Breakups > Emotional Affairs > How to Forgive Your Husband After an Affair

How to Forgive Your Husband After an Affair

If you're unhappy in your relationship, try a different approach! Learn how The Hero Instinct can be the key to securing a man's love, attention, and devotion for life.

The bad news is forgiving your husband is a daily choice you have to make. The good news is these tips on how to forgive your husband after an affair will help you start the road toward healing.

How to Forgive Your Husband After an Affair“Forgiveness doesn’t mean agreeing with, condoning, or even liking what has happened,” says Iyanla Vanzant, author of Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything. “Forgiveness means letting go and knowing that – regardless of how challenging, frightening, or difficult an experience may seem – everything is just as it needs to be in order for you to grow and learn. When you focus on how things “should” be, you deny the presence and power of love.”

The first few days (or weeks…maybe months) are the most difficult, but with time you will move forward and be happy after your husband’s affair. These tips on how to forgive your husband’s affair are inspired by a comment from a reader. She said: “My husband cheated on me with his coworker, who has since left the company. How do I forgive my husband after the affair? I can’t look at him, much less let him touch me. How do I trust him after he cheated on me? I want to forgive and move on but it’s so hard.” – from Lost That Loving Feeling? When to Give Up on Your Marriage.

It’s important to remember that forgiving your husband after he had an affair doesn’t mean you have to stay married to him. This article is geared towards forgiveness and saving your marriage, but it’s just as important to forgive your husband even if you decide to leave him.

Forgiveness is for you, not him.

How to Forgive Your Husband After an Affair

These tips for healing your marriage when trust is broken will help you reconnect with your husband and rebuild your marriage. If you’re not sure if your husband is cheating, read 5 Signs He’s Having an Affair.

Prepare for the daily process of forgiveness

There aren’t any easy answers about forgiveness after a physical or emotional affair. It takes time, effort, and energy to build a healthy strong marriage that includes forgiveness and trust. You need to be honest about your needs, and know from the bottom of your heart that you can trust him not to cheat on you again. If you need something that he can’t give you, then you have to decide how to meet your needs.

Sometimes, learning how to forgive your husband after an affair is more about you than him.

Decide if you can live with your husband the way he is right now

You need to decide if you’re willing to live with your husband the way he is…because most people don’t change unless they have a compelling reason. You can’t convince your husband to change, and you may not even be able to force yourself to forgive him after the affair.

Maybe accepting your husband for who he is means you look past his affairs (but I don’t recommend that!). You can try to support your husband through the worst parts of marriage — and it’s especially effective when both of you are equally committed to saving your marriage.

If both you and your husband aren’t willing to work towards forgiving after an affair, then you need to accept your marriage for what it is, and not expect more. And, you might need to learn how to overcome obsession with your husband’s affair.

Remember that men and women perceive affairs differently

Men perceive physical affairs to be worse, and women feel emotional infidelity is more upsetting, according to a study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. This seems to hold true in “real life”, too.

One of my friends’ husbands had a physical and emotional affair with her best friend, and she said it was so difficult to forgive and trust him again — but they held it together. She said saving her marriage would have been easier if it was “only” a physical affair. But he was in love with her best friend.

That marriage was saved, and both husband and wife say it’s because God taught them how to forgive after the painful betrayal of an affair.

Believe that “happily ever after” DOES exist

Have faith in happily ever after.

how to forgive husband for affair

How to Forgive Your Husband After an Affair

It take effort, energy, time, and commitment to learn  how to forgive your husband after an affair. It’s hard enough building a happy marriage when nobody cheated, but forgiving and trusting after he cheated on you is super duper difficult.

That said, however, it is possible to build a better marriage. And your marriage may be stronger, happier, and healthier because he cheated. Many relationships are stronger because of infidelity – and the couples DO live happily ever after.

Remember that love isn’t just about saying “I love you”

In fact, that’s the easiest, laziest part of love! Anyone can say “I love you.” Real, committed, healthy, romantic love is about how you treat each other, whether you respect one another’s wishes, if you can talk about your problems, if you’re emotionally and spiritually connected, and if you have the same goals for the future.

If you can’t understand why your husband had the affair, read 8 Reasons Why People Cheat in Relationships.

Forgiving your husband after an affair does not happen overnight

Learning to trust again after a betrayal such as an physical or emotional affair doesn’t happen once, nor does it happen quickly.

Rebuilding trust and forgiving your husband is a process that involves ups and downs – even if you’re the most forgiving person in the world. You will eventually learn to trust him after he cheated on you — but you have to work on it. And he’ll have to earn your trust.

“Accept the events of the past, while being willing to change your perspective on them,” says Iyanla Vanzant. “Only forgiveness can liberate minds and hearts once held captive by anger, bitterness, resentment, and fear. Forgiveness is a true path to freedom that can renew faith, build trust, and nourish the soul.”

