Finding out that your partner is cheating on you, or that he/ she has cheated on you, is quite devastating. Naturally, the first emotions you are going to have are going to be those of anger, sadness, and disappointment. You will think that you don’t deserve to be treated like that after you’ve put time into building what seemed to be the perfect relationship.
But, if the deed is done you can’t pretty much have your life go back to normal. You’ll have to move on and decide whether he or she is to be forgiven or not. Also, note that forgiving a cheater does not necessarily mean that the relationship must go on. Of course, a break-up will be among the first things you’ll think of.
In some other cases, however, a break-up might not be the answer. That’s why today we’ll discuss what to do if your partner cheated on you. We’ll also look into the aftermath of cheating and reasons that might make you forgive your partner.
What to do if your partner cheated on you?
Before you begin to rain down terror and harsh words on your partner, you should first ask yourself a couple of questions. The whole thing about dealing with cheating is not making the cheater feel bad – in order for you to feel better -, instead, it’s about making you a better person, with a better understanding of who you really are and how you are perceived by other people.
When the phrase “my partner is a cheater” first comes to your mind, then the next question should be the one asking why he or she did so. While you might feel compelled to bring up some rude arguments or general things about cheating, you should instead check the status of your relationship.
Find out the moment your partner started cheating on you, and then remember how the two of you were at that moment. Were you cold with each other? Maybe the spark was dying? There are a few reasons that might make your partner find relief in other places – therefore, you should try and understand why he or she did such a thing in the first place.
Understanding – as well as forgiving, we will see soon why – is the first step towards a healthier relationship in the future and a healthier you, mentally speaking.
It would also be good to take your partner and have a serious and honest talk with him or her. You have no idea how much this can help you. We know that you might not want to see or hear from your partner as long as you live after something like this happens – but it is recommended that you have this time when you completely open up to tell everything to each other. This could make you realize the thing you might have done badly in your relationship, and might also decide whether you could continue the relationship or not.
Therefore, after finding out that your partner is cheating on you, understanding is what you should aim for – while angry at the beginning, you should soon leave behind these kinds of feelings and strive for a better you.
Break-up or continue with the relationship?
Understanding the other was one of the first steps you can take after your partner cheated on you. Now it’s time to look at the following steps and see in which circumstances you should break-up or continue with the relationship if you choose so.
So, after accepting that it happened – thing that you should do as soon as you find out, because it wouldn’t be healthy for you to keep on getting stressed while trying to understand what happened and what made him or her do that -, you should get that honest talk we talked about with your partner. It can broaden up your horizon and see where the mistake or fault lies.
Then, you should understand exactly what went wrong – but not only from your view. Before blaming it all on your partner, you should look at him or her and understand his point of view.
Your partner could be blaming all of this on you as well. A relationship, while strong, can at the same time be very fragile – and one moment of carelessness could mean the end of it. Before calling your partner out, stand in his or her shoes and see if the one that should be blamed is, in fact, you.
Of course, this may sound rough and you will still want to put all the guilt on the back of your partner – however, you should think this through with a clear mind.
After clearing up everything that has to be cleared – and mentioned so far – with a clear mind and with a little bit of compassion, comes the time to decide if you should continue this relationship or end it. Sometimes, the answers to the questions you will be asking won’t provide you with very much information that you can use in order to change your final decision. But it’s still optimal that you would find out more about what happened.
Here are some steps you can take after your partner cheated on you and you want to figure out if the relationship could still go on:
- Do they deserve a second chance?
The answer to this question is given at the moment you find out about them cheating on you and confronting them. Coming up with excuses and trying to escape the guilt means that they are not worth any more of your time. But there’s also the reason they’ll give you for doing the deed.
First of all, if they will tell you straight that they’ve done it, they understand, and that they did a mistake – then you might start considering a second chance. This will prove that your partner, even after cheating on you, is someone with honor and with enough self-respect.
If he or she is open towards you, talks with you, or even regrets this, then they might deserve a second chance.
- Have a period of separation
In order to understand better all that happened, and see if you should really forgive him – forgive first, and then decide over the relationship – you two should stop meeting for a while. This will help both of you put your feelings, emotions, and thought in clear waters and be able to analyze them as they should be.
