Infidelity shakes a relationship more fundamentally than almost anything else couples go through. It does not matter if the cheating is a one-time affair, repeated missteps, or a longer affair.
Many people end up wondering how to forgive after getting cheated on. After cheating, nothing feels the same anymore, and nothing will ever be the same again.
Here you will learn how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
The Initial Situation: Can I Ever Forgive Cheating?
For those who have been deceived, terms such as "slip" and "flirt" sound extremely cynical. Typically, the question of how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else comes a little bit later.
If there is infidelity in the relationship, the trust is deeply shaken. The fact is, what happened cannot be undone. One did it, and the other suffered. Even after days and nights of discussing and analyzing, time can no longer be turned back.
So how to continue? How to be happy again? Can it work at all? Do you need couples therapy? Couple counseling? Marriage counseling?
Is it best to give up? Instead of endless horror, should you end your relationship and start looking for a new partner?
When Deceived, Anger, Despair, And Agony Start
Soon after the cheating, no one asks how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else. It is natural to focus on resentment and loss.
Due to the massive breach of trust, the betrayed person is initially in shock, followed by feelings of distrust, insecurity, anger, and disappointment. Being lied to and deceived by the supposedly close person is incomprehensible.
The grueling thoughts start: How the partner lied (since when? How often? Where and how exactly?). How they discreetly arranged encounters with the other person (Where? Who knew? How long had this been going on? Was it "just" sex?). How intimate they were with the other person (kisses, hugs, excited whispers…).
Suddenly you realize "I'm actually in the middle of this myself, in this horrible triangle story!" and start asking yourself how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else. Without the person concerned having any control over it, inner images of the other man or woman constantly intrude.
As a result of a partner's cheating, the betrayed person often struggles with a deep wound in their self-esteem: "Am I no longer desirable? Is it the sex? What I have done wrong?". These are questions that must be answered before asking how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
Infidelity Brings Bad Conscience, Feelings Of Guilt, Remorse, Fear
After the affair has come to light, the cheating partner gets "the full package": anger, desperation, contempt, accusations, jealousy, and hatred. It is often only at this moment that the unfaithful person becomes aware of the full impact of what they have done. At this point, it is usually too early to ask how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
The common foundation of the relationship is completely shaken. Is it even possible to think about how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else? Let's find out.
Often the unfaithful partner only realizes that they have a bad conscience and feelings of guilt when they see their partner in such a state of emergency.
Different Starting Points, Similar Feelings
Even at this point, it is too early to ask how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else. Because shortly after the affair is blown up, the betrayed starts to ask probing questions:
When should I have noticed that something is wrong and the other is cheating?
Has my partner ever been happy with me?
Why did they betray our love like that?
How many times have they cheated on me?
Didn't they find me desirable for a long time?
Were their feelings just played?
Was the sex with the other person better?
Has family life cost our love?
How exactly did they lie to me?
Was it just me that was naive to think we were faithful?
The question of "why" is usually influenced by the circumstances under which the infidelity or affair took place. Is it a one-time slip-up after a party? Was the thirst for adventure awakened by a short, violent flirt, but the cheating was bitterly regretted the next morning? Or did an ongoing affair come to light that has been going on for months? And finally is it possible to overcome this, and can you learn how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else?
The Interrogation: How Much Information Do You Need?
As understandable as the desire for information about the exact circumstances of the affair may be, I strongly recommend that you conduct as few analytical discussions as possible. Discussions about the details of the cheating will be tormenting - and it will be like tearing the wounds open again and again. The details might make it harder to think of how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else. Some questions you may want to ask are:
How exactly did the affair begin?
Were you the active part in the whole thing?
How long have you known each other?
How often have you written to each other?
Since when have you lied to me?
How long have you betrayed my trust?
What exactly do you find attractive about him/her?
How was the sex with him/her?
Where did you have sex with him/her?
Have you spoken of love to him/her?
What did you tell them about me and our relationship?
Have you thought about breaking up and starting over with him/her?
The desperate attempt to gain control of the situation and a feeling of security, to want to know as many details as possible so as not to be lied to any longer, is understandable. However, you do not get more security from more information, quite the opposite.
Flashbacks, intrusions, and torturous mental battles are only intensified. It doesn't matter how much you "squeeze" out of the other person: You weren't present at the encounters and will therefore never find out how it really was.
Instead of focusing on what has been done, you should think about the next step. And in case you decide to save the relationship, find out how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
After The Affair: Memories And Flashbacks
One thing is clear - the past cannot be rewritten. But good new experiences can – and must – be set against the painful insults to be able to emerge from the difficult situation together as a couple in the long term. You must both figure out how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
The way out of the crisis is almost always rocky. Even if they want to forgive the affair, it will happen again and again that the betrayed partner - without having control over it - will be afflicted by flashbacks. This partner will have feelings like sorrow or despair over and over again even if they try so hard to forgive. So, it's not easy learning how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
These violent emotional moments lead to the betrayed (depending on the situation and temperament) becoming either loud or icy or reproachful. However, it would be wrong for the partner with the "clean slate" to intentionally punish the "trust breaker" for the infidelity.
