He has cheated on you. You found out. How to react? At first, you are seeking revenge and want to forever end the relationship, but it is worth remembering that there are at least five reasons why forgiving can put you in a winning situation.
Reason 1: Previous achievements
If your future relationship, love or friendship depended only on your readiness to forgive another person, you would face a great responsibility. Having made the wrong decision, one would also face great disappointments when emotions subside. So, it’s better to ask yourself now: how did this person offend you – was it a single case or has it happened many times? After all, this man used to be your dearest one.
Try to soberly evaluate your relationship. The good old way is a sheet of paper divided into two columns. In the first column, write down everything that has ever offended you in this person’s behavior. In the second one, mention all the good things that this person has ever done to you. He might have failed to walk on water for you, but he is the only one who can make you smile, even when you feel very bad.
Reason 2: Sincere repentance
Make sure that the offender is actually repenting sincerely. This is not always easy because guilty people can long for forgiveness so much that they use flattery and manipulations.
To evaluate sincerity, get ready for a conversation. Imagine that you are an investigator who needs to deal with a crime. You don’t have to interrogate, but you have to be impartial.
You can prepare a list of questions in advance: put them on the phone and look them through during the conversation as soon as you understand that emotions are gaining the upper hand and you are getting off the point.
During the conversation, invite the person to mentally return to the past and ask what he would do differently and specify why. Your task is to find out: is the offender really ashamed of what he did, or does he just feel sorry for himself and does not want to lose what you are giving him? Does he accept the guilt or blame anyone but himself?
Reason 3: Boomerang law
Everyone, even a perfectionist, can make a fatal mistake. If it seems to you that you would never have done so – this is just a trap of thinking. This does not mean that someday you will definitely do that. In a situation where you are offended or betrayed and then asked for forgiveness, you feel like a victim of circumstances. The psyche begins to defend itself, and instead of sound reasoning, there comes an unmistakable belief in your own infallibility.
Try to look at the situation from a different angle and imagine that you need a second chance. It would be better for you if the other person gave the opportunity to improve and do everything right.
Reason 4: Your calmness
In different religions of the world, forgiveness plays a big role. Psychotherapy is also based on forgiveness. It is believed that the ability to forgive and let go makes a person truly happy. Forgiveness gives a sense of calm and joy to the one who forgives.
There is some truth in the good old phrase saying that “all diseases stem from the nerves”. Getting rid of hostility and resentment, we get rid of internal suffering, which can lead to serious diseases. Contrary to a popular belief, people are changing. They learn from their mistakes, and by giving them such an opportunity, you facilitate this growth not only in themselves, but in yourself as well.
Reason 5: Saving energy
Forgiveness allows you to save the energy you have and spend it on building the next relationship. Imagine that your partner made a mistake that you failed to forgive because it was a disgraceful act. You have separated. It is likely that he will learn this lesson and will not make the same mistake again in his next relationship. He will remember how severely he was punished for his misconduct and will treat his next darling better than he treated you.
You will also meet another person, but he has not yet made mistakes in the relationship with you and may not be aware of what seems unacceptable to you. So, maybe you should give a chance to your present partner, who is still here and asks for forgiveness. It is likely that he will not make the same mistake again, and you will not have to go through the old pain one more time.
Forgiveness is not the easiest process. It requires wisdom, patience and observation. Of course, there are situations in which forgiveness is inappropriate or even impossible. But if you have even the slightest doubt about eliminating a person from your life completely – halt, take a breath and try to give your relationship another chance.