Admitting that we’ve done something wrong is one of the hardest things to do. Not only is it embarrassing; it also makes us vulnerable. But since every action has an equal—and opposite—reaction, you can’t avoid the repercussions forever. The worst ones of all are the negative feelings you have. The most common among women who’ve had affairs are resentment and guilt. Both can have adverse effects in your life. For instance, feeling bad most of the time can cause stress. Stress is both a cause and a contributor to many diseases, which include cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
You might find it wrong to forgive yourself for having been unfaithful. You didn’t cheat on yourself, so you might assume you should just ask your ex-boyfriend, ex-fiancé, or ex-husband for his forgiveness instead. You’re right but only partially. Whether you believe it or not, forgiveness works only if the person who has done wrong forgives himself as well.
The effects of resentment and guilt are insidious, and only the person suffering from them can make himself well once again. Even after your guy has forgiven you, if you don’t forgive yourself, it’s likely that you’ll continue to beat yourself up on the inside. True change comes from within, according to an age-old saying, so not forgiving yourself will cause you to still feel bad even after you and your guy have kissed and made up. Over time, you’ll feel so bad you won’t be able to stay in the relationship. His good deed would have been in vain.
After some time, you might feel like your old self again and therefore decide to have another romantic relationship. Since you didn’t bring closure to your previous relationship, there’s no guaranteeing any of the new relationships you’ll have can work out. If one turns rocky, you might become unfaithful once again. You’ll be able to break the cycle only after you’ve learned how to forgive yourself for cheating.
There’s nothing wrong with following your instinct of self-preservation. It’s an impulse we all have inherited from cavemen that is necessary for survival. But if yours causes you to do wrong, like hurt other people, you should learn how to keep it in check despite how hard doing so may be. To get the most out of life, we must learn from our mistakes.