Cheating and Forgiveness

I think this should be separate from the thread below. But here is the other half of the question (that she didn’t ask) and it is:
Is it POSSIBLE to forgive someone for cheating?
I don’t think it is.
I think you cannot trust someone after that. And I don’t think it is possible to love or respect someone you can’t trust. But you often see girls or guys who stay with someone after the affair. So how does that work?
One of my best friends says he thinks his wife had one on him a long time ago. But he stayed with her. One of my coworkers and her man cheated on each other this year and are still together. I don’t see how this is possible. I would want to follow him around and read his cell phone and know what was going on every second to make sure he wasn’t still doing it.
So how does forgiveness work in this situation?

Choose: burden yourself with bitterness, resentment and anger; or forgive and move on–together, or separately.

If you don’t think that you can choose an emotional response, what makes you think the cheater had any significantly greater freedom to how to respond to the attraction that created the situation? The situations are not equivalent, but they’re not all that different.

Having an emotion doesn’t mean you have to act on it. I am attracted as hell to a couple of guys. But you don’t see me doing things with them. A person who cheats makes the choice to do the action. I understand how people forgive and move on separately. I just don’t understand how someone forgives and moves on while still together.
I don’t think I could do that. I think I would change how I saw the person. And I don’t think you can have a relationship with someone who has no respect for you. No one would cheat on someone they respected.

It’s a very difficult situation to work through.

Does it mean a total lack of respect? maybe.
Change how you view someone? Sure. Instant recognition that they’re not perfect, are fragile, ect…

Well … maybe they overrated how much sexual fidelity matters to them in the beginning? Could be they first though “Oh my God! Sleeping with someone else! How terrible!!!” But after it happened they realized that there is more to their relationship than boinking … and that boinking actually is pretty far down their personal list?

Other take on it - people make compromises. Maybe do not like what happened, but are not willing to give up what they have over it. Including to give up trust that has been there over years in some cases.

Then there is what Jaboney said. Some people are just very good at the “forgive & forget” thing. Helps them to drop burdens faster. Current and future win out over the past.

And then there are those who make some pretense of fidelity in public out of convention and then in private have an agreement with each other that it does not matter in their personal lives and swing.

People turn out all very different. But isn’t your key question how you would deal with it yourself?

[quote=“Jaboney”]Choose: burden yourself with bitterness, resentment and anger; or forgive and move on–together, or separately.
Bingo!!! Some people don’t choose to forget and forgive, but are afraid to move on and let it go. The prospect of being alone, especially when you are older is hard for some to reconcile with. It all depends on the situation and the people involved. Cheating has many factors and it’s not cut and dry. True that the trust that was there is gone, but sometimes, that act can bring about things that were being avoided to begin with and lead the partners on a healthier road in their relationship.

But one other way to deal with cheating, once you’ve gotten past the slashing of his personal belongings :smiley: is to realize that you were never responsible for his/her actions to begin with and never had control over them in the first place.

Though I completely agree with everything mentioned here, I have to say that I would probably feel the same as SuchAFOB.

I would also expect my wife to react in the same way if, perish the thought, I ever cheated on her, and I would find it hard to understand if she didn’t.

Only one way to be absolutely sure.

Do it! :smiling_imp:

Only one way to be absolutely sure.

Do it! :smiling_imp:[/quote]

No thanks, games. I’m not an arse.

Not a complete one, at any rate. :wink:

Not a complete one, at any rate. :wink:[/quote]

I’ll take that as the compliment it was meant to be. :wink:

I am wondering if those who see a way of resolve and think forgiveness is important, blah blah blah… just don’t see it as such a blatant show of disregard and disrespect for your SO as I see it as.
I mean, if you can’t be loyal stay in an open relationship, right? Why get into a “monogomous” relationship to not be loyal?

I mean, if you can’t be loyal stay in an open relationship, right? Why get into a “monogomous” relationship to not be loyal?[/quote]

Yes but most people truly mean to be loyal when they begin a relationship. Its usually a longer term breakdown of something else that makes the idea of cheating look temporarily appealing.

