As an ENFP, we can sometimes be *too* forgiving... How do you know when to forgive... and when to walk away? Example: The ISFJ partner who cheated on me one year ago wanted me back right away and still wants me back. I have told her no repeatedly. I don't feel like I can ever trust her again... Once someone breaks their loyalty to me TO THAT DEGREE... I struggle.
06-12-2009, 09:08 PM #1
Could You Forgive A Partner For Cheating?
Last edited by seeker22; 06-13-2009 at 10:12 AM.
06-13-2009, 12:05 AM #2
I have thought a lot about that...
Cheating (from my observation) usually occurs out of some kind of insecurity within the cheater. It can manifest itself in many ways, whether it is needing to feel attractive, needing attention and drama, wanting to provoke jealousy, poor communication (usually from avoidance because they are assuming the other person would not value what they have to say), exacting retribution for what is not working in the relationship, keeping from being vulnerable by hurting the other person first and so on.
Deep seated underconfidence and insecurity is not only is inextricably intertwined with communication and character, but without two secure and confident people in the relationship, it will usually end in disaster. You can work on those "relationship problems" as a couple, but really they are work that one or both people need to do alone. Until they are okay without someone, they will never be able to give much to someone. With insecurity also comes profound selfishness. Lying/cheating on someone is only a symptom of a deeper problem that you cannot "work out" together. Run the other way!
When a healthy secure person gets together with an insecure person, things become dysfunctional. The healthy person takes on the responsibility for making the relationship work while the insecure person wields the power of decision making, but acts like a child with a parent when responsibility is called for. To be able to tolerate it, the healthy person's frustration is taken out on their stronger relationships because those ones can handle it better. This also happens because the insecure person is threatened by those strong relationships anyway (parents, family, long time close friends etc). The healthy person takes on a bigger load, while editing themselves down to be smaller so the other person isn't threatened. They have to begin looking at the world differently to do this and in doing so, become a twisted up version of themselves. If they have children, the children pay the most deference to and place the most value on the parent that is insecure and on what they value.
When two insecure people get together, there is a cycle of betrayal (violence, cheating, lying etc), breaking up, then running back to each other (or someone new) because neither person wants to be alone. They both accept bad behaviour which spirals worse and worse. Problems are never solved or laid to rest so each explosion has more dynamite on the pile left from previously unresolved messes. Communication is non-existent.
Either way, it seems to be lose-lose.
06-13-2009, 01:40 AM #3
Unless I had already made a long-term commitment to the person, I would definitely run the other way. There are too many healthy, loyal people that are potential mates to get involved with anyone who would treat you that way.
If you continue to feel pulled, you could get some therapy yourself to find out what there is about this relationship/person that makes you want to enter into something potentially so emotionally dangerous for you.
06-13-2009, 03:29 AM #4
If you can justify to yourself that the reason you didn't want her has changed or can change then think about taking her back. If you believe it can't and are grabbing at straws because an opportunity is there and you have to ignore it, do what the two INFJs above said and get away from it. Otherwise it will be a case of fall into trap, wait long enough that you forget the pain and see it in a better light, refall into the trap, repeat cycle.Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
06-13-2009, 03:42 AM #5
My problem is I am way too understanding, or I seek to understand a deeper meaning behind someones actions.
For instance I have cared for the majority of my siblings at some stage or another when they came to live with me, each of them lies ALOT. Even when the truth would suit them better, they still have an elaborate lie in place.
This isn't because they are liars, if I look behind the lie I see fear, I look into their past and I know why they feel fear, so I understand and I explain to them over and over that with me, the lie is just not necessary. I'm not going to beat the crap out of them like my parents would have, I'm just going to handle it.
The enfp brother has taken this lesson the best, now even when the truth could piss me off, he will still give me the truth because he has seen how I react to the lies, I mean if the lesson starts to take too long then my reaction to the lies gets worse.
The esfp brother seemed unable to learn this lesson, the estp sister is still learning it, the esfj sister has been discarded because it's been well over a decade and she still couldn't learn that one vital lesson, don't lie to me.
If there is a genuine reason behind it, then I understand, if it's just that you are a liar, eventually I will let you go.
I have also forgiven my ex for cheating on me once, it's one of those grey areas that I have defined lines around, and forgiveness can happen even then as long as it falls within my lines, ie that he was extremely drunk (and high) at the time. It hurt like hell though.
However I wouldn't recommend you forgive if it's not true forgiveness. I know people who have said on the surface that they forgive their partner, but the trust is too far gone for it to work and they end up becoming paranoid jealous people who are watching their partners every action.
For me if I say I forgive you, I have. I never felt the need to question him if he went out with his friends after his confession, I never went through his phone or questioned who he was talking to.
It's all pretty personal lines we define for ourselves, if you know you can't forgive, don't try to.
06-13-2009, 10:14 AM #6
06-13-2009, 10:22 AM #7
Then I end up excusing it once I understand it yikes!
As for my ISFJ I asked her why she did it. She said because she was hurt by me and this person made her feel special. I almost threw up in my own mouth.
If I would have cheated on her every time I felt "hurt" by her - I would have been a whore!!! I don't believe that feeling hurt is an excuse to run out and start having sex with someone else. I believe in communicating with your partner and working through it together!
Keep in mind she is and has historically been emotionally immature. She said being with me for the five years (and yes we owned a home together and everything we were pretty much married) was the "best" she had ever behaved in a relationship. (In other words, this is her at her BEST - yikes)
She's also smokin' hot and amazing in bed - which is one big reason I was having a hard time walking away. I don't meet that many people I am sexually attracted to and with us it was like off the charts. She told me the cheating sex was crap and I was "way better no comparison" but who knows if she's just lying to get me back!
Sex aside, I like women with strong character and now I just can't trust her.
06-13-2009, 10:31 AM #8
Nope. I don't think it's particularly hard to "not cheat." Just an act of selfishness, narcissism and disloyalty. All the potential excuses just seem so whiny.
06-13-2009, 10:32 AM #9
There's another thread on this topic that occurred within the last 2-3 months; if you use the Search function you might be able to find it.
There's a main issue too that, even if you can forgive someone and not hold it against them, it does not mean that you can ever trust them again."Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"
“Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
06-13-2009, 10:33 AM #10
Forgive them? Yes. Continue to be in a relationship with them/trust them? No.~Life in a cappella~
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