The betrayed person is often surprised when they are overwhelmed by hurtful memories.
How To Forgive When Your Partner Is Sleeping With Someone Else: Attempts At Justification
In such moments, the partner with a bad conscience is probably looking for reasons for what happened. Before looking at how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else, the betrayed person will want to look for the reasons why it happened.
Often, however, there are no real tangible reasons, but simply not actively saying "no" to temptation - even though the relationship was good overall. Affairs quickly take on a momentum of their own. Without reflecting on what damage the relationship could take, you gradually spiral into something fascinating and possibly even talk yourself into the positive effects of the illicit partnership.
The search for reasons and attempts at justification therefore often does not provide any security or new information, but only makes things worse and leads to further injuries. It may even make the process of finding out how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else completely vain.
The more often the "cheater" is interviewed and sits in the hot seat, the more likely it is that at some point they will become annoyed and irritable. This in turn triggers anger and despair in the other partner.
Cheating Happens Even In The "Best Relationships"
Sexual infidelity is not a rare phenomenon. A lot of people are considering how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
Throughout a long-term relationship or marriage, many couples find that one or both partners have been unfaithful in some way. This does not mean that the relationship is "bad" per se. It also does not mean the partners do not love each other.
No one walks through the world with blinders on, temptations quickly gain momentum of their own. Even if couples come here with the best of intentions and feel that their relationship is happy overall, a misstep cannot be ruled out.
But can a relationship really bounce back after an affair? That depends on your ability to learn how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else. Can you forgive the affair and have a happy relationship again after such a massive insult? And if yes: how?
To Forgive The Affair Or To Separate?
After affairs and infidelities have come to the light, relationship problems are almost always magnified. The fact is: Both partners are in a kind of shock after the confession or the uncovering of an affair.
It is therefore strongly recommended that you don't rush anything! Don't try to conclude too quickly. In highly emotional situations, it's almost impossible to have a constructive conversation and decide on the far-reaching consequences that a breakup would bring. While the news is still fresh, avoid thinking about how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
Both partners need time before judging separation or a new beginning. Building trust again takes time.
Here are five specific tips that can help you finally overcome such a crisis. This is how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
The basis for leaving an affair behind is that both partners want to decide together for the relationship and against future cheating, infidelities, affairs, acts of revenge, or controlling each other. Of course, the decision to start over doesn't solve all the problems. Fortunately, it creates security and a common goal. This is the first important step in how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
Create A New Basis Of Trust
The betrayed must fight against the nagging jealousy and insecurity in themselves. Over the next few weeks, months, and years, they will suffer flashbacks. They will have to deal with these insecurities and get support from their partner.
The one who has cheated needs to show confidence-building measures, provide reassurance, and have the patience to do it over and over again. The basis of how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else is learning to trust your partner again.
You Can't Forget The Affair, But You Can Forgive It
Real reconciliation and a chance for a new beginning can only come from being able to forgive. This is not a one-off act, but a long-lasting process. "I have forgiven you" does not mean "I can forget all that." The truth about how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else means accepting, not forgetting.
Instead of letting infidelity, affairs or jealousy determine your entire life from now on, ideas for new shared experiences must be developed together.
Torturing conversations will not make you happy. This will only prevent and delay the process of how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
Still, it can't hurt to learn signs that your partner is sleeping with someone else.
Agree On The Rules Of The Game
Agree on rules that give the betrayed partner security and make it easier for them to forgive. What happens, for example, if the "third party" contacts you again?
How can it be dealt with when conversations get out of hand? What daily signs and gestures can strengthen the partnership again? It may be impossible to understand how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else if you have not reached a mutual agreement.
Relationship Crises Also Represent Opportunities
At the end of the day, nobody wants to deal with the issue of how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else. Crises always represent opportunities and can give the starting signal for a new beginning. This can be used as an opportunity to grow stronger as a couple.
You need to put relationship problems behind you and experience quality and open interaction with one another in ways you did not understand before. To do this, however, both partners must consciously decide that they want to stay together and engage in an (often lengthy and painful) healing process.
Couples Therapy? Use Professional Support!
You do not need to struggle with the problem of how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else alone. On the one hand, good friends are priceless in such a life crisis – on the other hand, they are not always the very best advisors. People close to us mean well, sympathize with our suffering, and want to put an end to the misery as soon as possible.
Witnessing how someone you love was lied to and humiliated is hard to endure - and so those in the know may hastily advise you to break up and look for a new partner. In the sense of: How could he/she do this to you! Something like that can never really be forgiven.
For weeks he/she lied to your face. How are you ever going to build trust again? At least now you can see more clearly what kind of egoist he/she is! There have probably been affairs before and he/she has often cheated. So, I could never forgive infidelity. Especially since you are really attractive and desirable.
This kind of mindset doesn't create space for reconciliation or questioning how to forgive when your partner is sleeping with someone else.
It may therefore be advisable to seek professional support in the form of marriage counseling or couples' therapy. With the support of an outsider who is not personally involved, the calm and constructive discussion that is needed in such an exceptional emotional situation to find a viable path that can take place.