When your partner is unfaithful, deep hurt, anger, embarrassment or a desire for revenge can block the clarity you crave. Sometimes it’s true, “Enough’s enough. It’s time to go and move on.” Sometimes it’s better to stay. After you express yourself and set firm boundaries, are you weak if you stay . . . or will forgiveness make you the strongest you’ve ever been? How will you resolve your inner conflicts and discover the keys to the loving relationship you deserve?
PAT’S STORY AND INNER CONFLICT
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Please notice the painful inner conflict when you read Pat’s story.
“My partner had an affair . . . more than once. I’ve learned from the pain of his infidelity because I finally said, ‘Never again or I’m leaving you!’ Now he says he’s chosen me – finally and forever. I want to believe him but I fear becoming a fool again. I also want to do what’s best for our family.
Part of me thinks I should be like The Dalai Lama: Forgive, forgive, forgive. The other half of me wants to get out now to avoid more potential pain. I become more confused when I talk to my friends. Some of them tell me I’m being weak and a poor role model for our children. Other friends admire my strength. They say they would have given up right away and their family would have suffered even more.”
YOU CAN RESOLVE YOUR CONFLICT
Man or woman, single or married, pain and confusion plagues us when a partner is unfaithful. Pat deserves a big “Congratulations!” for her courage to consciously learn everything she can learn from this experience. Our partners play whatever roles we need for them to play so we can learn and grow. That’s a magical component of both dating and marriage, although the gifts we give each other are sometimes wrapped in very ugly wrapping paper.
When we don’t learn a lesson the first time we’re challenged, our dilemma returns . . . usually in a magnified manner . . . until we grow. Pat proved that to herself. Her partner had more than one affair.
WHO SHOULD WE FORGIVE?
Since Pat has forgiven herself for not setting boundaries sooner and not wanting to perceive the truth, she has already forgiven the one person she most needs to forgive. Until we forgive ourselves for setting ourselves up for disrespect, most of us feel like a victim. Then we blame someone else for our unhappiness.
Because Pat has forgiven herself, she is also free to forgive her partner if she chooses. This is a very precious gift Pat can give herself. Forgiveness liberates us. Our energy is free to focus on more positive, productive thoughts. We discover how to create loving, win-win relationships of all types. When we face a dilemma like Pat’s, whether we go or stay, forgiveness is an immense gift of self-love. Our hearts are open, first to ourselves and then to other people.
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ACCESS YOUR INNATE DECISION-MAKING TOOLS
You are the master weaver of the tapestry of your life, whether you decide to walk away from your relationship or stay with your partner. Although it’s important to have a network of friends to support you, you are the one person who knows what’s best for you.