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When And When Not To Forgive A Cheating Spouse

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

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#1 They Are A Repeat Cheating Offender

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If your spouse has cheated not once, not twice, but three times or more, they are 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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  1. It’s definitely up there with the worst feelings you can experience. My advice to anyone who suspects that their wife / girlfriend is cheating is to be smart about it. Most guys let their emotions take over and make stupid decisions. Remember, you’re

  2. I just want to give a quick advise to any one out there that is having difficulty in his or her relationship to contact Dr.Lawrence because he is the only one that is capable to bring back broken relationship drlawrencespelltemple @ gmail. com

  3. I’ve noticed that people are calling this black magic and its wrong; here’s the thing….if your husband or wife is screwing around on you, you have every right to do what is necessary to stop it. You aren’t harming anyone….they are the ones doing

#4 Conditions To GO

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  1. Cheating with a close friend or family member. In this case, all types of violations were committed and the aftershocks from the infidelity with just keep on coming.
  2. Long term infidelity. They should go to therapy because this kind of cheating screams that the cheater has issues that need to be dealt with.

Contributors: Dave Jenkins from Coaching4Couples

#5 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 as it's an indication that they 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 that they love you.

Contributors: Holly Zink from Safeguarde 

  1. But what if they have done this before, been to therapy, worked hard and made big changes over 10 months, everything was great and then things get hard with the kids and he does it again 3 years later…..and now is starting the loop again..

#6 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 your health.

Now, the question is, should 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

  1. If anyone can comment on this it would truly be appreciated I’ve done alot of things I’m not proud of and I hate that about myself I truly want to change and I do for long periods of time years. but after a while I seem to re start all over again

    • You may be a sex addict. Get therapy. It’s is deeply painful for the person you are cheating on. Do the person you love a favor and stay single so you won’t hurt the innocent anymore. Let them know you can’t be monogamous.

#7 Love Worth Keeping

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One good reason to forgive a cheating spouse is because you genuinely 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 if 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 while 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

#8 They Continue To Make You Feel Insecure

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Do not forgive a cheater when they continue going out, making you feel insecure or making 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 to forgive them.

Contributors: Vikki Ziegler from VikkiZiegler

#10 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 

#11 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

#12 Sincere Apology And Remorse

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A spouse can be forgiven when they are truly remorseful and understand the damage that 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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Written by Ben Skute


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  1. Hi. My name is Lee. I have a question about a cheating partner. If my husband cheated several times but he feels there no mistake in what he did. He only said sorry once and expects things to be ok. He doesn’t want to talk about it what should do?

  2. Never, ever forgive! Walk away and find someone new. Forgiveness is not a sign of maturity, it’s a sign of weakness.

    They are basically saying that you are meaningless and that the other person ownes you. They can do whatever they want and you’ll forgive them because you have no real self worth.

    Reality check, you will never trust that person again anyway. Why would you? Only a desperate fool would forgive. The advice above is just trash, I mean, how can a one night stand with someone anonymous be any better than one with someone you know? It isn’t.

    As for staying for love – don’t! It doesn’t exist. It’s a human construct based on a fairytale idealism. We don’t love – we want, we crave, we can become addicted, but we don’t actually love in the true sense of the idealism.

    The reality of love is that one person has all the power and control and the other is subserviant, under the illusion that they need the other person to be happy and fulfilled.

    Look at it another way, cheating is a form of abuse. It’s an abuse of trust for the relationship, of mutual respect. It basically tells you that you are not worthy of commitment and that your feelings are meaningless to the wants and needs of the person who cheats.

    Let’s face it, most people will cheat if they have the chance, and a willing partner to do it with. The urge to procreate is overwelming, and is, at the very basic level, the reason why we’re all here to begin with. In this case the subconsciouness will supercede any conscious delusions of a theoretical concept – nature will simp[ly override nurture. In a sense, cheating is a built in failsafe mechanism in to the human subconsciousness. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes no sense to put all you’re eggs in to one basket. The urge to pass on your genetic coding will always override any theoretical moral dilema. Hence people will always cheat on a generic level. Individuals however, may or may not sumcumb to the urge, but that would be more down to societal programming than the actual desire to do so.

  3. I’ve come to the point of agreeing with Darren’s view. My marriage as I knew it is gone. I’m currently married to a three (known) time cheater for 26 years, many of those years were after the first two cheats. I just two weeks ago discovered her cheating for the third time. We’ve talked, I sought counseling,, she promised to seek counseling, yet hasn’t and apparently never will. She thinks she didn’t cheat because it wasnt physical, allegedly it was only intimate sexual contact/conduct via the internet. Of course I’ll never know the truth, she’s deleted all of the messages. There’s an utter lack of respect when a cheater cheats that shows respect doesn’t, and probably never really did, exist on the cheater’s part.
    Only a fool would stay with any cheater, much less a 3-timer. Some cheaters have childhood traumas and issues that instill in them a way of mentally separating their conscience from their own thoughts and actions. A way of stepping outside of reality and rationalizing the most insane justifications for their actions and remorseless attitudes. For some it’s religion, for some it’s astrology and others rationalize their behavior by shifting blame thru some twisted psychobabble pretzel.
    There is only one way to deal with any cheater: dump them immediately after consulting with legal counsel and run like hell – it’s time to move on. There’s plenty of better fish out there.

  4. I’m married to a man for 35+ years. Gave up “myself” and my career aspirations to follow him around the country to excel in his career. We have 3 wonderful grown kids and beautiful grands. I have discovered several affairs over the last 11 years…and by way of eavesdropping, discovered many others as he bragged to a friend. Stupid me stayed as he promised to end the current affair( s) 5 years ago. But something told me he had not ended all contact. I found phone numbers of 3 of these women still in his phone, but disguised under other names…thinking I would never find them. I’ve watched this over a period of time and watched how the phone numbers were changed under different names as recent as a few months ago for one in particular.
    When I finally had the guts to approach him on the why he lied his way out of it til I told him he just can’t let go of these women…and how could he hold on to “numbers” when dee’s how his mess devastated his marriage and destroyed his wife? And how about we show these deceptions to our pastor and explain the why. ~ We are near retirement and in my heart of hearts, can’t imagine a marriage where trust has been broken fir the last time with this deceit. Like it’s really ok to still have mistresses phone numbers in your phone still and deceive your wife!” I feel like a big fool for “allowing him to walk over me believing after all these years I will not leave! Fear makes you do stupid things at the cost of your sanity…
    I have to make a decision…shame to contemplate leaving at this age, as he’s a good provider but abuses me with his cheating history.

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