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Suzie Johnson, cpc

Marriage coach & Affair Recovery expert since 1999

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WELCOME!

This website is designed to be a two-way conversation. Where you can ask questions, read or listen to my answers, advice and insights about love, trust & overcoming infidelity.

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Testimonials

I WILL DEFINITELY BOOK SOME MORE COACHING WITH HER

It was a great session I had with Suzie, more than exceeded my expectations and was of great help. Thank you very much for organizing this and I will definitely book some more coaching with her.

donna,

an Affair Partner

Forgiving a Cheating Spouse

My road map on ways to forgive your partner for cheating

Answered by Suzie Johnson

Updated:

Roadmap

forgiving a spouse who has been unfaithful

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE FOUND A WAY TO FORGIVE THEIR UNFAITHFUL PARTNERS

and this article I am going to share some secrets that helped them do it.

B

ut before I get into the details, picture this…

A woman is caught in a tug-of-war with a very scary monster. She’s holding one end of the rope, and the monster is holding the other end. Between them is a bottomless pit. The woman pulls as hard as she can, but the monster is a hundred times stronger. So, no matter how hard she tries, she just keeps getting dragged closer and closer to the edge of the pit.

Here’s the question.

If this woman wants to win this tug-of-war, what does she need to do right now?

ONLY TWO CHOICES

She has two choices at this point: she can keep holding on, allowing the monster to eventually drag her over the edge and into the pit, or she can spare herself by letting go. Now ask yourself… if you were in this woman’s shoes (and found yourself in the same set of circumstances) what would you do?

HOLD ON OR LET GO

WHICH CHOICE
WOULD YOU MAKE?

In this case, the right choice is obvious… you would let go. I get that. But here’s the point: When that tug-of-war is coming from within your own being… and when that monster you’re wrestling with is how you’re dealing with your partner’s betrayal… then the right choice isn’t usually so obvious.

STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT

LIFE AFTER INFIDELITY

THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT

The discovery of infidelity can be one of the most life-shattering events ever to happen to a person. In a way, it’s like being hit by an earthquake, except that it’s not buildings and bridges around you that crumble… it’s things inside of you. It’s things like your hopes, your dreams, your self-confidence, your ability to trust, and your self-esteem (not to mention your expectations and your optimism) that crumble.

The shock of discovery is only the first stage.

Next comes a series of painful aftershocks: the disbelief, the confusion, the humiliation, the outrage, and the urge to retaliate (and that’s only the second stage). Then you have to deal with the painful process of sorting through the wreckage of lies… attempting to separate fact from fiction, and trying to somehow make sense out of nonsense. And for many people, this stage drags on for a very long time — sometimes months, sometimes even decades. That’s because it’s all being fueled by the urge to find answers to the gut-burning “why” questions.

THE BAD NEWS

Here’s the thing. “Why” questions, while incredibly self-absorbing, can never be answered to your satisfaction. So, if you’re not careful, you could wind up wasting months of your life trying to find the elusive “smoking gun” that will finally and conclusively explain why this happened in the first place.

But the search for answers that don’t exist is not only an exercise in frustration and futility, but it’s also a way to add even more pain to an already painful experience. It’s a lot like a dog chasing its own tail. You run the risk of getting so caught up in the “search for answers” that you forget to stop and consider if you are in fact asking the right questions in the first place.

NOT SO SURE?

Ask Yourself

Ask yourself:

Has all of your studying, exploring, researching, looking, investigating, questioning, interrogating, cross-examining the evidence, rehashing the stories, replaying the images, and obsessing over the details… gotten you what you truly want?

If you’re like most of my readers, the answer to that question is “no”. In fact, for most, this persistent search to answer “why” brings the exact opposite of what they want.

for example

IMPROVES CLARITY
BUILDS UP SELF-ESTEEM
HELPS YOU MOVE ON
STABILIZES EMOTIONS

INCREASES MISTRUST
DRAINS SELF-ESTEEM
KEEPS YOU GOING IN CIRCLES TRIGGERS MOOD SWINGS

PERHAPS THE MOST DAMAGING

Instead of restoring peace of mind…

The “why” questions act like obstacles that block, interfere, and sometimes even destroy peace of mind.

IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS IN ALL OF THIS?

Actually, there is.

You see, while people can be stubborn and persistent in continuing their quest to find answers to the why questions, eventually the day comes when it dawns on them and they say to themselves…

“Hey, this is not getting me what I want!”

Then the instant they finally wake up and are able to make that connection… a second question arises in their mind.

“Wait a minute! If this isn’t getting me what I want, then what will?”

And that, my friend, is what I call the magic question.

That’s because it has the potential to swing the door wide open to a whole new world of hope and possibilities.

THE RESULT?

I believe that when it comes to finding your way back to peace after infidelity, the search for “the answers” is not nearly as important as the search for the right questions. And just in case you’re wondering what types of questions I’m talking about, here are four examples:

questions to ask yourself

IN THE AFTERMATH OF INFIDELITY

01

WHAT CAN YOU DO

to restore the balance of power in your life?

02

HOW DO YOU

(re)capture the confidence, trust and peace of mind you lost?

03

HOW DO YOU ENSURE

you come out of this stronger rather than weaker?

04

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY

to deal with painful emotions?

4
Questions
To ASK YOURSELF

IN THE AFTERMATH
OF INFIDELITY

01

WHAT CAN YOU DO

to restore the balance of power in your life?

02

HOW DO YOU

(re)capture the confidence, trust and peace of mind you lost?

03

HOW DO YOU ENSURE

you come out of this stronger rather than weaker?

04

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY

to deal with painful emotions?

THE POWER OF

THE RIGHT QUESTION

LET'S LOOK CLOSER AT THAT LAST QUESTION

It’s only in fairy tales (and fantasy football) where nobody ever gets hurt. As we all know, in real life (and in real relationships), everybody gets hurt.

So, the real question is not IF you’ll have to deal with painful experiences (of course you will). The real question is HOW you’re going to deal with them when they show up.

THE POWER OF

THE RIGHT QUESTION

LET'S LOOK CLOSER AT THAT LAST QUESTION

It’s only in fairy tales (and fantasy football) where nobody ever gets hurt. As we all know, in real life (and in real relationships), everybody gets hurt.

So, the real question is not IF you’ll have to deal with painful experiences (of course you will). The real question is HOW you’re going to deal with them when they show up.

CONSIDER WHAT I'M SAYING VERY CAREFULLY

Because when it comes to relationships…

It’s not IF you’ll have to deal with painful emotions… it’s HOW you’re going to deal with them.

So, I invite you to answer that question now.

How do you deal with painful experiences?

EVEN WITHOUT KNOWING YOU PERSONALLY...

I already know your answer falls into one of two categories: you either have healthy ways of dealing with emotional pain, or you use unhealthy methods. That’s it… only two ways.

So, what’s the difference?

The difference can be seen in four key areas: duration, results, price and suffering. Let me explain what I mean.

HEALTHY VS UNHEALTHY

WAYS OF DEALING WITH EMOTIONAL PAIN

Healthy Vs Unhealthy
Healthy Vs Unhealthy

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH FORGIVING INFIDELITY?

Here’s the connection:

When it comes to dealing with the painful emotional triggers caused by your partner’s infidelity, it’s not a matter of whether you’ll ever get over them (one day you will, that’s guaranteed). The question is… how long will it take you to get past it? This, my friend, totally depends on which type of approach you choose to use when dealing with the pain.

THE TUG-OF-WAR WITHIN

This brings us to what I consider to be the problem hidden within the problem. Chances are just like the woman in the opening story… you’re experiencing a similar type of “tug-of-war” when it comes to you trying to forgive infidelity.

One the one hand...

You know you should forgive them.

You know you should take the high road.

You know you should let it go and move on.

But on the other hand...

You don’t want to forgive them.

