If you’re in a relationship and found out that your boyfriend cheated, you’ve probably got a whirlwind of things going through your head about your relationship and your partner. I know I did.
After the first shocking thought of “my boyfriend cheated on me” comes the questions about the relationship. Should you leave him because once a cheater always a cheater? Should you stay to give him one more chance?
I’ve been in a couple relationships that involve cheating. I am not proud of it, but I’ve cheated twice. The fact is, what your decision is will depend on your relationship. There are some people that will be better off without the relationship. Others should stay to work things out. Take everything into consideration when you decide which route to take.
- 1 Change Is Possible
- 2 Moving On Beyond Infidelity
- 3 Couples Therapy
- 4 FAQs
- 5 In A Nutshell…
Change Is Possible
When you assume that a person that did something once will do it again, you’re making the assumption that it is impossible for them to change. This simply isn’t true.
Every year, over 20% of marriages come face to face with infidelity. Some of those people will leave their partner. Others will work through the root cause of cheating leading to a happy relationship. Cheating does not mean that your partner is going to sleep around for years.
Resolve the relationship issues
In order for men to change, and for the relationship to move beyond the affair, it’s important to resolve the problems that led to infidelity. Maybe he’s a certain zodiac sign that craves attention but he wasn’t getting that, so he was seeking it elsewhere. In this situation, there was a lack of communication.
Several other things may lead to people cheating. To determine what relationship issues resulted in infidelity, many people seek couples therapy. A trained professional will help both people discover or resolve problems that they have, learn effective communication skills and more.
He needs to take responsibility
In order for the relationship to move beyond the cheating, it’s important that he accepts responsibility for his infidelity. He needs to tell the truth versus making excuses for his behavior.
Even if your partner feels that he was not getting appreciation from you, it is not your fault that he chose an affair to solve that problem. He is the one that cheated. Most men that take responsibility are well on their way to healthier relationships. Those that continue to place blame on you for having other women in their life are not.
Pay attention to his emotions
One of the easiest ways to tell whether he is going to change is to pay attention to his emotions. If he takes his marriage more seriously following the affair, that is a sign that he will change. On the other hand, if he seems to feel no remorse regarding the infidelity it’s more likely that he still falls into the cheater category. Men that change are people that do not want to be a cheater anymore. He has to make that choice, though. His emotions will tell you which way he’s going.
Honesty is essential
In order for a couple to move past an affair, the man needs to be honest. He needs to explain why he felt the urge to cheat, be honest about how many people he has been with, how long he was a cheater. If he has feelings of dissatisfaction or low self-esteem, he should be transparent about that. If he can’t be honest with his wife, it might be time to seek professional help to work through the situation.
See a psychologist
Sometimes, couples will attend therapy together. Other times, it will be great for guys to go as individual clients. This will give them a safe environment to practice transparency. A professional that majored in psychology will spot issues that may have started in childhood, problems he may have with honesty or core values. Many of the habits that we learn in childhood will rear their ugly heads in adulthood in our relationships.
A professional will also treat or diagnose mental illnesses that have contributed to cheating, like depression. This mental health condition has the potential to make him irritable or lonely, leading to them having other lovers because they experience a sense of loneliness. Other mental health disorders that remain undiagnosed or not treated can have similar outcomes. If this is one of his problems, professional help is essential.
Moving On Beyond Infidelity
In order for couples to have a healthy relationship after a partner has an affair, both partners must learn to move past the mistake. The cheater must address their own issues, but the person that was left thinking “my husband cheated on me” must also learn to move on.
How do you trust a cheater?
Infidelity is known to shatter the trust that it took years to build. It will make one person feel as though they will never be able to fully trust their partner. Often, this leads to invasions of privacy, like checking their social media accounts to see if they are having another affair. It will change the core dynamics of the relationship, resulting in both partners being filled with unhappiness due to not having trust. Instead of checking your partner’s internet history hourly to determine if they were on a dating website, work on rebuilding trust.
In order to rebuild trust in the relationship, both partners must be open. The person that was cheating in a relationship must learn to be honest about not only their infidelity but also about their feelings moving forward in the relationship. The person that was not the one having an affair must also be open-minded. Your partner needs to be able to discuss what is on their mind without judgment in order for you both to build a stronger relationship together.
Addressing underlying emotions in both partners
Sometimes, the cheater will seem to move forward to change while you feel stuck in the fact that they had another partner. It is difficult to overcome that feeling. You’re left thinking “my husband is cheating on me” every day. Your self worth plummeted to an all-time low. Then, you hold it all in because you’re supposed to be moving on, but the cheater seems to be doing great. It happens.
However, in order for both people to move on in the relationship, you need to let go of those feelings too. Letting out built-up anger will help you learn to trust after infidelity while holding it in will breed resentment. If you want to stay with your partner, don’t label him a cheater. Instead, find healthy releases for your own emotions, and make sure that addressing how you feel is a part of conversations moving forward.
Don’t expect it to happen quickly
It’s understandable that you want to heal from the cheating quickly. You want your husband to change, but the sooner the better. On top of that, it’d be nice if you could stop feeling betrayal every time you look at your partner. This type of situation will make you feel like a different person, so it’s no wonder why you want it to be in the past quickly.
However, research shows that it may take substantially longer to move on from infidelity than most people realize. Sometimes, it can take almost two years. That’s two years of hard work from both people. Make sure that you’re up for it if you choose to take this route.
If this remains problematic in your relationship, consider seeking professional help. Counselors will help identify issues between the two of you, like ineffective communication. Then, they will work with both people closely to help you learn how to have a healthier relationship. This will be a long process that will require changes on both your parts, but it may wind up well worth it in the end.
No, the once a cheater always a cheater saying is false. He can lose the label of a cheater while simultaneously not sleeping with other people. It takes time to change, though. For him to make the switch, he has to want to make that change.
Fixing your relationship after finding your man cheating involves rebuilding trust. You must resolve issues with both partners that resulted in the other woman. You also need to build a solid foundation.
To trust a cheater, your man has to maintain honesty. That means him committing to making changes and being transparent. That will help you learn to trust him, but it does take months.
Look for key signs that he has been sleeping with other women. Pay attention to signs that he’s cheating. For example, observe different patterns of behavior or sudden changes in emotion. If there are unexplainable changes, that’s a red flag.
People do this because they cannot resolve the issues in their relationship or within themselves. This ultimately leads to them finding someone else to fill the void. For example, if he’s feeling bad about himself and she constantly compliments him.
In A Nutshell…
When you find out that he’s suddenly a cheater, you ultimately have to decide whether to stay or go. Have you ever chosen to stay and wound up with a happy relationship? How did you get there?
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn’t an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.