They say you can fix a broken vase but the glue will always show. Now, that may work for glassware but relationships are something else. It’s true that, once an adultery has been committed, you can’t expect the things to go back to normal overnight, but many couples have managed to beat the odds, get past the cheating episode and live happily ever after. So, if you’re the one that cheated, the one that is trying to get past the partner’s infidelity or, if you just know a person that might use an advice – here are 7 steps that will make dealing with the situation easier.
1. Think Things through
The cheating one has to decide whether he loves his partner enough to do everything possible to salvage the relationship. Cheating is the worst thing you can do and it would be foolish to expect the other person to say, “Ok, I forgive you. Now, did you get that shampoo I asked you to pick up on your way home?” It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice! Now, if you have been cheated on, I can totally understand how you feel right now. And, believe me, hiding it and pretending you don’t care is wrong. Let it all out, cry, don’t keep the pain bottled up inside. Once that is out of your system you will be able to think more rationally and decide whether you want the cheater back or no.
2. Get to the Bottom of It
Talking about the things that made you or your partner resort to cheating is not easy but it’s the only way. You see, I think most of my relationships failed because of the fact that I like to shove problems under the rug and pretend that everything is OK. Now, that’s definitely the easier way but it only leads to more problems and ends with cheating, breaking up or both. Find the problems and work up the solutions so you could have a fresh start.
3. Forget the Words and Focus on the Acts
“I love you” sure did mean a lot before that cheating episode but, honestly, it’s worth a diddly squat now! So, if you are the cheating one, find other ways to demonstrate your love and regain your “relationship credibility”. Just make sure they don’t involve material things because your loved one might feel like you are trying to buy their love. Explain how sorry you are, take responsibility for your actions and be prepared to answer all the questions your partner may have.
4. Forgive and Forget
Your partner had cheated on you, you’ve discussed it and decided to move on and try to make it work. Congratulations for letting the love win! However, jealousy and the lack of trust may interfere here so make sure that, once you forgive your cheating partner and learn a lesson, you observe the cheating episode as a thing of the past. Your partner should help you with that by working hard to regain your trust and you should be open to that. Don’t give in easily because he/she has to learn a lesson too, but don’t fall into the trap of using that mistake as an excuse to act jealous, make insulting comments or make him/her suffer.
5. Rekindle the Old Flames
Think about the things that brought you two together, that made you grow strong as a couple and re-experience those moments. Start going to dinners and visiting museums once again or go camping, hiking or anything you like. Do all those things you used to do while your relationship was still fresh. You see, one of the most common reasons for cheating is the feeling of being stuck in a rut. And, let’s face it, all relationships go through that boring phase when one person knows exactly what the other person will say, do or suggest.
6. Don’t Be Vindictive
Your partner’s cheating is not your get-out-of-jail-free card. If you take his cheating as a permission to cheat back once the good opportunity comes out, what’s the point of saving the relationship now only to destroy it again in a couple of days, months or years?
7. Work on the Trust
Every healthy relationship is build upon trust so, once you manage to trust each other again, things can go their usual way. Sometimes it takes years to get the relationship to what it used to be before the “unfortunate event”, sometimes you realize that you can never feel the same for that person again but sometimes, cheating or being cheated on opens your eyes and makes you realize how much you love that person and how you can’t stand the thought of losing her. The cheater should work very hard on rebuilding that trust – no lies, no checking out other girls/guys and no shutting off the phone.
What is your take on this? Have you ever been in this situation and, if yes, how did you deal with it? Feel free to add more tips and share your opinion on cheating, forgiving and moving on. Would you find it in your heart to forgive or would you break up immediately?