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Andrew G Marshall
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Andrew G. Marshall - Marital Therapist and Author
Andrew G. Marshall - Marital Therapist and Author

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Can I ever forgive an affair?


You want to forgive your partner but he or she lied, cheated and betrayed you. No wonder you ask yourself, can I ever forgive an affair?
So let me tell you a story about Eva Kor, 81, who is s survivor of Auschwitz and the medical experiments performed by Dr Mengele but at the trial of Oskar Groning – the so called accountant of Auschwitz – she told him she forgave him and all the other Nazis.

She wrote: ‘I could not have imagined doing this 22 years ago. Back then I was a very good victim. I was angry with the world and I hated everybody. I yelled a lot. I was very unhappy.’

What changed her? She met Hans Munch who was a doctor in Auschwitz and would look through a peephole in the gas chambers to check nobody was still moving and sign a death certificate. He agreed to sign an affidavit about what he witnessed. ‘I was very excited that I would have a document that, if ever I met a revisionist saying tyhere were no gas chambers, I could shove that letter in their face. I was grateful and I wanted to thank him. I thought about a letter of forgiveness.’

When Dr Much signed his document at Auschwitz in 1995, she felt that she was no longer a victim or Auschwitz or a prisoner of my tragic past.
So what has she learnt about forgiveness?

‘Forgiveness is an act of self-healing, self-liberation and self-empowerment. I do not need anybody’s approval or acceptance.’

'Reconciliation takes two people, this is why it is so difficult.’

'I also call forgiveness the best revenge against the perpetrator. And anyone can afford it. If you do not like it, you can take it back. No one can stop you.'

‘Anger is a seed for war. Forgiveness is a seed for peace.’

‘I forgave the Nazis, not because they deserve it but because I deserve it.’

I know the parallel between war crimes and relationship crimes is tenuous but I found the story inspiring and think it makes several important points.

It takes time to heal enough to forgive. Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon.

Forgiveness needs to be thought about and given with an open heart – not as knee jerk reaction or an attempt to get your partner back.

Ultimately, forgiveness sets you free to love again – either your partner again or to move on and make a fresh relationship.

So can I ever forgive an affair? I would like to think YES

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Is love the new religion and if so are we setting ourselves and our partner up for failure? Listen to a podcast with myself (Andrew G Marshall), a phisopher and a mathmatian and two comedians discuss love. Comments and thoughts gratefully received.

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Can you experiment sexually and have the comfort of a long established relationship? That's what author Robin Rinaldi sought to discover and this fascinating article details her learning about open marriages

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Five bad habits sabotaging your love life. The little things that you think are OK but that are secretly driving you and your partner apart. Second part of my series for the Daily Mail

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How to fall back in love witbh your partner. Whether you're looking to make an OK marriage great again or rescue a disapointing one, there are concrete steps that you can take. Part one of my four part series for the Daily Mail

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What happens if you love two people at the same time? You're put under incredible pressure and forced to make an impossible choice. Worse still, everybody is angry with you. I can promise one thing, I will discuss your dilemma is a compassionate way. Read my latest blog post and see my new video

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How technology is making as less creative and why if you truly want to know something - read a book. (And when you've read this, yes I did read it all before sharing)

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Today is known as divorce day, the busiest day at solictor's offices. Read my article from Daily Mail on divorce if you're thinking of joining them

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Looking to find love in 2015? If you've not been dating for a long time, you'll need to know how things have changed. This guide by a young journalist explains how dating works in the Internet age plus my comments on whether it helps or makes good relationships harder...

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How does a man fall in love? It's not what you think - just about sex. Read one man's account of how he let his guard down and the love came in...
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