Marriage is what many of us would call an eternal bond. The concept of marriage is beautiful, so much that a lot of us hope to partake in it someday. But it is not always the perfect arrangement that we think it is. This is mostly because many of us are only human and, therefore, prone to mistakes and misdeeds. Cheating is one of the worst things your partner could do to you.
Few relationship problems are as bad as an unfaithful partner. This is because cheating is the most physical defiance of the vows you and your partner made during your wedding. Breaking your marriage vows is just as good as committing a crime. The whole supposed point of marriage is to stick together, no matter what. So, when either you or your partner cheats, you are, essentially, pouring anti-adhesive on your relationship.
Cheating is arguably one thing that could most negatively affect a marriage. It not just cause personal problems for the victim, such as self-doubt and guilt, but it also causes a rift between both partners that can never fully mend.
So why do partners still cheat? Is cheating, as they say, the ‘work of the devil?’ Or maybe it is just a powerful impulse that some people cannot help doing.
Cheating is even more intricate than any of the things mentioned above. It could be because of a lot of reasons or a culmination thereof. Most partners cheat because they get tempted, but things like the inability to communicate, sexual deprivation, and falling out of love contribute to the act of cheating.
Some people naturally get dissatisfied with what they have. For this reason, cheating becomes an act done because of their personality. And this makes it unavoidable.
Now that you know why people cheat and the effects that it could have on you and your relationship, it is time to explore your options. If your partner ends up cheating on you, here are some things you can do and note.
1. Examine All The Variables
After you find out your partner is cheating, the first order of business would be to examine all the facts ahead of you calmly. You would naturally want to act out in the most brutal way possible, but my advice is that you first drop all that and try clearing your mind.
Even if you catch your partner red-handed while cheating on you with someone else, the best thing to do is leave the environment as quickly as possible. Making no rash decisions. It will not be easy, but that is what you have to do.
When you are finally alone and relatively clear-headed, try to uncover the reasons for their unfaithfulness. Ask yourself important questions like, ‘Why did they cheat?’ ‘How do I feel about it?’ ‘Does my partner still love me?’ ‘Is this something we could ever move forward from?’
You may not come up with straightforward answers, but the introspection will give you an idea of who your partner is.
2. Release Yourself From the Burden of Negative Thoughts
When someone close does something awful to you, a lot of thoughts cross your mind. You may essentially go through all the stages of grief in one sitting. This is because you love them and would likely not have expected the betrayal from them, whoever they may be to you.
A cheating partner is not that different. You may feel a lot of emotional imbalance on catching them because it would preoccupy most of your mind. A part of you would begin quizzing yourself on what you did wrong, that is feeling unnecessary guilt.
Another part of you would still try to make sense of the situation that may have you in shock. It is not uncommon to feel as though you ought to get back at your partner for doing what they did.
Break free of all the negativity that their misdeed could have on your mental and emotional state. It will help you see things as they are and not how the circumstance forces you to see them. You do not have to forgive them immediately or anything like that; just do not let what they did to guide your thoughts because you may regret the actions that will follow.
3. Do Everything At Your Own Pace
Note that being calm enough to confront your partner about their cheating habit is not very easy. It could take you hours to get into the right frame of mind to talk to your partner, and it could also take you days. So, try your hardest not to force it and just do what comes naturally. If you do not think you can confront them just yet, patiently wait for yourself to catch up.
You may feel uncomfortable being in the same room or bed as them after finding out. Do not pretend about it. Give yourself as much space as you need and if your partner asks if you are alright, tell them you will open up when you can.
This is all so you can be sure of what you have to say when the time comes. When you confront your cheating partner, a lot of the conversation will depend on your ability to make your point. So be honest with yourself and do not rush the process.
4. Confront Your Partner About It
After you may have placated yourself as much as possible, the next plan of action would be to finally confront your partner. Suppose you found out indirectly, maybe through texts, rumors, etc. It may come as a big surprise to them, and expect such things as shock, disbelief, or blatant denial on their part. You should not derail, however, as long as you have all your evidence ready.
If you caught them in the act, chances are that they already know that you are aware of them cheating, so that confrontation would require less effort.
In that situation, only be confirming some of your previous concerns. Ask them why they cheated or if they think they will ever do it again, if they still love you, etc. The answers and how they give them will make up the framework of your final decision.
You obviously should not expect your cheating partner to be completely honest with you. That is why you ought to be skeptical and fact-oriented at every turn. If they deny flirting on social media, show them the texts; if they tell you they still love you, ask them why.
Do not be so easily trusting of them and let them be aware so they know that their actions actually hurt you.
5. Make Your Decision
Here comes the hard part. Deciding is never easy, but deciding whether to leave your partner after they cheated has to be on another level entirely.
As you make your final decision, consider everything. Your partner’s pre-existing track record, for example. The extent of their honesty so far, the number of times they have cheated, how much you love them/ they love you, the best way to deal with them, how the issue would affect your kids (if any), etc.
If during this process you realize that you are fed up or do not love your partner anymore, my advice is that you just leave. There is no point staying in a loveless marriage because it only courts further disaster. If your partner has cheated on you more than once, the chances are that they will cheat again.
But if you feel as though you and your partner can salvage your relationship with a bit of time and space, then go for it. Do not let a momentary breach of contract, though reasonable, stop you from rekindling your dying love.
You should talk to your partner and address their reasons for being unfaithful. It will be best if you also make new arrangements based on the ensuing revelations so you both can move forward. You may also need to work out a suitable ‘punishment’ if you would like to be even. With enough care and mutual understanding, your marriage should be fine.
Violet Maxwell B. is a freelance writer. She has worked as a web content writer, copywriter, social media manager, project manager and as a digital marketer. Her dream is to explore the world and all its wonders before retiring to a peaceful and passive life.