Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

affairWe all know how devastating an affair can be to a marriage. The question often asked is, “Should I try to work through the betrayal and give the person another chance?”

It’s a question most of us hope we never have to answer.

If you are faced with this question, slow down and consider what is at stake and what is behind the cheating. I know, you may not care because the breach is so painful, but most cheating comes out of relationship problems that need some attention. Clearly, cheating is a choice made by one person, but it is often driven by issues in the relationship than need to be addressed.

If both partners are willing to work on the relationship by acknowledging their shortcomings, there is the possibility of rebuilding trust and growing in intimacy.

But before willingness can be assessed, the most important factor is the repentance of the person who had the affair.

Is the person truly sorry, repentant and willing to do what is necessary to try again? This requires complete cut off of the extramarital relationship, a commitment to honesty, a sincere apology and request for forgiveness. Then the person must be ready to answer questions.

Forgiving the person who cheated may take time. If you can’t forgive eventually, you won’t move forward –alone or in the relationship. Forgiving someone doesn’t necessarily mean you will reconcile, but it is the first step if you choose to stay in the relationship.

 

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