Just seeing the word “cheating” is enough to make most people’s hearts sink. Considered by many as the ultimate no-no in dating, cheating is something that occurs in 50-60% of marriages. Shocking, right?
If you’ve ever experienced that horrible moment of finding out that your significant other has cheated, than you know how devastating this can be. The betrayal, sadness and anger that comes as a result is one of the fastest ways to destroy even the most serious and happy relationships.
But how do you handle it, preferably gracefully and without committing a federal offense?
Here are our best tips:
1. Be honest with yourself. Take a few days to figure out whether or not you can forgive your partner. If it’s a new relationship, or one that hasn’t gotten too serious, you’re probably better off calling it quits up front, and moving on. But if you’ve been together for several years, are married or otherwise seriously committed, it may not be that simple. Ask yourself if you’re ready to work on your relationship and move forward, or if you need to end things. There’s no wrong answer here, no matter what others may think.
2. Be honest with your partner, and let them be honest with you. If you decide you want to be together still, be honest with your partner and explain how you feel and what you need from them. Let them be honest with you about what they need and why they think it happened. Have an honest conversation about what’s next: do they want to repair the relationship or are they looking for a way out? Do you want to move on, or are you over it?
3. Don’t ask for details. As someone who has been cheated on, I made the mistake of asking for details about who, what, when, how many times, etc. If your partner confesses to an infidelity, let the bare minimum be enough information. No need to torture yourself and imagine it over and over again in your mind.
4. If you’re going to move on, move on. Now is the time to engage your 12 Point Getting Over A Breakup Plan. Go out with your friends! Get a mani/pedi/facial! Cry into your ice cream and then get yourself to the gym to ensure your hotness. Unfriend, unfollow and delete phone numbers and friendship. Set clear boundaries.
5. If you’re going to stay together, get ready to work hard. Now is the time to seek outside help, or at the very least spend a lot of time talking. Figure out what happened and how to keep it from happening again. Talk a lot. Spend time together. Cheat-proof your relationship by making sure you’re communicating and both parties needs are being met. Most importantly, MOVE ON. If you decide to stay, that’s not license to hold the offense over your partner’s head forever. If you say you’re going to stay, than stay and work on letting it go and learning to trust again.
Have you ever been cheated on?