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Whether you've been in a relationship for a few weeks or a number of years, infidelity is a devastating blow. The cheating partner often feels deep remorse and shame. The cheated-on individual almost always struggles with feelings of sorrow, anger, and betrayal.
Though many leave their cheating partners, others stay and try to rebuild their relationships. Regardless of whether you stay together or separate, understanding and processing the affair will help you move on to a better and more faithful future.
Step Away from the Cheater(s)
If you've just found out about your partner's infidelity, it may be best to separate yourself from the situation for a few days. If you live together, you or your partner should leave the house for a few days to spend some time with friends or family. This will give both partners some time process their thoughts and emotions without attacking each other. Though some individuals cheat with strangers or acquaintances, many more affairs take place between friends and co-workers. If this "co-cheater" is someone close to you or your partner, you will need to find a way to eliminate them from your lives. Both the cheater and the cheated-on partner will be unable to heal and move on if they remain in contact with such individuals. Though this may require cutting off a former friend or switching departments at work, these changes will allow you to finally put the infidelity behind you.
Be Completely and Brutally Honest
Whether you stay with a cheating partner or separate, the best way to recover is through honest and open communication. Though a cheater may be reluctant to talk about his or her affairs, discussing this information is the only way to truly understand the situation and recover from it. The cheated-on partner may also prefer to brush over the affair, avoiding the painful details of the betrayal. Nevertheless, both partners must strive for honesty. Though it can be tempting to avoid these difficult conversations, they are essential to the recovery process. The cheated-on partner should ask all of the questions he or she has. He or she should also explain in detail how the betrayal has affected them. The cheater should answer these questions honestly and take their partner's words to heart. Even if you decide to separate, you will have all of the information necessary to proceed.
Delve Deep to Discover the Fundamental Problems
Upon reflection, most couples can see problems and warning signs that appeared before the affair. One individual may have been working long hours, leading the other partner to feel lonely and isolated. Some couples may have been fighting or experiencing other intimacy problems preceding the affair. Whatever the issues were, it is important to acknowledge them. Though the cheater must acknowledge that he or she is fully responsible for cheating, the cheated-on partner should also reflect on any potential behaviors that may have contributed to difficulties in the relationship. Though cheating is never an acceptable way to cope with relationship problems, it is often triggered by such issues. Even if you choose to separate, reflecting on the relationship problems that may have triggered cheating will be beneficial for both partners. By doing so, these harmful behaviors and inappropriate coping mechanisms can be avoided in the future.
Forgiveness Takes Time
Recovering from an affair always takes time. Regardless of whether you remain together or separate, it often takes years to process the emotions that accompany this crushing betrayal. Don't rush this process. Avoid succumbing to "cheap forgiveness" in the weeks or months following the disclosure of the affair. Pretending as though you've forgiven and forgotten everything will only foster resentment and bitterness. Instead, remain cordial while making it clear that you haven't yet recovered from the news. The cheater should strive to be understanding of this. Though it may take years for a partner or former partner to forgive the cheater, this genuine forgiveness will ultimately be better for both individuals. Everyone heals at different rates. By accepting this simple fact, you can better recover from an affair.
- Focusing on yourself will help you recover more quickly. Consider speaking to a therapist about your feelings, your relationship, and any other unresolved issues in your life. Take the time to care for yourself, too. Focus on the simple pleasures in life. Spend time reconnecting with friends and family members. Focusing on your own life will ultimately speed up the healing process. - Though it may be tempting to seek revenge on the cheater or the person they cheated on you with, avoid doing so. The satisfaction of seeking revenge is always short-lived. Instead, channel your energy into more productive matters. Vigorous exercise can help you release the negative energy you're feeling. If you need to vent, open up to your friends. Process your anger in the healthiest ways possible. - If you decide to stay with your partner after an affair, you will ultimately need to reconnect and rekindle your relationship. After processing the situation, try spending some time together without thinking about the affair. Watch a movie together or enjoy a cup of coffee at a local café. Doing these things will help you reconnect as both friends and lovers. Whether you are trying to rebuild your relationship or are separating after an affair, recovery is possible. By remembering to be open, honest, and compassionate, you can ultimately overcome the pain of betrayal.
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