How To Forgive A Cheating Husband: Lessons From Elizabeth Edwards

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John & Elizabeth Edwards
This year, learn how to let go of the past and find peace in the present.

It's been said that during her final days, Elizabeth Edwards was too busy living to think much about dying. Instead of planning her funeral or fielding the media, she chose to bask peacefully and quietly in the love of her closest friends and family—including estranged husband John Edwards—determined to maintain what CBS News called "a very warm and nurturing home" for her children.

If her last days were spent with Mr. Edwards at her side, the disgraced former-Senator and presidential candidate who had lied to everyone—including his own wife—about his notorious extramarital affair, it begs the question of how, in her final days, did Elizabeth Edwards manage to concentrate on living with gratitude instead of dying with bitterness? Rather than spend her end shunning her husband, she gracefully forgave him, died at peace and in doing so, taught the rest of us some exemplary life-lessons in forgiveness and getting back in touch with what matters most. Did Elizabeth Edwards Forgive John Before Her Death?

Though Elizabeth Edward's clarity of thought and strength to forgive might have come from knowing how close she was to death, all of us can learn from her example—after all, you never know what challenges may lie around the corner. Our YourTango Experts took a look at how this amazing woman so resiliently saw through the despair of her cancer, and the personal shortcomings of her estranged husband, all the way to the bright side:

She Chose Forgiveness.
Ultimately, Edwards chose to deal with cancer the same way she had dealt with her husband's indiscretion: in peaceful surrender to what she couldn't change.

As she wrote in her book, Resilience: "Just as I don't want cancer to take over my life, I don't want this indiscretion, however long in duration, to take over my life either. But I need to deal with both; I need to find peace with both. There is still a great deal of sorting through to do—the lies went on for some time. And we both understand that there are no guarantees, but the road ahead looks clear enough."

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  • 42% of married men report being aware of their spouses' affairs with other men.