Surviving infidelity in marriage is something that requires work and effort from both parties involved.
The injured partner needs to forgive the cheating spouse, but this is usually contingent on actions and gestures from the cheating spouse. In most cases, all the injured spouse wants is a truly remorseful, heartfelt apology from the cheating partner.
If your partner has cheated and, as far as you can tell, he/she is not being apologetic, this can feel like salt in your wounds:
-"Why doesn't he get it, when it seems so obvious to me?!"
-"It is really annoying that she just can't seem to be remorseful or to ask me for forgiveness!"
-"How can we move forward in this marriage if he continues to hurt me by being so oblivious to what he's done?"
Now, you may think that the underlying notes of an authentic apology may have a profound impact on your marriage and your recovery. However, you should know that there may be some feelings you may have which may cause your need to hear an apology. For example, verbalization of an apology may be viewed as:
- Validation in your mind of the disappointment and the agony you may be feeling;
- An acknowledgment by your spouse of the pain you feel;
- Admission of his/her culpability and contribution to your current feelings;
- Recognition by your spouse of how he/she has single-handedly dealt a potentially fatal blow to your marriage and everything that you both have held so dear.
This is something that you really need to think about in depth. It may become necessary to challenge your perceptions and your definitions - you may inadvertently be putting roadblocks which actually prevent you from moving forward. And surviving infidelity in marriage is difficult enough! All you need to do is assess just how much importance you are placing on your cheating spouse's apology - sometimes, simply redefining your own ideas is a major breakthrough in moving forward so that you can rebuild your marriage after infidelity.
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