7 Ways to Cope When Your Partner is Being Unfaithful
By Dr Becky Spelman
Discovering your partner has cheated on you can be the death-knell for many relationships. For some people, once the trust has been broken, it can never be repaired. And quite justifiably, there’s a parting of ways. It’s been reported that around 30% of relationships don’t last beyond the first count of infidelity. It’s quite a high number. But conversely, it also means that 70% of couples do try to make it work beyond the first affair. However, trying to make a relationship work after your partner has been unfaithful is much easier said than done. It takes a great deal of commitment and willingness to forgive, let go of any past discrepancies and completely move on in the aftermath of an affair.
How to Predict Whether Your Partner May Be Unfaithful
If you’re still unsure whether your partner is being unfaithful or not, there are some clear red flags that should alert you as to whether your suspicions are correct or not. The first, and most obvious, is a lowering in commitment to your relationship. This will often be a gradual effect, and not to be mistaken with your relationship settling in a more comfortable groove after an initial honeymoon period. You might also be concerned about a decline in sexuality and satisfaction, coupled with subtle or maybe not so subtly voiced opinions about permissive sex with others and infidelity at large.
7 Ways to Cope to Your Partner is Being Unfaithful
If you’re willing to commit to the rebuilding of your relationship after being the subject of cheating, there is no absolute right way to do it. Every case is unique. But there are most definitely some pitfalls you should look to avoid. Here’s a step-by-step strategy to help you make better and more conscious decisions when moving past infidelity.
Your first port of call, if you’re going to make your relationship work in the long-term is accepting that you have been cheated on. It has happened to you. But in knowing this, despite the pain it may cause, you’re now in a far more advantageous situation and able to take positive action. However, in coming to a place of acceptance, don’t allow it to become a ticket to overplay your victim status. You have, of course, been cheated on. But if you’re going to make things work, your inner narrative and communications are going to have to be more constructive than self-pity.
Don’t Try to Even the Score
The next step is not to fall into the trap that cheating back is going to make things right. If your partner is someone who’s of the mind that sex is a casual interaction and not something that should be held as sacred, you’re simply enabling future affairs. Once you’ve committed the same act, it becomes that much harder to hold things together and repair any of the damage done. In a recent survey, as many as 37% of women resorted to revenge cheating, with 31% of men following the same line of action.
Have an Honest Talk That Involves Personal Accountability
Once you’re certain that your partner has cheated on you and you’re ready to take steps to have them recommit to you and start making amends, it needs to be done in the right setting and in the right manner. It cannot be an, ‘I’m sorry,’ followed by a peck on the cheek. There needs to be a serious discussion, in which you lead the narrative and discuss the damage it has done to the trust between you, and what has to change to make things right. It should not be an emotionally charged debate, but a civilised conversation that says, ‘here is how we move forward from this…’
Keep Your Relationship Purely Interpersonal (For a Time)
If you want to repair the damage done, there need to be consequences. It may sound like a very obvious thing to say. But you can’t rush into the phase of having sex again until you’ve re-establish your borders and boundaries of what is acceptable. Once you’ve had the initial sexual encounter after the cheating has been discovered, it sends the message that all has been forgiven. And so, if you do this before having made any real changes, you’re setting yourself up for a repeat episode of the affair that you’ve just discovered.
Ensure That Your Partner Severs All Extra-Marital Ties
A key step you’ll want to take to ensure there is no danger of future infidelities is making your partner sever all ties to the person(s) they were involved with. You need to be very thorough with this. If it means hook-up sites, the accounts need to be deleted, if it’s a specific individual, their number needs to be blocked, and they also need to be unfriended on all social media accounts. This can obviously be very difficult with work-based affairs and those within family situations. So, there will need to be a greater amount of trust and possibly even an intervention with the person the affair has been carried out with.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Partner to Being Tested for STD’s
One of the realities of infidelity is that its risqué nature often means there is a relaxed attitude towards using protection. And given that the affair in question may not be the only affair that either person is having, the chance of STD’s can be quite high. Before any sexual activity can continue, you need to make getting testing a stipulation. And not only for your own health, but as another way creating another level of accountability. Your partner needs to understand that what they’re doing isn’t just unhealthy in the mental and emotional sense, but also the physical.
Know That Forgiveness is a Process Not an Event
Recovering from adultery and making it work is not easy. So if you’re going to commit to your relationship, you need to realise that there will inevitably be so some ups and downs as you begin to re-establish trust. It’s not something that can be accomplished overnight. Forgiveness is a process, not an event, and you need to recognise there are times when you’ll be suspicious and have your doubts. But you can’t allow yourself to become overzealous in those moments. There comes a point where you have to let the past go and allow your partner the freedom to act without being micromanaged all the time.
About the author:
Dr Becky Spelman is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.
***If your partner has been unfaithful and you think you might benefit from speaking to someone, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION with one of our specialists to help you find the best way to move forward. You can book yours here
Very Well Mind (10th Dec 2019) 8 Tips for Coping When Your Partner Is Unfaithful. Retrieved on 24th December, 2020 from, https://www.verywellmind.com/cope-when-spouse-is-unfaithful-2300654
Psychology Today (23th Apr 2016) 3 Ways to Predict a Partner May Be Unfaithful. Retrieved on 24th December, 2020 from, https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201604/3-ways-predict-partner-may-be-unfaithful
Psych Central (12th Sept 2020) Can You Relationship Survive Cheating?. Retrieved on 24th December, 2020 from, https://psychcentral.com/blog/can-your-relationship-survive-cheating
7 Ways to Cope When Your Partner is Being Unfaithful was last modified: May 14th, 2021 by Dr Becky Spelman
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