You don’t want to take the high road.

You don’t want to let it go .

Look and you will see… it’s this constant ‘tug-of-war” between that part of you that knows what you should do and that part of you that just doesn’t want to do what you should do that gets in your way and winds up creating so much resistance as you’re trying to forgive.

And if that’s not enough

In an attempt to resolve the painful conflict, produced by this tug-of-war, many people will try and do a third (and sometimes even more painful) thing: they will try to do both. In other words, they will attempt… to overlook without truly forgiving.

  • Overlook without truly forgiving.
  • Suppress pain without actually healing the pain.
  • Move forward without leaving it behind.

MOST PEOPLE'S SECRET WISH

Most people’s secret wish is to get past their past…. WITHOUT having to actually let it go. Sounds silly, right? It’s true that I can’t tell you how many betrayed partners I’ve worked with are truly hoping to find a way to move past their pain without having to do the REAL WORK of actually letting it go. When they come to me looking for help, many are caught in an unhealthy pattern of trying to bury the hatchet, only to dig it back up again. They have been partially giving forgiveness and then withdrawing it. Sadly, this type of back and forth, hot and cold behavior can go on endlessly if you’re not careful. You can spend months, years and even decades faking forgiveness… no one will stop you. You can spend the rest of your life holding on to the hurt and unfairness… no one will blame you. You can keep recycling the same unhealthy approaches to dealing with pain all the way up to forever… nothing prevents you.

AND AS YOU CONSIDER THAT, CONSIDER THIS:

Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” A common saying these days, I know, but think about it as it relates to you and what you’re going through right now. The strategies you’ve been trying to use to help overcome your hurt and pain aren’t getting you the results you want. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to turn to using a different approach?

MY APPROACH

to FORGIVENESS AFTER INFIDELITY

At first, most betrayed partners resist what I am about to say, and I can understand why. I believe at the core, acts of infidelity are mistakes. Let me explain. My definition of a mistake is any action, decision or choice that produces a wrong result. Since acts of deception or dishonor never lead to right results, infidelity always falls into the category of a mistake.

VIEWING MISTAKES

There are two ways to view your own mistakes (as well as others’): (1) you can choose to look at mistakes as a call for help, or (2) you can choose to look at them as a call for hate. People who view mistakes as a call for hate tend to react to them in unhealthy ways, and those of us who see mistakes as a call for help tend to respond in healthier ways.

Am I saying your painful feelings of hurt, anger, and humiliation in the aftermath of betrayal are not understandable or justified? No, that’s not what I’m saying. (After all, you’re human.)

WHAT I'M SAYING...

Even if those feelings are justified, responding from a place of hate will not restore justice. And while you do have the right to be hurt, staying hurt will not make things right again or return you to happiness. And when you think about it, it makes sense because the truth is… no thought leaves the mind of the thinker.

This means...

Holding hateful thoughts (unforgiving thoughts and images) in your mind (justified or not) harms YOU and no one else. This is why unforgiveness is often described as “the crime you commit against yourself in reaction to an offense that was committed against you”.

COMMON SENSE ALONE SUGGESTS THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA

So on that basis alone, unforgiveness should be disqualified as a healthy coping strategy. And so I believe it’s now time to shift your focus. I think it’s a good idea for you to begin to use your time more wisely by learning healthy ways of dealing with the painful feelings this has brought into your life and restoring peace, love and power to your Iife, heart and mind as quickly as possible.

I believe the best way to do that is via true forgiveness.

NOTICE

I said “true forgiveness”. This is not to be confused with the false substitutes for forgiveness so many have been attempting to use.

AND HERE'S ANOTHER THING

True forgiveness is not a religious concept, and yet it’s taught in every religion. It’s not a magic bullet, and yet it leads to miraculous results.

Perhaps most importantly…

True forgiveness is not a mystical experience… it’s a human ability. Therefore, it has a process and a practice that anyone can learn and embrace.

WHAT IS TRUE FORGIVENESS?

