It's not just whether you *can* forgive ... but if you SHOULD.
It's only been a few months since the infidelity-promoting website, "Ashley Madison" was hacked and the personal information of over 30 million users leaked to the public. The aftermath of the hack has meant shock, hurt, anger, and confusion for many who delusionally thought they were in a monogamous relationship.
Of course, having an online affair — whether through an adulterous website, social media, or email — isn't the only way people cheat. Plenty of folks sneak off with co-workers, neighbors, their spouse's best friend, or even strangers. Some studies have indicated that infidelity occurs in nearly a third of relationships.
If you've been cheated on and haven’t already packed your bags and left, you may be wondering whether you should end the relationship now or give your partner a second chance. Maybe you feel sick at the thought of losing your relationship, but you don't want to feel like a fool and be hurt all over again.
Every situation is different; but, your decision, whether stay or go, should come from an informed and clear place. Use these signs to figure out if you should forgive him or give him the boot.
3 signs you should GO:
1. You have proof that the affair has not ended.
Unless you’re okay with a polyamorous relationship, it's probably unwise to stay. Come up with an agreement for your partner to be completely transparent with you so that you can know for sure –– otherwise the problem is just going to stick around.
2. Your partner denies that you two have a trust problem.
If your partner refuses to take ownership for cheating and won't work with you to repair the damage, it’s unhealthy for you to stay. While not impossible, changes are far less effective (and much slower to take effect) when only one person is making them.
3. You can't see past the affair.
There's a difference between experiencing initial shock of the affair and letting it take over your entire relationship. When your thoughts, words, and actions continue to be caught up in hurt and anger, it's a good idea to take some time to focus on healing yourself before trying to repair things.
3 signs that you can forgive and stay in your relationship:
1. Your partner takes responsibility for their decision to cheat.
When your partner sincerely apologizes for creating the account, meeting the other person, and having the affair, that's a hopeful sign. This must be followed up by real action that helps you to see that they are trustable again.
2. You take responsibility for your role in relationship problems.
(This can be a challenging one!) While you didn't betray your partner by having an affair, it's possible that you played a role in the distance and disconnection in your relationship. Without making it "your fault" that your partner cheated, be honest about the ways you may have unintentionally push your partner away.
3. You're both willing to work together to rebuild your trust.
It's not always easy to do, but the more you and your partner can communicate honestly about what happened and what you want now, the more you can work as a team to create a trusting and intimate future together.
Rebuilding trust after an affair is a process that can take time. Look for signs of improvement that let you know that staying is the wise thing to do.