But I don’t think this is why he quit and I don’t think this is why it’s getting so much attention. I think there may be other personal secrets that he wants to prevent the public from knowing because it would hurt his family further. — Sari Cooper, CST, LCSW
I have told these words to my best friend not long ago.
In our 30 years of friendship, I have seen him cry on three occasions. First was when his mother died when we were 10. I had to share Optimus Prime with him just so he would stop messing up my pillow with his snot. The second time he cried was during his wedding day. We were waiting for his wife at the altar and he was beaming. Suddenly, his eyes were filled with tears as she walked towards him. I had to give him my hanky so that he could wipe the tears off his face.
The third occasion to which I saw him cry was when my god daughter was born. She was a preemie and her early coming gave us all quite a scare. We really thought that she wouldn’t make it and yet she did. Actually, I joined him with the tears. I love his little girl too.
And today, over a bottle of Bud, he is again pouring his eyes out. This is the fourth time I’ve seen him do that and it’s because of his beloved wife. He caught her cheating on him. I have never imagined this day would come to their marriage. They have always been a happy couple. But, I guess life happens and it can easily fall apart.
“I don’t care what you think, man. I love her. I want to forgive her and make this work.”
I was intrigued to read the recent research by Christin Munsch, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, investigating the correlation between infidelity and economic dependency. She found that the more economically dependent men and women are on their spouses, the more likely they are to be sexually unfaithful. — Stan Tatkin Psy.D.
My mouth was shut the whole time. Yet, he was assuming I’d say something negative about his wife. Quite the contrary, I would always encourage couples who still love each other to fight for their marriage. ‘Til death do us part, right? It didn’t say – if she cheats, throw her to the lions.’ So, who am I to judge? My input of how much of a “tramp” she is won’t help the situation. Men are fix-it beings and this needs to be “fixed”.
“Then, forgive her. Do you know how?”
I asked him that and he was speechless for a moment. “Tell me how,” he said, “help me.”
One of my missions in life is to assist marriages that are about to perish. It is my belief that in a marriage, no matter what the problem is, there will always be a solution. Married life is never easy and both the wayward and betrayed spouse will almost throw in the towel during the process of reconciliation. But, if there is love, there is hope. And if there is hope, the couple will make the marriage work.
How to Forgive a Wayward Spouse
When infidelity hits a marriage, there is a 50-50 chance of survival. It is very easy to say that you can forgive your cheating spouse. But, when a situation presents itself – the hurt feelings can be triggered. The betrayed spouse can bring up the past and nag on the wayward spouse. They continue to resent each other and then, the marriage becomes stale once again.
It can shatter an illusion of trust: “If he/she is being deceitful about this, what else are they lying to me about? — Brad Klontz Psy.D., CFP
How can you be sure that forgiveness is in your heart?
Is this person really worth your forgiveness? To answer this question, here are things that you need to ponder on.
Is this person worth it? Did he or she cheat on you or other people before you? What’s the reason he cheated on you? Can you accept that reason? Did you understand why he or she had resorted to an affair? How can your spouse guarantee that it won’t happen again? What was going on in your relationship during the affair? Did he or she regret it?
Truthfully, if this person is worth it for you, then, half of the race is won. But, if he or she has cheated before, it is time to let go. This person may be a serial cheater. If you give him or her a chance, he or she will definitely do it again. It can’t be helped.
If you accept the reason behind his or her cheating, then, that’s another point towards forgiveness. As for guarantees, this is not absolute. No one can guarantee what can happen in the future. But, if your spouse accepts the accountability process, then, there is a chance.
Accountability means that if he or she is away from you, there must be open communication between the two of you. The wayward spouse must be honest as to his or her location, the company he or she is with at that moment and when he or she is coming home.
Once you have established this, you can reflect and think back about your relationship status. Were you ignoring your spouse due to your hectic schedule? Did you neglect your duties to him or her? How about your spouse’s need – were you able to deliver it? I am not saying this is your fault. But, this happened because your spouse was a weak person who had insecurities in your marriage – something that you could have helped your spouse with. The blame is not on you. But. this time around, you need to change too.
Talking to your wayward spouse, you will instantly see if he or she is really remorseful of his or her infidelity. If you can see that, then, the marriage has a chance. You can forgive your spouse for committing a mortal sin.
Are you stupid for forgiving your spouse? No, never! A report states that 60 to 75 percent of marriages that experienced infidelity continue to move on. It means that both spouses love each other enough to try and fix what was broken. And for those who are serious about their commitment to repair the marriage that was tainted by infidelity, long-term love relationship is very much possible. Can you move on from the infidelity? Very much so, YES.