Recovering from Infidelity – Lay Your Burden Down


Recovering from infidelity is one of the most difficult paths you will walk. You carry the guilt and shame of your actions along with you like a heavy burden weighing you down. Perhaps you feel as if you deserve it, but you can’t cross the recovery finish line while still dragging your baggage with you.

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” – Lily Tomlin

When Is It Time To Lay Your Burden Down?

It’s time, lay your burden down.

Your heart bleeds for the wrong you have done.
The burden is heavy.
You wonder if you have earned the “F.”
You wonder if you are worthy.

When will you be ready?

Who can remove this burden from you?

The answer lies inside of you.

Only you can lay it down.
Only you can know when you have truly opened your heart and laid bare your soul.
Only you know when you have done all that you can do.

Recovering From Infidelity Means Forgiveness

If your betrayed spouse forgives you — it is a blessing, but they are not your savior.

I believe I was forgiven for my infidelity the moment I asked for it, but allowing myself to feel forgiven took much longer. Regardless, if the blessing is bestowed, you must accept it, as well. The gift must be readily received.

If your spouse does not forgive — this is his/her choice. But you must still know you have done all you can and lay your burden down. They have the right to not forgive. They have a right to set the criteria for re-entry into their life. But they do not have the right to abuse you, beat you up emotionally with what you have done, or treat you poorly.

They are your partner, spouse and lover…not your warden or executioner. It is not their job to mete out a punishment. They have the right to expect certain things (open and honest behavior, etc), but they do not have the right to treat you as a sub-human. You are their partner.

Recovering From Infidelity Means Discarding Your Baggage

You are not a good spouse if you continue life with this burden. You must learn to forgive yourself as Jesus, and hopefully your spouse, has forgiven you.

The final step is one you must make — putting the mantle of shame and hurt down.

You are not a good parent if you layer your life with guilt.

Your spouse deserves a whole partner…not one beating themselves to a pulp.

Lay your burden down, my friend.

Worry not what others might say.
Either they are good and kind people who will support you, or they are people who should not be in your life.

Look inside and find the truth.

If you have been open and honest
If you have worked to make amends
If you have done all that you can do….

then it is time to lay this burden aside and live again.

Come join me in the Way Station, PM me…asking me anything you want.

Only you can find the path to peace…it’s inside you…and only you will know when you are ready.

My hand is ready — I am walking this road too — but I am happy to help if I can.

I know I have reached this place only lately, and I may backslide. I will need a supporting hand but in the end it is something only I can do.

…and you can do it too.

Discuss this article on our forum.

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5 Responses to Recovering from Infidelity – Lay Your Burden Down

  1. Gringa says:

    Tell him. I was you once. If I would have told him then he would have forgiven me and we would have examined our marriage so it never happened again. Instead I took that advice – never told- until 5 years later he caught me. Ultimately by never telling in the first place, by burying the secret, i did myself, my husband and our children the greatest disservice of our lives. He is now in the process of divorcing me. One bad decision if not corrected early could lead to 5 years of bad decisions that are irreversible. Be accountable now. Learn and make your marriage and yourself better for it.

  2. Jvl says:

    Sorry, but you will never fully recover until you are honest and confess. Whether or not your partner forgives is in their court, but if you continue to cover your sin with lies you will only build a wall of deception between you that will certainly be felt if not understood and recognized for what it is. You betrayed your spouse and are called to confess when you sin against another, and then you have to trust God to work forgiveness into the heart of the betrayed. Whether or not they forgive you is between them and God, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be honest.

    A betrayed spouse,

  3. Stephanie,

    We have quite a bit of material from those who have cheated on our forums dedicated to the subject. Simply sign up for a free membership, and you can talk with people who have gone through the process of healing – including forgiving yourself. We call this area The Way Station:


  4. Stephanie Clearwater says:

    Where can I find more reading material that deals with being the cheater? I traded 17 years of fidelity for one careless act almost a year ago and now I am still reeling from my actions. No one knows and my doctor suggests that I should not tell my spouse (I agree).
    This is my cross to bear in silence, I have resolved, but what can I do to alleviate the pain of my wrongdoing?
    If you can direct me to more advice about forgiving myself, I would welcome it very much.
    Thank you

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so sorry you are here, but I know that you can find peace (I have). I wrote the above article.
      Forgiveness is often hard to pursue, the allusive shadow in the corner of your soul. Only you can determine the best path to healing.
      It will require much soul searching and an understanding of why you cheated. You need to learn where the weakness was that allowed you to cross a line you thought you would never cross.

      If and when you confess to your spouse is a matter between you and your spouse. Some will argue that it is their right to know. As long as you hide this from them, their marriage is a lie.

      Some spouse who have been cheated on will argue that they wish they never knew. if your affair is truly done and dead…why ruin their life…
      A life is not ruined until it is at its end. Confession will change their life, but it could open the door to a better marriage.

      Most likely the barrier to your healing is the lack of honesty…this dirty little secret that eats away at you. It makes you feel dirty and used, sick and hurt. It erodes your very essence.

      I encourage you to join the way-station and talk to those who have gone before. We are not experts, but we are people who have walked the path ahead of you. And maybe we can help you. You do not have to bear this cross in silence, nor do you have to do it alone.
      Lay your burden down my sister, find peace.

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