Forgiving infidelity seems impossible -- but is it always?

Sometimes it's worth trying to forgive an unfaithful partner.

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  • We all know that forgiveness is paramount — especially in relationships. However, many think that in some circumstances — such as infidelity — forgiveness becomes impossible. Still, there are couples who find a way to forgive and are able to move forward. That is not always the case, but it is important to understand that it's never our role to judge those who choose to forgive and recover what has been lost.

  • Read: Letters from a lover](http://familyshare.com/marriage/letters-from-a-lover)

  • Often, after learning that someone has been unfaithful, our first reaction is anger and endless ridicule. However, there are cases where forgiveness is possible:

  • 1. The error was admitted

  • From the beginning, the action is admitted as a terrible mistake, without trying to excuse the behavior, and the perpetrator assumes responsibility for his or her mistakes. He or she does so knowing that this in itself doesn't solve things; but it does create a good start to solving them.

  • 2. All necessary measures are taken to repair the damage

  • From the moment it is admitted, the one that has been unfaithful tries to do everything in his or her power to improve the situation, such as: no contact with the other person, understanding that trust is lost and it's his or her job to gain your trust again, not forcing intimacy, and seeking professional and spiritual help.

  • 3. Above all, honesty

  • An essential part of achieving forgiveness is that the unfaithful person is honest in his or her doings. When lies have no place in the relationship, trust begins to form again; and together a couple can face the task of restoring this important piece of the relationship. Part of being honest is never repeating the mistake - infidelity must not be repeated in order for trust to be regained.

  • 4. The desire to remain in a family

  • Although not the case for all families, husbands and wives may decide to give a chance to the relationship when children are involved.

  • A patient once said to me, "If there is even the slightest chance of my children growing up in a family with their father, and at the same time my husband can change his life and I can learn to forgive ... I will swallow my pride and decide to forgive, because my kids deserve at least that: the possibility of having a happy home." I should mention that this decision should be taken only when the unfaithful spouse has done or is in the process of doing the points mentioned above.

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  • The decision to forgive a spouse who has committed adultery is not an easy one; and above all, it is personal. If in this situation, it is important to ponder your options, and whatever the decision is, make it with the conviction and certainty that it's the best for yourself and your family.

  • This article was translated and adapted from the article, "Una infidelidad no se perdona. Bueno, a veces, sí".

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Denhi Chaney has a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Denhi is also a wife and mother of a child.

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