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When And When Not To Forgive A Cheating Spouse

Being cheated on is one of the worst feelings possible. Most of your close ones will tell you to give the relationship up and not to give it a second chance but that might be the wrong advice. Below are tips on how to deal with the situation and also advice on when you should let it go.

#1 They Are A Repeat Cheating Offender

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If your spouse has cheated not once, not twice, but three times, they are clearly a repeat cheating offender. If they have cheated multiple times and you’ve done what you can to help them, then it’s time to separate.

Contributors: Holly Zink from Safeguarde 

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#2 They Are Continuously Lying To You

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Lying is one of the typical cheating behaviors. If your spouse claims to have stopped cheating and you find out they’re still lying to you about things, it’s not worth forgiving them.

Contributors: Holly Zink from Safeguarde 

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#3 They Haven’t Stopped Communicating With A Past Lover

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A huge reason not to forgive a cheating spouse is that they are still communicating with past lovers. For a cheater to get over their habits and relationships, they must cut ties with whom they cheated with. If they haven’t, there’s no future for your marriage. 

Contributors: Holly Zink from Safeguarde 

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#4 They’ve Made An Effort To Repair Your Marriage

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If your spouse has been committed to repairing your marriage, it’s worth forgiving them. They clearly want to make things work and understand the mistakes they’ve made. To show their commitment, your spouse may go to therapy, surprise you with a date night, or find little ways to show they love you.

Contributors: Holly Zink from Safeguarde 

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#5 They’ve Gotten Rid Of Their Cheating Behaviors

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Typical cheating behaviors include making excuses, avoiding being physically intimate with you, lying, being distant, and initiating arguments. If your spouse’s cheating behaviors are gone or decreasing, you should consider forgiving them.

Contributors: Holly Zink from Safeguarde 

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#6 Love Worth Keeping

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I think there is only one really good reason to forgive a cheating spouse, and that is because you want to and want to continue with the marriage. Usually the only reason for that after being hurt deeply is enduring love. You have to choose the love over the hurt and decide that your relationship is worth overcoming betrayal. You should also only choose to forgive if you think you're able to actually let yourself heal and have a positive relationship again. If you believe you should get to punish your spouse for as long as you want for infidelity, you may cross the line into being abusive and the marriage will never recover. Forgiving isn't just continuing the marriage holding on to anger and hurt, it's actually letting go and actively practicing trust again. Your spouse will never be able to make you heal, even if they're trying hard to regain your trust. Only you can decide to heal then pursue healing.

Contributors: NaDasha Elkerson from Love Worth Keeping Relationship Coaching

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#7 The REAL Question

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A spouse should always be forgiven for cheating, even if you choose not to stay with that spouse. When you do not forgive, anger and resentment will eat you alive. Revenge and spite are horrible for the health.

Now, the question should be should you forgive and stay with your cheating partner?

In that case, my answer, from personal experience is that you should stay with the person if he/she shows remorse, has stopped the affair and wants to work it out. Both parties must be willing to work through the reasons he/she felt an affair was the only way to happiness.

While doing the hard work of reconnecting, you will have a unique opportunity to fall in love with your mate all over again and it is just glorious!

Contributors: Stacey Greene from Growing Vital Health, LLC

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#8 Empathy, Remorse And Restitution

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It depends on a few things. First, while you’re most certainly hurt, angry and struggling to understand the scenario, it’s important not to rush into any decision. The decision you make at this time may be different from a decision you’d make once you’re able to make sense and meaning out of your experience.

If you feel safe and valued, forgiveness (when you’re ready) can make you feel better. If you don’t feel safe and valued, then you forgive, you’ll actually feel worse. How do you feel safe and valued?

Does your partner show empathy, remorse and restitution? For example: Remorse is deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed. Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions. Restitution is an act of restoring or a condition of being restored. When it comes to forgiveness, these three conditions work beautifully together and lay the foundation for forgiveness.

Now, sometimes an action can’t be fixed but is there something you can do to show your willingness to right the wrong? Here’s what these three together may sound like: “I’m so terribly sorry (remorse). I understand why you’d be upset. I get it and I’d be upset and hurt if you did that to me (empathy). What can I do to make it up to you?” (restitution). It’s that combination that encourages and helps someone move toward forgiveness.

Contributors: Debi Silber from The Silber Center for Personal Growth and Healing 

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#9 Forgiveness Is For The Forgiver, Not The Recipient

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When someone hurts or betrays us, it is natural to feel angry, frustrated, sad, scared, and all manner of other negative emotions. It is important to allow ourselves to feel those things, acknowledge them, and then, once we have learned from them, let them go. It can be easier to let them go if the person who betrayed us shows contrition, and a sincere effort to improve their behavior to prevent further hurt. Yet forgiveness is possible even if the other person does not show remorse. I think a person can forgive another without living with them or continuing to have a relationship with them. Forgiveness is separate, in my thinking, from continuing to have an active relationship. If a person does not admit to cheating and/or continues to stray outside the relationship, it doesn’t make sense to me to continue the relationship. If the cheater makes a sincere effort to make amends, changes their behaviors, and acts responsibly, I see more hope for having an ongoing relationship. Regardless of whether the betrayed stays or not, forgiveness is ultimately healing and helpful.

Contributors: Lisa S. Larsen from LisaLarsen Coaching

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#10 They Continue To Make You Feel Insecure

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Do not forgive a cheater when they continue going out, make your feel insecure, or make no effort to correct their ways. This shows a lack of respect and no impetus to change. If they beg for forgiveness, but then get caught in lies, this is a strong indicator that you cannot trust them going forward and have no reason for forgiveness.

Contributors: Vikki Ziegler from VikkiZiegler

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#11 Sincere Apology And Remorse

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A spouse can be forgiven when they are truly remorseful and understand the damage they have caused. They have uncovered the reason why they chose to act in this way and are clear about how they would handle things differently if a similar situation occurs in the future. They have offered a sincere and clean apology-no buts or excuses for their choice. They also give the betrayed partner time to grieve and heal. They are completely open about their transgressions and they are transparent in all words and actions going forward. 

Contributors: Lesli Doares from Lesli Doares

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#12 Conditions To Stay

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  1. A true one night stand, as long as it was not with a close friend or relative isin the category of stay.   
  2. You pushed your mate into a deep corner and someone else saw the opening and jumped on it - Stay. 
  3. You feel in your heart, no matter what the circumstance, staying is the right thing to do

Contributors: Dave Jenkins from Coaching4Couples

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#13 Conditions To GO

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  1. Cheating with a close friend or family member. All kinds ofviolations where committed in this case and the aftershocks just keep coming.
  2. Long term infidelity. They need therapy because that kind of cheating screams the cheater doesn't know how they are.

Contributors: Dave Jenkins from Coaching4Couples

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