Its filling some void…and I’d dare to say that void usually has very little to do with not enough action at home…although it may be a symptom

Well, I came to my conclusions after being on cheated on by a SO, so I’m well aware of the disregard, disrespect, pain and betrayal aspects. We ended up breaking up, but managed to become friends. Later, she felt that she’d been an ass and thanked me for how I’d handled it. We’ve since fell out of touch, but there’s no bitterness.

[quote=“SuchAFob”]I am wondering if those who see a way of resolve and think forgiveness is important, blah blah blah… just don’t see it as such a blatant show of disregard and disrespect for your SO as I see it as.
I mean, if you can’t be loyal stay in an open relationship, right? Why get into a “monogomous” relationship to not be loyal?[/quote]

Cheating IMHO is just a blatant disregard for your commitment. The only thing you have on this world that is truly yours is your word. If you can’t keep that, then it’s gonna effect your life in all sorts of ways.

Forgiveness is important for the forgiver, as Jaboney meantion earlier. It enables the forgiver to be released of their anger,and bitterness that bogs them down. If the person who needs to be forgiven, accepts it then it could be a great healing situation.

What do you mean by ‘stay loyal in a an open relationship’? I think that if both parties agree that the relationship is open, then they are keeping their word when they are stepping out.

Jaboney. Forigving and staying friends and forgiving and staying together are nowhere NEAR the same thing. I am friends with my last ex who cheated on me. I would say he is my best friend. But would I trust him as a lover? Oh god hell no. He already taught me that I cannot.

gonna tell you all something which “sounds” normal, but in fact is not.
I am encountering my 3rd relation in my life, but never ever cheated. I walked away before things happened.
It would be simply a disgrace not giving respect to the other part. Men have balls, don’t we? Lets use them for once for another reason than we normally think of.
I could not make love to a person who cheated on me, as I hope the other part would neither.
Of course, for those on this site who are running around in the well known places in WE , first thinking with their lower part body, guess this message is not representative for ya… “Each week cheating” is a metphore no?

SuchAFob, no, forgiving and staying friends, and forgiving and staying together are not the same thing. Didn’t mean to suggest it. I gave staying together a shot. Didn’t work that time. Doesn’t mean it never would. That said, betrayal sucks. So does taking one another for granted, inattention, pettiness, spitefulness, lying, and a thousand other things that couples work through. What makes cheating different or worse? Realizing that you’re replaceable, even in the most initimate aspects of the relationship? Maybe. Maybe it’s just the degree of trust involved. I don’t know. Why should that be the final straw? the worst insult?

Obviously it’s in no way good, but I don’t see why it can’t be worked through if other issues can be.

Taking one another for granted can be done without intending to. It can be done without thought.
Inattention can also.
Pettiness, as a personality trait, is reason for dismissal.
Spitefulness also.
Lying cannot be worked out.
Cheating is not something that can be done unintentionally. You cannot cheat because “I’ve just been so busy”. You cannot cheat because you got used to just having someone around and forgot. You cannot cheat without thinking. “Why did you cheat me?” “Oh, I wasn’t thinking”
Just a cop -out.

SAF, you’re right on every score.

Fundamentally, cheating is a lie. Lies have no place in an honest relationship and if you are lied to or lie, then the prospect of maintaining that relationship are grim.

Of course it all depends on what sort of relationship you want. In Taiwan more than the west there really is the option to have an ask no questions tell no lies marriage. As a man, it really is expected and “normal” on so many fronts. From personal experience this poses a very serious challenge, not in the short term, say the first eight years, but over time.

I wasn’t up to a core requiremenmt of the duplicity, fell in love with someone else and later spilled the beans. I never believed there was any hope in salvaging anything nor perhaps did I want to. Although you rightly say this can’t happen by accident, I must say I was seriously surprised to find myself in such a predicament. I’d not been a strayer before, ever. I can honestly say now though that having been through it, I could seriously never do so again.

As a postscipt, I frankly don’t think anyone who has not been in a relationship of longer than 8 years has any right to comment because the real test of wills and monogamy come later, not earlier. Consequently, I think if someone strays within the first few years dump them immediately. Don’t even bother trying to maintain a friendship. Longer term, the issues are way more complicated.