Wow, cheating and forgiveness. They hardly seem to belong in the same sentence, yet some people are able to forgive their spouses for cheating. What sets them apart from others who decide to divorce instead? It’s not magic; the truth is its hard work. It involves recognizing shortfalls in the relationship and working, often for a long time perhaps even years, to put together a new chapter in the relationship. The seemingly inconceivable task on the part of the injured spouse is not only forgiveness but finding a platform from which to spring together into the future.
We all wonder, what makes someone cheat? Most often, I think it is a lack of self-confidence on the part of the cheating partner or spouse. They might not have ever felt loved or even lovable, because they don’t love themselves. Combine this with a hard to define element often missing in the relationship which has caused a partner to look outside the relationship for more affection or excitement. Perhaps one partner works long hours, or the addition of children has created stress which can smother the former passion between two people. Life can turn out to be disappointing for many as we age, there are the never ending “would have”, “could have”, “should have” situations staring us in the mirror in addition to wrinkles, gray hair, and expanding waistline.
These are some difficult issues to grapple with, on top of feeling betrayed. Most of us do not possess the vocabulary or training to overcome such obstacles and arrive at a healthy outcome.
In my heart, I think most of us have the capacity to forgive but may only be able to do it with some guidance. No one can deny that these issues can be significant obstacles to master on your own. Some people will decide that they can forgive and move forward and others will decide that they can’t forgive and that’s it. Whatever decision is best for you is ok and you have to be able to believe that.
Just like physical issues, emotional issues require help, and there is no better opportunity to reach out for assistance and support than when faced with betrayal.
The mediators at West Coast Mediation Center specialize in mediation to assist in relationships which have deteriorated for a variety of reasons. Let our years of experience preserve the years you have invested in together or help you end your marriage peacefully. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center for a free consultation.