Learning that your spouse has had an affair turns your world upside down. Once you recover from the initial shock you will realize that you have two choices about what course to take as far as your marriage is concerned. You can choose to end the relationship or you can choose to make an effort to forgive your husband or wife and repair your relationship in an effort to salvage the marriage. For most people forgiving a cheater is an extremely complicated decision that is not reached without lots of thought. It takes courage on the part of both partners. Forgiving a spouse who has hurt you by cheating could well necessitate more effort than anything you have ever attempted in your life.

Feelings of anger and sadness mixed with confusion will hamper your progress and forgiving your spouse will entail lots of time and energy. It's important to know that you're not condoning the actions of your partner by offering forgiveness. It also does not indicate that you'll forget the cheating. What forgiving your spouse does mean is that you wish to move forward toward the future and to try to put the affair in the past. As gut wrenching and difficult as forgiveness is, the only real way your relationship will be able to recuperate from this detrimental event is by way of the act of forgiveness. There will be no chance your relationship can be repaired no matter what else you do, if instead of attempting to forgive, you wont let go of the feelings of anger and hurt.

Forgiveness is really more important for you, and you need to keep that in mind although it may seem that the forgiveness is more for your partner. The reason it's more important for you is that anyone who's reluctant or unable to forgive will literally become filled with the anger and bitterness that is produced by holding onto the hurt you feel. Not offering forgiveness won't change what has happened and will sooner or later hurt you more than you have already been hurt.

Many men and women wrestle with being able to forgive a cheater because of things they hear other folks say. Well meaning friends and family might ask "how is it possible to forgive" or "I wouldn't forgive" or "you're letting them off too easy by forgiving". Please believe me when I tell you that although these other folks do love and care about you and are concerned about you, they don't in any way comprehend what you're dealing with. Walking away and filing for divorce is much easier than staying. It takes a really strong person to stay, forgive their spouse and try to make the marriage work.

Generally some form of professional help is essential to help both partners deal with the result of the affair. As was previously observed, forgiving your partner for cheating requires time and effort, but couples who put in the time and effort will discover that their relationship will be stronger in the end.

Author's Bio: 

Dena Tilson is the owner of http://www.mydistantlove.com a website dedicated to helping couples resolve their problems and rebuild their marriages. You will find articles dealing with a variety of issues that married couples may face including how to regain trust in a marriage and insight into various reasons for why marriages fail.