People who reconciled with their unfaithful spouses tell all


“My wife cheated on me. When I found out, I felt like my whole life was turned upside down. I was sick, angry, hostile, deeply hurt. I felt dizzy, everything seemed unreal. I decided to try to make it work. It was so hard. I tried to forgive her, but all her lies and deceptions over the years were seeping into my brain. I had to know everything. I would yell at her on trips and tell her how horrible she was and ruin the trip. I left her and then went back to her about 20 times. Every time I thought I could forgive, something would set me off and I would rage. I would find the smallest things to be cruel about: ‘I’m hungry for pizza. Did you guys eat pizza after sex? I bet you did, bitch! I bet you were really hungry after a marathon!'”

“She would cry. I would tell her she deserved worse. Then I would leave angry and come back sorry, sad and confused. I would ask her for explicit details and then I would get really angry and call her a whore.

It all came to a head when I told her that the only way I could forgive her was if she experienced my pain. I told her I was going to cheat on her to show her how I felt. She begged me not to. I reveled in her pain and did it anyway.

Then I went home and told her everything we had done. I saw her crying in horror. At first I felt fine, but then I asked myself: What the hell am I doing? I’m becoming just like her. I’m horrible. What a horrible thing to do to someone.

We caused each other a lot of pain for eight months, then separated for two. After that breakup and talk of divorce, we started talking like never before. We talked about how we got to where we were. Why we cheated on each other and hurt each other. We finally started to understand the problems in our marriage: the lack of intimacy, the cruelty, the resentment over issues we never fixed, the neglect, the disrespectful comments, and the way we verbally abused each other.

We finally understood how it all erupted. Somehow, in a few months, anger, lies, and resentment transformed into forgiveness. Somehow, we learned from everything and became better people. We stopped lying and cheating on each other. We created a safe environment to say anything, even things that hurt and hurt.

We no longer had a Disneyland-esque idea of ​​what a marriage was supposed to be. We no longer took each other for granted, but instead looked out for each other. We unlocked our phones and shared them. We gave each other our passwords and secret emails. We talked about private things we’d kept from each other for over a decade. We admitted mistakes.

It’s been more than 10 years since then and now she is my best friend and we are very happy.

People who say, “Once you cheat, always you cheat” don’t understand that life is more complicated than that. They prefer bitterness to forgiveness. I’m here to say that forgiveness is possible, but you have to be willing to work hard, be patient, and be willing to forgive.”

—Jason M., Quora

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