In going through my divorce (which, for the record, had nothing whatsoever to do with infidelity), I've met a number of other people who are in the process of divorcing. I guess it's the time of year for it or something.
A lot of my friends, well, they're dealing with infidelity, which brings about a whole new set of issues. Can you get over your partner cheating? Is there a way to have things be right again after the unimaginable has happened?
Here's how to work though infidelity (if you so desire).
1) First thing you must do when dealing with infidelity is to ensure that your partner ends all contact with the person he was cheating on you with. That means no calls, no contact, no Facebook notes, etc. Should your partner refuse, it's time to call it off.
2) Do not, whatever you do, try to carry on as though nothing has happened. Your partner had an affair and you can't have that as the white elephant in the room.
3) Talk to your partner about the affair. Why did he or she do it? What was missing from your relationship? What did he or she gain from cheating if anything?
4) Don't take the blame for the cheating - it's easy to look at ourselves and pick apart the flaws we see in our relationship, but you were not the one who decided to cheat, so resist the urge to change yourself. The relationship, yes, but you? No.
5) Begin to rebuild the trust that was broken when your partner cheated. One of those ways is to insist that he allow you to pry a bit into whatever he's doing. Accounting for his actions until you feel secure is one of the ways to gain back the trust.
6) Don't take it out on the person your partner cheated on you with. While it may be easier to be angry at "the other woman," that person is not the one who broke your trust.
7) Allow yourself to be open with your partner about your feelings about the relationship, the affair, and the aftermath. It may feel uncomfortable and like you're rehashing old topics, but it's vital to be honest.
8) Start slowly rebuilding your relationship and sex life, seeking the love and passion you once had. Do dates. See movies. Hold hands. Do dinner. Romance each other.
9) Don't expect to "get over this" easily. Infidelity hurts terribly, so allow yourself to grieve that loss of innocence, and be patient with your feelings. This was a major violation of trust.
10) Don't be afraid to say goodbye if you can't actually trust your partner or if he isn't bothering to work on your relationship. A relationship is based upon mutual respect and if your partner isn't willing to give you that, it's time to hit the road.
Have you ever had to deal with infidelity? What did you do?
Image via rosshuggett/Flickr