Few events are more hurtful in a relationship or even in life in general than being cheated on by your beloved or spouse. And, of course, the more you love and care about the other person and the more you expect from them, the more painful their infidelity is. So, what do you do when you find out the bad news and how do you handle it?
No one can tell you whether you should even try to forgive the cheater, as it depends on so many factors, including your own personal philosophy or infidelity, below are five practical tips on how to forgive a cheater that you should consider, if you are determined to try to get over your partner’s infidelity and continue being with him:
1. Realize that it will take time getting over being cheated on.
Like with overcoming a break-up, it necessarily takes time for the pain associated with being cheated on to go away. There are simply no shortcuts and no overnight solutions to how low and resentful you feel about the whole situation. You must let time gradually do its work, and not expect instant relief or solution to how you feel. In fact, it would be much more surprising and alarming if it was all too easy for you to forgive being cheated on.
2. Accept at least some responsibility for being cheated on.
There might be no excuse or justification for your partner’s infidelity, but in many cases understanding what motivated your partner to cheat, and whether is has anything to do with you, is very important. This in no way means that you are at fault for your partner’s infidelity, but it still could be extremely to ask yourself whether you played any role in what happened. This especially applies to guys who are cheated on by their girlfriend or wife. Did she share with you why she cheated on you? Was it because you didn’t make her feel loved and desired? Is it because she felt neglected by you physically and emotionally, and she was seeking support and attention from another guy? If that’s the case, perhaps this painful experience should be a valuable lesson for you about how to prevent these kinds of situations in the future. Of course, if the girl fell in love with another guy or had physical urges toward another man that were so powerful that she simply couldn’t resist them, then your relationship probably is and should be over. Even if she most sincerely apologizes for how she made you feel when she cheated on you, it doesn’t change how she feels about you and that other guy now.
It is important that the partner who cheated on you provides you with his or her perspective. Although sometimes all the explanations are just bad excuses, the cheater’s perspective can provide a valuable insight into what went wrong in your relationship, at least from their perspective, and what both of you can do to prevent the same in the future.
3. Resist making sweeping conclusions.
Just because your partner has cheated on you doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or doesn’t care about you. This is especially true about men who have affairs for reasons that have nothing with how they feel about their long-term partner, and they only want to sleep with others or actually do it due to their strong drive for sexual novelty and variety.
4. Be ready for your own flare-ups.
Even if you think that you have forgiven your partner for cheating, be ready to have flare-up in the future. Certain things will remind you of past events and will bring back unpleasant memories. You will likely start questioning and interrogating your partner over and over about the cheating. You will fight many times in the future. That’s all part of the process. You need to explain to to your partner that there will be random days in the future, when you will be particularly frustrated with what she/he has done. Your partner needs to be supportive during those times, even if what comes up during the flare-ups sounds like a broken record. Again, it will take time and it will take going over the same thing over and over before the pain and frustration gradually subsides and hopefully completely disappears in the future.
5. Don’t expect answers from other people.
No one really knows how you feel and what you feel. Your friends and relatives might have been in the same situation, but every situation is different, because different people and unique emotions that only apply to that situation are present. You must make your own mind about whether to forgive and how to go about it. One thing is certain – if you are in love, it certainly is worth trying to forgive, as ironically, some relationships become closer and stronger after, and as a result of, single incident of infidelity.