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When we meet someone and fall in love with them the one thing we all fear happening is that they will betray us by giving their love away to someone else. According to the infidelity statistics, about 40% of unmarried relationships and 25% of marriages see at least one incident of infidelity. An issue of Marriage and Divorce journal also stated that 70% of all Americans engage in some kind of affair sometime during their marital life. It's safe to say with those numbers that chances are we all will get cheated on by someone in our life time.
When I was young I had a plan to leave the relationship immediately if it ever happened to me because I could not see myself forgiving cheating. My mind could not rationalize it and I always believed that forgiving cheating meant giving permission to do it again. I have been cheated on multiple times through out my relationships. It strangely didn't even both me most of the times it happened. I would find out and dump them, and I would feel resolved discovering that I didn't love them enough to even care. That was until I loved someone enough for it to hurt. It was actual physical pain enough to cause me throw up. That pain set in my body for a year and a half suppressing my breath and tightening in my stomach. No one expects to come back from that kind of pain and then go back into the relationship that caused it. Surprisingly majority of the successful relationships you know of have already faced this battle and won. Here are 4 steps to repair your relationship after infidelity.
Step 1. Give yourself sometime to move past the hurt and anger before you try to work things out.
It can be difficult to find out what really lead your relationship down the path of infidelity when you are still angry and upset. I'm sure you may think you know that it was because he or she is a no good liar and cheater but I assure you that the issue is much deeper than that. There are specific that lead you down this road and you will not be able to see them until you are no longer hurting. Allow yourself to cry it out and rebuild yourself. Spend time with your family and friends and if you can take a vacation. If you know you really need it seek out counseling to avoid succumbing to a deep depression. It doesn't matter how long it takes to heal don't try and rush it. If you try to return to the relationship before you are ready you will only build resentment against your partner and yourself. You will drive yourself crazy for trying to forgive them without actually forgiving them at all and live a miserable existence with someone you doubt. For a lot of people that survive infidelity they completely break up for a while sometimes even years. It doesn't matter how long it takes because you can't rush healing. You may heal and instantly know you are not returning to that relationship because it was toxic and bad for you. There is also a chance you may heal and without anyone telling you your eyes will be opened to the truth about your relationship. You may instinctively know it's possible to work it out.
Step 2. Put work into uncovering the real reason on both ends how it came to infidelity .
Once you have healed you can properly rationalize the situation. If you where the one cheated on after the pain is gone you will be able to see how you may have contributed to the down fall of the relationship. As much as we like to believe it's only the cheaters fault it takes two people to build a relationship and in most cases two people to bring it down. This does not excuse the person who cheated. Often before cheating takes place some kind of previous issues in the relationship or dramatic life changes triggers the behavior. For example the birth of a child, the death of a close family member or friend or even career changes or change of residence can cause shakeups in a relationship. These triggers can cause both parties in the relationship to feel lonely, neglected and unsatisfied with their life together. During these times both parties become susceptible to cheating and in many cases both parties often do if conditions allows it. Instead of the couple coming together when they feel neglected and lonely they began to invest their time and effort into other things. Some women or men become overly invested with their children, their careers, their friends, video games, gambling, alcohol or sexual or emotionally inappropriate relationships with someone outside the relationship. Cheating is anything that comes between you and your partner fulfilling each other's emotional and physical needs. If you have realized that you may have put something before your partner take responsibility and be accountable for your actions.
For the person that cheated they need to address other ways they may have contributed to the destruction of the relationship, as well as the amount of pain they have caused their partner by betraying them. They must understand the magnitude of their betrayal and be accountable for the consequences it will cause in the future if the relationship can be healed again.
Now is the time for you and your partner to talk about what really happened to your love and determine if you can learn from your mistakes in your past and start again.
Step 3. Get transparent with communication to build trust.
The most difficult part after there has been infidelity is to build trust in the relationship again. Many people discover they still love each other after they almost lose each other. They want more than anything to be with their partner but they don't want to be taken advantage of or get hurt again. The cheating persons objective is to prove that they understand how their partner feels and that they will not hurt them again. They must take special care to gain their partners trust by sacrificing their privacy from the beginning with no fuss. Anything that causes suspicion or uncertainty that can potentially be a threat to your relationship must be left behind. The cheating party must also understand that it will take time before their partner can began to trust them again. They must avoid getting impatient and trying to rush the process by being sympathetic about the pain they have caused their partner.
For the other party sometimes you will be triggered by memories of your partners infidelity. Instead of becoming paranoid and defensive simply tell your partner that you are struggling today with the memories and becoming scared. The more the two of you discuss how you feel the better both of you will meet each other's needs and rebuild trust. Don't be afraid to tell your partner what you need to feel secure instead of just expecting them to know what you need. If you are still struggling to properly communicate with each other seek counseling or relationship therapy.
Step 4. Decide to chose each everyday and start a new relationship.
Recovering a relationship after infidelity is very hard. A lot of people are afraid that if they do overcome the obstacles in their relationship that it will never be the same again, and they are right. The truth is if your relationship can survive infidelity it will be stronger and even better than it once was. When we surpass obstacles in relationships it makes the connection stronger and the couple wiser about the potential treats to their relationship. Before the infidelity you may have not truly understood how severe the consequences of your actions could be. Now that you have experience you understand that the little ways you used to neglect each other eventually lead to big ways and then loss. To have a successful and healthy relationship you must chose each other everyday over temptations and start a new relationship. As the relationship begins again little by little the triggers and conversations about the infidelity will fall away. You will look back at your past as a learning experience that grew both of you as individuals and together.