The heartbreak that you experience when you discover that your significant other is cheating is vastly different from the heartbreak that you experience when you are only broken up with. A good relationship is built on trust and finding out that your significant other is cheating can completely eliminate that trust and the relationship that came along with it. If you’ve discovered that your partner has been seeing other people, here is what you should do.
- (Warning) Don’t Operate on Suspicions
Never accuse your significant other of being unfaithful if you do not have the evidence to support that claim. Falsely accusing your boyfriend or girlfriend of this is just as bad as discovering that they truly are cheating and can unnecessarily end the relationship. If you have reason to believe that you are being cheated on, take time to find solid evidence before you consider confronting them.
Even if you are extremely self-aware, it is different to deeply know someone else, and then to understand the dynamics between you that form your relationship. — Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C
- Give Yourself Time to Process the Situation
We’ve all heard the stories about crazy partners who have gone to extreme measures to get revenge on their ex, whether it was as simple as flooding their house or as elaborate as drugging them and causing bodily injuries. Don’t end up as one of these people. Take the time necessary to fully process your emotions about the situation and to get to a point where you can calmly deal with your significant other.
- Sit Down and Have a Conversation
Sit your partner down and have a conversation with them about the infidelity. If you have not confronted them yet, provide the evidence you have collected and let them know that you are now aware of the situation. Tell them that this is not acceptable and that you will not tolerate this behavior from them. You are worth more than being treated like this and the relationship is nothing without trust. It’s not recommended but if you choose to, let them know the new rules that need to be followed should the relationship continue.
- Consider Your Next Move
As stated above, some people choose to continue their relationships rather than ending it after they discover the infidelity. You should know that this does work for some people. Some people are so invested in the relationship that they can do the work necessary to bring the relationship back to where it is supposed to be. However, this doesn’t work for everyone. Ask yourself some important questions before you continue the relationship. Do you love your partner enough to overlook their cheating? Are you invested in the relationship enough to go to counseling and work on the relationship? Do you see a long future with this person? Do you think that the person you are with is willing to put in the work? If not, end the relationship right now. There is no use working on something that you don’t see as repairable.
- Grieve and Move on
The worst thing that you can do after being cheated on is to immediately jump into a relationship with the mindset that you are prone to choose partners who will be unfaithful. This can cause a variety of unhealthy behaviors and may also contribute to poor relationships. Before you date anyone else, take time out to allow yourself to grieve and get over the relationship. Once you have healed from the infidelity and you can walk into a new relationship with an open heart and trust, then you may begin seeing other people.
While there might be some attraction to the idea of getting back together, and while it might work for some couples, for many people a reunion is simply going to lead to a repeat of the same issues that contributed toward the breakup—unless each individual has done extensive work to develop new relationship and interpersonal skills or address other challenges that made the separation necessary. — John Sovec, LMFT
Although cheating is common in our society, it does not mean that you will be cheated on in your lifetime. If it does happen to you, heal and realize that there is someone out there for you who will be faithful.