What To Do When Your Family Won't Forgive Your Cheating Spouse

Ready to move on with the cheater? Three ground rules to set with your family.

Last updated on Jun 06, 2024

Friends and family can't get over spouses affair, when you have Krakenimages.com | Shutterstock, JackF | Canva

During this devastating time of dealing with an affair, people often disclose the situation to friends and family in search of necessary support.

You're devastated, so you tell your friends and family. That's OK because you do need the support! But once your relationship is on the mend, your friends and family may be the ones who can't get over it. That's OK, it might take some time and some firm boundaries, which I share below.


A note for the future: If this happens to you and you think you might stay with your cheating partner, only disclose your partner's adultery to people who aren’t too emotionally invested in the relationship. Objectivity is what you need in a crisis like that anyway. It provides you with the most support.

RELATED: 4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Try To 'Fix' A Man

Here's what to do when you forgive your cheating partner — but your family will not

1. Tell them you and your partner are working things out

It’s not fair that you initially spilled all the juicy details, and now you want to be tight-lipped and say that everything is 'fine.' Let the people involved know about the therapy you're receiving (You did get couples therapy, right?). Give them some insight into your process, the revelations experienced, and the changes made.


Doing this helps them understand your decision to stay. You owe them that much for going through this emotional roller coaster with you. For close family members or friends, you should share this information, as a couple.

She forgave cheating ex but her family won't Andriy Solovyov via Shutterstock

2. Let them know it's not up for discussion anymore.

After you involve them in the process, it's OK to let them know that you're both in a place where you're moving forward and no longer talking about the affair as a couple. Thank your loved ones sincerely for their support during this struggle, and let them know that you won’t be talking about it with them anymore either.


RELATED: The 13 Best Ways To Handle Life's Up & Downs — Even When You Hate Change

3. Give yourself (and them) space and time to think.

If their anger and resentment are severe, this may be time to distance yourself from that relationship for a while.

The reality is — an affair affects more than the two involved. You may have inadvertently ripped off an affair wound in their lives, which is causing them to take your affair so personally.

Most people eventually move on when they see you're thriving.

Have a difficult conversation and explain how their feelings are affecting you. Let them know you truly appreciate their care for you, but you're doing well and need them to recognize that. If they'd like time and space away from you (and your spouse) to process their emotions, that's OK.


When they feel more accepting of your current relationship, you can reconnect.

Healing from an affair is a difficult time for all involved. Although you need to focus on self-care, you also have to help those who helped you.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Find Happiness When Doing Everything 'Right' Didn't Work


Dr. Zoe Shaw is a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience who consults with clients from all over the world. She has been featured in Recover Today, Weight Watchers, The Oprah Magazine, Forbes, Vox and more.