He cheated. You found out. You swore if this day ever came you would leave him faster than he could say “I’m sorry“. But now that you are actually standing in the middle of it, facing one of the hardest decision you will ever make, you are suddenly unsure of what path to take. So how do you deal with an unfaithful partner? To run or to stay? That is the question…
Don’t be rash
When you first discover that a partner has been unfaithful it is sometimes easy to make a rash decision and throw them out of your life without a second thought. Unless this isn’t the first time your partner has strayed we say give it a little time. Walk away from the situation and follow the next step until you are ready to confront the situation.
Cry, laugh, and lean on shoulders
Make the time to cry and the time to laugh. Listen to sad music or watch a funny movies. Go to a comedy show or curl up on the couch with just you and a box of tissues. Both tears and laugher at healthy in situations like these and will help you remember that you do have emotions and will help you work out what they are truly feeling about the situation. Talk to people: your mom, your bestie, your workmate, or even a counsellor. Don’t try to get through this alone.
Sit down and talk about it
When you are ready to talk it is important to be prepared with what you want to ask your partner and to be 100% willing to hear everything they have to say. The good and the bad. Be prepared to hear things you may not want to hear and be ready to accept whatever reasoning they give for why they strayed. Without accepting their reasoning and trying to understand it you will never be able to move on, whether with them or not.
Figure out if the relationship is actually worth saving
Once you know the reasons behind the infidelity it is time for you both to look at the bigger picture of your relationship and decide if it is even worth saving. Have one or both of you fallen out of love with each other? If not, do you love each other enough to face the turmoil ahead? Can you swallow your pride and them their guilt to make the relationship work in the long run or will you both just be wasting your time on a lost cause? It is a harsh reality to face but one you must.
If you’re staying, set ground rules
Once you have made the decision to stay with your partner it is very important that you set out some ground rules, but to go about them the right way as to not leave your partner feel trapped or restrained. Let them speak their mind. Find out what types of rules need to be in place. for both them and you, to ensure that cheating never occurs again. And then you BOTH must stick to them.
If you are leaving, take time to grieve
It is okay to mourn the loss of your relationship, especially if it was long term and with someone you truly loved. Try not to dwell to much on the bad and attempt to look back on the good as to not allow yourself to become too jaded or bitter about the relationship or future relationships.
Be willing to trust again
Whether or not your stay or go it always important to ensure that are open to trusting again. Without this your relationship or any that come after it will never work. You will likely have to start from the ground up and build an entirely new foundation of trust with either your current or new partner, but you MUST be willing to try or else it will never work out well.
Give it time
Remember that rebuilding relationships, mending hearts, and gaining trust are not things that happen overnight and ensure that your partner knows that too. Neither of you will be able to predict how soon your trust will return and thus you both need to be patient and not allow frustrations to bombard the relationship. It is a slow process but if done right can be a wonderful one.