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10 tips to forgive an affair

When your partner has an affair, it is basically one of the worst things he/she can do to you. You may have a thousand questions swirling around in your head. One of the most important ones: Can you forgive and trust your partner again after an affair?

We want to help you deal with the pain of infidelity and decide whether you want to give your husband/wife a second chance.

Table of Contents

This is how you can forgive an affair 

If your partner has cheated on you, it is likely that you will feel feelings such as anger and wonder how he/she could have done this to you and what the reasons were.

Searching for reasons will not help you. Rather, it is crucial to consider whether you want to hold on to the emotional connection between the two of you or whether breaking up is the best decision after all.


These 10 tips will help you forgive an affair 

How quickly you can forgive your partner depends on a number of factors. You might be wondering, "How long does it take to get over an infidelity?" The truth is that no one can guarantee that you will be able to forgive your partner for cheating.

If you are not ready to give up on your partner, the following suggestions may help you to better manage the problem and overcome the pain:

Tip 1: Take your time to process the situation

First, you must face the pain of being betrayed. It might be good to stay with a friend for a few days so your feelings can settle down. Maybe you see things more clearly when you're not so close.

Tip 2: Ask the "right" questions

You are probably wondering why your partner had an affair, how he/she met the other woman/man and of course how the sex with him/her was like.

Before you confront your partner with this, you should think carefully about whether the answers to these questions will really help you.

Depending on how your partner reacts to the topics, this may even make it harder for you to deal with the affair. So it's better if you limit yourself to asking for information that doesn't confuse you even more.

E.g. It can help you to understand whether feelings were involved in the affair. On the other hand, where your partner has had sex will not help you.

Tip 3: Try not to make accusations 

Of course you feel your relationship and trust is ruined and you blame your partner for it. However, that doesn't help any of you. Your partner understands that he/she made a mistake. If he/she has apologized fully, accept the apology and let the matter rest.

Tip 4: Talk to your partner about your relationship

It's possible that your partner has already told you that the infidelity was a mistake and that he/she wants to stay with you. Otherwise you wouldn't even consider forgiving him/her for cheating. You should revisit your relationship, especially the other man/woman, before starting over.

Tip 5: Do couples therapy

Even if you believe that you can forgive your partner for being unfaithful, new issues may arise the next day. In order for your new beginning to be successful, it can make sense to seek outside help in the form of a therapist and to work through the situation professionally together.

Tip 6: Forgiving is not forgetting

Forgiving your partner is a big step. However, that doesn't mean you have to forget about the affair. You will almost certainly remember it in the future, whether you processed it or not.

Tip 7: Allow physical proximity

No one is asking you to sleep with your partner again immediately. It is quite natural that there is no sex between you at first. However, if you forgive him/her, it means that you will eventually become physically close again. If that thought scares you, you haven't worked through the infidelity yet.

Tip 8: Look ahead with your partner

You can make a conscious fresh start in the relationship if you are able to forgive your partner. This could be used to change things in your relationship that weren't working so well. You might even discover new possibilities in your partnership and make it better than ever.

Tip 9: Trust your partner again

Restoring trust in your partner is perhaps the most difficult task of all. But a relationship cannot function without it. Think about what you need to ensure that your partner remains true to you in the future.

Tip 10: Make a conscious decision to start over

If you give your partner a second chance at the relationship, you have to put the past behind you. Allusions to your partner's infidelity and cheating are therefore prohibited. This only perpetuates the impression that you're stuck in the past.

When starting fresh, it's important to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.

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Meet the Author

Heike Kraft

Far too often, couples break up not because they don't fit together, but because they don't have the right "means" to resolve their conflicts. As the founder of LoveLane, I want to help couples love more consciously and appreciate each other more. In recent years, I have built a wide variety of digital products for companies, including a self-coaching app. Through my training as an integral coach and from personal experience, interpersonal relationships have become even more important to me. I'm so excited to be able to bring these two areas of experience together at LoveLane.