Surviving Infidelity: What You Should Do After Your Partner Cheats on You

Everybody loves a happy ending, which is why movies always end on a happy note no matter how unbelievable the turn of events is. We love to see people hugging, kissing, or running away together as the credits roll.

But in real life, we could only wish a happily ever after was actually possible.

We build relationships with people we’ve come to love, and while we’re in it, every day, we hope that it will last forever. But mistakes are bound to happen. One day you wake up to the fact that the man you used to go to bed with every night now spends his mornings in someone else’s house or your woman now takes comfort in the arms of another man. Infidelity is a storm that can leave a relationship in ruins. And when reality comes knocking on your door, as the one cheated on, you have to make a choice.

The relationship has gone unfaithful. Everything is in shambles. Should you stay, or should you go?

What to Do After Being Cheated On by the One You Love

Figuring out what to do after being cheated on by the person you trusted so much is a challenge. This decision-making process that follows the reveal of your cheating partner’s dark secret requires more than just the courage to face the problem. For some, once the truth’s out, the whole deal is broken. There’s no looking back to that whole game of deception. But there are those who choose to give the relationship another shot, believing this time around, the bond and trust will be stronger.

You can either stay or leave for good. But before deciding on what to do after being cheated on, it pays to assess the health of your relationship first.

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Ask your partner, ‘Why did you cheat?’

There are two sides to every story. Yes, you know things, but you can’t always be sure that it’s everything there is to this or if what you know is the whole truth. Brave the heavens and talk to your partner about it. If you want to know what to do after being cheated on, the first thing you need to take into consideration is the real reason your partner strayed. You need to find out why to know if there’s still a reason for you to stay.

Also, it would help to observe your partner’s behavior toward the whole cheating thing. Psychotherapist and How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free author Dr. Tina Tessina said, “See if your partner is in denial, makes excuses, and/or blames you. This means he or she is invested in the cheating behavior and not ready to change. However, it’s a good sign if your partner truly recognizes he or she has a problem, is willing to get help to fix it, and will be accountable for rebuilding trust.”

Take a hard look at your relationship one more time

You can get mad at your partner all you want, blame them as much as you want for being unfaithful, but perhaps you should also take the time to see if there’s something about your relationship that may have caused them to be disengaged. Are there any underlying problems in the marriage that you two just chose to ignore? Can you fix these issues?

Figure out the problem, know the weight of it, and see if it’s something that can be amended. If yes, then maybe staying is the better choice. If not, then it’s up to you if you still want to put yourself through so much pain.

See if you can forgive and give your partner another chance

When you find out you’ve been cheated on, every cell in your body will tell you to walk away, save yourself from the pain. You tell yourself, once a cheater, always a cheater. They will just cheat again and the pain it causes is the very last thing you want to feel. But you know, when you choose to step out of the relationship, it’s not just your partner that you’re leaving—you’re giving up on the person and the future you could have had together, the whole idea of forever with the one you love.

Forgiving a cheater does not mean you are okay with what they did or that you’re giving them the license to do it again. It only means you understand what happened, you know what led them to do it, and that you want to work on the problem. Ask your partner too if they are willing to sort things out. If you are both committed to resolving the whole mess, then maybe you should not close your doors too soon.

Couples coach Leslie Doares said, “Steps to healing involve gaining a true understanding of what the problematic behavior was and the extent of the damage it caused. It’s also important that the offender understands what led them to act that way so they can guard against that choice in the future.. . . It is also important for the offended partner to be able to talk about the impact of the behavior and how it hurt them. This is an ongoing process as more and more is uncovered. There also must be complete honesty about what is happening when you’re apart. Lying about anything sets back the trust rebuilding process. Healing begins when the offended partner knows that the offender truly gets how badly their partner has been hurt and owns that they were the cause.”

Human as we are, we just want to love and be loved in return. When we choose to trust someone, all we want is for them to never take that trust for granted. It can be painful, but no matter how freeing it sounds, walking away isn’t always the best choice. Deciding on what to do after being cheated on can be harder than you think, but if you choose to stay, make sure you’ve thought things through, make sure there’s something that’s actually worth staying for.

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Amanda Thomas

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