If want to save your marriage, consider getting counseling

Untangling emotional issues is very difficult, and a professional counselor can help you see how to forgive your husband after an affair. Marriage counseling doesn’t have to last for years or even months; sometimes it just takes a session or two to see what the issues are and how to resolve them.

forgiving your husband after affairHealing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration is one of the most popular books on  forgiving and trusting your husband after an affair. It’s a long process that doesn’t happen overnight – it can take years to forgive him after he cheated.

Here’s what a marriage counselor says about cheating: “It’s best to come clean as early as possible,” says Gary Neuman, author of The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It by M. Gary Neuman. “Be honest with your partner when you’re just beginning to become interested in someone else.”

If your husband is hiding his affair from you – or trying to make you feel crazy for thinking he cheated – then forgiveness will be MUCH more difficult. But if he’s honest about why and when he cheated, you might find it a bit easier to forgive him after an affair.

I welcome your thoughts on how to forgive your husband after an affair below. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but sometimes it helps to share what you’re going through. Writing can be one of the most healing ways to find peace and forgiveness.


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17 thoughts on “How to Forgive Your Husband After an Affair”

  1. My husband had an affair thru chatting and he spend alot of time chatting & calling the woman, its been 2 mos fr now since i catch him having an affair and he already stop but the prob is i cannot accept what had happen and trust is not there yet at the moment, i keep on digging up things reg their chatting affair that i cannot forgive and have a peace of mind as i was cheated that i relly cannot accept what he’d done. How can overcome of this feeling i want to move on but i keep on imagining things of thrir chatting affair
    Pls help! Thanks

    1. A woman who loves her husband and her family

      It is a healing one. I didn’t feel the love or emotional attachment since the first day of marriage. I assumed the reason was a new relationship based on an arranged marriage and long-distance dating ( kind of) for one year. I waited for our marriage to mature and followed him blindly, loving him deeply as any other woman whose husband is her first and last love would do. We had differences but it was possible to sort and resolve the problems. He never wanted to open up or talk to me about what he wants. He is eldest in his family with highest income. I accepted all the facts that I came to know after I started living with him, 3 years after the marriage. At times, I even thought that could had been the reason of his disinterest.
      But I realised it very late that one of the reasons he chose me to get married was that he needed someone who can do a very good job and support him economically. I was in my sophomore year, had just passed the qualifying exam of Ph.D. I worked really hard after my marriage so I could secure a good job when I join my husband finally. But usually, things do not go the way you want. There were other barriers to securing a good job. It was not in my control. I badly needed help that time. I was not the kind who would beready to lose family, relationship, love and affection
      For career. I would not I am not ambitious but it is just about what is most important for you. My husband was happy as long as I was doing job. I always respected him and his family. I still do. But the fact that they will do the same only if I don’t act like a wife but a slave, gave my life this turn. I don’t blame them. They are better than many other families who believe marriage is all about bringing a girl to support their support system. People say ” ignorance is bliss .”

  2. I am sorry I don’t think you could ever convince someone with any amount of psycho babble that an affair made a relationship better. What a way to spin the affair around and try to convince the person betrayed that an affair is good. Sick.

  3. Thank you for being courageous, and sharing your story here. It’s a huge, devastating, painful betrayal when your husband has an affair – and learning how to forgive is not easy.

    I think it might be helpful to talk to someone who understands, who has been through it. Try to open up to women you trust. Talking about your husband’s affair will help you work through those painful emotions and feelings of betrayal.

    And, keep reading about how to forgive your husband after an affair. The more insight you get, the easier it’ll be to forgive — up to a certain point! Then you just need to let it go.

    Here’s an article that my help:

    How to Trust Your Husband After He Betrayed You

    Forgiveness is a daily practice. It takes effort, and it will unfold over time. Forgiving him won’t happen overnight – and it’s not a one-time decision. It’s a painful process that WILL bring healing, but it requires your commitment. You need to commit to forgiving him, and move forward.

    I know this is easier said than done. I will keep you in my prayers! May you find peace and healing, and may joy and trust be restored to your marriage.

  4. I have been married for 10 yrs now and had 2 children and 8 1/2 months pregnant when it happened. I knew something was going on but he always said I was crazy he would never do such a thing. 5 months later I get a call from his own family and they tell me about his affair and how everyone knew about it except me and how serious it was going. I confronted him about it and at first he denied it. But then said some of it was true not all. He said they would only text each other but that ended months ago,when I had deliv er ed our baby.but I knew that wasn’t true.,and never thought of leaving his family.i asked for details but never got clear answers. He said his sorry and won’t do it again but I don’t know if I wanna be with him anymore.But he won’t open up and answer my questions or act any different with me. He acts so normal to everything won’t act sorry or truely ask for forgiveness. I haven’t talked to anybody about this. I’m very emberrased about this situation. Please give me some advise.

