Unconditional Love and Self-Forgiveness

The excitement that goes into carrying on an affair is worlds apart from the emotions found within a long-term, committed relationship. Long-term relationships take work, and include some of the less attractive attributes such as taking care of the household finances, cooking, cleaning, keeping the passion alive and sharing responsibilities. By its very nature, an affair tends to focus strictly on the fun and exciting aspects of a committed relationship. Rarely do real life concerns negatively affect the world you’ve built around the affair. The downside is that stress becomes a major factor in many other areas of the adulterer’s lives.

I started a blog immediately after my affair ended because the emotional pain started to manifest itself physically. It was intense. Anxiety was at an all time high. I didn’t seek refuge in anyone, because I knew I didn’t deserve it. Not yet at least. I know it’s surprises some people, but yes, even reformed cheaters have very real feelings.  Ultimately, we do not deserve to be comforted in any way because we know exactly what we’re doing, and what we’ve done. So it was either write everything down or slowly self-destruct and pick up the pieces later on. I wrote. I bled myself of as much emotion about the affair as I could and I recorded everything. I documented the ending stages of the affair, including all of the events leading up to the last physical interaction with my other woman.

Still, I find it hard to read some of my earlier blog’s. I have grown drastically since my journey’s beginning and my outlook is not the same as it once was in relation to many aspects of my affair. I find it hard to read some of some of the comments in response to those blog’s. One in particular distinctly stands out. It was never approved, and it remains the only comment to date that I haven’t approved for my own personal reasons. I could not answer the question found within or bear to have it posted as a constant reminder of what every person thinks of someone who has cheated.

Once a cheater, always a cheater

That’s a mighty big assumption, but it’s belief is so widespread it’s tough to argue against. Personally, it sounds like something a habitual cheater came up with to justify their actions or addiction, but I do not believe it to be true. Regardless of the naysayer encountered along the way, it’s still necessary and healthy to have an outlet for ones emotions. Accompanying that outlet should exist a path to forgiveness. That accompanies the belief that infidelity is not some permanent affliction that one can never recover from. It’s a choice that one can most definitely choose never to make again. People cheat for many reasons, but they also possess the self-control needed to resist temptation.

Although blogging has helped immensely, I still don’t have all the answers to all of my internal questions. In fact, I’m discovering subtle nuances every day that help me to better understand myself. In relation to my girlfriend, myself, our relationship and the affair, I am in a place that I never thought I’d be. I am at peace with my past. I have also been met with some real tough questions that deserve answers. For those, I had to look deep within myself and pull out answers like I was pulling teeth. Maintaining the affair meant everything to me at the time, but once it was over it’s importance became so miniscule I couldn’t even remember what fueled it’s beginning. Self-awareness will do that to you. To understand why I became desensitized to the pain of manipulation was something I needed to get to the bottom of. You can only consider yourself an asshole or jerk for so long before realizing that to prevent the behavior from reoccuring you have to get to the root. For me it’s meant learning to bridge the gap between what I feel and what I think. Placing importance and appropriateness to my actions coincide with doing everything in my power to maintain emotional balance and health. With that said, I am more comfortable in my relationship than I have ever been, and this feeling encompasses every single aspect. Communication has been the defining force and real love has solidified its redefinining qualities. I feel free of the guilt of my actions, but not the memories.

My infidelity hurt me as much as it hurt my girlfriend in the long run. I have been faithful ever since and that’s a conscious decision that we all make, at least those who abstain. There is no fun in ruining someone’s life or hurting the one you love. I have no desire to disrespect my values or the values of those I love. People often change who they are faster than they can change the reputation their former actions have built. It makes it hard for people to remember the good. You can write a thousand poems and nobody know you’re a poet. Our past always travels with us, but why hold onto someone’s or even your own past when they’re living in the present, and looking to the future? The point is, so too should we look to our future when we’ve come to terms with our past.

I finally forgive myself. And I will tell you this, there is absolutely nothing that can take the place of forgiving yourself.

To err is human, to forgive is devine.

My greatest comfort is knowing that I simply want the best for everyone. My weakness was harboring a lust that was as destructive as my inability to forgive myself for my past indescretions had become. I learned that love has just as great a capacity for destruction as it does for healing.

If you want to work on your relationship then do not give up on it. Only you can determine its worth, and if you feel it’s worth saving you should do everything in your power to save it. Relationships aren’t fantasy and they damn sure aren’t perfect. Not only do they bring us some of the best moments in life, they set the foundation for unconditional love and committment needed to foster growth between two loving, adoring souls. It takes hard work and dedication to build upon that foundation. Loving one another is the easy part.

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6 Responses to “Unconditional Love and Self-Forgiveness”
  1. Van says:

    What about the one that got burned, but is still in love with the cheater, but the cheater is too stubborn to see. Im going thur that now and its soo frustrating.

  2. Lost in Idaho says:

    It's hard for me to get over blaming myself as the cheater. I know what I have done has hurt my ex-husband tremendously. He was bound and determined to stick it through no matter how bad the situation. I don't know if it's because he has known me for so long and realized that most people in my life have walked out of my life from a young child, to have people love you but no unconditonally. I feel that is why he was so hell bent on being by my side even after all I did. To this day we are not together any longer our divorce was finallized on may 10 of this year. I on the other hand was determined to not stick it out, only to fear the rejection of him not loving me the same way again. I let it all go. We have tried many times to try and have civilized conversations between us, or shall I say more him than me. Is it wrong of me to want him to not like me for what I have done to him. Isn't it normal to have them turn your back to you and just walk away? I'm not sure at this point how Im supposed to feel anymore. Im trying to find myself again, amidst teh pain I caused my ex and I!

  3. Ella says:

    Thank you so much for your post. My affair partner and I recently ended things – I knew it had to be done but if it weren't for him finally pulling the plug and giving himself permission to move on, I'm not sure I would ever have had the strength. That's the difficulty with affairs – they become a dependency, even when you know in your heart that you won't leave your marriage. It is soooo difficult to stop the addiction.

    Your blog has really helped me and I would love to read the blog you created when your affair first ended. That is where I am now….very, very painful. Lots of anxiety.

  4. Kat says:

    Its been 5 years since i found out about my husbands affair. I stayed with him and although we enjoy being together now, i hurt so bad still. I dont think a day has yet gone by when i havent thought about what he did. I trusted him so much, and he was cheating on me for 7 years. I feel like i am going to have to live with this pain forever while he just gets on with his life as if nothing ever happened. I just want the pain to go away

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