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Last week I shared a post titled ‘What to do When Your Partner Cheats on You.’ I received a lot of great feedback and support from many people for providing a unique perspective on the topic. I promised I would share next week what I did in my own personal experience when a partner cheated on me. Here is that promise delivered.

One everyday date night I was having a late dinner with my girlfriend around 10pm at my place. We were together for 8 months at that point, and there was nothing unique or special about that evening. It was going to be a night like any other, we were going to finish dinner, chat, laugh, and have some great sex before bed. We were in the bedroom catching up on our week when she interrupted me and said “I have to tell you something I did. I don’t want to tell you but I know I have to.” “Okay,” I said calmly. Then, with a saddened look on her face and her head facing the ground the words “I did something bad” came out of her mouth.

She explained what happened and how another person approached her at a bar week ago while they were drinking. It was at that birthday party she went to which I couldn’t attend because I had a commitment with a client. She gave me a brief recap of what happened, who did what to who and what part she played in it. She explained that it was over very quickly and that she didn’t let it go on after it started. She knew it was wrong, she snapped out of it and she realized she didn’t like it at all.

I then proceeded to laugh. A lot. (I thought she was playing a joke. I’d seen a YouTube video where a guy who pranks people prank’d his girlfriend by telling her he cheated on her with a friend. After a few minutes, she countered with, “Really? Okay. Okay, that’s not so bad because I cheated on you.” It was hilarious, terrible and fake. And this wasn’t.

I smiled at her and paused saying — “You’re joking right?” She smiled and laughed as she physically went into the corner of the room. She then shook her head no. Slowly, and I do mean slowly, I realized she was serious. I still smiled at the hilarity of the situation and shook my head too.

Once gravity did its thing, I asked all the questions I needed. She answered them all. “You’re serious? What else happened? How do I know that’s all that happened?” I was in a pretty bewildered state so I asked the same questions two, three sometimes four times in a row. I yelled a little bit. I said things like “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? You weren’t supposed to do this!” and more. (It’s very important to get all the things that you have to say out, even if you think they might be mean or hurtful.)

I then let the silence hit us and calmed down. I had to get outside. I went for a walk with my dog. She came too. I still had more questions, so I asked. I specifically remember saying, “You don’t understand the impact of your actions, do you? I need you to understand the impact this has on me!” I was brutally honest with her. I told her I was less attracted to her physically immediately; it was harsh but it was the truth. Broken trust = less appealing.

Later in the evening I noticed she was being very shy, constantly meek and had her head held low as if she had a large weight tied to her neck that was touching the floor. She displayed a ‘tip toeing around me’ type of behaviour. Her body language seemed as if she was asking penance for her sins. I asked her to stop that right away. I told her she didn’t need to do that. I directly said, “I’m not interested in punishing you. I don’t want you to feel shame for what you did. You did what you did and what you need to do is be responsible for it, not beg for forgiveness.”

Two days later I asked her out for dinner. We talked in public at a restaurant with great food and I smiled while sitting across from her. I struggled to tell her what I needed which was that I needed some space to gather myself. I needed to go through this at my own pace I explained. I told her what I was going through in my mind and heart. I asked her not to expect much of me for the next week or so. I knew I had two choices: Leave her and be done with us. Or choose her all over again, trusting her once more and risking it for the deep, deep, love I knew I felt in my heart.

Over a day or so I opened myself up to the possibility of loving her all over again, like from the beginning. I told her we’d need to take things slow, in our relationship and into the bedroom. I thanked her for telling me.

We didn’t see each other for a week and I really missed her. We kept in brief contact over phone and text. Slowly we started seeing each other again. We brought fun and joy back into our relationship. I made a point to keep the significance out and tried to keep her from feeling the gloom of it all. It didn’t take long before we ‘buried the hatchet’ so to speak. I let love rule and forgave her and moved on.

We then enjoyed the next 12 months together and had a blast with each other. It was as if it never happened. We stayed together for a 1 year period after my partner cheated on me and we only broke up when she decided to follow her dreams and move away to another country for school.

This is what I did when my partner cheated. It was the right thing to do, for me. I chose to grow my idea of myself, and what love is to me. I trusted her, on my own volition. That is one of the options you can take when your partner cheats — to love and forgive all over again. Here’s the link to the other post, where I describe all the options one can take. It’ll help explain why I made the choice I made.

Please leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. Thank you.

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