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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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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