Infidelity is one of the most crushing things a relationship can go through. It immediately destroys trust and can impact communication, intimacy, and even a willingness to continue with the relationship.
Many people believe that infidelity is an automatic end to a relationship.
In some cases, that’s true. When trust is broken, it’s often a very long and challenging road to recovery and reconciliation. Some people aren’t willing to do that or believe the relationship should end.
If you and your partner both want the relationship to heal and continue, there are things both of you need to do. If you’re the betrayed person, the most significant task on your journey is to practice forgiveness.
It’s only through forgiveness that you will genuinely be able to reconcile with your partner. So, how can you do that even though you’ve been hurt?
1. Believe Their Apology
To forgive your partner, they have to understand what they did was wrong and commit never to do it again.
While a simple “I’m sorry” might not be good enough, if your partner has taken the time to offer you a sincere apology and express regret for their decisions, it’s up to you to believe it and accept it.
That doesn’t mean accepting their apology but internally continuing to resent them. There is nothing either of you can do now to change what happened. But, if your partner breaks off the other relationship entirely and apologizes for their actions, your choice is to accept it, allow yourself to feel all of the emotions that are a part of the healing process, and to eventually move forward in your life.
2. Have More Open Conversations
Your partner has to understand that the trust developed over time in your relationship has shattered. People, in general, deserve some amount of privacy. But, it’s reasonable to want to rebuild that trust by talking openly about things. It might hurt you to hear about your partner’s affair, but some knowledge of it can help you to start healing.
For example, it might benefit you to learn your partner’s reasons for cheating in the first place. If they strayed, chances are it has something to do with the relationship and not necessarily you.
Allowing yourself to hear some of those things can also help you to face the reality of what happened instead of ignoring it. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can focus on healing, growing, and moving on individually and as a couple.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
It’s essential to set realistic expectations for both yourself and your partner as your relationship continues. Don’t expect all thoughts of the affair just to be gone one day. It will take a long time, and it’s nearly impossible to set a timeline for healing.
Sometimes, expectations can be the downfall of forgiveness and reconciliation because it’s easy to set the bar too high. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and your partner will help you have a little more comfort. It can cut the tension between you a bit more and allow you both to work through things at your own pace.
Forgiveness is much more than lip service. It’s something you honestly must have the capacity to turn it into a reality—but it can feel challenging at times.
If you’ve invested in your relationship and want it to work, you need to be willing to forgive with your whole heart. That doesn’t mean you need to forget what happened. Some scars will always be there.
But to reconcile, infidelity cannot keep its grip on your relationship. Use these keys to forgive, to reconcile, and to heal from the inside out. Please reach out to one of our relationship therapists today if you’re ready to move forward on your path to healing.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about counseling for couples dealing with infidelity. Feel free to call contact us at by calling 623-680-3486, texting 623-688-5115, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a 20 minute complementary phone call. You can ask all the questions you have and see if affair recovery at Crossroads is the right fit for you.