Is there any way to fix a relationship left broken by infidelity? How can you know you're ready to take them back, if you even should? These three simple questions might help you reflect further on forgiveness and hopefully, guide your next steps to recovery
Recovering from being betrayed is no joke. It may take months or years, but it always involves making difficult decisions. Whether or not you choose the road to moving on or the route of patching things up and starting anew, a period of reflection preceding this decision is necessary. How can you know a cheating spouse is worth forgiving? What makes a relationship worth salvaging?
1. Is your relationship damaged beyond repair?
Ask yourself: are you both at the point of no return? Is there no way back to where you once were? If you see a glimmer of hope, don’t give in so easily. Research has found that cheaters will most likely cheat again. So, if you feel that it’s not a good idea. Trust your gut. Your first instinct is often your best and healthier instinct.
It also helps to gauge just how hurt you are, suggests Dr. David Bedrick of Psychology Today. Betrayal, he says, is a violation of an agreement which results in an injury. It’s up to you to determine if this injury is beyond help.
2. Is your partner sincerely remorseful and willing to work at it?
After being unfaithful and asking for forgiveness, assess your partner’s level of sincerity. Does he or she seem to genuinely regret their betrayal? Does it feel like it’s only for show, to win you over, only to hurt you all over again? You know your partner best and you can easily tell if they’re exhibiting genuine humility and if they’re taking responsibility for their actions.
This is not to say that you should forgive them instantly if they meet this criteria, but reflecting on this can help you make a decision that best suits you.
3. Are you ready to make a leap and trust them again?
Once you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to look inwardly. Reflect on your feelings and your emotional capacity to accept, forgive, and commit to working out a solution with your partner. Are you ready to risk getting hurt again? Are you ready to define boundaries and express your fears, trusting your partner to work with you to recover what you lost?
It is possible to bounce back from the heartbreak of being betrayed by someone you dearly loved, but it will take some serious commitment to moving on together, refraining from dredging up past heartaches when things get rough. No matter what your decision will be, make sure you it comes from a place of genuine honesty, with your partner as well as yourself.
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