Working It Out After Infidelity
It happened. The ultimate betrayal. Your worst nightmare. He said he would never break your heart especially in this way, but somehow he did it. When he told you of the indiscretion the pain shot through your heart like a dagger. The storm clouds came in and cast a shadow over the radiant land of bliss that you called love.
Studies have shown that 35% of couples stay together after one has wandered off and put their hands in someone else’s cookie jar. You go through phases. Of course the first is anger. You think of all the things you can do to try to cause him to feel the pain that you are feeling. Trust me, there is nothing that you can do to him to make him feel how you are feeling unless you want to go to jail. And you don’t want those problems.
After going through anger, denial (No, way! When did you do it? How? Where was I?) You get to the stage of acceptance. He did it. He did her. You have come to the realization that he went outside of your relationship for whatever reason. Do you stay or do you go?
For some infidelity is forbidden. This is the point of no return and it is a deal breaker. Other times we are truly in love with the person, and even after a shocker like this, the heart still might be in love. I can vividly remember having discussions with girlfriends and the first thing that is said is,”Once a cheater, always a cheater. Leave ’em girl!!” However, I know for sure that each woman that has told me that, has stayed with their man after learning he cheated.
Let’s say you and he have talked, and you have decided to work things out. You want to try it again. Let’s do this over. Love will conquer this time and let’s start on a clean slate. Now what? Where do we go from here?
- Express Yourself– The next step is expressing how you feel. You can’t keep your feelings bottled up. If you do those feelings will come out in actions of anger. The last thing you need is to be on the local news. It will be hard to not attack him, but focus on how you are feeling. Describe to him how his actions have led to you feeling hurt, disrespected, etc. He in turn needs to acknowledge what you are feelings and own the fact that he is what led to feeling this way.
- The Why– You and he will have to dig down deep and find the root of the reason he went astray in the first place. Was it loneliness? Not enough sex? Did he get caught in the moment? He needs more communication from you? Was it his own selfishness? What exactly was the need that he was trying to fill? Once the why is figured out, then you will have to come together to work on the issue. Communication and compromise will have to come into play to solve the problem.
- He Has To Be An Open Book– This will be a little difficult for him, but it is what it is. At this point, gaining back your trust is the up most important step besides finding the why. If he can’t win back your trust, the relationship has no hope. Trust is the key without that you have zilch. With that said, he has to be open with you at all times. Where he is going after work, who he is having lunch with, his whereabouts…everything laid out on the table. So crystal clear to you that you can see your own reflection looking at him, so you won’t have any doubts in your head that he has found another side chick. When you ask to see his phone, he has to hand it over without question. If he is really serious about repairing your relationship this won’t be a problem. How can honesty be an issue?
- Forgiveness-This is another tough one. The act is unsettling. The pain is too much to bare and every time you think of him touching another woman you want to bust the windows out of his car, bleach his clothes, and drop kick the woman as if you were in Kill Bill….nice thoughts but no. You can’t do that. You have to let go and forgive. Forgiveness is for you. It is for you to heal. Forgive him for hurting you. Forgiveness sometimes can take months, sometimes years but it is something that has to be done in order for you to move on. It takes time and work. You have to work through your anger. Holding on to the pain is emotionally exhausting for you and if you and he have decided to work it out, not forgiving him will then keep you from ever trusting him. The two go hand in hand.
Cheating will break a relationship, but some people opt to stay together. As unfortunate as this situation is, it is fair to say we all have all been there. We all have dealt with a cheating husband or boyfriend. If he is really worth it, and truly understands the err of his ways, maybe the relationship can be mended.