February 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Marriage | No comment
This is a question that woman have been asking themselves for centuries. It’s only in recent decades that divorce has really been an option for women whether their husbands cheated or not. While it’s hard to believe in silver linings right now, the bright and shining one for you is that marriages survive cheating spouses all the time.
When you look at the number of relationships with cheating partners, the numbers are truly staggering. Statisticbrain.com says that 41 percent of marriages have one or both spouses admitting to infidelity (emotional or physical). The really shocking news though is that, for perhaps the first time in history, men and women are cheating on almost an equal scale. Fifty-seven percent of men admit to cheating in any relationship they’ve had and 54 percent of women admit to cheating.
While the numbers aren’t completely promising, 31 percent of marriages survive (and last) after the affair has been discovered. When you consider that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, those numbers are a little more promising. But, how does this help you find forgiveness for the man who broke the vows you made together?
Allow Yourself Time to Process the Blow
This isn’t a light confession like drinking milk out of the carton or forgetting to take the garbage to the road on trash pickup day. This is a big deal. You need to allow yourself the time, and space, you need to really process what has happened, how you feel about what has happened, and what YOU want to happen next.
Don’t allow yourself to be bullied, cajoled, pushed, or drug into a situation you’re not emotionally prepared to dive into. It’s too much and could put you into meltdown mode where you withdraw from everything and everyone. That’s not good for anyone or your marriage.
Be Selfish for a Little While
There’s nothing wrong with watching him work his way back into your good graces. While it’s not cool to allow him to keep trying to win you over if you know you’re going to leave, there’s nothing wrong with dragging it out a little bit to watch him pay some sort of penance. It won’t make up for the pain. It certainly won’t take the pain away. But there is some sort of sadistic pleasure you can derive from it, and well the Universe owes you a small dark moment or two in wake of a blow like this.
Forgive Yourself First
Women have been taught to blame themselves when their men stray. Even in the so-called enlightened world we live in today, other women, prominent clergy, and countless politicians drive home the idea that the woman is the one at fault when men stray. Stop swimming in blame and guilt over actions that weren’t your own. You can’t own his actions any more than he can own yours. He did the cheating. But once you forgive yourself for his cheating, you’ll find that it’s much easier to forgive him for doing the cheating.
The path to forgiveness in infidelity is one of the most painful and surprising paths to walk. When you follow these steps, you’ll find that it’s easier to walk (though by no means easy) than you would have ever thought possible otherwise.