They Cheated: Now What?
You’ve spent months or even years in your relationship. You thought everything was going well until you found out that your partner cheated. What do you do now? Situations like this have happened time and time again in relationships, and unfortunately, it will continue to occur if partners aren’t honest with each other.
You feel stuck. You’re embarrassed. You don’t know what to tell friends and family, and you’re weighing your options. You want to exude strength and control the situation by kicking your partner to the curb and setting a precedent that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect. Then, on the other hand, you have invested so much into the relationship, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and starting over seems like too much work.
Let me be the first to tell you that whatever choices that you may decide, regardless of what anyone may say, is what you will have to deal with. What other people think should not impact your decisions.
No one deserves to hurt in that way. Understanding your worth and value can set the stage for what will come next.
So, what’s next? I’ll try my best not to be too cliché.
1. Leave and Forgive
For some people, like my husband, cheating is non-negotiable. In his book, there is no coming back from infidelity. As hard as it may be, he will forgive, but he cannot see himself rebuilding a relationship with someone who betrayed him in that way. It may take them some tie to fully trust again, but they have hope that they will be able to find true happiness in the future.
2. Leave and Don’t Forgive
For some, cheating is the ultimate disrespect, and forgiveness is not an option. They will leave that relationship hurt and broken and carry that brokenness with them into other relationships. Unfortunately, it may take them some time to truly forgive, if not, the hurt they experienced at the hand of that bad relationship, will transition into various areas of their lives.
3. Stay, Without Therapy
Some people will stay in their relationship after dealing with infidelity. Some tend to sweep it under the rug like it never happened. Not addressing the issue leaves an opportunity for cheating to happen again. The person at the hands of the deceit may think it was caused by them and will try to find reasons to justify why their partner did what they did. If that person sounds like you, it is not your fault!
Some will stay and fight with their significant other, continuously holding the deceit over their head as a means to manipulate the situation in their favor. That isn’t right either. No one wants to be in a relationship where infidelity is always a topic for discussion. Take an honest look at therapy. It could be the fix you need.
4. Stay, With Therapy
Every situation is different, and there are some people, like me, that may think about staying, conditionally. If I were to remain in a position like that, therapy, for me, would be a necessity. Here’s where I’d go to find a marriage therapist. This process will not be solved overnight, but remember when you decide to stay and work on it, you can’t continuously hold it over partner’s head, especially if they’ve apologized repeatedly and are making conscious efforts to do the right thing.
Regardless of whatever decisions you may make, remember, your happiness lies within forgiveness.