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Inspiration

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?

cheating
How did you find out your partner was cheating? Either your partner owned up to their actions, you learned from a third-party source, or discovered romantic exchanges on a phone or computer.

What to Do When Your Partner Cheats On You?

If you have been cheated on, deciding whether to continue the relationship is a difficult task. Some individuals claim that cheating is an indicator you should walk away immediately, while others insist that you can overcome the hardship. However, cheating is not black and white. How you choose to proceed will depend on your unique circumstances.

Try asking yourself these questions before you decide if the relationship is worth holding on to.

Is this an isolated incident?

Was it a drunken hookup or did the cheating occur multiple times? If this is not the first instance of cheating in your relationship, you need to think about whether this person values your commitment. People make mistakes, but it’s hard to justify an action as a “mistake” if the behavior occurs more than once. A person that continues to cheat is blatantly disregarding their partner’s well-being for the sake of their own desires.

How did you find out?

How did you find out your partner was cheating? Either your partner owned up to their actions, you learned from a third-party source, or discovered romantic exchanges on a phone or computer. If your partner had not been caught, you need to ask yourself if they would have ever  owned up to their infidelity.

What can you handle knowing?

When you approach your partner, you have a right to understand the nature of the affair. However, don’t go out of your way to learn every minute detail. You may think it will help, but many people report learning too much causes comparison and further frustration. Decide what you are comfortable hearing when you confront your partner for more information.

What is your partner’s reaction?

How does your partner respond? Are they giving excuses or accepting blame? If your partner expresses no signs of remorse, this indicates they don’t regret their behavior. A relationship will not work if one or both partners refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Your partner needs to understand you are not going to forgive and forget overnight.

Who is the other person?

If you know who the other person is, think about the nature of their affair with your partner. Has your partner known them for a while, or did they meet on a whim in a social setting? Is it someone you know well too? If the person is from your mutual social circle, this is a blatant disregard of respect towards you.

Understandably you are going to experience feelings of resentment towards this person, but you need to know that your partner is responsible for his or her own choices. Your partner cannot deflect the problem by saying that other person is entirely at fault.

Is your partner willing to cut ties?

To repair the relationship, you need to be with someone that can fully commit to exclusivity from here on out. This means the intimate relationship between your partner and this person, or any other person for that matter, needs to stop. Tell your partner what you are comfortable with, and whether you want them to cut off all ties or not. If your partner refuses, or continues to engage in frequent interactions with the person, this is an indicator the relationship will not work.

Is there a larger issue at hand?

Oftentimes, cheating is an indicator that either one or both of you are unsatisfied with some aspect of the relationship. Think about whether there were frequent fights before the cheating occurred. Ask your partner where the urge came from. Understand that even if a relationship is experiencing tough times, this is not a valid excuse for cheating. If there are larger issues, think about whether these additional conflicts are capable of being resolved, or if your partner’s infidelity is the final sign that you should move on.

Are you able to forgive?

Unfortunately, there is a difference between wanting to forgive, and actually having the capability to move past the incident. You don’t need to immediately decide if you are capable of forgiveness. Give yourself space from your partner if needed. As the relationship continues, periodically revisit the topic.

Make sure your partner is willing to discuss their actions maturely. You’re allowed to talk about how the incident still affects you, even after a few months have passed. Trust won’t re-appear overnight, but it will slowly build if both of you are honest with each other.

Do you recognize your worth?

If you think the incident is something you can move past, be honest and strong. Continue to reach out to your support system when you start to feel upset.

However, If you don’t think your partner’s actions are excusable, trust your instincts and leave the relationship. Even if your partner fully admits to his or her mistake, you still don’t owe them forgiveness. You deserve to feel secure in a relationship, confident that your partner is appreciating the love you are giving. Remember what you are worth.

 

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About the author

Adrienne Gagne

Adrienne Gagne

Adrienne Gagne attains happiness by continuously exploring uncharted territory. Her ultimate goal is to encourage new directions of thinking, not to sway others’ opinions to strictly align with her own. With the aid of writing, Adrienne intends to promote intellectual awareness and social cohesion.