Once A Cheater…Always A Cheater?

Forgiveness might be the way forward.

There are a lot of things that can affect love and relationship negatively but infidelity is something that can break the strongest of connections. Infidelity can shatter relationships leaving both parties devastated. There may be many reasons for cheating on your partner, looking for an emotional connection outside your relationship or a drunk mistake, to name a few. There can only be two outcomes of this. The couple either parts ways or with the help of families, therapy and each other, they come out of it stronger than ever before. But the only way to get past it is by forgiveness and working towards a stronger commitment, says a study.

Is There A Way To Get Past It

The study published in the Couple and Family Psychology Journal in 2014, says that couples who go through infidelity can only save their relationship when the partner who committed the act is wholeheartedly forgiven by his or her better half. The study adds that the couples who truly forgive, come out of it stronger than before, achieving post traumatic growth (PTG). The research defines PTG as the state that couples acquire as ‘a result of intrapersonal struggle to find benefit and meaning in life after a traumatic experience.’

The Science Behind It

The researchers had 587 volunteers, out of which 86 percent were women and involved in a committed relationship. The prior requirement was that they had been cheated on in the relationship at least 6 months before the study.




They were asked to fill a survey which had detailed questions about the context of the affair, how much time it had been, the kind of trauma that they experienced, commitment issues, current stage of the relationship and the relationship satisfaction at that point and during the time of the affair.

The Outcome

Finally, the researchers concluded that forgiveness and working towards a stronger commitment are the two main key factors that play a role in overcoming the trauma and pain associated with infidelity.

Ashley Heintzelman the lead researcher also said in the paper, “Forgiveness trumps all in terms of PTG, those who were able to forgive their partners for infidelity also experienced more growth afterwards.”

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