Forgive...but NEVER forget.
So he cheated on you. Obviously, your initial reaction was extreme anger, pain beyond comprehension and total confusion.
How could he betray you like that? How could he totally screw up your marriage and ruin all your hopes and dreams of spending your lives together forever? Were you not enough for him? What was he looking for in someone else? You’ve spent what feels like an eternity trying to make sense of it all.
Sure, he says he’s sorry over and over, but the words just can’t penetrate the protective shell you’ve placed around your heart. The extent of his betrayal is just too intense and his pleas go unnoticed.
He says he wants to stay together, but you just don’t know how you're going to get over this excruciating pain.
Part of you longs for him — his company, his embrace, his love. The rest of you wants to lash out in revenge and hurt him the way he has hurt you. You feel like damaged goods, your self esteem is gone — the person that was always your soft place to fall is now the villain you can no longer trust with your vulnerability.
Honestly, a future with him feels impossible. The dreams you had for your life are shattered and have evaporated. EVERYTHING has changed. How are you possibly going to move forward?
Is it even possible to forgive him and work at redefining a new monogamous relationship? To start over? Can you muster up the courage to examine yourself — your part in the failure of your relationship?
Can the both of you hold on through the time and energy needed to arrive at a place of trust and re-commitment?
If not, have you thought about what a divorce will be like? Thought about whether you're going to be able to move on ... without him?
Our panel of YourTango Experts explores this problem in a totally modern way with advice and perspectives that may help you in your choice of direction. Melanie Gorman (YourTango Expert Senior VP) is joined by divorce coaches Pegotty Cooper, Debra Block, Karen Bigman and Petalyn Albert to discuss exactly how you should handle the situation, what you need to think about and what your next step should be to healing and moving forward.
Still feeling confused and tormented about what you should do? Watch this video, and if you need a little extra help, visit the websites of Pegotty, Debra, Karen and Petalyn for more information or to contact them personally.