How to Get Past an Affair
Posted by Casey Nicole on August 8, 2012 at 9:23 PM
It literally feels like every day there is a new celebrity cheating scandal. While guys appear to stray the most often, take Jesse James and Tiger Woods for example, women are guilty of indiscretions, too. We know you’ve heard all about the Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson scandal. Even though we’re naming celebrities, infidelity happens in real life, too. Studies reveal that up to 60% of all married individuals will cheat at some point in the relationship, and that number may even be on the conservative side. Plus, it doesn’t include dating statistics, which could be even worse. Don’t lose hope though, while we wish it never happens to you, there are ways to cope after a momentary indiscretion. Here’s how to get past an affair.
If you were the one who cheated:
For starters, whether or not your partner even wants to give you a second chance, you should apologize and truly mean it. Don’t expect your partner to accept the apology immediately either. Apologize without any “buts,” which means, don’t make excuses for your behavior. Even if you felt like your partner wasn’t giving you enough attention, they did not make you cheat, so own up to your actions. Later down the line, like a few weeks from now, you can address with your partner the reasons you may have cheated. But still do not attempt to move the blame elsewhere.
Keep Your Agenda Open
To regain trust, you may have to be a completely open book after your indiscretion. Let your partner know what you’re doing when they’re not around and routinely check in with them. Try inviting them to all of your social outings so they know you’re not trying to hide anything. While they shouldn’t be going through your personal emails or messages, don’t draw suspicion by being overly protective of your cell phone when sending or receiving texts or calls. Yes, this will get old if it lasts for too long, but your relationship is in a delicate phase after an affair, so you need to take extra precautions to strengthen it.
Don’t Be Defensive
Right now your partner is going to feel very insecure about the state of the relationship. If they’re willing to attempt moving past your infidelity, you need to show them major support. If they’re asking you to drop all of your friends, that would be too much, but allow them some time to be dramatic and don’t respond to their emotions defensively. Instead, nurture the relationship by allowing them to properly vent their emotions.
If you were the one cheated on:
Make Your Choice
Discovering that your loved one has cheated is one of the most painful experiences you’ll have. But it’s even harder to decide if you can forgive them and possibly stay with them. If you know there’s absolutely no way for them to regain your trust, you need to move on. If you’re willing to salvage the relationship, then you’ll need to move forward from their indiscretion. You don’t want to discover six months from now that you actually can’t get over their actions.
Let it Out
Part of moving past infidelity is sharing how you feel. Go to your best friends for a shoulder to lean and cry on. Make sure to discuss your emotions with your partner as well. It’s impossible to move in if you don’t deal with the pain and frustration.
Together, you both need to:
After an affair and even to prevent one, it’s necessary to discuss the boundaries each member of the relationship is comfortable with. Determine what counts as cheating, such as innocent flirting or spending time alone with someone of the opposite sex. I once had a friend who discovered her boyfriend exchanged witty banter and flirtatious texts with other girls. He had never physically crossed the line, but she was distraught over him talking to girls she didn’t even know. Her boyfriend, who I generally considered a great partner for her, didn’t think she’d care about what he considered innocent flirtation. All of this could have been prevented if the two of them discussed their boundaries earlier on in the relationship.
Spend Time Together
Part of forgetting the bad memory is done by creating new, positive ones. Spend time together by bonding over activities you both love. If you can afford it, try taking a quick trip together. Make sure to choose activities you both enjoy, because now is not the time for one partner to feel uncomfortable.
Have you ever stayed with a partner after one of you cheated? How did you move on from the infidelity? Share your experience by leaving a comment below!