Being cheated on is one of the most excruciating things that can happen in a relationship, especially if you are blindsided by the actions of your partner. You are likely overwhelmed by conflicting emotions and thoughts, as well as plagued by the question of whether to end the relationship or work on fixing it. If you decide the relationship is worth the effort, a few steps may help you bounce back from being cheated on and rekindle the flame.
Determine Why It Happened
Therapist Linda Nusbaum notes that if your partner cheated on you, it didn't just "happen." The circumstances that led to the betrayal started long before your partner had the thought of acting on it. Distance in a couple's relationship, as well as lack of communication, can lead to a partner who feels unsatisfied with the relationship. "Marriage Builders" notes that people tend to spend time with people who help meet their emotional needs. Pinpointing what compelled your partner to cheat on you is the first step to bouncing back from his painful mistake.
Begin to Rebuild Trust
Look at the future and attempting to rebuild the confidence you once had in your partner. Therapist Bill Herring reports that it often takes longer than a couple wants to recover from infidelity, but that the healing process can begin almost immediately for a couple that is genuinely committed to moving past the incident. An article in "Psychology Today" notes that the breach of trust caused by infidelity takes a lot of time and effort to mend. Giving your partner time to demonstrate that she can be trusted again will help you begin the process of forgiveness.
Consult a Marriage Counselor
Seeking help from a licensed therapist can help you put your partner's cheating into perspective, advises the Mayo Clinic, as well as help you learn how to restart your relationship with a new point of view. Let your partner know how important seeing a counselor is to you, and meet with someone you both feel comfortable being honest with. Weekly meetings may help you begin to trust your spouse again and understand the reasons behind his actions.
Demand Total Honesty
Marriage Builders emphasizes the importance of total honesty as one of the most important building blocks in a successful marriage. It is almost impossible to become involved in cheating on your spouse if you follow the "rule of honesty," which is to be transparent with your partner about your needs in order to have them met promptly and avoid being tempted to meet them elsewhere. Ask that your partner communicate more openly in an effort to avoid a transgression in the future.
- Bill Herring: Recovering from Infidelity: The Long and Winding Road
- Good Therapy: Can a Couple Recover From Infidelity?
- Marriage Builders: Coping with Infidelity: Part 1, How Do Affairs Begin?
- MayoClinic: Infidelity: Mending Your Marriage After an Affair
- Psychology Today: Betrayal: It's Not Just About Infidelity
- Surviving Infidelity; Rona B. Subotnik
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