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.

Dr. Erica Goodstone, PhD, YourTango expert and renowned relationship coach says, in situations such as these, the act of forgiveness plays a huge part in healing.

"Forgiveness helps the person who forgives even more than the one being forgiven," says Goodstone. "It allows one to love the other person for the whole being that he or she is, not just focused on this one painful aspect or series of events." Moreover, she found comfort and support for her act of forgiveness in both the presence and her sense of family.

She Understood We're Only Human.
Shortly before her passing, Edwards posted this reflection about finding strength through accepting weakness on her Facebook page—the post was to be her last:

The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.

In facing our foibles head on, we hone our capacity to be grateful for the positive aspects of our relationships. "Ms. Edwards never said she was perfect, actually she admitted many times that she was only human, and she may not have been able to truly forgive her husband for everything that happened in their very public marriage," says YourTango Expert Dr. Tammy Nelson. "Yet her gratitude for every day that she lived included the life she led with John and the family they created together."

The fact that she was able to die at peace with John at her side probably signifies she was somewhat able to focus on her positive feelings toward him—and maybe could empathize with him as a fellow erring human. In recognizing the default state of imperfection that exists in all of us, Elizabeth may have rediscovered a peaceful place in her relationship with John, and could forgive him enough to move past any lingering frustrations he had left her.

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