How To Forgive Yourself For Cheating
There’s a lot of information available to help the spouse who’s been cheated on…
There’s a lot of information available to help the spouse who’s been cheated on, yet there’s very little information available to help the wayward spouse. Countless relationships end as a result of infidelity. However, it’s not necessarily because the spouse found out and couldn’t forgive the behavior; it’s because the person who cheated couldn’t forgive themselves. If you’re trying to come to terms with cheating on your husband, then you need to start viewing cheating for what it is — a bad choice. It’s nothing more and nothing less.
The old adage, “once a cheater, always a cheater” is nothing more than a judgment which is intended to deter people from cheating in the first place. Don’t buy into this belief about yourself.
The old adage, “once a cheater, always a cheater” is nothing more than a judgment which is intended to deter people from cheating in the first place. Don’t buy into this belief about yourself. Who you are today is not who you were yesterday. Likewise, who you are in a burning building is very different from who you are at a picnic. Our circumstances at any given moment can change who we are, once we understand this about ourselves we can begin to live at a level of awareness where ‘choosing‘ our behavior becomes possible.
Many would argue, (myself included) that it’s best to tell your spouse what has happened, unfortunately though, many of us aren’t in relationships that can withstand anything less than the image we project. However, that’s not to say that our relationships can’t or won’t get to that level in the future.
If you find that you’re in a situation where you don’t feel you can share your indiscretion with your spouse without destroying your relationship, and yet, you also don’t feel as though you can remain in your relationship without disclosing what’s happened, then try the following:
First, find a couple hours where you can be alone without any chance of being interrupted (you will need a pen and notepad for this exercise). Now, I want you to write down everything that happened leading up to and including the indiscretion. The process is the same whether it was a one time encounter or an ongoing affair.
After you have written down everything in vivid detail, try to remember if there was anything you were afraid of prior to the incident. Typically, some type of fear precipitates cheating on a partner. For instance, were you afraid of not having anything to look forward to in the future? Were you afraid of getting older? Did you feel that this was your last chance at happiness and/or excitement? Were you afraid that your spouse was cheating on you? Really try to think back to what you were feeling at the time.
After you’re finished answer this question, “If I could go back, would I still make the same decision today, or would I choose differently?” If your answer is “yes, I would choose differently”, then write down all of the reasons you would make a different choice today.
I want you to reread everything that you’ve written. Take it all in one last time. Now, I want you to tear up what you’ve written and throw it away. You’ve acknowledged what’s happened and you’ve come to the conclusion that this is not a decision you would make again, in the future. Therefore, there is no need to revisit this experience again.
However, you may still find that there are times when you will feel guilty. Cheating is a little like dieting. So often when people cheat on their diets, they give up and stop trying to diet at all. It can be the same way with cheating on your spouse. People often give up on their relationships because they cheated. The guilt causes the cheater as well as the dieter to want to start over ‘later’ with a clean slate. So, the dieter goes on a binge and decides to start fresh sometime in the future. Likewise, the cheater does the same thing — they give up on their relationship and they decide to start fresh with a new partner.
If you can see the insanity in this behavior in terms of dieting then you should also be able to see the insanity in this behavior when it comes to relationships. A dieter with this type of mentality will most likely never lose weight; instead they will simply keep going back to the beginning, in other words, starting over. If you apply this same logic to your relationship, expect the same result; plan to continue going back to the beginning to start over again with new partners.
In the future, if you start to feel guilty about this again, I want you to read the following paragraph. In fact, reread it every time you catch yourself starting to feel even a twinge of guilt:
My relationship is not tarnished because of my behavior. I made a bad choice; however, no single decision has the potential to define who I am. I have not lost anything from this experience except the ignorance which is necessary to judge myself and others. I will forgive myself today — only by doing so will I be able to love and give again to those around me.
Now, I want to leave you with a question.
Wouldn’t you rather be in a relationship with someone who knows they are capable of cheating and yet they are consciously choosing to be faithful; as opposed to someone who mistakenly thinks they are just naturally incapable of certain behaviors? If you’ve cheated on your husband, you now have the ability to choose to be faithful instead of naively or childishly just assuming it about yourself; which means you now have the wisdom and experience to be truly trustworthy.
If you haven’t read the Women’s Infidelity books, that’s where you need to start. You’ll learn why it’s so hard for women to move forward from an affair.
#1 Source For Information About Female Infidelity
Women’s Infidelity: Living In Limbo
Learn the REAL reasons women cheat, and:
• Why women lose sexual desire for their husbands
• Why women are more likely than men to become addicted to affair sex
• Why marriage and fidelity can actually be MORE difficult for women than it is for men
• Why women have such a hard time getting over their affairs emotionally and psychologically
• Why women overwhelmingly initiate the majority of all divorces – even when they’re married to good men
• Why and how men unknowingly make the problem worse by doing the opposite of what they need to do to save their marriages
Women’s Infidelity II: Breaking Out Of Limbo
Learn how to understand your feelings for your husband, and:
• How to know if your feelings for the other man are real
• How to understand your feelings for your husband – what it really means when you say, “I love him, but I’m not “in” love with him
• How to know if there’s a possibility for a future with the other man
• How to stop your circular thinking
• How to end your confusion and move forward in 7 clearly defined steps
• Men: Learn how women process infidelity. Find out exactly what your wife is thinking and feeling
Get The Information You Need To Move Forward