Have you ever wondered, just as I have been wondering, how long does it take to forgive someone for cheating?
Infidelity in marriage or a relationship can be very hurtful.
It affects not just your partner but your children if you have any, bringing all that you have built in years to nothing.
While dating, you can consider this as a red flag and choose to back out of the relationship, but in marriage, it is more hurtful because that person not only breaks your heart but also breaks your wedding vows.
And as you know, getting a divorce is not a spontaneous decision to make.
At least it isn’t as spontaneous as the choice of ending courtship.
So, the question of how long it takes to forgive someone for cheating really depends on the person’s capacity and willingness to forgive.
Forgiveness is a process that requires time and patience.
It starts with accepting that the event happened and letting go of all the pain and hurt.
This is followed by understanding why your partner cheated and how it affected your life and relationship.
The next step is to find ways to rebuild trust in the relationship, such as communication and rebuilding emotional intimacy.
After that, you must also learn to forgive yourself for allowing the cheating to happen in the first place.
Finally, after gaining a complete understanding of what happened, you can move on with forgiveness.
This means accepting that your partner made a mistake and allowing yourself to forgive them so you can heal and move on with your life.
As I have clearly stated above, it is a whole lot of process, and none can be rushed.
In fact, it can take a very long time to decide to forgive someone for cheating, and the process is fast, while for some others, they decide fast, and then the process takes forever.
However you choose to do this is valid but then, I will address some things that could lead to how fast or slow the decision-making process can be.
But here are five reasons why it might take a while for one to forgive another for cheating Or the things that can make the process of forgiveness slow or quick.
How Long Does It Take To Forgive Someone For Cheating?
1. How The Partner Who Cheated Is Handling The Situation
Most times, when people cheat, their first response is “I am sorry,” “I can explain,” or “It’s not what you think”.
These responses can either be genuine or a way for them to escape the consequences of their actions.
If the partner who cheated is not taking responsibility and making an effort to make amends, it will take longer for the other person to forgive them.
Sometimes, they go on to make things worse by sometimes gaslighting, blaming, excusing, and downplaying the level of their actions.
And then it all feels like their apology wasn’t meant, and they don’t see that they have done anything wrong.
They blame their partner for leading them to cheat and still go on to apologize in one breath.
And even though they may mean their apology and feel really sorry for their actions and want to make amends, the words they have said are unhealthy and will never allow their partner’s mental health and heart to find healing on time or ever.
And such a thing may be the reason why forgiveness can linger.
2. Who They Cheated On You With
Nothing is new under the sun, yet you hear some stories and wonder if the person is truly human.
When cheating occurs, who your partner cheated on you with plays a huge role in the process of you forgiving them.
Cheating is cheating, but the people involved mean a lot.
If your partner cheats on you with your best friend, sister/brother, close relative, or even your enemy, it might influence how deep and how long the hurt will last– forgiveness may take a while.
Depending on the person they cheated with, it may be a bit easier to forgive because of how close or how far your connection is with the person.
If you don’t know who they cheated on you with, it might make forgiving them easier.
When you don’t know exactly who your partner usually cheats on you with, it can give you space to move forward without being constantly reminded of them.
However, when it is someone close to you, the hurt and pain might resurface.
Therefore, while cheating is a horrible thing, the person or people involved can make a huge difference in how you move forward from it.
It could influence your decision to forgive them or not, but ultimately it is up to you to decide what you want for yourself and if forgiving them is something you want to do.
3. Past Marriage History
Your relationship or marriage history can be one of the factors that would determine how long it will take for you to forgive them.
If your partner has been engaged in such acts before or has been doing it, and you suspected and communicated your concern to them, yet their response didn’t validate your feelings, it might hurt you more deeply and prolong your forgiveness.
Maybe fighting lust has been a battle they have been in; he has made several terrible mistakes in the past, and you believed they have turned a new leave, only for them to come up with the worst form of it.
Such history or past broken trust, or trust that was gained by deep love and faith in them, if broken, might hurt too much to be easily forgiven or forgiven at all.
It might also be that you both have spent a huge time of your relationship or marriage life walking on stones– you have been consistently having issues or marriage crises.
Cheating might just be what will break the horse’s back, and it may influence when you will forgive them.
4. The Result Of Their Cheating
Cheating comes with its consequences, just like breaking into a store and getting caught.
You either serve jail terms, get fined, or pay for damages.
A partner cheating in a marriage or relationship can result in physical, mental, economic, social, and emotional damage.
For instance, if the man is the one responsible for cheating and his actions result in getting another woman pregnant, or he cheated and was blackmailed, resulting in him putting your life savings at risk, these instances go beyond just breaking your trust.
It has a ripple effect on other aspects of your life.
The result of someone’s cheating might make it hard to forgive them or even continue living with them.
It all depends on what you decide is best in your own circumstances.
Think about whether this person is worth forgiving at all, and if so, how can they make it up to you?
Or, a cheating wife who is caught pregnant with another man’s baby, the husband might decide to leave her and never look back.
Whatever your situation is, make sure you think through carefully before making any decisions.
If you do decide to forgive them, there is a need for both parties to communicate openly and honestly about what happened and to build trust again.
In this case, the result or consequences of a partner’s cheating can determine how long it would take for them to be forgiven.
5. The Values Of Your Marriage
I am a Christian and a firm believer in my faith.
My faith teaches us to forgive because our God forgives us too.
If a home is built of values of such faiths, those values can help quicken or delay specific actions that partners make.
Decisions like divorce, ending a relationship, or forgiving a wrong act must be weighed with love and respect for what our beliefs may tell us.
The values of your marriage can ultimately decide the outcome of the situation regarding infidelity.
Forgive or don’t forgive; it is important to ensure that one’s decision reflects the morals of their relationship.
Having this in mind, make sure you are doing what is best for you and your spouse, no matter the outcome.
Some people, even without believing in God, build their relationships or marriages on strong commitments and promises like, “Divorce is not an option. No matter what happens, we will fight it together”.
And some might be committed with promises, too, but not to the extent of remaining in the marriage or relationship after a case of cheating.
So truly, even when complicated matters like cheating occur, some people hold together and fight it healthily, putting in the effort to ensure the broken trust is healed and trying to forgive entirely even though it hurts.
Whatever hurt you may feel as a result of your partner cheating on you is valid and natural.
If you find it hard to forgive them, please, it’s not on you to be blamed.
Forgiveness is a process, and you are allowed to have all your time.
I will suggest you stick to your values and protect your mental health by allowing the process to occur naturally– even though you need to put in effort.
Remember that the answer to the question “How Long Does It Take To Forgive Someone For Cheating” depends on many factors, and most of them cannot be controlled by you.
Love is beautiful, and trust should not be broken based on love.
I hope you forgive your partner for cheating because I, too, want love to win, and if leaving is the best thing to do, then you have all the support to do so.