Being cheated on is not an easy thing to handle. Learning how to deal with a cheater can help you regain control of your life and help you decide how you want to proceed. While keying the cheater’s car may seem like a cathartic reaction, this is not going to help you move, nor will it make you feel any better.
The adverse emotional and mental side effects of being cheated on can stay with you for a lifetime. Being cheated on stirs up insecurities, low self-esteem, distrust, inability to open up, give you feelings of worthlessness, and make you question your qualities and physical appearance. Dealing with a cheater is emotionally devastating and can change your personality for years to come.
Are you questioning how to move on after infidelity in your relationship? Here’s how to deal with a cheater.
1. Take time for yourself
Even if you have decided to stay with your cheating partner and work on your relationship, it is still essential to take time for yourself. It will this allow you to decompress. I will also allow you to collect your thoughts and grieve the situation. If you have chosen to stay together and deal with the cheater, taking time alone may help you to reconsider:
whether you are staying in the relationship because you can become better, stronger partners with one another or
if you are simply staying out of sadness or
because the relationship has been comfortable
2. Gather your evidence
Is your partner cheating in the relationship, but you haven’t confronted them yet? It’s time you look for ways on how to confront a cheater. Now is your time to collect any evidence you may need during your confrontation. This means taking screen captures of text messages, photos, conversations, and social media interactions you may have stumbled across between the guilty parties.
This will allow you to immediately deal with a cheater by putting a stop to your partner’s lies, should they choose to deny any involvement with their secret lover.
3. Get tested
If your partner has lied to you about being with one partner, who’s to say they haven’t been with dozens without your knowledge? Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections is essential after you’ve been cheated on. Go to your doctor and ask to be tested. Free clinics and sexual health centers offer tests for STDs, HIV, and Hepatitis. You must protect yourself, even if your partner claims they were ‘safe’ during their infidelity. Their definition of safe sex may differ highly from yours.
If you have chosen to deal with the cheater by staying with the partner, that is, cheating wife or husband, ask them to get tested as well so that you can resume your sexual relationship without worry.
4. Confront your partner
Confront your partner about their infidelity. This will allow them the opportunity to plead their case with you and for you to be perfectly clear about your feelings. Your feelings of betrayal, anger, humiliation, and hurt should be clear. This is also an opportunity to let them know if you plan on ending the relationship. It goes without saying that if you decide to work on your relationship together, your cheating girlfriend or boyfriend must end the affair.
5. Don’t blame yourself
The reason cheaters decide to take the unfaithful way and indulge in affairs may have very little, if nothing, to do with you. Cheating in relationships is a selfish act in which a person is thinking solely of themselves. However, many still find understanding the ‘why’ as an essential part of the grieving process.
Try your best not to blame yourself for the act. Whether you feel you weren’t as sexual, loving, or attentive as you could have been, nothing you did makes you deserving of being cheated on. If your unfaithful partner was depressed, they should have told you upfront. Consequently, they should ended the relationship before sleeping with someone new.
6. Don’t put a time limit on pain
Pain is pain. A time limit will not diminish the hurt or betrayal you felt after being cheated on. Grieving is an individual process that takes time. New relationships and other distractions will not make it go by any faster.
7. Decide what you want from your relationship
If you have decided to deal with a cheater, give yourself some time to honestly think about the benefits and detriments of staying in the relationship. No matter which direction you are swaying, you need to be completely honest with yourself about your wants and needs in a relationship from this point on. When considering whether to stay in a relationship with someone who has cheated on you, ask yourself these questions:
Can I truly forgive my unfaithful partner?If you choose to stay in your relationship, can you truly forgive your cheating partner? Your relationship will never be successful if you cannot forgive the act itself. After your grieving process, continually bringing up the indiscretion and question, “Can a cheater change?” will only serve to damage and hurt both parties.
Can I ever trust my partner again? Once a cheater, always a cheater. So, once trust is lost, it is seemingly difficult to get it back. Your cheating husband or wife will need to work 24/7 to win your trust again. They must attempt to quash all the cheaters’ behavior patterns and be fully transparent with their whereabouts and interactions until you feel comfortable and secure in your relationship once more.
How will my family/children be affected by your decision to stay together/break up? Bringing children into a relationship creates a whole new plethora of considerations. How will a break up affect them? How will you strive to maintain parental stability for your children during this challenging time?
When the question is how to deal with a cheater, there are many characteristics of a cheating woman or man or cheating signs to consider when contemplating staying or leaving. There are unpleasant emotional ramifications for both options. Some choose to stay and try to strengthen their relationships. Others choose to leave and pursue romantic relations with someone who will respect their trust and loyalty.
Lucy, in her TEDx talk about couples going through the couples dealing with cheating, unfaithfulness, and betrayal through real examples.
It is your choice what avenue you take on how to deal with a cheater. Make sure your result is best for you and your happiness.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.