A cheating partner is a relationship and self esteem killer but if he is not a habitual cheater then it may be possible to forgive him. Forgiving a cheating partner does not mean that you let him off the hook for the cheating neither does it mean that you give him a license to continue cheating on you. That is not forgiveness but impunity on his part and heartache breeding foolishness on your part. So how do you forgive a cheating partner?
i. Decide on what you are going to do. You must now take an honest and candid look at your partner and yourself, and then make up your mind what you will do. Do not act until you have decided one way or the other.
a. Determine if he has given up his cheating ways. To forgive a cheating partner you must know that he is remorseful about what he has done, he has stopped cheating on you and he has changed his behavior so that he doesn’t place himself in temptations way. This is the critical foundational step to help you forgive a cheating partner as it allows you to know that he has put the despicable behavior behind him.
When you know that the cheating is completely behind him then you can now start to put it behind you by forgiving him. If you are not sure whether the cheating is behind him or not then you are unable to put it behind you since in a way it is still part of your relationship today even if only in your mind.
If he has not given up his cheating ways then how can you forgive him for something that he clearly enjoys and continues to do? You cannot put his cheating in the past when he continues in it today. You must be completely convinced in your mind and heart that he has changed his behavior in-order for you to be able to forgive him.
b. Determine if you are willing and able to forgive him. To forgive a cheating partner you must look inside of yourself and decide whether you want to forgive your partner and whether you are strong enough to let it go. Are you willing to accept and live with what he has done, who the cheating has revealed him to be and the real state of your relationship? Be as honest with yourself as possible as that is the only way you will have the strength and determination to forgive him.
ii. Put the cheating in the past. Now that you have made up your mind that you want to forgive him you must now let go of the infidelity. To put the cheating in the past a number of things must happen;
a. You must decide that you will not take your revenge. Granted you are hurt and angry but to forgive a cheating partner you must stop hurting him with your words, deeds, sarcasm and negativity. Yes he messed up but if you want to move away from the infidelity then you must stop the punishment. Stop keeping the infidelity alive by your disapproval; in whatever form it takes.
b. Stop thinking about the infidelity all the time. True your initial reaction will be to obsess about the infidelity and for your mind to run through all the what-if’s that you can think of but you need to focus your mind on the new things happening in your life today.
c. Hold him accountable in his new behavior. Whatever you agreed that he would do to win your trust you must ensure that he keeps his word. He must do what is necessary to help you regain your trust in him so that your suspicions do not take you back into the past.
iii. Enjoy life again! To forgive a cheating partner you must now start enjoying life again. Live life to the full today without the weight of the infidelity. Focus on what is great and beautiful in your life and relationship and revel in them.
To forgive infidelity requires you to take all the three steps as each step is necessary in the journey to forgiveness. And it is a journey that will take time so don’t lose heart but keep doing the right thing until your emotions follow your deeds and you can get to the last step where you smile again.
However if you are simply suspicious about his cheating then use these signs of a cheating partner to help you know whether he is really cheating on you but if you are unsure your relationship can be saved then use these signs of a bad relationship to decide.
Rosy Anderson is a researcher in social economic issues and the way they affect decision making; and she enjoys writing and being in healthy, happy relationships.
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