Is infidelity in a relationship forgivable

After the affair: forgiveness or separation?

Any breach of trust will severely test a relationship. The affair is a particularly comprehensive form of breach of trust for the cheated partner. If you cheat, you grant another person access to a private area that does not belong to you alone without the consent of your partner. There he shares with the intruder what he has only promised to share with his partner. However the affair came about and how it was meant, whether a one-time "slip" or a long affair: From the other side, it is comparable to high treason, the disclosure of state secrets or the sullying of a temple. Nobody who loves their partner can simply forgive them for cheating and carry on as before. On the other hand, there are hardly any alternatives after the affair: Forgiveness is the only alternative to separation in the long run. Because without forgiveness and reconciliation, the shattered trust cannot recover, and without trust a respectful and loving relationship is not possible. If forgiveness seems impossible after the affair and both partners still do not want to give up the relationship, couple counseling or marriage therapy can help to resolve the hardened fronts and find ways to deal with the crisis in a meaningful way.

Cheating, Affair: The Difficult Dealing with Guilt

No animal feels guilt like humans do. The siblings of guilt also belong to the archaic human heritage, they are, so to speak, the dark cherries on the icing on the cake of morality. Repentance, atonement, punishment and forgiveness: even in the age of the Internet, that still sounds suspiciously like condemnation and redemption - and often enough feels the same. It is particularly difficult for men and women to forgive their partner for cheating, as the severity of the guilt in their eyes calls for a harsh punishment. During the first time after the confession of the partner or the discovery of the infidelity, many feel above all powerlessness, humiliation, pain and anger over the affair. Forgiving is the last thing they want in this situation: That would be tantamount to agreeing or trivializing the severity of guilt and the extent of damage, but above all a diminution of one's own feelings. Assigning and accepting guilt can be important in getting your point across, venting emotion and compassion, reinforcing resolutions, and showing a willingness to learn. The clear clarification of the question of guilt after an affair, however, is a highly complicated, little promising and above all not forward-looking undertaking, because how should it go on afterwards? Who would it help to cement the guilt somewhere? Who wants a memorial in the garden, which from now on darkens the sky even in the nicest weather and stands in the way of every new design plan? During marriage therapy or couple counseling, no attempt is made to clarify questions of guilt. Guilt has no opposite to replace or erase, and so it must be overcome as a principle.

There are only high waves where there is a lot of water

Affair doesn't just happen in unhappy partnerships, dispassionate marriages, or during long periods of separation. Often several components of chance play together and create a situation in which rules are forgotten or seem to no longer apply. It is not uncommon for someone who has cheated to find it difficult to understand what he was doing afterwards. It would be best if it could be undone, because actually nothing has happened: Many attempts to explain sound like this or similar, are deeply serious and completely honest and still fail to achieve their goal. Because no one who loves his partner can simply put up with a secret affair or "wave through". The boiling up of feelings, which can represent an emotional borderline experience for everyone involved, is basically a good sign, because friction requires closeness. As long as there is intense fighting and suffering on both sides, there is much hope that love will win. Cold arises from contempt and the often underlying desire to be free from the other. It likes to express itself in careless ridicule, a lack of empathy or indifference and often indicates that a relationship is no longer sustainable.

Cheating, fling: In marriage therapy there is room for the really big opera

When counseling couples talk about cheating, forgiveness and the chances of saving a love relationship, it is often about injured pride and the feeling of injustice: Is it fair that the betrayed partner should forgive the affair in order to enable the future together who first endangered the other through his infidelity? On the other hand, it can feel just as unjust to have to atone for the rest of your life together for a frivolous act that is already deeply regretted. In the context of marriage therapy or couple counseling, many speak openly for the first time about the extreme feelings and deep inner troubles that the partner has triggered in them with his breach of faith and with which they tormented themselves in many lonely hours: From depression and self-doubt about existence - and fear of the future through to a burning thirst for revenge, murder and suicide fantasies, the spectrum of suffering ranges from which you have to forgive and let go together with cheating so that the relationship has another chance. As part of marriage therapy, both partners should have the opportunity to express themselves without fear, to think together about what has been said and to talk about what has been done. To forgive an affair means adding it to the overall picture of the relationship without permanently damaging the picture. Even after this crisis, it must still be possible to give the partner an all-round affirmation. To just keep loving him "anyway" is a lazy compromise that permanently diminishes happiness and is unjust to both.

Rearrange wishes and needs

In order to be able to forgive an affair, it helps to speak openly about possible reasons and to take them seriously and to reconsider them even and especially if they contradict your own understanding of the situation. Affair often arise from the desire to break out of a world that is experienced as predominantly exhausting, monotonous or stuck. Cheating often plays a lot more in the first person for the unfaithful partner than the second and third imagine: At least for a short time, every now and then, it frees the caged thirst for adventure, lets you experience throttled passion in its original strength and replaces what is urgently needed , but is too tightly measured by the partner. That can be a lot: recognition and admiration, spontaneity and exuberance, satisfying sex or romantic tenderness. Often couples get to know each other completely again through a crisis or get to know each other much more intensively afterwards, because in order to rule out further infidelities, it is important that everyone recognizes their own needs and those of the partner, accepts them and can also meet them within the framework of the partnership. If this basis is in place, the crisis you have overcome is the cornerstone for a well-deserved new beginning.