Love After Cheating
Infidelity is as old as time itself, but no matter how common it may be, it is one of the most painful betrayals anyone can endure. Recently, genetic studies have found that the same brain chemistry that leads some people to crave extreme sensations, like those associated with drug use, heavy drinking, or reckless behavior, likely also promotes infidelity. Others theorize that cheating is a behavior learned by example from one’s parents or friends. Either way, many feel the only real cure for cheating is to leave the cheater, because if it’s a genetic or a deep-seated psychological trait, cheaters aren’t likely to change.
Sometimes though, whether it’s for the good of your children or a deep love, leaving is just not an option. In this case, it’s crucial for there to be healing and forgiveness, and for the cheater to learn that their behavior is not acceptable. Here are three things to remember if you want to move forward with your relationship after your partner has cheated:
1. Forgive, But Don’t Forget
In the beginning, there will be pain and likely a lot of tears and heartache for you, but it’s important not to take this pain out on your cheating partner. If they have admitted wrong-doing and a willingness to change, then there is hope for the relationship. They know they made a mistake and hopefully, they are willing to make amends. Offer forgiveness, but be honest with them about the amount of hurt their actions have caused. Then let the pain go, as it plays no role in forging a brighter future with your partner.
2. Don’t Go It Alone
An adulterous affair is the most serious and damaging threat to a relationship there is, and should be regarded as such. Seek counselling as a couple. Whether from a marriage counsellor or a spiritual leader, asking for help in getting through this tough time will not only maximize the chances that you can learn and grow from the experience, but will help reinforce for the cheater how serious their actions were. There must be change from both you and your partner if you are to prevent the same set of circumstances that led to the affair from happening again.
3. Reinvent Your Love
You must accept that, regardless of fault, something was missing in your relationship—something that caused your partner to seek it out in the company of someone else. If you can find out what that was, either through counselling, or by just talking with your partner, you can change and improve your chances of forming a newer, stronger bond that will last. A key ingredient in keeping love strong is adventure and new experiences. Anything, from a new piece of lingerie in the bedroom to a new restaurant or show for “date night” can keep things fresh and exciting. Communicate with each other, especially with regards to sexual satisfaction, and find the strength together to trust and love each other again—this time forever.
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