How to Forgive Yourself After Your Affair

BY: - 8 Jun '17 | Infidelity

Share this article!

TNNCoupleArgueThinkWomanFeature

Dealing with the guilt, shame and self-hatred or the flooding of negative emotions and feeling of self-worthlessness after the occurrence of an extra-marital or non-marital affair is no easy feat.  I’m speaking from experience, and this cycle of self-shaming could be as hindering on the marriage/relationship as the affair itself.

Dwelling the on shame, instead of dealing with the problem is the equivalent to picking a wound that is trying to heal. You will inadvertently prolong the pain and hurt for both parties, gradually chipping away whatever chance you had for healing and rebuilding the burnt bridge.  This could ultimately lead to doom and gloom for the marriage/relationship. Both the cheater and the partner who was cheated on are victims in every act of an affair.

Let me give the disclaimer upfront that I do not condone cheating.  At the same time, having experienced infidelity on the receiving end during our marriage, as well as, on the giving end during our engagement, I’m merely trying to share some big picture insight based on experience vs. societal theories.

The societal assumption that the person who is hurt the worst in such a situation is the faithful spouse couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Although to every general rule there is always an exception, but in most cases the offending spouse could unsurprisingly bear the most hurt from the affair and can slip into a dark state; struggling with intense guilt, low self-worth and even depression.

My husband and I both felt remorse and hated ourselves for the parts we played in both of our affairs, but for how long can one uphold this wallowing without losing their sanity and identity?

It is not the end of the world and there is definitely a bright light at the end of the tunnel, you and your spouse can be happy again, but you have to learn how to forgive yourself first.

Forgiveness: In this context, forgiveness shouldn’t be misread as being self-indulgent and selfish. That is far from it; forgiveness doesn’t excuse the act, nor absolves you from taking responsibility for your actions. Rather, it means you have owned up to your shortcomings and that this action does not define who you truly are and you’re ready to work at rebuilding the damage by working on yourself.

Acceptance: Come to an unreserved self-acceptance that you made a mistake and broke the trust of your marriage/relationship. Don’t make excuses or find faults or reasons for why it happened, take full ownership/responsibility for your actions. Acceptance will help you acknowledge, understand and address the pain you’re feeling. Without embracing the mistake, wholeheartedly, then you cannot truly forgive yourself and heal.

Be Aware: This is an important step. Because the road to infidelity starts long before sex is involved. The sexual act is what people focus on; failing to recognize that sex didn’t just happen.

There were emotions, triggers or feelings that preceded and culminated into the act. Being aware of the excuse or trigger that led to the actions is crucial, because it also sheds light on the root cause of the affair other than focusing on the symptom which was the sexual act. This will involve some questioning sessions and somber reflection on why you rationalized an act you knew very well to be wrong. Having the real answers to these questions will also help your partner forgive you and heal. The key to this step is unapologetic honesty with yourself.

Take Action & Deal with the Guilt: Intense guilt and shame also comes from a knowing that your moral or religious standards have been compromised. Whose standards are these…your parents, society, and/or yours?  It is important to take action to address it as soon as possible.


Meditate and Seek Spiritual Counseling:  For me, submitting to a higher power by incorporating prayer and surrendering to the forgiving and healing virtues of God helped to open up channels for miracles to happen and true healing and peace to be restored in my union.  I give all the glory to God for our healing and completely restoring my marriage.  Our love and union now is unbreakable, because it takes three…God, your spouse, and you!

In conclusion, do not dwell and most importantly be patient with yourself and your partner. Take into account that time is indeed the healer of all wounds. Encourage openness and communication from your partner, allow him or her to express his or her grief without feeling condemned and judged, put yourself in their shoes. Learn from the experience and forge new and better memories, all it takes is a little effort.

In the words of Bryant H. McGill “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 41 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.

Store

like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!

Discussion

Facebook Wordpress

Leave a Reply

Get
Infidelity Articles Delivered To Your Inbox Daily! Sign up below!

30 Serious Consequences of Infidelity…Take Heed

BY: - 22 Jun '17 | Infidelity

Share this article!

TNMCoupleArgueSad

Infidelity is by far one of the worst things that can transpire in marriage.  Trust me, I know from personal experience!  It violates everything built between you and your spouse in such a personal way.  Majority of us who’ve been cheated on didn’t see it coming…I know I was blindsided for sure!

“I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children.”  – Tiger Woods

Infidelity felt like death to me, in more ways than one: the death of our trust, the death of our affection, the death of all the work we’ve done in our marriage.

There’s no doubt that infidelity negatively and deeply impacts marriages in the worst way.

Here are 30 consequences of infidelity:

  1. Your relationship with God could suffer from a break in fellowship.
  2. Having to seek forgiveness from God.
  3. Having to seek forgiveness from your spouse.
  4. Suffering from the emotional consequences of guilt.
  5. Spending numerous hours replaying the failure.
  6. Both you and your spouse suffering the emotional scars of this betrayal.
  7. Countless hours in counseling.
  8. Recovery will be long and painful.
  9. The pain will be deeply compounded by one’s own suffering and shame.
  10. Your marriage will suffer a break in trust, fellowship, and intimacy.
  11. You may be together, but feel excessive loneliness.
  12. The reputation of your family may suffer.
  13. Your kid(s) may be disappointed, confused, and may not forgive.
  14. Friends & Family may be disappointed and question your integrity.
  15. Job loss possibly resulting from emotional drain and the inability to focus and function.
  16. Family relationships are likely to suffer and even end.
  17. Divorce.
  18. Some folks may shy away from you and dissolve friendships.
  19. Being the bearer of such significant emotional pain to one another.
  20. An unwanted child conceived.
  21. Abortion of an innocent child conceived during the affair.
  22. Diseases exchanged and transmitted infecting the innocent spouse.
  23. Self-employed business owners may lose trust resulting in a loss of business.
  24. If one is in a leadership role it might be diminished in impact.
  25. Making marriage look like another bad statistic deterring people from getting married.
  26. Illnesses resulting from stress, depression, anxiety, & etc.
  27. Might have to start life over again.
  28. Perhaps a generational curse has been created.
  29. Loss of trust and intimacy (possibly forever).
  30. Death from disease and/or violence (domestic).

Well, this is quite a sobering list, yes? What’s even more sobering is that many people will consider these consequences and still turn a blind eye to proceed in self and spousal destruction.  The fantasy is more important to them than the reality.

The biggest benefit of this list may be in helping all of us infidelity proof our marriages, by realizing the need to set up strict safeguards to ensure that we are faithful in our marital commitment.  I can confidently say, if my husband and I had both known what adultery would do to us, our family, and our friends, we would have watched our wandering eyes, guarded our thought life, and avoided the situations that put us in harm’s way.

I think it is important to make mention that though we SUFFERED many of the above,  God saw us through and we are happily on the other side of infidelity.  So it is possible, and for that I wish to give hope to marriages going through this…that you can come out thriving on the other side.  However, trust me that you rather be proactive vs. reactive!

Infidelity is one of the easiest ways to damage a marriage.  The reason infidelity is the closest thing to impossible to resolve and work through is because it completely shatters the most basic foundation of a marriage: trust.

Infidelity can collapse even the strongest bonds and is especially dangerous because it has the power to destroy your marriage. Don’t cheat on your spouse, unless you’re ready for some major consequences!

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 41 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.

Store

like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!

Discussion

Facebook Wordpress