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Forgiveness from the Heart After Infidelity
By Susie and Otto Collins

When an affair or infidelity has occurred in your love relationship, you are probably going through a real mix of feelings.

Anger, sadness and grief are just a few that are
common during such times.

Whether or not you decide to stay in this relationship or marriage, you might be urged to forgive your partner for what happened.

Rebuilding trust if you continue the relationship can happen most easily when you're able to forgive.

Even if the relationship has ended, forgiveness can allow you to heal and more completely let go of the past relationship as you move on to that future you want.

In either case, you may be advised by friends, family, your church or spiritual teachers or even your own inner voice to forgive. You've possibly read about the healing and benefits of forgiveness and this sounds appealing to you.

The trouble is, you just don't feel like forgiving! Your heart is not in it.

You simply cannot force yourself to forgive your mate after an affair-- or any other betrayal. As with just about everything, if your heart isn't engaged, the action is futile.

It can even backfire as a false sense of forgiveness can mask the resentment and unresolved feelings you might be having.

Janet's family keep telling her to just "forgive and
forget" about the affair that her husband Jeff had a year ago.

Although Janet and Jeff have decided to give their marriage a second chance and they are even taking part in a survival after divorce program offered at their church, Janet can't seem to bring herself to forgive Jeff.

She admits that he's trying to make up for his hurtful choices. And she also wants her marriage to overcome this challenge.

At the same time, Janet is having trouble feeling in her heart a sense of forgiveness.

What does forgiveness mean to you?
If you feel resistant to forgiving your partner (or ex) after infidelity and you'd really like to take this step, you might take a closer look at what the notion of forgiveness means to you.

For many people, the word "forgiveness" seems BIG! It can trigger in some a sense that whatever happened will be erased from memory or that somehow the offending action will be okay after being forgiven.

For others, forgiveness is uncomfortable because it gives the impression that you condone or accept the betrayal or hurt.

None of these understandings are accurate. Of course, you have to decide what's true for you. In order for forgiveness to be a healing and trust building act, however, you might need to question and shift your understanding of what forgiveness is.

Forgiveness is about releasing the hold the past and the pain or anger have on your present life. Forgiveness is ultimately about you deciding that it's most important to release the past and re-focus on what you want in this moment.

Forgiveness is about making your healing and your
happiness the priority-- not events that are no longer going on.

Forgive one moment at a time.
Janet sits down one day with a good friend and the two of them talk about forgiveness. After realizing that her understanding of the whole concept was part of her hesitation, Janet begins to re-think what forgiveness can be for her.

She does want her marriage to Jeff to be one built upon trust, openness and closeness. And she is starting to see that releasing the past-- for her own good-- could really help point her toward what she wants.

She also welcomes the idea of feeling happier and less tense and angry all of the time.

Instead of feeling like you have to forgive your mate all at once, think about forgiving one moment at a time. This type of forgiveness requires you to stay tuned in to how you are feeling.

It might be that one moment you can acknowledge and even appreciate the way that your partner has made a conscious effort to be honest and open with you.

That can be a forgiveness moment.

There will possibly be other times that you are
remembering the hurt you still feel and your emotions may seem more raw.

This is probably not the time that you can forgive from the heart. But try to remind yourself that
with self-soothing and nurturing, these feelings will pass and you can experience improvement.

Forgiveness is all about deciding to let go of the past and beginning to live more in the present as you point toward the future you want.

It all starts with a decision and then is followed up by staying true to how you feel in each moment. Be patient with yourself and allow the
healing and letting go to happen.







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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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