Forgive cheating spouses? Is that a good idea?
Before you decide to forgive a cheating spouse, ask yourself some questions if forgiving them makes the most sense both now and for your future?
You’ve got some big decisions to consider that could either improve your life or make it worse.
I’ve been on both sides of the cheating fence and read or talked with many people who spouses betrayed them.
The worst time to make quick decisions is while you still feel emotionally raw about the affair.
Consider all the possibilities both the guaranteed and hypothetical scenarios and outcomes first, decide your objective then finally choose the best option.Don’t choose now based on emotions or you could risk losing your happiness- FOREVER!
So what scenarios should you consider regarding whether to forgive cheating husbands or wives?
9 Things to Consider Before You Forgive Cheating Spouse
You may feel the urge to quickly forgive your disloyal husband or wife so you can keep your normal routine life. Perhaps you consider to work through the problems in order to rebuild the marriage and strengthen it.
But before you make that decision I’d suggest you make sure you do so for the right reasons or pay the consequences of more misery.
1. Cheating Spouse Want the Marriage?
Do THEY want to stay married or only you do?
What you want may matter little if your spouse shows little interest in repairing the situation and staying with you. However, right after you discover the affair will not prove the best time to convince them to talk or to make any decisions.
As raw as your feelings writhe with pain, DO NOT take the action that you will regret later.
Right now you don’t know which course of action to take.
In the meantime you can’t afford to fall apart emotionally yourself nor beg, embarrass and push your spouse away.
To save the marriage, or at least give yourself time to consider what you want to do, learn the techniques to get back your personal power.
2. Will They Cheat Again?
What if this wasn’t a mistake, a slip up? Maybe they’ve checked out mentally from the marriage and will repeat the same action with the same person or someone else.
Do you want to take that chance?
Find out more of what to expect in your life if you take back a cheating spouse.
Did they cheat due to situational reasons or repeat cheater personality traits.
One of the first signs your marriage has potential to work out depends on how much remorse your husband or wife displays after you discover their affair.
How much proactive action and interest do they display to end the affair and repair the damage they created?
Do You Fear He/She Will Cheat Again?
[Take Short, Simple Quiz]
Find answers NOW…start quiz below…
3. The Effect on Your Family
What is the immediate reward for my family if I stay?
The present and future well-being of your kids depends on how you react right now. You might need some time to consider this before making a decision.
On one hand staying and repairing the marriage could avoid disruptions in their lives and allow them to continue down a normal path to finish school, go to college and learn to live independently.
That’s of course if you receive the proper help and advice to guide you.
What about the consequences when you forgive cheating spouses?
Sure your family stays together under the same roof, but how does that affect them emotionally? How will they view the cheating parent? If you stay together, but don’t fix the problems what kind of message does this send them about conflict resolution? It looks like you just ignored the problem.
I found this article on what kids feel after extramarital affairs.
Then of course what about the big decision of fighting for custody of the kids if you decide to divorce?
While the laws change from state-to-state (or country-to-country for that matter) this article from a law office’s website may provide you some insight regarding how the courts handle extramarital affairs and child custody.
From experience this is the #1 indicator to gauge your chances of keeping you marriage.
Cheaters who still want to save their affair, but do not want to leave the safety and comfort of their lives with you suddenly become great actors and performers.
They know exactly how to beg, plead and manipulate you into believing they wish to work things out to stay married. Do not let them fool you.
Consider these questions:
- Do they beg for forgiveness AND prove to you they cut off all communication with the OP?
- How sad do they appear? Or do they seem shameful for you catching them?
- Did they come clean on the affair or did you catch them?
- What actions do they take ON THEIR OWN to convince you to stay?
- Do they take responsibility for their choice to cheat?
- What are their reasons to stay with you? Do they appear scared of living alone or fear losing the relationship?
- **Do they negotiate ways with you to repair the damage they caused?
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5. The Effect on You Personally…if you forgive cheating spouse
What are the potential future rewards for you personally if you forgive cheating in your marriage?
If you figure out a way to save your marriage either from the help of the resources I suggest or the help you seek on your own the rewards are high.
Overcoming such a traumatic experience and still ending up happy builds character and self-esteem.
