It’s a hard and cruel reality, but one that’s becoming more and more common in marriages around the world: cheating, infidelity, adultery and straying. Whatever you call it, one partner having an affair outside of the marriage is something that more and more couples are having to deal with, so much so that now entire websites are even dedicated to HELPING spouses and those in long-term relationships stray. Can you believe that? But how does one survive infidelity in a relationship? It can be no easy task to fix a relationship once the trust is lost.
When it comes down to it, you have two choices when this happens: leave, or get past it. That’s it, right? That’s what it all boils down to. How are you going to get past this type of betrayal and hurt? Can you get past this type of event in your relationship? Well, it won’t be easy. But it can be possible. Below are a few tips to survive infidelity with your relationship intact.
Owning Up & Putting It All On The Table
When someone hurts you it can be difficult to move past it – but you can do it…together. The first step to reconciliation, however, is that the cheater must own up to his or her wrongdoings. Closure is one of the most important factors in getting your ex back – you just can’t skip that step.
Talking through the issue can’t be avoided (and shouldn’t be avoided either). Sweeping the problem under the rug won’t solve anything. You definitely want to talk with your spouse or significant other about what happened. Explaining your emotions to each other will help you to get past this because it allows you to let them know what they did to you by their indiscretion.
Talking it over with someone else can sometimes help as well. Someone you trust to listen no matter what, like your best friend, brother, sister or parent can be a shoulder to cry on as long as they are willing to forgive as well.
Moving On With Your Lives Together
Once you’ve talked about how you feel and everything is out on the table both the cheater and the victim need to try to let it go.
Don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t mean forgive and forget. You can forgive without forgetting. There’s no need to be someone’s doormat, after all. Truly moving on means spending time with your spouse without dwelling on the infidelity. Easier said than done, I know, but if you’ve truly committed to staying together, what is the alternative? You need to trust that they will not repeat their mistake. If you can’t honestly say that you trust them perhaps you don’t belong back together. Letting go is ok, if it’s the right decision in the long-run. Make sure that you are spending time with each other and regaining trust. Trust is earned and it may take a while, so be sure to give it some time. You want to make time for date nights and fun together so that you can get your relationship back on track.
Putting the Past in the Past
Something very important to note is that if you’ve decided to put it behind you and you’ve decided that you’re going to move on with your relationship, you can’t hold it over the person that cheated; that’s just not fair to them or to you. You can’t keep punishing them for cheating after you say that you’re going to forgive them. Forgiveness means that you don’t hold on to what they’ve done; you let go. Yes they hurt you, but you said it was done now and that means laying it to rest.
Writing it Out
Chances are that even after you’ve talked about it with your spouse and talked about it with a friend or family member, the feelings won’t go away. You’re still going to feel hurt, angry, embarrassed or betrayed. Possibly a combination of these things. The best way to get rid of those emotions is to write them down. You’ve told your spouse that you are going to forgive and forget so you don’t want to bring out the dirty laundry yet again to make them feel bad (even though what they did was wrong). Instead, you want to get a journal where you can write out how you’re feeling and why. Getting those emotions off your chest can help you to get the thoughts out of your head.
Going through divorce is difficult for everyone involved. Deciding not to get a divorce can sometimes be just as hard. If your spouse has cheated, you want to be sure that you are making the choice for yourself whether you stay with them or not. Don’t let anyone else make the choice and don’t let anyone else influence your choice. It’s completely up to you. Once you’ve made your decision however, try to stick it out and give it a chance. Nothing as serious as infidelity is repaired overnight.