Happiness After Infidelity

7 Steps to Forgiving a Cheating Spouse

forgive cheating spouse

The golden rule of forgiveness teaches us…

…there’s no hierarchy in the order of mistakes. All mistakes are simply misguided decisions. No mistake is more worthy or less worthy of forgiveness than another.

Step one to infidelity forgivenessPermission to Heal

Forgiveness and healing begins with acknowledgement.

If you’ve been hurt, don’t deny it. It would be silly to say there are no weeds in your garden when THERE ARE WEEDS in the garden. The truth is… deception, betrayal and lies would hurt anyone. With that said, giving yourself permission to forgive is really the same as giving yourself permission to heal and be happy (regardless of the weeds).

Gandhi on happinessStep two to infidelity forgivenessWillingness to Let Go

Willingness doesn’t mean you have to know “how to do a thing.” It only means you are “willing” to do it.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Do your best not to exaggerate the importance of the hurt. Don’t make it bigger than it really is. Rather than saying, “This is too painful to let go,” tell yourself, “Because this IS so painful, I have to let it go.”

Step three to infidelity forgivenessChanging Your Emotional Response

Surviving infidelity is 5% about the situation and 95% about your response to it. The real breakthrough happens when you’re able to change your emotional response from seeing yourself as a victim, to seeing yourself as a survivor. Just like the way light dispels darkness, the minute you make the shift from feeling like a victim to thinking like a survivor… the hurt, pain and bitterness instantly disappear. Whenever the ego’s “victim-thinking” tries to take over your mind, do the following exercise:

stop signVisualize a STOP sign. Tell yourself that you are NOT a victim; you are a survivor. You have the power to decide for your happiness or your own unhappiness — and right now, you choose to be happy.

TIP: On some days, you may have to practice this type of thought exchange 10 times in ten minutes. But go ahead and do it. The results are always YOUR ultimate satisfaction.

Step four to infidelity forgivenessGiving Up Your “Shoulds”

A “should” is a rule we have about how we believe the world around us ought to be. It’s a way of viewing ourselves as “right” and others as “wrong”.

Forgiveness means giving up all hopes of having a better past. Giving up your “shoulds” means learning to accept things as they are. It means you’re willing to live in reality (not in a fantasy) of how things “ought to be.” This allows you to love people as they are… not as you wish they were.

Examples of “shoulds”:

  • He/she shouldn’t have done this to me.
  • They should have known better.
  • He/she should have been more attentive to me.
  • Love should have brought him/her home.
  • I’m a good husband/wife. They should never have done this to me.

Whenever you find yourself saying (or thinking) the word “should”… give it away. Remind yourself: In the real world, there are no guarantees that others will choose to always live up to our “shoulds” (expectations).

Step five to infidelity forgivenessTrying to Forgive

Trying to forgive is the first step to actually forgiving. Forgiveness is a process — like the journey a baby makes from crawling to walking. Think about it. A baby falls hundreds of times before walking. Yet every effort is rewarded and every “try” (as small as they might be) is tremendously significant.

It’s the same with forgiving.

Every true attempt strengthens you. Every small effort gives you huge rewards. Soon, there comes a moment when you won’t remember what you thought you couldn’t forget. That’s the miracle of forgiveness. It happens so quietly — and so completely — many people never notice it.

Step six to infidelity forgivenessPracticing Small Acts of Forgiveness 

REMEMBER: The golden rule of forgiveness states… “There is no hierarchy in the order of mistakes. None more worthy OR less worthy of forgiveness.” 

If you can forgive a small child who accidentally bumps into you at the grocery store, a waitress who spills water in your lap, or a friend who’s twenty minutes late to lunch… then you also have the power to forgive a lover who has betrayed your trust. The secret is to remember how many lesser hurts you’ve automatically forgiven and how many complete strangers you’ve let off the hook. Let the smaller forgiveness fuel more major ones.

Step seven to infidelity forgivenessPre-Forgiving Everyday

Forgiveness is a decision. We make the decision to forgive more often than you realize on a daily basis. Rather than overanalyze the situation, make a choice to pre-forgive everyone and every situation today.

benefits of forgiving

Benefits to Pre-Forgiving Your Day:

    1. You get to enjoy each day with complete freedom from guilt, shame, blame and fear.
    2. You get to escape from the negative effects brought on by hate, anger, hurt and despair.
    3. You don’t have to “judge” any event, since you’ve already forgiven that event.

This mantra helped me so much over the years:

“In the name of love, I hereby forgive you and
wish you peace. May you know that you are loved.”

It’s also been helpful for me to remember: The price of giving is receiving.

This means, the second we forgive someone, we instantly experience that same forgiveness. Think about it. Is it possible to NOT experience what we’re thinking about or feeling?

Ready to move beyond the hurt?

Now is the best time to gain positive momentum in the right direction. Part of what I know is this: Sometimes, it helps to talk to someone who can help you let go (especially when letting go seems so hard to do).

If you’re ready to experience the astonishing power, freedom and peace that comes from true forgiveness … then take a moment to read Forgiving 101 or better yet, if you’re really ready to move past the pain, and experience true recovery, then download and listen to my most popular audio coaching ever…Forgiving Infidelity and Releasing Pain. In this program, I’ll guide you through my powerful 6-step process that shows you how to begin to truly embrace forgiveness, plus you’ll learn 3 of my most powerful techniques for forgiving and finding happiness after infidelity… once and for all.

Until we speak again...

Remember... Love Wins!

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