Practicing Forgiveness After an Affair

Forgiveness tips for the Christian marriage after an affair.

I recently wrote about regaining trust after an affair and how forgiveness is important to the process of rebuilding trust. I promised in that last blog that I would tackle that topic which is why I’m writing this one.

I’m sure you’ve heard that you need to “forgive and forget,” but from a neurological perspective, forgetting is certainly not a part of that process. In fact, if you read the last blog then you know that forgetting isn’t even necessarily recommended. You should remember. That’s a protective factor for both of you.

When you learn to forgive, memories of an affair can play a much smaller role than they do now. So, the aim is not to forget, but to forgive.

Here are some practical steps you can take to work on forgiveness.

#1: Understand why there is a need for forgiveness.

This is a two-parter. First of all, you need to understand what your spouse has done that deserves forgiveness. And this isn’t necessarily a straight-forward answer. For some couples, it takes a few months to get the full realization of what the betrayal means for them. For instance, at first, there may be a focus on the physical part of the relationship while some time later the focus may be on the actual deception that was necessary to hide the affair, still later, the focus may be on the emotional relationship that the spouse had with the lover. But, to fully forgive, you must fully understand all areas of the hurt.

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People often ask me what sex therapy is all about so I wanted to share this information with you. I added this presentation to Slideshare over a year ago, so the contact info isn’t accurate. If you have thoughts or comments you can leave them here, or contact me directly through this site.

Even though the info is over a year old, the content is still relevant and true. If you’ve been interested in just what sex therapy is, you can get the info right here.


Rebuilding Trust After an Affair

Affair recovery tips for Christians

Recovery from an affair and learning to trust again can be one of the biggest struggles that a couple ever faces. Questions arise like:

  • How can I ever trust again now that my spouse has betrayed me?
  • How do we make sure this doesn’t happen in the future?
  • What do I do with these crazy emotions?
  • Will I ever be able to forget what I know?
  • I know I need to forgive, but how?

First of all, I want you to know that my heart goes out to you. Nobody goes into marriage thinking that they might cheat on one another. And, no matter how bad things get, we just kind-of expect that they won’t get to the point of an affair.

Please know, that if the two of you are willing to put the work into recovery, you really can have a much stronger marriage than you’ve ever had before. And really, that’s the point. You wouldn’t want to have a marriage like you had in the past or even what it was like at your happiest moment. You want to move toward more commitment and closeness than ever before.

How Can I trust Again After an Affair?

The truth is, you have to trust again to have a successful marriage. Marriage is built on trust and while that trust has been broken through an affair, you must be able to trust your spouse again if you want to remain married.

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Time to set goals for your marriage!

Michael Hyatt's Website

Admittedly this is a much older post (dating back in 2010), but it is incredibly relevant for today and for your marriage.

Most of the time when I meet with couples, they admit that they have never set marriage goals. Now, you might not be able to make your goals public (as they could be deeply personal), but I believe the other steps completely apply here.

So, go ahead and set some goals for your marriage. State what date these goals will be met by and then determine what action you need to take daily to make them happen.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What goals do you have for your marriage?

Be Curious: A Key To Marital Intimacy

I just want to take a quick minute to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Dr. Corey Carlisle. He agreed to write this guest blog post about using curiosity to increase your marital intimacy. Read below to see how being curious can help and then say hi to him through a comment or by going to his blog (info below).

Do you remember when you were dating and first getting to know your spouse? Chances are good you were intensely curious and found great joy in discovering all the fascinating details about his or her life.

Getting to know each other was a large part of the excitement when dating. We asked questions like:

What are your favorite hobbies? Restaurants? Books? Styles of music?  Tell me about your favorite memories. Who has influenced you the most? What makes you smile?

However, some time after the honeymoon, this curiosity tends to be curbed quite a bit. And when we stop growing and discovering new things about each other, desire, passion, and intimacy will also begin to cool.

Many couples conclude they’ve simply have “fallen out of love” with each other, but the challenge at this point is to actually take love deeper. This requires us to become curious again and to go deeper into each other’s lives.

Counselor and author Dr. Larry Crabb reminds us, we must “be sincerely curious about another if we’re to know how to speak into their souls.”

In marriage this means we must become curious if we are to know how to truly love our spouse.

Here are four questions to jump start the conversations, help you to know your spouse better, and to enhance the intimacy of your marriage.

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