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