While the one of you that will want to continue the relationship will try and avoid this period of separation, you should try and impose it on both of you. You’ll have to think if you will be able to have a relationship with your partner after they had cheated on you – or if such a thing will happen again.
You have to show your partner that this is a more than serious business and that you mean to solve it maturely.
- Have a meeting and make a decision
After having the time you needed to clear up your thoughts, it’s time for you two to meet up – like two normal adults, discussing something of great importance.
During this meeting, you will find out how he or she acted while being alone. Again, both of you should show signs of complete honesty and regret – from the cheater’s part.
Much can’t be told about this meeting, as you will have to put all of the things that are going to be discussed in balance and see if you should forgive your partner or not. Only after forgiving him or her you should think if you want the relationship to continue or not.
After following these steps, you should realize if your partner is worthy of forgiveness. But, there still are two steps left that you have to do. Both of them regard your person, the member of the relationship that has been cheated on.
Though, we will discuss them after clearing out the “forgive” part of this situation, because everything during and after this period depends on forgiving your partner.
As we have mentioned before, thinking about actually forgiving your partner after he or she has cheated on you will never happen in the first few days after finding this out. But there will come a moment when you will be asking yourself the following question: should I forgive my partner for cheating?
At that moment, forgiving might look like a crazy thing to do, but despite that, it will still be on your mind, and for a reason. Let’s look at what actually means forgiving in this case.
When it comes to cheating, forgiving doesn’t mean absolving your partner of all the guilt he should be burdened with – definitely not. He or she will live with this for as long as they live, no matter if you forgive them or not. This is the first thing that stops one from forgiving – thinking that the other won’t regret or feel responsible for what he or she did anymore.
But, it is not about your partner! Forgiving doesn’t mean helping your partner out and you being a merciful person, of course not. By forgiving, you give yourself the peace of mind you need to go through something like this. After you have been cheated on, the main feeling you get is that of resent towards your partner – and it is not a healthy feeling.
Forgiving your partner means letting go of all of the bad, stressful feelings, and moving on with your life. If you don’t forgive, this moment in your life will affect all of your future moments that are somehow related to this.
Gaining Trust in the Future
For example, if you don’t forgive your partner now, the moment you will be in a new relationship you will have a much harder time trusting your significant other. Of course, we understand that the experience of being cheated on will simply destroy any sign of trust that you might be capable of, but that’s no reason to let your character influenced by it. As you know, most people blame it on the entire gender, saying that all people are the same, and most of the times they fail to forgive the cheater and find it hard trusting a future partner.
Forgiving gives you the opportunity to move on with your life and offer other people the trust they will be offering you.
Forgiving Makes Room for Other Things
If your mind will be continuously troubled by this matter, you will have a hard time enjoying other things you may experience in your life. Everything you will be thinking of would be about how angry you are, sometimes even being confused in regard to what happened, frustration, and stress.
Of course, you already know that these thoughts are not healthy at all – especially for the state of your mental health. Forgiving your partner means that you will make room for all the available positivity out there, but it will also make you take all that you experience with a grain of salt from now on.
With all of the stress and frustration away, you’ll find yourself having a higher self-esteem than before forgiving your partner, as well as fewer symptoms of depression.
Now, as we’ve ruled out forgiving off our list – and the reasons why you should do it – it’s time to talk about those two last steps you might want to do after you’ve been cheated on.
Rebuilding your relationship or moving on
After forgiving someone, we will have two things to choose from – to rebuild the relationship with our cheating partner or move on.
Rebuilding a relationship after being cheated on is pretty much like starting things all over again. But, if you chose this, that means that some of the answers your partner has given to you were honest and proved that he or she is a good person, one that might deserve being forgiven. However, even though you have forgiven your partner – he or she should have the feeling that what they have done is almost unforgivable and that it would take very long until they could be trusted again.
Choosing the second option, that of moving on, still means that you’ll have to do some work for yourself. Keep in mind that this applies whatever might happen – forgive or not, rebuild the relationship or not. It is a sort of multi-tool that works in every situation. Basically, all you have to do is to take into account all of the things that you might have done and that led to this situation and be prepared to change, as much as it needs.
As said before, both of you could be blamed for this – but taking advantage of what happened by forgiving and trying to become a better person is something only a few people actually do.
And, of course, forgiving the other is something we should all learn to do – after all, we benefit from it, not the one that’s has cheated on us.