One of the greatest feelings in the world is the feeling of being loved. Knowing that the person next to you loves and cares for you with all their heart will always be there for you. A stark contrast to this feeling is the feeling of betrayal.
Betrayal is the emotion you experience when you love and trust someone and they let you down. They break your trust and, at times, exploit the amount of faith you have in them. Staying with a cheater is difficult because of this.
In a romantic relationship, betrayal can be defined as cheating on your significant other. And it is difficult on the relationship and the partner that has been cheated on.
In this article, we look at the various aspects of cheating and the things you can do if you decide that staying with a cheater is what you want to try to do.
What is cheating?
Before we get to the crux of the matter, let us shed some light on what it means to cheat on your partner. This is where things get a little complicated, as each person can have a different definition of “cheating.”
For some, it may mean flirting with someone else while in a relationship, giving gifts to a third party that you would otherwise give someone you date or are married to.
For others, cheating is harboring romantic emotions for someone while you are already in a relationship.
If we look at the more intense forms of cheating, then that would include having a sexual relationship with a third party while dating or married. Having a secret affair and so on.
All such behaviors make your significant other uncomfortable for justifiable reasons. The moment you find yourself trying to hide or having to cover your relationship with a third party that can count as cheating.
Should you stay with a cheating partner?
Should you stay with a cheater? Truth be told, there is no black and white in this situation. No one can universally answer that question with a “Yes” or a “No.”
There are too many factors that need to be taken into consideration before you can make the final decision.
What kind of person are you dating?
Try to access your relationship and your partner.
Does your partner treat you well? Do they care for you? Was what they did just a bad decision on their part? Or Do they not treat you well? Do they ignore you? Are they there when you need them? Have they cheated on you before or in past relationships?
These questions can make you come to realize where your relationship stands. We often do not realize but continue to be part of toxic relationships. Knowing the nature of your relationship is important before deciding between staying with a cheater or not.
The severity of the act
This is another factor that matters greatly. What was the severity of the act? Did your partner have a sexual relationship with someone else? For how long have they been cheating on you?
Acts like having secret affairs and sexual relationships are most definitely hard to forgive. Many times it is because of these behaviors that marriages end and families are torn.
Again, this may not apply to everyone. For some, emotional cheating is just as severe as physical cheating. It is important to define your parameters.
Is there room for forgiveness?
Are you willing to forgive and work towards fixing the relationship? It is important to clear up your feelings. Do you want to continue? Do you think you can rebuild your trust in your partner? Will they betray you again?
People are often unwilling to let go of what they have and prefer staying with a cheater. This is especially observed in marriages, especially if children are involved.
If you believe you can truly forgive your partner and work towards a better relationship, that is okay too. As mentioned before, there is no black or white to this topic.
The amazing thing about relationships is that no matter how much you ask around, you will find the answer within yourself. Always remember that no one knows your situation better.
Yes, cheating is inexcusable, but it does not always mean that you leave your partner behind.
If they are truly ashamed and take responsibility for what they have done, then they may never do such a thing again. However, at times it’s better to move on than staying with a cheater.
If your partner disregards you, or even if they do not, you do not have to forgive them if you cannot find it in your heart.
It is your right to be with someone that does not make you feel like the first or second choice. Instead, they make you feel as if you are the only choice.
In the end, it is all up to you. If you feel like the person is worth it then, by all means, stay; if not, then it is better to opt for your happiness.
10 ways to deal with staying with a cheater
How to stay with a cheater?
If you have recently discovered that your partner is cheating on you, it can be difficult to deal with. Accepting infidelity in a marriage or a relationship is difficult. Here are some ways to deal with a cheating partner.
If you have considered staying with a cheater and asked yourself, “should I stay with a cheater?” Remember these tips before you make a decision.
1. Remember that it is not your fault
One of the first ways a cheater tries to defend themselves is by saying that you made them do it. However, it is extremely important to remember that cheating is on the cheater; it is their fault, not yours.
Staying together after cheating is challenging. Another important step when it comes to dealing with cheating is to accept it. When you discover cheating, your first line of defense is to try to deny it. However, it would help if you accepted the truth of the situation.
