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Forgiving Infidelity and Cheating - Can We Really Forget?

Jul 9, 2008
Life has many facets that challenge our lives. Some of these challenges seem to be directed toward our very livelihood. They may be presented to us in our work, projects we undertake or situations we face on a daily basis. And yes, they can present an impact in matters of the heart.

"Once burned" as the saying goes. The question is if you forgive, can you really forget?

There is no valid reason for cheating, but these are some common excuses:

#1 He or she did it to me first. I'm just paying them back!

Really? The one doing the paying back is the one most likely to end up hurting an unintended person, themselves

#2 I wasn't getting what I needed at home.

Why not discuss what is missing or what is needed to keep you home like a big boy or girl? Listen to what is said and talk with (not at) one another about ways to rectify matters. Mind reading is not a requirement for maintaining a relationship.

Compromise with your partner if necessary, but avoid outside compensations. Honesty is one of the most important factors. Be honest. The truth will set you free. If you still don't get it at home set yourself free. Why torture yourself or your mate

#3 I didn't plan it. It just happened!

Bullcrap! Your little dalliance may not have been premeditated, but nothing just happens. Two responsible people blessed with the gift of a mind know exactly what is about to, or will transpire in a given situation. Unlike animals acting solely on instinct, humans have the ability to reason. At least most of us do.

#4 I don't know why it happened!

Well I do! You wanted to do it! Sometimes selfishness, thoughtlessness and lack of self-control, in addition to not thinking of those who will be hurt by our indiscretions, may be the reason. The real reason? Lust.

These are some lame excuses, don't you think? Whatever the reason, if you opt to forgive your significant other for his or her disconcerting behavior, will you forget what happened and move on? Can the trust that was defiled be rekindled? Does it change the relationship?

The answer to that question is "most likely."

You have a partner that has cheated once... will he or she cheat again? The answer, "probably so."

Love is totality. Nothing good is easy or perfect. You have to work, toil and build on all that encircle the relationship. Think of the relationship as a system. The components integrate to form a harmonious interaction. This is a process that is ongoing, which means it has no point of completion.

Threats to cause the system to malfunction always exist. The work is keeping up the maintenance. The number of repairs made depend on the foundation and the integrity of the work utilized to build the system. Good maintenance reduces the expense for faulty repairs. The point is that if you are willing to work at it, the system will last a lifetime. Your relationship will last a lifetime.

Seeking outside components (infidelity) to replace faulty equipment may damage the system beyond repair (lack of trust). Sugar is not a substitute for gas. A bolt is not a substitute for a nut and a nut is worthless if the screw is not the right one.

It takes an exceptional person to forgive without reproach. That is not an easy task.

Are the following excuses real? They could be.

o I had a flat tire and I forgot to replace the spare
o This accident tied up traffic for hours
o I didn't have an appointment, so I had to wait at the hair salon
o I had to work late to finish up paperwork
o The staff meeting took longer than expected

Will that little mishap a while back cause doubt about his or her fidelity? Will these instances add fuel to the spark that was ignited in the past?

Unfounded accusations can really cause the spark to become an all points alarm blaze. Without trust the relationship is as good as dead. No one can answer any of these questions except the parties actually experiencing them.

The responsible thing to do is avoid being placed in situations that you may regret for the rest your life. Most of us remember the one that got away.

Communicate with the person you profess to love. If there are difficulties, try resolving them together. Finding comfort in another's arms is not the answer. Love is not a game. Wounds from a broken relationship take time to heal and the scars can last forever.

If you are not willing to keep up the maintenance on your relationship let go before the wounds deepen.
Sometimes moving on is the best for all concerned. Forgiving is easy. Forgetting is another story.
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST.
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