We can't really do much in this world without forgiveness. It helps you move forward when you find yourself stuck holding onto a years-long grudge. It helps you let go of what might be holding you back. But forgiveness is hard. Part of you may still be hurting from whatever happened back then, and that's why letting go has been such a long and exhausting process. But considering how necessary it is to forgive, should you forgive and forget something that your partner did for the long-term benefit of your relationship? Should you forgive your partner for sexting someone else? What about for cheating, or for breaking your heart? It's hard to know where to draw the line.
Sexting has become incredibly common. If you don't sext, you probably know someone who does. Given how easy it is to sext without getting caught, couples may find themselves in situations where their partners have sexted before, or where they sext someone else while in a relationship. Like most things when it comes to love, whether or not sexting someone else is OK depends on your relationship and the boundaries you and your partner have put in place.
"I think it depends on your relationship. Are you a monogamous, committed couple?" Sarah Watson, licensed counselor and sex therapist, tells Elite Daily. "If so, have you discussed your boundaries with sexting, talking to others, feelings related to intimate conversations with others? If you have, and you have strict boundaries in place, and this person sexted someone else, I am not sure if it’s about forgiveness at that point."
If you and your partner have established that sexting other people is a hard no, and they do it anyway, something deeper may be going on in the relationship, Watson points out. The only way to fix whatever may be going on beneath the surface is to talk about it. "Forgiveness might come after there is clear communication about what was happening and intentions," she says. "Talk to your partner about what he wanted to get from the sext exchange," sex therapist Stefani Threadgill tells Elite Daily. "In my clinical practice, I often hear what I call the 3 A’s — needs for admiration, attention and appreciation. We all want to feel desired."
Can sexting someone else while you're in a relationship be considered a form of cheating? Yes, it could, Watson says. But again, it depends on what you and your partner have discussed is and isn't OK in your relationship. "The most important issue here is to talk about boundaries with each other before anyone gets hurt," she advises. "I am sure forgiveness can happen, but that is an individual process that takes time and clear communication. This is a tricky topic. Bottom line, talk about what is OK and what isn't OK in your relationship," and then you can go from there.
If your partner says they didn't realize that sexting someone else wasn't acceptable, and you believe them, then forgiveness might be an option for you. If they knew what they were doing was wrong, and that you wouldn't be OK with it, but they did it anyway, then maybe the two of you can work together to figure out what the root of the problem is. Ultimately, how your relationship proceeds from there is up to you. There is no right or wrong answer. Like with most things in life and in relationships, you have to make the decision that's best for you, regardless of what it is or what anyone else has to say about it. Only you know what's best for you and your relationship.