It’s a situation that many couples have had to face during the course of their relationship…One partner cheats.
Infidelity is something that is becoming increasingly common. In fact, according to research by the University of Montreal, the probability that your partner may have an affair is somewhere between 40-76%.
Is the internet to blame?
One of the main contributing factors to the increase in infidelity is certainly the rise of the internet.
Factors like social media, including Facebook and Twitter where the propensity to send direct messages, means that constant and instant contact with people is all too easy.
Couple this with the rise of dating apps like Tinder and you’ve potentially got a recipe for relationship troubles.
Now don’t get me wrong, dating apps and social media don’t necessarily make people cheat, but their ease of use and their wide availability does make it easier to do so.
If you’re facing that situation, or your intuition is telling you to be aware then here’s how to handle the worst case scenario.
The end of the affair.
You’ve found out that your significant other has cheated on you.
How are you supposed to react?
If the affair has come to a natural end, there is bound to be a huge degree of bitterness and resentment on the side of the partner who has found out about the adultery. After all, their whole world has been shattered, and the other person has to not only cope with what they’ve done, but try and find some way to restore their relationship (if they can still want to.)
Infidelity can be dealt with in these three steps:
Step one: This stage in the process is filled with strong emotions – anything from anger, bitterness, and resentment to periods of introspection, self-blame and even appreciation and acknowledgment of what the relationship with your spouse means to you and if you can deal with the issue at hand.
Step two: This period deals less with emotions, and it features the cheated-on spouse trying to understand why the other person cheated. It may feature periods of constantly going over details of the affair. They may retreat physically and emotionally from their spouse and reach out to family and friends for help.
Step three: Mainly relates to couples who want to stay together and work their relationship out.
When infidelity has taken place, and both parties feel ready to re-establish their connection, to an extent it’s fair to say that neither party wants to take responsibility.
Often both halves of the relationship view each other as being selfish, and see themselves as having put their hearts on the line with absolutely zero to show for it.
Why should one half of the partnership say sorry for something that was someone else’s fault in the first place?
Recognize that recovery from infidelity is a lengthy process and an overnight relationship repair won’t happen.
Rebuilding trust is key, but it need not all be negative. Sometimes, when one partner cheats it can be a wake up call, the relationship needs as crazy as that sounds.
Channels of communication should always be left open, and discussions never avoided.
Sometimes relationship counseling can help, with both parties being offered the chance to talk to an open minded, impartial third party, who can mediate between the couple to help sort out long standing issues and problems which may have contributed towards the infidelity in the first place.
Reality is that a relationship can survive infidelity if both partners are committed to making it work and the partner that strayed rededicates themselves to the relationship.
Written by Derrick Allen