  5. Heavenly Father, I lift up these women to you. May your peace, forgiveness, and love fill their hearts and souls. Give them people to connect with, resources to help them heal, and your spirit of forgiveness and grace. Give them wisdom to know how to forgive their husbands after the affair, and strength to move forward. Help them know with confidence what to do next. Give them life, power, and courage. Amen.

  6. I found out that my husband had an affair with a coworker one year ago. If I had found out about it during that time I would have left him. But it’s been 1 year… I want to forgive him but I keep thinking about it. I keep reading the text messages in my mind. I don’t know what to do. I feel it’s almost not relevant anymore. The worst thing about it is that I was pregnant! He said he will never do it again. But he is the boss and i feel that anyone will want to be with thier boss … But I can’t ask him to leave his job that he has work so hard for.

  7. I tried to let it go and I can’t. I think I have died inside. There’s nothing in my heart for him. Every time I did forgive, I would find his texts/messages again. I see that after some years of trying to mend things, I haven’t done any good for myself. I have been intimate but forced myself. This desire is gone. I am not bitter but I am cold.

  8. How can you tell your partner you love them and then cheat on them , lie and disrespect , betray them , to me the word love is very strong , I was cheated on ,I knew from my intuition and a few people told me , we’ve been together 5 &1/2 years , I finally said to him , Im growing spiritually and will not tolerate any more lies , as he couldnt tell me the truth , finally I said I cant move forward unless you tell me the truth , so he told me details , was very hard listening and keeping my anger inside , I said how hard was that , I just wanted truth from the beginning , I feel he not only lied , betrayed and disrespected me but also our kids and family ! I am in limbo about wanting this to work ,I am 51 years old , I have never been married because of the trust with partners, best of luck to all you women who have to get through the emotion and pain , but if he does it again , time to move on as he will never change and we deserve better in this life !!follow your gut instincts and your heart ladies , its your life , live it well as we have only 1 life , thankyou

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    If you have children and you really want to know how to forgive your husband after an affair, you need to realize it’s a daily process. Every day, you have to choose to forgive his affair, and work on rebuilding your marriage. It’s a difficult thing to do at first – but soon you will find forgiveness and love will be easier.

    1. Good day!thenks for the advice i was really appreciate that!from now on as you said to me im going to forgive him and accept him !thank you very i was very helpful to me!

  10. My husband was cheated me 2 months ago!after I noticed he cheat me ,he stop the relationship with the girl!he told me that he never love the girl ,that was the temptation only because we are far to each other!untill now he always ask my forgiveness but for me it is hard to accept i dont know what to do and i dont want him to separate cause we have a 2 children!

  11. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Forgiving your husband after an affair is a very personal decision that only you — as his wife — can make. If you’re struggling to know if you should forgive your husband after he has an affair, or if you don’t know how to forgive him for cheating, I encourage you to talk to counselor. I can’t give you the guidance you need, or advice about forgiving your husband after he cheated on you.

    My prayer is that you find peace and wisdom. May your path be clear – even if you can only take it one day at a time! May you find courage and strength as you try to figure out if you should forgive your husband after an affair, and may you decide what to do without being motivated by fear, insecurity, or bitterness. May God’s energy, light, and spirit energize and lead you beside the still waters, even if it feels like you’re walking in the valley of the shadow of death. Amen.


  12. i was paging my husband phone then i found out that he is cheating on me for the 4th time now n its killing me i dnt knw what to do . or should i confront him ? but what if he ask me what was i doing with his phone? what will i say? should i forgive him after another affair?

    1. Here is a dose of reality, he will probably never be faithful to anyone, definitely you as he’s proved quite a bit. You know what you must do…leave. If you don’t; you need to work through why his partial commitment is all you feel you deserve. As articles have said, Forgiveness is for you, but forgiveness doesn’t always mean staying with them. If children are involved, you need to be cordial for their sake and they only need to understand that they are loved by both of you. And by the way, if he asks what you were doing with his phone, that just a diversion from what he was doing wrong don’t let him go there, stay on point. He’s proved how much his relationship means to him. If it were me, I’d quit beating my head against the wall trying to make this relationship what I hope it is and understand what it actually is, toxic.

  13. I’m wondering if my partner even wants to b with me after his affair- he says that he only slept w her twice and seems remorseful but he says he doesn’t know y he did it. Am I fooling myself thinking that he won’t do it again? Idk. Gut tells me he is sincere today but not so sure about tomorrow. I guess we’ll have a go at it and c.