If you choose to stay with a cheater, you must also accept that things will not be okay for a while and will take time to sink in and be accepted.
3. Prioritize yourself
If your relationship has been suffering for a long time, chances are that you have prioritized your relationship or even your partner for too long. However, with what you are going through right now, it is important to prioritize yourself and take better care of yourself to deal with your emotions.
4. Do not lose your temper
Understandably, you are feeling hurt at this time. However, when such emotions go unprocessed, they are likely to appear angry. But anger doesn’t solve anything. One of the important ways to deal with cheating is to not lose your temper. It will only make things worse and cause you to suffer more.
You might want to leave the marriage when you find out you have been cheated on. However, the fear of being on your own, the fear of loneliness, or other things can make you want to stay in an unhappy marriage. It is important that if you do decide to stay, it is not because of fear.
6. Seek your support system
How to get over cheating? Take help from people who love you.
Another important way to deal with cheating is to seek your support system. Being around friends and family who love and support you unconditionally can help you deal with this situation much better.
What to do if someone cheats on you? Take a break from things such as social media.
Social media can cause you to set unrealistic expectations for your relationship. It can also make you feel that others are very happy in their lives and you are the only one suffering. Taking a break from social media can help.
Watch this video to learn more about the impact of social media on the youth:
8. Do not try to find a way out
When someone cheats on you, you often try to find answers prematurely. When you have discovered cheating, you might want to think about what to do immediately. Should you leave the marriage? Should you forgive your partner? These questions may cloud your mind. However, it would help if you did not try to find a way out too soon but processed every bit of information before you tried to conclude.
9. Do things that you like
Staying with someone who cheated on you can be challenging. However, when you prioritize yourself, it helps.
Sometimes, dealing with something traumatic is as easy as doing things you like. This can help you find yourself and feel much more at ease. It can help you see things in a better light when you are more comfortable in your skin.
Dealing with cheating is difficult. If you find yourself struggling, there is no problem in seeking help from a professional. If you decide to work things out, you can also seek help from a relationship therapist.
How to forgive a cheater and heal a relationship
Cheating can be a difficult thing for some people to get over. It can also become the cause of breakups or divorces. However, if you have decided to forgive your partner for cheating and want to heal the relationship, it is not impossible to make it happen.
Many marriages are known to survive cheating as well. To understand more about forgiving a cheater or healing a relationship, read more here.
Some frequently asked questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about staying with a cheater.
Is cheating a dilemma?
Cheating can be a dilemma when it happens, even when there are no existing problems in a relationship.
A dilemma is when you have two options, and one seems more desirable than the other. Cheating can be a dilemma when the marriage may become boring or seem mundane.
What percentage of cheaters stay together?
According to recent statistics, around 30 percent of couples decide to stay together after an episode of cheating. However, only 15 percent of couples can make it through the problems and solve them to a point where they can stay together.
How long do cheaters stay together?
Cheaters may try to prolong their current relationship with their partner because they are unsure of what the other affair means to them. An affair usually only lasts till the time it serves its purpose, and not forever.
They usually end when the spouse or family of the individual discovers them.
Is it okay to stay with someone who cheated on you?
Yes. Forgiving your partner after cheating is not unusual. Many couples decide to stay together and work on their issues.
It is okay to stay with someone who has cheated on you. However, this can only work when you both decide to work things out together and take responsibility for what needs to be fixed in your relationship.
If you are asking yourself, “How to leave a cheater?” Then maybe you should not consider staying with them.
Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating?
It is challenging for a relationship to return to normal after cheating, but it is not impossible.
A relationship can go back to normal after cheating, depending on why the cheating happened, how long it lasted, and what the two partners eventually decide to do about it.
Cheating and infidelity in marriages are not uncommon, but it is still unfortunate. Cheating can change a relationship and the people involved in it. It is not easy to decide to stay with a cheating partner to forgive them and heal the relationship.
However, when you decide to stay with a cheater and work things out, it is important to ensure that you prioritize yourself and take the right way forward in the situation.
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.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.