you are afraid to take that stance chances are you already doubt the love he has for you and now that he has cheated you will never have a moments peace and neither will he.

Answered by: csterling on 5/18/08


My sister gave me this the first time I saw my sweetheart in another guy's arms, giving him the 'I'll love you forever' smile that I thought had belonged to me, OUCH! thank God nobody got murdered that night... "I shall be richer all my life for this sorrow." That has proven to be true. Reading The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen, really helped. Like others have said, forgiveness will heal you. Be cautious with whom you share this pain and confusion. I wasn't able to move on (even though she eventually left) until I could forgive. It took years, if it was EASY, everyone would be doing it. God bless you.

Answered by: oldgold on 5/14/08


Hi. I too have just recently found out my husband has cheated on me. He's just returned from Iraq and was having an affair with this woman he knew from high school. It was first just via email and phone conversations, then it was physical when he returned (which has only been 3 weeks). I wish I had the answer as well. I am going through torture. He says it won't happen again, but how do you trust him after they've betrayed you? We have 7 month old twins, a beautiful, home, a dog and 2 cars. Where do you go from here? And if it's still fresh, it'll take some time to get over. You may never get over it. I don't think I will. I need time to see if I will be able to get over this betrayal. I wish you luck. Take care of yourself and most of all - realize that this is NOT your fault, but his.

Answered by: twinsmom on 5/14/08


I will give my perspective on this....

When you decide to love someone, there are some things you must realize. No one is perfect, including yourself and whether or not cheating is something you can tolerate. I do not take cheating personally, because it does not reflect on how good of a person or mate I am. It reflects on what is going on with the person who is doing the cheating. Therefore, you must decide based on that individual and your's relationship, if the relationship is worth continuing, and if so, as what? (Friends, lovers, etc.)

We are all capable of making mistakes and having irritable habits, but can our partners live with them???

Answered by: Lilblu1333 on 5/14/08
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