Forgiveness after infidelity in marriage
As earlier discussed, betrayal in dating and marriage is complicated. It raises several issues and questions. You are left wondering: What happened? How could this happen? Does this person love me? Who is this person? But despite all the issues and questions an affair can throw up in marriage, let’s explore how best to handle the situation.
This particular edition deals exclusively with the betrayed in marriage. It is really essential for you to explore forgiveness not only for your partners’ sake but also because you do not want to remain under forgiveness’ heavy burden. Forgiveness in this context is giving up your right to stay mad or freeing yourself from bitterness.
Unforgiveness is heavy and costly. It begins with the temptation of constantly replaying the event in your mind. The more you replay the event, the more destructive meanings you get from harmless gestures and conversations which ultimately leads to chronic anxiety. Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which stimulates the production of natural killer cells. Regrettably, while all of these is ongoing your heart palpitates faster, your body trembles uncontrollably and there is an unexplainable surge of sorrow in your heart. This feeling is capable of incapacitating you while crumbling your productivity and creativity. You become hardened, critical, judgmental and incapable of showing mercy.
It is true that when the cheating partner is truly remorseful and repeatedly expresses heartfelt sorrow and regret it pacifies anger that makes it easier to forgive but even when they don’t, please decide to forgive them because of your health and peace. Remember, given the right circumstances, the best of us is capable of doing atrocious things.
Sometimes an affair signals other underlying issues in the relationship. Inasmuch as this is true, it is also unhealthy to take full responsibility for your partners’ indiscretion. There are so many ways he/she could have responded to the issues in the relationship, if he/she choose to cheat, it is his/her sole decision. The good thing however is that the situation can be exploited to improve on the existing relationship by creating a safe place to hear each other’s feelings and uncover longstanding issues that may have created a climate for the betrayal.
Another vital truth in marriage is that every challenge however ugly comes to reveal the weaknesses in both partners. Everything happens so that both parties can clearly see themselves and their spouse better. If you do not choose a morally superior position to your spouse, you stand a chance of improving your character and becoming a better person in the process. It is a chance at personal development. Think deeply about this.
So much energy is produced when you have been wronged but how do you dissipate this energy? Do you want to dwell on the wrong and the wrong doer or invest the energy productively? Do you want to dispense the energy devising retaliation strategies or would you rather craft winning ideas? Convert the energy to positive use.
This is not in any way trivializing your pain. Unforgiveness imprisons and guess who the prisoner is – you! It does more harm to your health and progress than to the offending party. The concept of forgiveness is easier said than practiced but rewarding. If you open to the idea, you become strengthened and become better for it. I pray for inner strength for you.
I expect to hear from you. Stay strong!
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