Affair Recovery Part 4 – Forgiveness

For those who have discovered that their spouse is having an affair, or had one in the past, forgiveness is not a welcome word. There are often misconceptions about forgiveness and usually we have not been taught how to forgive. For many, who regularly attend church, forgiveness has been preached and you know you should forgive but no one has told you how to forgive.

Also, we are often taught that we will feel better after we forgive, though we are not told how long it will take before we feel better. It is true that you will feel better after you forgive and it is also true that it may take a significant amount of time before you notice yourself feeling better. Some may feel better immediately and others may take weeks, months, or longer to feel better.

Remember that forgiveness is as much for yourself as it is for the other person. Not forgiving is a poison that slowly kills you from the inside out and often does not have an affect on the other person. We forgive because it is right and because it will help us. Below is a description of forgiveness and some steps to accomplish forgiveness.

Forgiveness. Forgiveness is important. Scripture tells us to forgive and now research indicates that forgiveness is a good idea. Here are some things to remember about forgiveness that I have gleaned from a number of writers:

  1. Forgiveness is not saying the behavior is okay.
  2. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. Later you will feel and think differently about what happened though.
  3. Forgiveness is a process and may have to be done many times for the same action.
  4. Forgiveness means no longer requiring something of the person who wronged you regarding the offense for which you are forgiving. Once forgiveness is complete the person no longer has to “pay.”
  5. Forgiveness is needed for hurts that are personal, unfair, and deep (not for accidently stepping on your toe or for “stealing” the covers for which a simple apology is all that is needed).
  6. Forgiveness is needed when we hate which means we only want revenge, not to make things better.
  7. Forgiveness may or may not bring about reconciliation.

Steps to Forgiveness:

  1. Clearly identify the issue to be forgiven.
  2. Determine how often you will get together to work on the issue.
  3. Talk about how you feel and how you have been affected by the issue.
  4. The one who committed the offense askes for forgiveness.
  5. The hurt person offers forgiveness.
  6. The one who committed the ofense demonstrates a change in beliefs and actions that allowed the offense to happen.
  7. The person who committed the offense agrees to make reparation for the offense.
  8. If possible, reconciliation occurs.
  9. Both people move on in life.

Consider how you can forgive so you can move on in your recovery.

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