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How to forgive and move forward after an affair

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 5:33 AM
  • 1 Replies

How to forgive and move forward after an affair

EXPERT TIPS 
ON MOVING FORWARD

  • Posted on Jan 27, 2011 6:43 AM by Kori Ellis

Broken trust

FORGIVENESS

 


All affairs are a violation of trust. When there is an affair there is a universal requirement for forgiveness: contrition. The unfaithful partner must be grieving and penitent regarding shortcomings and imperfections. Furthermore, the unfaithful partner must share this grief openly and directly with the person(s) who has been impacted. When we ask for forgiveness we are opening up a dialogue with those who have been hurt the most. We transact. True forgiveness always involves a dialogue, and it is within this dialogue that healing occurs.

At the core of forgiveness lies empathy. Our capacity for empathy reflects our ability to gently lift ourselves out of our own self-absorption long enough to really understand the feelings of another human being. Therapists would say that this capacity to understand is intended to grasp the experience of someone else from their personal frame of reference: in other words, we try to put ourselves in their shoes.

Each of us loves poorly and conditionally, and most of us do not suffer fools gladly.

EMPATHY

Empathy allows us to let go of our self-absorbed reverie of self-as-victim and recognize that imperfection drives human behavior and all human behavior is destined to be imperfect. People in glass houses should not throw stones. We need only to look inside our own pain to recognize that we each have been forgiven many times by others –- often not knowing until years later.

This is the key. If others have forgiven us because we were worthy enough in spite of our misdeeds or imperfections, should we not be able to extend the same to others? This is empathy. This is our capacity as human beings to renew all. We have a responsibility to do so in our most cherished relationships –- which means we have the ability-to-respond.

HEALING

Once again, you will be able to express forgiveness face to face, or in a letter when you truly believe that:

  • The transgressor has taken responsibility for the pain created.
  • The transgressor feels genuine remorse/regret over his/her actions –- has said, "I’m sorry."
  • The transgressor has learned from his/her mistakes – the fall.
  • The transgressor will be mindful of his/her actions from this day forward –-pausing to consider the impact of all behaviors on others.
  • The transgressor gave the gift of time needed to heal and rebuild trust.
  • You are truly special again.

by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 5:33 AM
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sweetsurprise13
by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 5:37 AM

I agree with this and also that is would take a very long time but sometimes a marriage is worth saving.

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