Infidelity in a close relationship can be devastating because it’s an extreme betrayal. Your partner doesn’t make your feelings a priority. His secret behavior appears to be more important than you. Everything you thought about your love story falls apart.
Blaming Yourself Is Self-Destructive and Unfair
If your partner has cheated on you, you’re possibly blaming yourself for not being pretty or smart enough. Any insecurities you have about yourself can be worsened by a cheating partner. When dealing with such strong emotions, you might not make rational decisions anymore.
You might end your relationship then and there because infidelity just doesn’t work for you. Or maybe you decide to hang on, hoping that you can change him. Whatever your reaction, don’t forget that healing takes time. Before making big decisions, take a step back to see it from a bigger perspective.
It often helps to understand the cheating behavior a little better so that you can see it more clearly, and maybe take it less personally. Treating the cause, not just the symptoms, is the long-term solution for the mechanisms that brought you here in the first place. Otherwise, you could end up in another relationship with a cheater or continue with someone who keeps cheating.
How Do We Cope With Being Cheated On?
Human beings feel great discomfort when the things they relied on suddenly change. We instinctively want to simplify the reasons for the things we don’t understand. As one who has been cheated on, you are probably familiar with the cascade of questions and doubts that follow. “He must not have been happy with me. He wasn’t getting sex. He was getting back at me. He wanted a fling. He’s a jerk, right?” Cheating is one area where simple reasons don’t work very well because the reasons for infidelity are very complicated.
Although all of the above reasons can contribute to problems in a relationship that might lead to cheating, the most important factors are deeper. Unfortunately, often we don’t realize the problems our relationship has been having until it’s too late.
Why Do People Cheat?
Couples can work through most issues in their relationship by discussing them, rather than cheating. Communication is crucial but remains a struggle for many couples. It can be helpful to have a therapist around when you talk about especially difficult topics, like sex or being angry or resentful with your partner.
Why be unfaithful and add even more stress to your current problems? The truth is, many partners who cheat are feeling intense feelings of shame and guilt afterward, and feel like they weren’t themselves anymore. Others do it consciously and feel entitled to find escape in another person’s arms.
Ultimately, infidelity is, at its core, a problem with intimacy. When it’s hard to get close to your partner, you might be too afraid to complain about your sex life or something your partner does that bugs you. Men who end up cheating don’t have the know-how to address the issues early on. And they might be victims of their dysfunctional emotional mechanisms.
“Will she reject me? Can she accept how I feel?”. Often, the person who cheats may not be fully aware of these fears and can unknowingly cope with them by running and hiding, often by cheating. The other woman can seem like the answer to the problem he’s facing in his primary relationship, but often it just creates even bigger problems.
Can a Healthy Relationship Still Exist After Cheating?
We all make decisions about whether or not to stay with our partners. Commitment to your partner depends on more than just satisfaction in your relationship. It also matters what your alternatives are and how invested you are. Your persistence when things get rocky depends on whether you have any better options.
But it also depends on whether you really want to make your relationship work. Many people who cheat aren’t thinking through that decision and go ahead and sabotage their relationship. It doesn’t mean that they have completely disconnected their feelings, or make a conscious decision to break things up. Similarly, the way you deal with being cheated on will most probably not be black and white. After all, you were having a relationship with this man and may have some blind spots.
Understanding the man who cheated on you doesn’t necessarily mean you want to stand by him and work it through, but you might want to do so if he’s genuinely remorseful, willing to get help, and taking it very seriously. Before you decide to fight for this relationship, weigh your feelings carefully, and ask yourself if the man you were with is worth your trust.
If you decide to move on, you must learn the warning signs of a man who might cheat on you, because you might be biased when it comes to spotting a cheater. Better yet, it’s best to know what didn’t work in your previous relationship and acknowledge similarities in your future relationships.
Are you getting over a cheater? Leave me a comment below or ask your questions about cheating or how to get over the experience.