WHAT IS

TRUE FORGIVENESS?

Webster defines it this way: “to cease to feel resentment towards an offender”. The Hebrew definition is “to restore love by canceling the cause of its loss”. The Aramaic word (“shbakn”) translated as “to forgive” means “to free, to release, or to untie”.

HERE'S THE DEFINITION I PREFER:

True forgiveness is “the skill and the will to allow the past to be truly over”.
Let’s take some time to really think about this.

PAUSE FOR A MOMENT AND IMAGINE...

Who would you be if the past were truly over in your mind?
What would it be like to wake up tomorrow morning find the unforgiving thoughts gone, like last night’s dream?
What type of parent, friend, partner, mentor and example who you be –if you didn’t have all those resentments weighing you down?
If you would like to discover who you would be, then you’re going to benefit greatly from taking my next step recommendation.

NEXT STEP RECOMMENDATION

take MY MASTERCLASS

Forgiving Infidelity and Releasing pain

Explore Forgiving Infidelity Masterclass

What is my

Forgiving Infidelity and Releasing pain

masterclass?

My Forgiving Infidelity and Releasing Pain masterclass is a step by step guide to realizing and sustaining true forgiveness. In this class I combine the wisdom of cognitive psychology and timeless spiritual
principles into six actionable steps, that takes the wish for forgiveness and turns it into real and tangible experience for you.

This masterclass is online so you can access them instantly, from any device, anytime and from anywhere in the world. (no waiting, no appointments needed) So, not are you getting immediate help, but you are also going to be learning some of my more advanced forgiveness techniques and strategies. (many of which you won’t find anywhere else).
Learn more about this masterclass here.

Overcoming Infidelity Expert Suzie

MY CLOSING THOUGHTS

Benjamin Zander (a famous orchestra conductor) tells the story of a woman he met at one of his concerts. She was a holocaust survivor. The woman told him a story of how she’d lost both her parents to the gas chambers in Nazi Germany when she was fifteen and her brother was only eight.

According to her story, both children were put on a train to Auschwitz, and while they were on that train, she looked down and noticed that her brother had lost one of his shoes.

She became irritated with him as an older sister would, and she said to him, “Look how careless you are… you’ve lost one of your shoes. Can’t you do anything right?”

Sadly, as it turned out, those where the last words she ever said to her brother.

He was taken from her right after that and didn’t survive the camp. Later when she was freed from the prison, she made a promise to herself. She said, “I will never say anything that couldn’t stand up as my last words.” And, once she made that promise to herself, she went on to live a life of loving kindness.

Now, that you’ve heard her story, I wonder what your own choice will be?

For example, will your words be dominated by love or loathing? Will your mind be a place of peace of place of war? Will your heart be reopened like a flower or stay closed off forever? And will you become the role model for healthy coping strategies your children can admire, or the posterchild for dysfunctional strategies they need to go to therapy to sort out?

I HOPE YOU CHOOSE WISELY.

Because the past is like a bucket of ashes and holding on to it is like trying to resurrect the dead. Therefore, holding on to the past is just another formula for unhappiness.

Am I suggesting…
The ability to let go (AKA true forgiveness) is a sign of mental health? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. And guess what? The opposite is also true. The “unwillingness” to let go of the past (AKA unforgiveness) is a sign of dysfunction.

HOW CAN I BE SO SURE?

I’m sure because none of us can ever change the past. Therefore, any attempt do so simply lead you back to more frustration and suffering. This means learning to let go of the past is not just a survival skill… it’s also your ticket to back to happiness.

AND THIS IS WHY I STRONGLY BELIEVE...

It’s your desire to be happy again that’s guiding you towards wanting to achieve
True Forgiveness.

And the fact that you truly want to be happy again, should be treated as a strength… not a weakness.

The good news? It only takes one simple shift in your thinking to end all the pain and suffering. And I see that shift happening for you, any moment now.

Until we speak again…
Remember, LOVE WINS!

Suzie Johnson

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