My boyfriend is cheating - How should I react?
If you have not opted for the open relationship, the bad news is that around 30% of US couples cheat each year. Indeed, according to a study conducted by the site CompareCamp, 20% of male respondents reported that they have engaged in extramarital sex compared to 13% of women. 😇
Obviously, this doesn't mean that your spouse is cheating on you, it just means that it can happen. Giving someone your trust is always a risk. But, I'd say it's a risk you absolutely have to take, because it's one way to be happy, but like all risks it comes with an element of danger, which is obviously betrayal. The truth is, nothing seems more painful than being betrayed by the person you love. This is why it is difficult to know how to act, how to face and how to rebuild oneself and eventually, one's relationship.
What to do when you find out your partner is being unfaithful
1. Get your tears out
If you’ve just learned that the man you love is cheating on you, obviously it’ll hurt. Whether it was just a one-night stand, or a long-running affair, the wound is the same. Well, when this happens, we break down, we cry, we scream, and we break things to get out frustration out.
Infidelity evidently is always synonymous with our world falling apart, so you have to welcome and accept your sadness, instead of denying it and pretending that nothing happened. Do not close your eyes to your situation, it is a reflection of a problem in your relationship. A problem that needs to be fixed. In any case, just let go of your anger and sadness for as long as you need to.
2. Take it in your stride
Taking it in does not mean accepting and digesting... far from it. Taking it in means accepting the blow and, above all, not feeling guilty. Cheating in a relationship is always the responsibility of two people, it often stems from a communication problem, but that doesn't mean that it's our fault if we are cheated on. It is an injustice that we have to face. Once the blow is taken, you have to face it, no need to be ashamed. Guilt and shame are useless and do not get us anywhere. When you have to face an infidelity, you need support, so you should not isolate yourself in shame, on the contrary, you should surround yourself. Shame and guilt will not help you solve the problem and even less to get better, so if you feel them rising in you, you should chase them away, even if it means denying them. No need to hear them whispering dirty words in our minds .
>>> You may find this article useful: Why do I always feel guilty?
3. Remember that you love yourself
If infidelity is so hard to bear, it is not only because a person has betrayed us, but also because we are weakened by a narcissistic injury. It is therefore urgent to (re)gain confidence in oneself. In these moments, we need to refocus and remember who we are, how good we are and how we don't deserve any of this. To rebuild your self-esteem after such a big shock, it may be necessary to turn to a psychologist, a concrete support when it comes to finding yourself.
4. Look to the future... and forgive (?)
Now it's time to take stock and ask the right questions: How did my relationship get to this point? Do I still see a future with this partner? Would I still be able to feel safe in our relationship? And of course more broadly, do I still love him despite this and therefore forgive? To forgive, it also means to trust again, and this is difficult to do. Trust must be earned more than ever.
We can also say to ourselves that no, we definitely don't deserve it, and slam the door, and leave. However, we must therefore avoid any form of revenge. Revenge is the story written by enemies, which you are not. Either you decide to stay together, or you leave and have no reason to burden your mind with ideas of revenge. So we replace the, "I'll make you pay for it for the rest of your life" with, "It's high time I lived my life."
>>> Discover what cheating says about a person
How to forgive a cheater
Even if love ends up triumphing over this history of infidelity, forgiving is not something that can be done in a hurry, everyone must be patient.
- Start by admitting that loving each other is not the same as being blameless. To love each other, and to be a couple, is also to have flaws and to make mistakes. However, more than forgiving, it is therefore necessary to continue to love despite the error, despite the stain, the scar.
- Communication is also essential, meaning we must tell each other about the pain we feel. We need to share our pain, and dare to ask all the questions that are running through our minds, even those that disgust us, it is the only way to succeed in getting over it and to clear our minds, to keep nothing of this episode.
- Finally, if we need to reassure ourselves by spying on our spouse, we do it. It is human, and that can make it possible to find confidence. But let's take it easy! We can’t spy on the long term and above all, we accept that the other person doesn't show us everything. In a relationship, you can't have everything under control, it's impossible and trust isn't built by asking for more and more proof of fidelity.
When you are cheated on, you take the time to get better, to regain your self-confidence, and to ask yourself if you are still capable of loving your partner.
Finally, if you are wondering how long it takes to forgive a cheater, know that it takes between 12 and 18 months. During this time, don't hesitate to go to couple's therapy. Therapy helps to open up and can play a big role in rebuilding your relationship. In any case, there is one thing to keep in mind: the one who has been hurt is in control. So take the time you need to pick up the pieces of your relationship or your life.
Editor’s opinion: Serious damage...
Learning that your boyfriend is unfaithful is like a bomb. Self-confidence, in a relationship, in love, everything explodes and the damage can be serious. The shock is violent, that's why you have to talk about it, everything you don't say is printed in you. Make an appointment with a psychologist to analyze what is happening to you, why and how to rebuild yourself and turn to the future with or without the person who cheated on you.
🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... It's here and now!
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