Relationships are built with trust and love at the center, and one of the things that can shake a relationship to these foundations is infidelity. No matter how horrible infidelity may be, however, it is a fact of life that a number of relationships will be confronted with it. If you find out that your spouse or partner has cheated on you, here are some ways to deal with the infidelity.
- Calm down. Right after you have discovered that your partner has cheated on you –whether you discovered it on your own or your partner has told it to you – try your best to calm down. It will be very difficult, since rage and anger are some of the instinctive reactions that people have upon finding out that their partners have cheated on them. Keep in mind, however, that anger and rage usually only keep you from being objective enough to look at the bigger picture and process the event carefully. If you must, leave the house and do something relaxing. Try drinking some tea in your favorite restaurant, or even shopping for clothes – whatever relaxes you.
- Talk with your partner. Once you have calmed down, go to your partner to talk to him. Keep in mind that at this point you will likely still be very angry deep inside of you, even if you appear calm enough to talk. Try to list down all of the triggers that can make you burst, so that you will be aware of them as they come and you can objectively avoid reacting to them. Talk to your partner and ask him to tell you how the infidelity occurred, what pushed him to it, what he feels about it, what he feels about the relationship, and what he feels about you. Sometimes, infidelity is not premeditated and deliberate and simply human error on your partner’s part. It will be difficult living with the fact that your partner has erred so seriously, but try to understand nonetheless.
- Determine whether trust can be rebuilt. Once you have heard the story, try to think of what the infidelity means to you. Is trust so valuable for you that one trespass will ruin everything and make it impossible to rebuild trust? Do you love your partner enough to try and give it another chance? Just as importantly, are you willing to forgive your partner? If you do not forgive your partner, there is simply no use in continuing the relationship. Your spouse or partner is supposed to be there for you completely and give you solace in times of need. A person that you have not completely forgiven cannot do this task.
- Give the relationship some time. Sometimes, however, deciding just how much damage has been done can be difficult to assess. In this case, you can give your partner and the relationship some time to naturally heal, if possible. Be aware that your partner will usually try to show off his good side for a few weeks and even a few months. This should not be the basis of whether you decide to break up with him or not, however. The deciding factor should be whether you are still comfortable with the relationship and whether you can trust him and love him again or not.
Once you have decided on whether trust and love is both still possible, be prepared to move on – either with your partner or alone.