How to Cope With Cheating: Saving Your Relationship From Infidelity
If you've cheated on your partner, you already know the damage you've done to your relationship. And if your partner cheated on you? Chances are good your romance has been strained to the breaking point... and maybe even beyond.
Yet if you're here reading this right now, you're probably looking for a way to save your relationship. You want to get past the cheating, and back to the way things were before, when you were nothing more than a happy couple in love each other.
Cheating isn't always the end. It's a very bad thing and a huge obstacle to overcome, but when two people love each other and still want to be together, it's something that can be faced, dealt with, and eventally buried in the past.
Many couples go their separate ways after one or both have been unfaithful, and there's usually a lot of bitterness and resetment involved. Cheating on someone is the ultimate betrayal, and when trust is destroyed most people don't know how to move forward. I mean, if you don't trust your partner, how can you date them?
You can't expect the future of your relationship to succeed unless you BOTH deal with the affair and put it past you. Staying together after cheating requires two people both willing to forgive and eventually forget... but in the meantime they need to partner up and work on the relationship that they're trying to save.
How to Focus on The Forgiveness Instead of the Cheating
Even after the cheating's over, the negative effects of a partner being unfaithful can linger for years. Aside from the lack of trust and fear of another possible affair, there's always the underlying resentment that gets conjured up whenever someone thinks about the physical, sexual acts of their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife in bed with another person.
It's these conjured images that present such a problem. If left unchecked, these images can haunt the person who got cheated on to the point where they're completely turned off by their partner, even when the both of them are trying to save the relationship and move forward.
For this reason, you always want to divulge as little of the affair as possible. Don't deny or downplay the fact that you were unfaithful to your partner (or they could feel you're belittling their feelings), but don't overly describe or give details about what happened either.
Your lover knows you cheated. He or she probably knows when it happened, and maybe even where. That's about as far as you want to go however, when describing what happened. Any other details - especially sexual details - will only give your partner's imagination more ammunition with which to paint a vivid, destructive picture that will come back to hurt this person again and again.
By giving as little information as possible, you're helping your boyfriend or girlfriend NOT fixate on the affair itself. This leaves more room for thinking about the future - more room for them to look forward instead of glancing behind.
What To Do If You Got Cheated on By Your Partner
And if you're the one who unfortunately got cheated on? Take everything mentioned above and reverse it, to help you get over and past what happened.
Understand that by deciding to keep the relationship going you've also committed to at least try to forgive your partner. This may or may not work out, but any attempt at saving the relationship will definitely fail if you're not at least willing to give it a chance.
In time, you'll have to trust your partner again. This is the hard part. Love is easy, but trust is much harder to come by after someone's cheated on you. This is completely understandable, and it will take time to get over.
Trusting your boyfriend or girlfriend again doesn't need to happen right away. If the cheating is fresh, it may take longer. That said, you do have to be open to the concept of not only loving them, but eventually believing in them again as someone who loves you, cares for you, and wants to be with only you.
By agreeing to stay together and not break up, the both of you are making a commitment to your future relationship... and making to it work. Don't think you can continually punish your boyfriend or girlfriend for what they did, and expect them to stick around.
Some people even use past cheating as a weapon: they bring it up whenever they get angry, or want to throw it in their partner's face. What happens here is that resentment builds up on both sides, to the point where continuing the relationship is no longer possible.
Building Trust Through Reassurance and Future Actions
In the end, telling someone you'll never be unfaithful to them again simply isn't enough... you've got to SHOW them. Actions speak louder than words, and only by continuing onward as a loving and committed partner can you prove your good intentions to someone you've cheated on.
There are some amazing clean slate techniques you can use to get a fresh start after cheating. If you're going to stay together after infidelity damages your relationship, you'll want to give the romance every possible chance for success.
Below you'll also find some additional articles on how to save a relationship after one or both parties have been unfaithful. As with everything else important in life, knowledge is power: the more you know, the better off things will be.