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How to cope with cheating in a relationship

Cheating, in any case, is not a good thing. Most psychologists will say that cheating is a two-way street, meaning that for infidelity to occur, it needs to be in some way a result of the actions of both parties.

There are different reasons why people cheat which we are not going to dive into that issue now. This blog post will be more focused on the effects of cheating in relationships. Should you stay, should you leave, and how to handle your emotions and wellbeing.  

Cheating is wrong! But usually, when it happens, it happens for a reason

Cheating disrupts the relationship on many different levels. If it happens, then it happens for specific reasons. For example, it can mean that you don’t communicate enough or respect or understand your partner’s needs. Let’s dive in a little bit more.

Cheating is wrong!

If you have some self-love and some modicum of respect for yourself, you won’t put yourself in a position to be with someone who does that to you. I emphasize this moment of self-love, and it is very crucial because, as Dalai Lama said:

“You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.”

Before you can give to others, you need to know who you are and give yourself what you need. You need to have this thought, and it is critical for establishing a sound basis for a relationship. If someone doesn’t respect you and disrupts your trust, then you don’t need them in your life.

But as previously said, it is vital to know who you are as a person and understand what you want from your partner. So this way, if it comes to a breakup, you don’t feel like you lost your person. Instead, you will know that that person is not for you. As I said, you know what you want and need a person who deserves you. 

But it happens for a reason

Even if you love and respect yourself in most cases in one way or another, you are complicit in the creation of the process of creating a cheating relationship, as Esther Perel says. Perel is a known licensed marriage therapist.

There is always some form of the underlying reason for cheating. And this is not an excuse for the other side to start cheating, but this argument should clarify that both partners are responsible for building the relationship in a certain way. Sometimes this means that you haven’t asked the right questions to know your partner better, or other times when you didn’t ask questions when there were signs.

And I am talking this from an aspect for mature adult relationships, not adolescents kind of “want to be with more partners” that is why I cheat reasons.

I talked with a guy who worked as a hotline operator and said that many men who call the hotline usually don’t like to talk about sex. 40 to 50% of the calls they have are conversations about their wives and personal problems. It suggests that they seek emotional connection and understanding that they don’t get from their partner. 

This means that even if you didn’t do anything wrong, you might be an accomplice in creating the infidelity process. Sometimes not being aware of the signs or neglecting your partner’s needs can lead to him or her to cheat.

There are two ways to cope with infidelity

There are different kinds of cheaters. Some partners cheat, intending not to get caught because they will not get caught. These types of people can play mind games, use manipulation and play the victim card. In some cases, when they are exposed, they can leave their partner high and dry on an emotional, even, or financial level. 

Others cheat because they can’t get emotional or sexual understanding from their spouse.

When most are found in this kind of situation, they choose between staying or leaving the relationship. Many people would leave a cheating partner because their trust is broken. Honesty and truth are very important in a relationship. But not everyone makes that decision.

Sometimes the situation that we live in makes it harder to make the right choice, or it is just too difficult to make the right step at that time. We are all different and make different decisions sometimes based on feelings. But it’s important to note that whatever choice you make, you will bear the consequences, so think about it carefully and with a clear mind.

Staying

Staying in the relationship means working on the problem. The problem is that building trust again is not easy. It requires and needs to be worked on by both parties. Trust is vital in a relationship because it is the foundation of creating and building a meaningful relationship. It’s not easy to get it back if lost because people feel deceived. 

Having given so much love and now they are left with a horrible feeling that breaks down their whole world and sometimes even creates a crisis in identity, as Esther Perel says. It is a traumatic experience that can shift the question from “Can I trust you again?” to “Can I trust anyone again?”. It is the ultimate betrail.

This is a vile process that devastates the core of the cheated person, and that is why it is tough to get over. If you go this way, you need to know that your partner is on the same page. This process means forgiveness, understanding and requires a lot of communication with the partner. 

You need to get to the bottom of why the cheating occurred. You need brutal honesty to understand better your partner’s needs and to understand why the affair occurred and not happen again.

Psychologists say that people who successfully overcame broken trust over cheating have a far better relationship than before. They listen more and attune to their partner’s needs. But for this to happen, the other side needs to accept this process and continue the work to change. 

Leaving

This is the most obvious choice. You love yourself and just don’t deserve that. As stated before, if you don’t feel respected or the trust is broken, then you should leave. It is often better to find another person who can understand and respect you than to struggle with understanding why the person you love has betrayed you.

A good sum up and my advice would be this. Pick a person who treats you nicely, loves you, and is open and truthful to you. You just don’t have time for other kinds of people and emotional turbulence in your life. Be vigilant and open necessary conversations if there are any problems in your relationship. If you get in a situation where you have been cheated, weigh in your options once you have clear your head. If you have been attentive, open, clear in communication, value his feelings, love, and invest in your partner, then you deserve better. If not, get a better one.

Ps. Love life and yourself.