Cheating: the true test of any relationship, a mistake far too many people make in their lifetimes. It is most assuredly a mistake, but it’s a repairable one — if you go about it in the proper manner. How many people do you know who have been caught cheating that have continued their relationships successfully? Many more than you would think, since the majority of these people are not going to flaunt their problems.
Let’s examine the process of overcoming infidelity.
1. Take Responsibility
The first step to any progress is admitting you have a problem. Regardless if your partner found out you cheated on their own or you told them, you need to own up to your behavior. Don’t bullsh*t around the indiscretion if you hope to continue a relationship with this partner in the future. If you lie that becomes part of your future since you will always have to remember the excuses you made. If you admit to your mistake, you and your partner can work past it together and eventually overcome it.
2. End Contact
It doesn’t matter if this was a one-time thing or a drawn out affair, you need to cease all contact with the person you cheated with. While that may seem obvious, many people fail to take this crucial step. If you are still talking to this person, the temptation will always be there and there is no hope to move on with your partner.
“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.”
3. Analyze/Understand The Affair
You need to reflect within yourself as to why and what you felt for this other person. Understand what the appeal of this other person was and why you fell into this trap. Once you recognize this, you can actively try to avoid it in the future. Compare this person to your partner and see what this person gave you that your partner could not.
4. Analyze Your Relationship
You have to be upfront and honest with your partner and explain exactly why you felt the need to cheat. Openly discuss your relationship and the aspects you think are lacking. There are clearly issues present in your relationship or the desire to cheat would have never occurred.
“When people cheat in any arena, they diminish themselves — they threaten their own self-esteem and their relationships with others by undermining the trust they have in their ability to succeed and in their ability to be true.”
5. Understand Your Partner’s Concerns
In order to successfully move forward with your relationship, you have to have a realistic idea of where your future is headed. If your partner honestly does not believe he or she can get over the incident, then you’re much better off ending it right then and there.
6. Check Your Behavior
If you choose to move forward with your relationship, certain situations are going to make your partner uneasy, and understandably so. Hanging out with members of the opposite sex in questionable settings are probably at the top of their list. Don’t become annoyed or frustrated with your partner, you f*cked up and now you have to pay the price if you hope to have a functional relationship in the future.
“Trust can be lost through lies, rage, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and, most prominently, sexual infidelity. Once it’s lost, there is usually a Humpty Dumpty effect: hard to put it back together again.
Usually the behaviors that created the distrust are difficult to change, because they are complex and convoluted. These little critters skip and jump through our system like ciphers popping up in unexpected places, while giving our mind the best of reasons to be doing whatever it is that our bodies are pushing for.”
7. Try To Rebuild Trust/Relationship
Effective communication is crucial to building trust in any relationship, regardless if there are issues are not. Make sure the channels of communication are always open. Additionally, it’s helpful to do things that remind you of why you work as a couple. Start the dating process all over again and remember what it is that drew you to each other in the first place.
Time heals all wounds and this situation is no different. As the space between the indiscretion and the present increases, you can hope to make the incident a distant memory. Hopefully as time goes on, you and your partner can completely push it out of your minds.