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Forgiving Your Husband After an Affair

Is it possible to forgive your husband after he had an affair and lied to you? Yes. It won’t be easy and it will take a long time, but truly forgiving your husband is the healthiest thing you could do for yourself, for him, and for your family.

forgiving husband after affair

Finding forgiveness and healing is easier when you read books like When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal. “I know how painful it is to have a heart torn apart by lies — and rarely do we see it coming,” says a reader. “This book is a great step towards seeing how selfish liars are and what lying does to us. Before you can forgive your husband for having an affair, you have to face the lies he told you. I wish I could have read this book as a teen, it would have saved me years of heartache.”

Here’s what one reader says about forgiving her husband: “I forgave my husband instantly, which is important,” says Sad on Should I Leave My Cheating Husband? “Everyone MUST forgive. Forgiveness is the first step towards healing after an affair. The longer you wait to forgive the longer you hurt. I forgave right away.”

Yes, forgiveness after an affair is the first step to healing…and it’s also the most difficult thing you’ll ever do. An affair is a betrayal, a punch in the stomach, a shock that takes a long time to get over.

And here are a few thoughts on how to forgive your husband after he had an affair…

Why should you forgive your husband?

“If I divorce it will not be because of the affair itself….it will be because I’m afraid of the person I might become if I stay,” says Sad. “I don’t want to be someone’s mother, I don’t want to have to look over my shoulder the rest of my life, I don’t want to live in fear that he might have another affair, I don’t want to worry about getting older, I don’t want to have to wonder what is going through his mind every time he sees a pretty woman, I don’t want to feel the pain every time we make love. Talk about painful!”

You forgive not because of who you are or what your husband says, but because of how you want to live. You can choose to live in bitterness, misery, suspicion, and fear. Or, you can choose to live in acceptance, freedom, healing, and forgiveness.

Know that forgiveness is a long process

My friend’s husband had an affair with her best friend (it’s a cliché, but it really happened). It took her about six years to be able to honestly say, “I still love him, and I completely forgive him for having an affair.” She said that it took her a long time to forgive him – it didn’t happen overnight. When he was late coming home from work, she often wondered who he was with and if he was cheating. If you’re trying to forgive your husband, don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Be aware of the possible “higher purpose”

When bad things happen, I sometimes have a feeling that there’s a reason for this. Somehow, I’ll be able to use this experience for good, for growth, or to help someone else. I don’t know if you can feel that when when you’re struggling to forgive your husband for having an affair, but it can help if you try to look beyond your pain. Or, try to dig into your spiritual strength or your faith. Things happen for a reason — even affairs that make you feel like you’ll never be happy again — and sometimes it can help to hang on to that.

Know that there is no easy road

“When your husband is truly sorry for his affair, you are damned if you stay and damned if you leave,” says Sad. “If you stay you have to face all those horrible thoughts, fears, insecurities. If you leave your husband, you feel like you left your best friend and did not own up to your end of ‘for better or worse, in sickness or in health, till death do us part.'”

How sad and depressing! I bet that if men knew how devastating their affairs were, how they’d tear their families apart, they would think twice about cheating.

Knowing why men have affairs may help you forgive. For insight, read Why Men Cheat.

And if you’re thinking about couples therapy, read 4 Signs Marriage Counseling Will Improve an Unhappy Relationship.

Have you had to forgive your husband or partner for an affair? Share your story below…

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7 thoughts on “Forgiving Your Husband After an Affair”

  1. I recently caught my husband cheating on me for the third time with the same woman, been married 41 years! It’s been going for 5 years on and off. I found his photos with horrible proof!!! The second time I found out in 2015 I told him I would file for divorce. We never went thru counseling and feel that I owe it to myself to truly find out if that’s what I want. My heart says no but 99% of me says DIVORCE. It is a struggle and he says he doesn’t want a divorce or to leave me and wants to work it out with counseling. I wish I was strong enough to divorce him but I hope I can find the answer through counseling which we are doing. It’s only been 2 weeks since this happened again. Your articles have been helpful.

  2. Dear Shannon,

    Thank you for being here. It has been some time since you shared about forgiving your husband after an affair, and I hope you are doing well. My prayer is that you’ve found peace and strength to move on.

  3. I have been battling depression for about 3 years. During this time my husband began to withdraw and spend less time with us as a family. I have been the primary bread winner and the only one to invest any emotional interest in our son. My husband admitted to having an affair for at least 6 months, I have reason to believe it has been much longer. He left me 10 days ago, the very same day we had our bankruptcy hearing. He is currently living with this “woman” and I am letting him have visitation with our 3 year old son. He is suddenly the active family man and the man I see now is a complete stranger to me. He has removed his wedding ring and is living with this woman and her children in the role of husband and step-father. I may be crazy, but I believe this is some sort of midlife crisis or he is depressed himself, and if refuse to give up hope that we can get past this—but I am afraid that my hope and prayers may be in vain.

  4. Thanks for your comments! Forgiving your husband after he cheated on you may be the most difficult thing you do in your marriage. I don’t know if I could forgive my husband after an affair, but it depends on so many factors. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this horrible dilemma.

  5. Affairs are never the answer to marital issues. The only 3rd person that will help is a marriage counselor or God. Trust worthy friends are a must for both partners. Your coworkers see you at your best. So, of coure they are going to be nice. Move it with them, and the masks come off. Many men are suffering with sexual affairs, emotional affairs, and porn addiction which leads to sexual anorexia. If your husband is sexually addicted, he needs help. He cannot stop on his own, and this problem will not stop. It’s not your fault. you can’t fix him. Wivesinthebattle.com.ning is an excellent group for women needing support from other women who are facing this issue. Be blessed. Thanks for your positivity on the Blog!

  6. my husband had an affair

    I remember how close he used to be and all of sudden he just distanced himself from. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know that it could be that bad. I wonder how it will turn out to be if I were to realize it earlier. That was 5 years ago since he left me for another woman. I am with someone better right now but I am planning to get this software because I care about my current relationship even more.

  7. We have been married for 26yrs. My husband had not cheated once but I lost count of them. I would forgive him each time and pled him to stay with me. This time I found out that he has an affair for the last 5 years. We have not had frequent sex since 4 years ago and I had been suspecting an affair is going on but of course he would talk me out of it. If we had a fight its always a bad one so I remain quiet all these years. Now that I found his text he has no choice but to admit. I know why he cheated because he always like wild sex and this woman can performed because he is always saying I am old, post meno pause and over weight. He told me he love me even if we do not have sex. All through these years he had been very good to me and our family and that is why I have chose to stay.
    Now I am hurt and dont know what to do. Of cos I want this marriage because our children need him but tell me how to survive this one because it is the longest that he ever had. He told me he can leave her because its just another woman but I doubt it and how can I believe or trust him ever again. In my mind now I cannot help it but think about their sex life every night because my husband goes out every night to her. How do I repair this marriage. Sometimes I feel I hate him I could kill him, sometimes I feel I love him so much, I am confused and despair. I know time will heal but I wonder if I can live it through. How can man cheat their good wife just because of sex? I also learnt from their texts that there is another woman involved too. So does this mean my husband is not into her only?

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