Caroline Moss is an author and host of the podcast "Gee Thanks, Just Bought It," which helps people find the products they need to make life easier, better and more productive. Now with this column, "Asking for a Friend," she's helping people with the advice they need to make life easier, better and more productive. To submit a question, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
I found out my boyfriend of six months cheated on me. I want to forgive him because I really love him but I also don’t know if I can get over it. He seems annoyed that I can’t get over it.
How do I get over it?
Hi Still Angry,
Of course you’re not “over it!" Being cheated on is really awful, and it feels horrible. Even if he apologizes and swears up and down that it’ll never happen again, you may have a little voice that doesn't trust him lingering in your head for a long time.
What’s he doing?
Is he really out with his friends?
Who is he texting?
This is normal, FYI. To feel this way; to feel angry despite getting an apology. But, uh, it’s also really maddening that he is demanding forgiveness on his timeline. This is almost more concerning to me than the cheating!
He is feeling guilty, no doubt about it. And he wants to be absolved of this transgression. I imagine he has said things like, “I said I was sorry! Why can’t you just accept my apology?!”
Let me tell you: Whatever timeline works for you when it comes to forgiveness is exactly the correct timeline. You don’t need to speed up this process to make it easier for him.
There is no quick fix to broken trust. The “how” you can get over it? Therapy. Time. And maybe understanding that it’s OK for this to be a nonnegotiable. You are not required to get over this and stay in a relationship where trust has been ruined.
I think it’s a red flag that he wants to snap his fingers and be back in your good graces; potentially a bigger red flag than the cheating.
You should take this journey on your own terms.
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