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April 12, 2020 3 min read

How To Forgive an Affair

By Tatyana Dyachenko

Many married couples when asked the question of if they’d forgive an affair would immediately answer "No". However for every determined answer, there’s a husband and wife out there who once said the same thing but are now considering doing just that.

Of course in a happy stable marriage, especially in the first few years, the thought of your partner having an affair seems like the ultimate betrayal, you can’t imagine ever wanting to share your bed, your life or your heart with them ever again but when faced with the situation you may find you actually consider forgiveness.

Some couples actually find that they grow stronger after an affair this is due to the events leading up to the betrayal. By understanding what prompted it you can take an objective view that allows you to weigh up the pros and cons to make the decision which is right for you.

Ignoring the Signs

It’s often only after the truth comes out that partners realise they should have spotted the signs. Maybe the adulterer was under a lot of pressure from work and needed an outlet, or maybe they were suffering from depression. As we become busier with life we tend to overlook these things assuming they’ll get better on their own, yet it’s these stresses and strains that usually come out in the counselling afterwards.

Lack of Self-Esteem

Many people seek an affair as they feel unattractive, old or undesirable. As someone else shows an interest it makes them feel young and sexy all over again. This is why many affairs are attributed to a mid-life crisis, and understanding that it’s not love but simply and ego boost will make it easier to forgive.

A Need to Feel Important

Some partners find that after they’ve stated a family no longer are they the number one being on their partners list. Although the love for the children will be shared, they seek or fall into an affair as a way to feel like they matter again. Nobody likes to be second best and although the children are in doubt important, one day they will fly the nest and once again you will be left with each other. That makes it even more important to ensure your partner always feels like no.1, or at least equal with yourself. Together you can make sure you children’s needs are met, but ultimately the person you need the most is the one who helped you make them.

By understanding the lead up to the affair you will be more likely to forgive. Together you can make sure that you address every point and make changes within your marriage. Think less about the sex and intimacy part and more about the signs that were ignored, as unless your partner has fallen in love with the person, many relationships can be salvaged.

Of course, some men and women have affairs for the fun of it, and forgiving once can give a green light for them to do it again. They have some need to feel wanted by multiple partners and nothing you do will fix their desire to cheat. However, if your partner is truly remorseful and seriously can’t stand the thought of losing you, try exploring the reasons why before calling it a day.