Forgiving the Person Who Cheated on You?

Forgiving the Person Who Cheated on You? 1 Are you thinking about how to forgive a cheater person who cheated on you?

Recovery after a betrayal can be one of the hardest things a relationship will navigate. A betrayed partner can feel there’s no way to get past the pain.

For the long-term recovering, healing, forgiving, and reconnecting after an affair requires taking into account the context.

When you add context to betrayal, a whole new and very human story can emerge from the ravages of the crisis. Keep in mind, this doesn’t magically take away the pain, sorrow, and anger. Yet, adding the context helps create some understanding and sets the stage for compassion.

So what do we mean by context? And how do we use it to help us move forward?

Consider reasons beyond the obvious
When you’ve been cheated on, it’s natural to hurt and blame the cheating partner. You might question your role, wondering: How did I contribute? What did I do wrong? How am I inadequate? How did I not satisfy my partner’s needs?

It’s also easy to assume that reasons such as the cheating partner’s narcissism, or a lack of sex are the cause of the affair. That may be true — but partially. Typically, there are layers to uncover with a deeper dive into individual and relationship history and dynamics.

To work on developing a deeper level of understanding and try to work with your partner to explore the full context of why the affair happened can lead to conversations that you may have never explored before. Here are some points to consider that may have contributed to your partner’s choices:


Childhood trauma. A traumatic experience in childhood may have led your partner to develop behaviors or thought patterns that helped them cope as a child, but now interfere with their ability to remain faithful.

Loss of identity. Your partner may have decided to change their natural responses in order to adapt to the relationship and home environment. They may miss the part of themselves that they feel they can no longer “allow” in the relationship and seek to find a space where they can reconnect with that lost part of themselves.

Unreasonable beliefs. Your partner may genuinely believe they can sustain the primary relationship, as long as they can also satisfy a particular need outside of it. They use the affair as a “band-aid” for their inner conflict. They simply may not look at the possible consequences of having an affair, and thus remain in a state of denial about the damage and trauma it can cause.

Your own history. Past experiences you have had, such as events in your childhood or prior relationships, will influence how you show up for your current partner — which could then affect their decisions. One former client told us that while he was devastated by his wife’s affair, he could also see how his previous experiences of being cheated on made him emotionally unavailable to her — possibly adding to her desire to step outside the marriage. Self-exploration and insights into your own history can be critical to understanding the history of your relationship.

Contrary to the instinctual deduction that if one chooses to have an affair love does not exist in the primary relationship, are countless stories of affairs in spite of love and commitment in the primary relationship. The decision to cheat can occur for complex and myriad reasons.

Working towards understanding the layers is an essential step in the healing and reconnecting process. And to do this, you’ll likely need help. Are you ready?

Work with a couples’ therapist
Forgiving the Person Who Cheated on You? 2Working with a therapist who specializes in helping couples in crisis can be a game-changer.

Discovering an affair is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching like nothing else. The discovery typically leads crisis-laden with very complex and contradictory emotions that can be difficult to sort through, much less express. An experienced and knowledgeable couples therapist who understands how to work through this very specific crisis, can hold the space, provide guidance, safety, and insight, and help the process of recovery.

With Couple Care, you will find a non-judgmental, supportive space to begin to first address the crisis at hand, and then begin to parse through the transgressions and make decisions for your relationship, exploring questions such as:

What did this affair mean to you?

What do you now envision for the marriage/relationship?

What works and what hasn’t worked in the marriage/relationship?

Making your way through these and other such questions together, with a skilled professional, can lead to openings and new levels of understanding and perhaps open the way to the journey of healing. Whatever you may decide for your relationship, it is likely that through the process you will gain a new perspective and positive change within yourself.

FREE CONSULTATION:- Call us today at 949-229-2715 or email for more information. Psychotherapy services and couples retreats are offered throughout the week and on weekends. We do not do group work.