My friend once asked for my advice on how to forgive cheating. She said: My boyfriend cheated on me a couple years back. He never told me, but I found out by reading some of his text to make a long story short. I forgave him and we stayed together. However, I get very suspicious every time he is out late. And often I don’t want him to touch me in a sexual way. He always says I’m still punishing him for something I forgave him for. I feel very guilty about this. Do you think I’m wrong. How can I move past this.

How to get over betrayal?

That is a such a serious violation of trust. It’s something some people never get over. And I also see your boyfriend’s point of view because when you forgive somebody, you’re basically. Starting anew, you are giving them a clean slate and you can’t forgive someone and keep them chained to to the sins of the past. Now. What I want you to stop and think about is I think there’s two definitions of forgiveness. One is what you are trying to do where you forgive the person and you forgive the act. The second definition of forgiveness, in my opinion, is that you can say, look, I understand the situation can never be any different than what it is. It happened. I’m letting it go. I’m not angry about it. I’m not angry with you. I’m not holding any bitterness. I’m not holding any resentment. I wish the best for you, but because of this action. Well, I can let go of the bitterness and the resentment. I just don’t think we can stay together, so I wish you success and happiness and all that good stuff, but I have to move on. I think both of those fit the definition of forgiveness. So you have to decide which type of forgiveness you’d like to extend to your now boyfriend.

Being suspicious is okay

Cheating very often is not a one time thing. I’m not saying that it’s always. That way, but very often cheating happens multiple times and the only times you know about it are when you happen to catch it. As what you described. I think it is a reasonable concern of yours to be suspicious. And I also think that when you commit such a serious violation of trust. You certainly have to spend years and years building that back up a couple years is not enough. I think that you have every right to be suspicious if he’s out late. I think you have every right to to want to hold him accountable and ask for an explanation if he’s out late or he can’t be extremely private with his text or his emails until he builds that trust back up. And this is assuming that you choose to really forgive him and and and try to make this relationship work, but forgiveness does not mean that you have to drop your guard and just say anything goes. Now I think if you want to move on, I think you’re certainly well within your rights, even at this point after you tried to to make it work. And you know when people ask me about cheating.

Don’t be blinded by your emotions

The way I try to help put it in perspective is we’re often blinded by our own emotions on these kind of topics. We feel sorry when the person apologizes to us, we feel sympathetic for them or we feel extremely and whatever it may be. Emotions are clouding our judgment. So I try to look through it through a little bit different prism, so to speak. You know, and and I think to myself for me, I’m a business guy. I love business. I love investing. I love evaluating companies. And the way I would try to look at it is I would ask myself. Self here you have a ceo of this big company and he’s out there moonlighting for another company. He’s sharing our secrets. He’s sharing our information and what I invest in this company. Knowing that one of the major players in this company is moonlighting on the side with a competitor. I would say no, absolutely not. That’s just it that’s a recipe for disaster. Now, when you start to throw emotions in the mix, we try to rationalize all these different possible outcomes and reasons. But at the end of the day. It’s a recipe for disaster. And I can tell you the capital you’re investing is your emotional well-being your time and those are far more precious than any amount of money you could invest in a company. So I would I would look at your relationship as the biggest investment you’re making in terms of the quality of your life and ask yourself. Is everyone in this deal, somebody I want to do business with. Now it may be that your partner has enough kind of compensating qualities that you’re willing to say yes, even with this past indiscretion, I still want this person in my life. I’m going to try to make it work, but when you go down that route. Mike, you have to understand there is no magic button that you can push to turn off your suspicion that you can and and kind of like these bitter memories that may come up. And he needs to understand that he needs to realize that just because you’ve come to terms with with what happened and you say. I forgive you. That doesn’t mean there’s a magic. We don’t have a magic switch in our heart that we turn on and off. That says, okay, I’m never going to feel the repercussions of your actions. So, you know, mike, I I really don’t have a simple answer for you, but I would tell you really stop and think about all the things that go into someone cheating on you. The lies, the deception, how good they were keeping it from you and then all of a sudden you find out. Now, do you really think. That the odds are such that the one time you find out happens to be the only time they’ve ever cheated on you. It may be the case, but stop and think about it.

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