Have you recently found out that your husband has been cheating on you? For a lot of women this revelation strikes like a bolt from the blue. One day you’re just going about your daily life when your husband sits you down and delivers the news that he’s done the unthinkable, he’s been with another woman.
Infidelity hits you like a punch in the stomach, and a flood horrible feelings, thoughts and images pours through your head. And as all this is happening he’s asking you to forgive him! But how can you ever come to terms with what he’s done to you? How do you ever forgive an unfaithful husband?
Maybe your situation is a little different in terms of the details of how you found out about your husband’s infidelity. You may have suspected for a while that your spouse was cheating, or perhaps it was the other woman that told you. Regardless, at some point, if you decide to move on with your life together then you’re definitely going to run into the problem of how to forgive your husband for being unfaithful to you and to the sacred vows he took.
A big obstacle to forgiving an unfaithful husband that a lot of women run into is the perception of forgiveness that society imposes on us from an early age.
We’ve all heard stories about the victim of some heinous crime forgiving the criminal. Or of parents of a slain child forgiving the murderer. And if you’re the type of person that is capable of that sort of total forgiveness then that’s wonderful. You’re way ahead of the curve, so to speak.
But for most of us, forgiving someone for wronging us is not an easy task. And the bigger the transgression the more difficult it is to navigate your way through the tangle of emotions and find your way to truly forgiving someone. Forgiving your husband for cheating on you is one of the hardest.
In fact, let’s take it one step further, and say that trying to quickly – or even instantly – forgive your husband for his infidelity may actually be counterproductive in the long run.
Even though you might say that you’ve forgiven your husband for being unfaithful, all the negative thoughts and emotions, as well as those haunting images you may be experiencing, are all still there. They’re simmering just below the surface, and your attempt to forgive fails to take into account your need deal with them.
Try the Acceptance Alternative
Reaching a state of acceptance about your husband having been unfaithful means that you’re willing or able to simply tolerate the fact of his infidelity. Accepting that something horrible has happened in your marriage is the first step to being able to move on with your life together.
You don’t have to like it. Just be willing to say, “I accept that my husband cheated on me, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. I’m going to accept and deal with the feelings that I have and just move forward”
This is all assuming that your husband is willing to accept the responsibility of putting in a lot of work on his character and rebuilding trust. (A subject for another blog post) But once you accept that your husband was unfaithful and you accept your feeling toward that fact, the process of real healing can begin.
And guess what the result of letting yourself heal properly will be? Over time a natural forgiveness toward your husband will begin to grow on its own as the bad feelings begin to fade into the background.