FORGIVENESS

Relationship Restoration: How to Forgive and Reconcile After an Affair

Words that describe reconciliation include ‘repair’, ‘heal’, ‘fix’ ‘rebuild’ and ‘restore’.

Sometimes these terms even have a place at the international level, when two or more countries in conflict can find reconciliation after a war.

The same can be said for partners whose relationship has been rocked by an affair. “War” may seem to be a strong word to apply to this situation. But just as in war, infidelity involves people who have very different perspectives.

Despite having ongoing differences and difficulty, it is possible for couples to find forgiveness and reconcile after an affair.

Here’s how this can happen:

Aftermath of Infidelity: How to Help Your Children Cope with Your Affair

When a relationship is rocked by an affair, the betrayed partner is often the focus of attention. This is normal, since the hurt partner is traumatized.

In the immediate aftermath of the affair, addressing this partner’s anger, pain, shock and confusion is of paramount importance.

But if you have children they also feel the effects and need as much help coping with the painful situation as much as – or even more  – than your partner needs.

So after your children learn about your affair, what can you do?

Note: The worst possible scenario you could face would be that your child becomes suicidal. At the end of this article are the Warning Signs of Childhood Depression including what actions you would need to take.

Self-Compassion: Why it’s Much Harder Than Compassion for Others

 

Do you find it easier to forgive others than yourself?

Are you able to accept others’ mistakes but not your own?

Practicing self-compassion can actually be very difficult. This is especially true if you learned as a child to care more about others, or if you have a hard time forgiving yourself.

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Myths and Facts

Clearly, whenever you’ve been cheated on, there are many feelings that arise.

However, some of these emotions could be based on myths about those who cheat. And that can cause you to make decisions based on faulty information.

If you are trying to cope with a partner’s infidelity, get the facts and reject the myths.

Need Help Letting It Go? – 5 Ways You Can Forgive and Move On

Forgiveness is an idea that many of us struggle with—some forgive too quickly, while others maintain grudges that drag them down.

While everybody must choose to forgive on his or her own timeline, it’s crucial that we all establish a healthy relationship with the concept of forgiveness.

These 5 tips will allow you to feel more comfortable and confident about your ability to forgive.

Finding Intimacy

Many people search for that special intimacy in their relationship. Some of us search our entire lives for a feeling of oneness with another person. It’s hard to describe, really, what we search for, but we know it when we finally achieve it. Maybe we tire of that dark feeling of being alone as we struggle through life. If only there were someone else here, we say to ourselves, who could understand and share these burdens. Then it wouldn’t be so lonely. It wouldn’t be so hard.

10 Steps to Forgiveness

  1. Understand fully that forgiveness does not mean that it is all right for the aggressive behavior to ever be repeated. Forgiveness is meant for past behavior that was unacceptable.
  2. Give up the unrealistic hope that the offender will apologize or answer your questions or be able to explain why he or she hurt you. Even if apologies or answers were forthcoming, they would not alleviate the pain. The offender’s views, and depth of insight, will differ from your own.
  3. Understand that the pain is all yours, not the other person’s. When we forgive, it is for the purpose of dealing with our own pain.
  4. Make up a list of the specific things that were done to you which you have decided to forgive.
  5. This means acknowledging and grieving the losses that have resulted from being hurt, and this may generate potent feelings of anger, sadness and fear.
  6. See if there were any positives about the relationship. In some cases there may not be anything positive – but if they do exist, acknowledging them could help you move toward a more compassionate view of the relationship.
  7. Write a letter to the offender. This is a letter that you will never send. Allow your feelings to flow onto paper. Write freely about your hurt and anger, but include any positive feelings you may have about the relationship. If it feels right to you, acknowledge that they were probably doing their best at the time or perhaps they had been strongly influenced by their upbringing.
  8. Regardless of whether or not you write a letter, you can use your imagination and have a dialogue with the offender. Try to talk out loud if you do this. If you have their picture, look at it while you talk. You can also imagine what they might say in response, and then you can reply to what you imagine they would say. It may be helpful to look at your reflection in the mirror while you have this dialogue. When you do this you are witnessing yourself letting go of your pain. An alternative to this is to engage in a role-playing exercise with a close friend or a professional therapist.
  9. Create a separation ceremony which ends the connection between you and the offender. For example, you might burn your letter and the lists you made and then scatter the ashes. Or you might visualize a final goodbye where the offender-and your hurt feelings-float away like a balloon, becoming smaller and smaller and eventually disappearing. As part of this ceremony, give the perpetrator your blessing and forgiveness.
  10. Celebrate your freedom to live your life unburdened by the pain of your past hurt.

If you have intense feelings during any of these steps, this may be an indicator that you may need to work some more on your losses before you are ready to forgive. The help of a supportive person – a professional therapist or a trusted friend – may be needed as you progress through this experience.

Please call me at 949-760-7171 or text 949-244-8572 or email me at jimswaniger@gmail.com with any questions of to schedule an appointment.

 

How to Forgive

All of us have been hurt, in one way or another, by someone else. While it is easy to forgive a friend for note returning our phone call, it is not so easy to forgive those who have harmed us in a major way. The greatest hurts seem to come from those who play the most significant roles in our lives.

The enormity of the hurt may lead us to conclude that we can never forgive the other person. However, to forgive or not forgive is one of our most important life choices. It is vital for our own emotional well-being to understand that it is a choice that has consequences.