Originally Posted by ForeverHers
Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Yes. There is nothing TO forgive at this point. Forgiveness should be earned. That is in both your best interests.

Dutch, ML has given you a lot of good advice and information, but allow me as one Christian brother to another, disagree with this statement. Forgiveness is NEVER earned, it is given. It is commanded by God when a sinner repents and seeks your forgiveness.

Fortunately, there is a way to forgive that helps the marriage and meets our Christian obligation to forgive. [a reminder to Foreverhers that this poster is here for Marriage Builders and we need to stick to that] Dr Harley explains it here:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
Forgiveness is something I believe in with all my heart. I forgive others and have been forgiven many times. God wants us all to be forgiving just as he has forgiven us.

And, as you have noticed, when you don't forgive someone, it can "eat you up." It's not healthy to keep resentment bottled up inside of you.

The vast majority of couples I counsel who have been through the horror of an affair, have better marriages after the affair than before. It's because the affair jolts them into recognizing the need for building an affair-proof marriage, and the safety precautions they use help them create compatibility and love. But has the offended spouse forgiven the offender in these marriages? Yes and no.

First let's try to understand what forgiveness is. One illustration is telling a person who owes you $10,000 that he won't have to pay you back. You "forgive" the debt. In other words, forgiveness is eliminating a obligation of some sort.

I'm in favor of forgiveness in many situations, but this isn't one of them. In the case of infidelity, compensation not only helps the offended spouse overcome the resentment he or she harbors, but the right kind of compensation helps restore the relationship and prevents the painful act from being repeated.

In most cases, an offended spouse would be stupid to forgive the wayward spouse without just compensation. It's like forgiving a friend of the $10,000 he owes you, when it's actually in the friend's best interest to pay you in full because it would teach him how to be more responsible with money.

As it turns out, in every affair there is a way to adequately compensate the offended spouse that is good for the offender and good for the marriage. At first, the offended spouse may not want to be compensated. He or she may try to get as far away from the offender as possible to avoid further pain. But if the spouse asks for forgiveness along with a willingness to compensate, the offended spouse is usually willing to entertain the proposal.

Can't We Forgive and Forget?

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101