You then become eligible to help others who live the same horrific experience. You could end up providing a lot of useful, relationship-saving advice to others suffering emotionally from affairs.
Now what about the consequences?
If this doesn’t turn out well, then I hope you have a Plan B. Imagine the worst case scenario of staying with your betraying spouse for many years feeling like roommates only to find out later they cheat again.
You will feel like you lost a good chunk of years of your life that you cannot get back.
You will also find it difficult to fight off the urge to hold a grudge against the opposite sex and relationships in general.
It messes with your self-esteem and confidence to make right decisions.
And another big thing to consider is how it affects your career and relationships outside of your marriage. I wrote this post about the effects of infidelity on careers.
6. Logic or Emotions?
“How much of my decision-making is based on logical choices?”
When something breaks the first thing we rush to do is fix it.
The thought of living without something that’s a part of our daily routine unnerves us.
We even allow what others think to bother us.
After you catch your spouse in an affair you immediately worry about what your family and friends will say if you stay in the marriage.
I can’t stress how easy it becomes to make hasty decisions the first few days after you find out about the affair.
That’s why I wrote my free eBook to survive the first week after D-day. Download it here.
7. Life Alone: Financially and Emotionally?
How would you handle life alone in the immediate aftermath both emotionally and financially?
While considering to forgive cheating husbands or wives you might think about what your life would be like alone.
Consider these financial questions:
- Would you have to sell your house? Would you make any money from the sale?
- Do you have money to pay a lawyer to help you through the legal process?
- How difficult will it be to divide up your belongings?
- Would you make enough money to live comfortably?
- Do you have a place to go while you figure how to resolve the financial issues?
- How far away from work will you live if you move?
- Do you have savings to hold you over?
- Could you pull from investments? Like an IRA, 401K, stock holdings, mutual funds, etc, which you own outright? (Check with a tax attorney and financial adviser on the ramifications of making this decision).
Also consider these questions regarding your own personal emotional well-being following a break up:
- Will you need to live with a close friend or relative if you decide to not forgive cheating in your relationship?
- How emotionally dependent are you in your relationship?
- Do you have close friends who can and want to spend enough quality time with you?
- What big goals could you achieve by living alone that you can’t while married?
- If you break up how willing are you to grieve rather than seek another relationship to fill the void?
8. Do You Fear Being Alone?
Is the real problem and challenge you face actually your fears of loneliness?
You say you love him/her and that you cherish the times you’ve spent together. And what about all the time you’ve invested? Ten years?!
Yes, you should consider these factors.
However, before you ponder what you’d miss out on with your spouse ask yourself how likely things will return to the way they were.
Will it feel like a fake relationship where you pretend to love each other?
If you know the relationship is broken would you really rather live a fake life?
9. Repeat Offender?
Serial cheaters will NOT change (at least for you).
If you are a pleaser who forgives all poor behaviors and who fears living on your own then you will live the rest of your life in misery if you forgive a serial cheater.
I’ve read extremely depressing stories where the wives forgave their cheating husbands through DOZENS of affairs over DECADES of marriage.
In these cases the problem is no longer the cheater. It’s your FEAR OF BEING ALONE.
I understand how difficult it is to accept that the worst case scenery in a relationship happened to you. I know first hand. My ex-wife cheated on me. I think about her every day, BUT I no longer deal with the stress of hope that a broken person will change.
Read my post on the 9 Serial Cheater Traits (my most popular post on my entire blog).
Make sure to check out this post (not mine) on whether to give a cheater a second chance. The last few paragraphs touch on serial cheating.
The Hope that You CAN Forgive Cheating and REGAIN HAPPINESS in Marriage
Each affair differs one from the other.
The list of circumstances surrounding the affair could extend far out of sight.
And more importantly the personalities and histories of the people involved differ vastly from one person to the next.
Some people are either just not ready or meant for relationships. For whatever the reason is they just aren’t, but you will not fix them.
However, some marriages can be fixed. As is the case with this couple that licensed counselor Dava Vince helped repair their relationship. The right ingredients existed to fix it.
And if you’d like insight on your own situation read about the probability to fix your marriage here.[Betrayed husbands can heal their pain from their affairs here.]
Download my free eBook on how to survive the first week of your affair.
What’s a GOOD Reason to Forgive Cheating Spouses?
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