Three women travel together after being tricked by the same guy
Morgan Tabor, Abi Roberts and Bekah King found out they were being cheated on by the same guy. They left him and started traveling the world together.
Humankind, USA TODAY
Most of us would agree that cheating on a partner is wrong, but the statistics of infidelity are still high.
This is because the idea that it is morally wrong does not change the fact that many of us have been deceived. And if we’re honest with ourselves, some of us have cheated too.
We would all like to believe that we would never be able to hurt our partner in this way: that we would break up with them, be honest with them, or stop before the possibility of cheating entered the equation.
But what if he cheats?
5 Ways People React to Cheating
They tell their partner as a way to make them or blame them. They never tell their partner what they have done. They keep the infidelity a secret, but break up with their partner to stop the dishonesty. They tell their partner they cheated as an explanation for why the relationship should end. They tell their partner about the infidelity in hopes of repairing the relationship.
If you cheat, does it hurt more to confess?
I’ve heard of people who were upset when their partner revealed their infidelity, wishing they’d never know if they really didn’t mean anything. But only some feel that way.
Have you discussed with your partner what constitutes infidelity and the correct course of action if it happens? These are not romantic things to discuss at the beginning of any relationship, but a mutual understanding can be helpful in these situations.
If you want to tell your partner that you cheated on them, ask yourself: what is your reason? Are you waiting to say an honest goodbye or repair the relationship?
What to do if you want to repair the relationship after an affair
If you want to continue the relationship, here are a couple of things to remember during the conversation:
This is not the time to justify your actions. You might think it wasn’t a “technical” cheat from your perspective. Maybe you think there was a good reason you cheated or why the temptation was too hard to ignore. Regardless of your justification or reason, this is not the time to share it.
It’s not about blaming your partner. Maybe you’re convinced that his lack of effort led you to cheat. Maybe you blame them. The reality is that no one can force you to cheat. The circumstances may have been difficult, but it is essential to take responsibility for the action itself.
It’s about making space for them. After you talk, realize that you need to create a space for them to share their thoughts and feelings (if they want to). Be prepared to receive their reactions with empathy and compassion. Refrain from getting defensive: They need time to process the hurt and betrayal.
It’s about being ready to answer questions. During our last chat, Elizabeth Earnshaw, a licensed family and marriage therapist, said, “Your partner will want to know more information, and being open and honest as much as possible in the beginning will increase the likelihood of forgiveness over time. or lying will only cause more harm in the long run.”
It is not enough to tell the truth. Telling the truth is one thing and asking for forgiveness is another. Express that you’re sorry (explicitly), what you’re sorry for, and how things will be different from now on. Then spend time rebuilding trust through your actions.
It’s time to do the work. If you no longer want to be in the relationship, say so. If you do, be prepared to go through a grace period. Often this involves asking your partner what you can do to regain safety, trust and intimacy (don’t just assume what they need or want). The actions they ask for or the boundaries they set may not be how the relationship had worked up until that point (for example, checking in more often, coming home at specific times, avoiding places, people, or things involved in the bad act ), but because of the breakup, the contract of the relationship may change for a while. This cannot become a permanent state of the relationship, but you need to be patient. Healing is not immediate.
Learn more about cheating, infidelity and relationship issues
Read below: 8 Signs Your Partner Is Having an Affair
Drama “Vanderpump Rules”: Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss, Ariana Madix and forgiveness
Dating after divorce is complicated: What you need to know.
Celebrities can “have it all” and still get cheated on: What does it mean for the rest of us?
Sara Kuburic is a therapist specializing in identity, relationships and moral trauma. Every week he shares his tips with our readers. Find her on Instagram @millennial.therapist. She can be reached at Skuburic@gannett.com.
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