How To Forgive Someone Who Hurt You (Yes, Even A Guy Who Cheated)

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Because letting go of anger can also mean letting go of pain.

After finding out that your husband cheated on you, it's hard to feel like you can ever forgive him. The worst part is not knowing how he could betray you, especially after everything that you guys have been through. It's hard figuring out what drives people to have an affair in the first place.

But holding onto that pain won't do anything to help you; in fact, it will only weigh you down and stop you from healing. Even though it doesn't seem like it right this instant, it is possible for you to recover. It's all about taking it one day at a time.

Forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to do after infidelity, but it's not just cheating that requires us to forgive.

In the course of a long-term relationship or marriage, each person is going to hurt the other. Sure, in around 18% of marriages there will be infidelity. But there will be hurt in all the rest of them, too. Harsh words, broken confidences, selfish choices and abandoned promises. We are human, after all.

Love is scary, and forgiveness can feel incredibly vulnerable. but it's important to open yourself up to healing emotionally.

How exactly can you learn to forgive? YourTango Experts Senior VP Melanie Gorman tackles this common question and more with relationship experts Debi Berndt, John Gray, whom you probably know from Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, Tammy Nelson and LiYana Silver.  

To learn how to forgive with grace — and to discover the biggest issues with forgiveness that both men and women struggle with — all of the Experts agree that you have to be willing to be open about your feelings. Talk to your spouse about how his betrayal deeply hurt you and ways that you can both heal together. Make sure to let him know that he's going to have to work to earn your trust again.

If you're a woman and you're having trouble forgiving, you're not alone. John Gray notes that this is one of the most common problems he sees with female clients. 

For men, taking responsibility is where they tend to fail in the forgiveness process in relationships

But above all, the forgiveness process seems to fail most when either partner views resolving the hurt as a zero-sum game. Almost like there is a winner (the forgiver) and a loser (the forgiven), or a good guy and a bad guy. 

The truth is, you are a team.

To resolve it, you both need to dive into your feelings and explore them. Sure it hurts, but what other feelings does it bring up? Yes, it makes you mad, but what is really behind that anger?

That exploration is what is going to help you not only forgive, but move on past the point where you're stuck.

It's well worth the effort, even if it does feel scary!

If you're trying to cope with a cheating partner, or any other relationship challenge, reach out to our Experts Debi, John, Tammy, and LiYana. They're here to help!