If you have caught your guy cheating, you need to take some time and decide what you want or need to do next. For some women, the relationship is over. They can’t move past infidelity, no matter what.
For other women, time to think is essential. They may decide that this is something that the relationship can recover from. If this is the decision you make, and only you can make it, here is a step by step guide to moving past infidelity.
First, you need to know the circumstances
Was it a one-night stand or a full blown affair? Is there a woman out there expecting him to leave you for her? Or did it never go beyond the sexy texting stage? This is important before moving on to the next steps. You need to understand what he did and how that makes you feel.
Get an understanding of why he cheated
You may want to seek professional help on this one since cheating is often a symptom of a much bigger issue in your relationship. Often, it’s about lack of communication and loss of respect. Have the two of you not been getting along? Have you been too busy with a new career, education, or a new baby to pay attention to him? I’m not saying you are to blame, because in my book there is no excuse for cheating, but if you think you want to salvage your relationship, you really need to understand why.
But if there is a reason that you might be able to work through, you need to know it. And of course, if the answer is that he is a dog, well, you should probably move on.
Next, the two of you should discuss how this cause should be addressed
Look at your relationship and get to the bottom of why he went down the infidelity road. Maybe you need more private time, more fun dates, more socializing. See what you can work out together. And if you can’t, maybe there is something missing from your relationship that you just can’t offer. (E.g., is he a swinger?) Or maybe you just don’t belong together. As much as that hurts, if that’s what drove him to cheat, your relationship can’t be fixed.
Now, see if you can rebuild your trust in him
It is very telling to see how he reacts to your need for him to gain your trust again. If he’s only sorry he got caught, not sorry he was cheating, get rid of him. But if he acknowledges that he has done a major wrong and understands that he need to work on getting you to trust him again, that’s a good start.
Examine your heart and decide if you can really forgive
If you just say you forgive him but you haven’t and know you never will, you need to break it off. If you know you will constantly throw this back in his face every time you are angry, that you will be suspicious every time he works late or glances at his cell phone, do the best thing for yourself and stop seeing him.
Give yourself time to get over his infidelity
Don’t expect to take a few days to think it over, accept his apology and move on. You will be angry, hurt, sad, insecure and a host of other emotions. You need to work through these feelings and he, as the cause of these emotions, needs to understand and help you through them.
If you feel your relationship is worth saving, give yourself time to heal.