How to Deal with a Cheating Spouse
When life gets tough, our partners are the first person we go to for support and love. Life gets tougher when our spouses are at the center of our biggest troubles. One of the most difficult things that can happen in married life is when your spouse admits cheating on you. It can be difficult to cope and even more difficult to reestablish that trust in your marriage again. Let us see what can be the best ways to deal with such a situation.
1. Let the emotions calm down: Spouses admitting that they have been cheating on us can come like a big blow. You will be filled with anger and distress and it is extremely valid to feel so. The best thing to do is to ask for a time out. Words said and decisions made in moments of anger are often regretted later. Ask for your time to process this information.
2. Understand: Sit back and reflect your real feelings on this matter. Some important questions to ask yourself would be - How and why does it make you upset.? What was the nature of their cheating? Was it a onetime thing or something that has been going around for a while? Do you find them to be genuinely sorry?
Did they voluntarily tell you about the affair? Has this happened before? Apart from this incident, has their behavior been upsetting in any other way? Do you really want to reestablish the relationship or is this a deal breaker? Once you find answers to these questions, take the time to decide what you want to do next.
3. Decide: Make up your mind on if you want to give this relationship another chance or end it at this point. No decision is right or wrong between these two. However, avoid taking paths such as revenge or humiliation as these are not healthy ways to respond and will not help you cope with your spouse cheating in the long run. Once you make your mind on this, communicate with your partner when you are ready.
4. Communicate: Put down your honest feelings about it on the table and ask them as many questions as you want. Discuss your thoughts on continuing the relationship and the issues you might face if you choose to do so. Make sure that you and your partners are on the same page.
5. Reestablishing: If you choose this incident to be a deal breaker, then you would have to find the time to rationalize it in your head. Though logically it may seem the right choice, emotions and dependency on the person may keep surfacing, and this when you need to really focus on your personal interests and goals, and remind yourself that you deserve better in life.
However, if you choose to continue, then it is a two-way process to re-establish the trust. Make a clear and valid list of demands you will have for your partner. You can ask them to cut off any strings attached to the third person, to ask for quality time, prioritizing you over other things and anything that will help you trust the person again.
Reminder – “ It is a process”: It would be foolish to expect that 2 romantic dates or a wild sex night will make the trust issues disappear for you. The feeling of betrayal or feeling unwanted are at the core of these issues and it takes a whole process of unlearning the negative feelings to re-experiencing the bond in your relationship.
Be aware of what makes you happy and ask for it. Expect consistent efforts from your spouse and keep expressing your feelings of concerns, fears or even love and trust, honestly and clearly to your partner.