How can I forgive my cheating husband?

Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you


How can I forgive my cheating husband?

3 minute read

Q. I recently found out that my husband has been unfaithful to me with a married woman he works with. He says that he’s broken it off, that it was a big mistake on his part and that he regrets it, but I’m finding it hard to forgive him or move on. Also, I’ve heard that the woman is divorcing her husband. 

I am in a very dark place right now – I can’t sleep, eat or work and I’m just numb and down all the time. I don’t know what to do next. Please can you give me some advice? Name supplied

A. It sounds as if you are in the early stages of shock and it’s probably too early to talk about forgiveness, apart from forgiving yourself – for not knowing, for the anger, hurt and confusion.

I’m going to make a series of bold statements, which others in your situation have found to be true. Men are more likely to get caught up in an affair they haven’t thought through. Women have a greater range of words to describe emotion – their own and other people’s. You have an opportunity to rebuild things, but it will involve starting at the beginning again, and both of you taking some responsibility. The last part is the hardest; accepting that both of you have lost something here. You’ve lost trust and faith, and somehow, at an earlier point, your husband lost his closeness to you. He still has vital information about what your relationship needs to make it sustainable for the future, and eventually you’ll need to hear him out.

I’ll give you a link to an article with questions to ask each other and yourself. I also recommend reading After The Affair by Julia Cole (Ebury, £14.99). You are not alone, and you have more power than you imagine. 

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