Having a cheating spouse or partner can be heart breaking. But the hard reality is that millions of women (and men) around the world have been on the receiving end of a cheating partner. But what happens after you find out or they confess? Do you stay or do you leave? The answer may be easy to answer for some, but for others it may prove a little more difficult. When thinking about this I am not sure what I would do in the situation which is why I thought Id share some helpful tips from those who have gone through it, relationship experts and my own personal experiences.
- Why: One of the first steps to healing for both of you is to figure out the why. And whilst for some the answer may come easily, for others it may take some thought. Finding out the why however helps to ensure that the same mistake is not repeated again.
- What was it: Attached to finding out the why is finding out what it meant for your partner. Was it just a sexual thing, an emotional thing, love or something else. This is probably the harder questions to ask as sometimes it may come out that your partner is in love with someone else.
- Do you want to save your relationship; As someone who has been cheated on, I know full well how taxing saving a relationship can be. Which is why I like to figure out from the onset if what I have with said partner is worth saving or if it is something I should move away from. Unlike the first two questions, I believe that this question should be answered alone. When you are by yourself, and your partner is by themselves too. This way you do not get clouded by past emotions or events. Or get stuck in what could be.
- Ask for help: Of all the people I have spoken to, many said they would find it difficult to get professional help for their couple after cheating. But I do know a handful of friends who have and it has worked wonders for them. Not only because it helped clarify some things. But also because having an impartial third party can help you say, and hear things that are difficult to swallow at times. Asking for help is also highly recommended even if you are leaving your relationship but perhaps share children. This will help deal with the pain and ensure that your children do not get stuck in the middle.
- Look past the blame game: If possible, it is crucial to look past blaming each other for what ever went wrong. Instead, try and remember that you are in the situation to help try fix it. Not pass the buck or make it worse. And also remember that fixing it does not always mean staying together afterwards. Instead it could mean fixing it so you get closer and are better equipped in your next relationship.
- Is this a pattern or a one time thing: Have you ever heard the expression, once a cheater, always a cheater. Well as someone who has been cheated on and cheated once before. I can tell you that this is not always the case. In some cases it is someone trying to get out of a relationship. In other cases like mine it is simple immaturity and lack of communication. Regardless, if it does happen more than once, then it may be time to say goodbye. Unless of course, you are willing to have an open relationship, or accept the cheating. One thing to remember though is that most of the time when someone cheats it is not because of you, but because of them.