Forgiveness is way way overrated. It's a "get out of jail free" card for the cheater, who gets rewarded with the continued relationship. The cheated-on gets the punishment, and it's a life sentence. Once a cheater has cheated (broken the deal), all you have left is a cracked deal mended together with Elmers school glue. There can never be any real trust ever again. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. I think I read a blog on PT, that in a survey of cheaters, once they've crossed the line, it's easier to do again. The cheated-on are pressured into "forgiving" by other people who don't know their situation, made to feel like they are "bad people" if they don't open themselves up for a lifetime of hurt and disappointment. Talk about blaming the victim. See, the essence of having a committed relationship is sexual and intimate exclusivity. The pair are bonded by trust in each other that that exclusivity will never be breached. It only takes once to destroy exclusivity. That is almost always done volitionally and purposefully by one of the pair, knowing what kind of raw
excruciating pain it will cause the other, but not caring how the other one hurts. That is depravity. So, even if the cheater learns his or her lesson and vows never again to be the fount of such pain in someone he or she is supposed to love, they can start over with another person whom they have not hurt. The cheated-on is not so lucky. He or she carries the scars of the pain for the rest of his or her life. This is serious stuff, folks. We are far too cavalier about it. Especially the cheaters, in whose best interest it is to trivialize the pain of the one he has hurt so deeply. He probably thinks of himself as a nice guy. There are felons in prison who have caused less pain and harm.