When you find out that your partner has cheated, you could end up very angry and hurt, don’t jump to conclusions such as walking out and asking for a divorce right away. Instead give yourself some time and space to think things over. Reflect on your relationship and try to understand that besides cheating, what other issues are at play.
It’s the same if you’re the one who has cheated on your partner. Analyse why you cheated on them. Was it a serious relationship or a temporary fling? What were the reasons and feelings behind your actions? Don’t take any major decisions immediately. Think them over carefully and be very sure of whatever you decide. Don’t let pride rule your actions.
The unfaithful spouse in the marriage might feel that they were driven to cheating, while their partner feels it wasn’t their fault at all. It’s important to accept responsibility for your own actions. You may both feel that you have each put the extra effort into the relationship and have got nothing in return for it.
In such an event, the partner who has cheated should apologise and the spouse should also apologise for not meeting the emotional or physical needs of their partner. Accept that there have been failings on both sides and that marriage is something you need to work on together and put in equal efforts, especially if you want to save your marriage.
Accept your feelings
Cheating causes a lot of distress in a relationship. If you’re the one who’s been cheated on, it’s only natural that you feel angry, hurt, disappointed and depressed after hearing the news. These feelings are completely normal and are a part of the grieving process. So let them come to you and take your time with processing them.
If you were the unfaithful partner, you might feel a deep sense of shame and guilt. You might want to take your time thinking about what drove you to your actions. Once again, taking time can only help in the recovery process.
Keep a diary to write down how you feel. Don’t hold back on the tears either. If they aren’t coming to you naturally, watch a movie that always makes you cry or read a sad book. It’s also important to smile and laugh. For the cheated, develop a support system around you. Open up and talk to your closed ones. Remember that life goes on inspite of heartbreak and cheating partners.
For those who cheated, it will help opening up to your partner about your feelings. It won’t necessarily be easy, and it might make you feel worthless and drive up your sense of guilt. But if you want to repair the damage done to your relationship, honesty and transparency are key.
Ask and tell
Ask your disloyal spouse all the questions you want to ask them about their infidelity. It’s important though to accept that even your spouse may not understand why they acted this way or may feel uncomfortable and awkward revealing the details to you.
In case you cheated, understand your partner’s need to know more details. If you need some time to express your feelings, ask your partner to be a bit patient.
Give yourself and your partner time
There is no fixed time period for getting over infidelity. It will take time and you may often feel as hurt and angry as you did the first time you found out, even though you’ve decided to forgive them. It doesn’t mean that your marriage cannot be revived, it will just be different and you will need to believe in it.
If you were unfaithful, it might be unreasonable to expect your partner to trust you right away. Your relationship won’t go back to how it was with a bat of an eyelid. Have patience and give your partner time to recover.
Every time you fight, don’t bring up the cheating episode, so that your spouse feels guilty and you can win the argument. Dwelling on past mistakes will only cause resentment and bitterness and not help you to move forward with your relationship.
Go to a counsellor
Dealing with unfaithfulness is a major issue to handle by yourself. This doesn’t mean you tell everyone you know about it. If you would like to give your partner another chance, seek out a marriage counsellor, either individually and/or as a married couple, and go for regular sessions to resolve your feelings towards each other
Give up when it’s the right time
Sometimes relationships have to end. It could be that your partner ends up hurting you not just once but continually. If after several talks, your partner isn’t trying to be faithful to you, you might have to consider giving up on your marriage. This could be a very difficult decision and a marriage counsellor could help you through it.
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