My girlfriend and I have been together for nearly three years. A couple f years ago, she confessed to having slept with a co-worker whilst she was already dating me. She assures me that ever since this co-worker left the job, there has been no contact of any sort between them. I forgave her and decided to look ahead and work on our relationship. However, I cannot deny that sometimes I find myself thinking about it and it angers me greatly. Do you think I haven’t really forgiven her? I feel that our relationship is progressing very well, so I know that she is trustworthy.
It’s no news that cheating is hard to accept. Even when forgiveness takes place, the hurt and other accompanying emotions are difficult to get over. The difference lies within the person’s intention moving on from the event. If there is no intention to forgive the partner who wronged you, chances are that the anger starts to consume you, and all you would be able to talk out is how much the event hurt you and the grudge you hold against the partner. However, when one decides to forgive, that anger is still present. The only difference is that in this case, the person understands that everyone is subject to making mistakes and that sometimes even those closest to us can hurt us.
Such individuals who choose to forgive, like yourself, start to notice that these feelings of anger will start to subside as time progresses, so you might still need some time for this emotion to fade away. However, if you feel that this anger is consuming you in any way, then allow me to suggest disclosing these feelings with your partner. You could also work on this experience personally with the assistance and guidance of a professional, who can lead you to finding peace with the matter gradually.
Matthew Bartolo is a counsellor specialising in Sex & Relationships. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples, and runs the sex education services within Willingness. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.