It really frickin’ hurts… Especially when you love the person a lot.
Sadly it is a part of life, as much as we wish it didn’t happen. It does happen to us. Even to the best of us. Sometimes it’s you doing the cheating. Sometimes you are being cheated on.
Unfortunately nothing is guaranteed. Chances are, it has happened to you already. You may be nodding or saying “Yeah” out loud right now. If not, you may have been cheated on. You just weren’t told about it.
Me? I have been cheated on twice in my life. That I know of. And the funny thing is — the first one? She doesn’t know that I know. We were 18, lol.
In a recent relationship, I was cheated on and my partner told me about it 5 days after it happened. I was grateful that she told me. They never have to tell you you know.
Not everyone is so lucky. And I do say lucky because it’s not every day you’re with someone who will tell you something even though they know it might kill you inside. Not everyone has that integrity level. Thankfully, my partner did.
Anyway, back to the point… If they do tell you they’ve cheated, it isn’t the end of the world. Although you may feel like your world is crashing down and it might seem like there are no options, you do have choices. You might be more confused and bewildered beyond belief. However, you have a say in the way you handle the situation.
What do you do when your partner cheats on you? Here are four choices.
1) An Eye for an Eye and a tooth for a tooth — It’s a fitting title and you can guess what it means. Sometimes when you’re on the receiving end of the news, you might try to make sense of it by returning the favour and then justifying yourself after you’ve done it. It might make sense in theory, but that makes the whole thing unworkable. Your partner might even suggest it out of guilt or a burning desire to keep you with them. This comes from a place of wanting to stay together and regret for the damage done. Which is kind of thoughtful. However you and I both know, deep down, that the relationship just won’t work if you go through with it. That has no integrity. While it might seem pleasurable, don’t consider it for more than a moment. Un-workability breeds more un-workability. Distrust breeds distrust. The old saying rings true, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
2) Quit and Leave — Cut bait. Abandon ship. This makes sense, no? It’s a very common reaction. 90% of people would take door # 2. It makes sense after all? It’s the right thing to do. The relationship won’t last now. It just can’t. They lost your trust. They cheated on you. You didn’t cheat on them. You did no harm. You caused nothing, right? Not necessarily. You might have caused this. “Might have” I said. The question to ask is did you? Or at the minimum, pose the question to your partner, “Did I do something to drive/encourage/push you to this?” Ask this question and learn something about yourself (and your partner of course) so that it doesn’t happen again. I know it hurts, and it’s a hard question to ask, so if you’re going to leave, at least ask this one on your way out. It might illuminate some things for you and help ensure this isn’t a new pattern you are creating. PS: No one will blame you if you take this option.
3) Torture and Taint — Dangle it over their head. Punish them. Make them pay. Really make them wish they hadn’t done it. Have thoughts like “This will make sure they don’t do it again.” Watch and savour every moment as they tip toe around you and beg for forgiveness. Tease them with it, but show no mercy. Let the eerie silence be your reward. Let their shame and frailty pay for their sins. STOP. Again STOP. See how twisted this is? How nutty this is? This too doesn’t work. Any chance of any sort of relationship working after this is gone. Do this, and it all goes out the window — respect, trust, compassion, loyalty, love and more. Even a dog will occasionally bite its master. So don’t try to keep the upper hand, because in the end — if they’re smart and find their self respect again… They will leave you and you’ll feel like the fool. Or their cheating behaviour will continue, but this time behind your back.
4) Forgive and Love — Oh so much easier said than done! Am I right? It’s freaking hard no doubt. There’s so much to consider after all. Can you trust them? Are they worth it? Will you still love them? Do they still love you? Is it possible to bring it back to the level it once was? Will they do it again? So many questions… So much to take in all at once. Here is the good news. You don’t have to do it all at once. You can take your time. In fact, you should take your time. There is a lot to weigh in on. And you’ll want it to be right, right? You don’t want to mess up again, because surely, this means you messed up since it happened in the first place? No. Not true. Not necessarily the case. Don’t make it mean anything about you. Unless it is about you. But that is for you to figure out. See questions are important. Because questions lead to answers. And although some questions lead to more questions, well… that’s fine too. You need clarity. You want clarity. You’ll need clarity for your direction on how to proceed after the dust has settled. Everyone is different. And not everyone will react the same way. You need to know what you are capable of. Some people just aren’t capable of forgiving and that’s okay. And so they resort to #2 or #3. You need to know your capacity to love and forgive. That’s what we’re determining here. Not what kind of partner are they, but what kind of partner are you? Can you be that big? Can your love be that great?
I love this quote too much not to share it. Can you love your partner so much to forgive them?
…To risk it all again?
You need to find out, and there’s only one way you’ll find out — By doing it.
Love is a risk after all. Whoever told you it wasn’t, didn’t know what they were talking about.
Hit up this next post. I share “What I did when my partner cheated on me.”
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