You never thought it could happen to your relationship right? But then you find out your boyfriend or girlfriend cheated on you. How do you recover? It isn’t easy, but it is possible. If you stay in the relationship both parties need to be on board because it isn’t an easy road to navigate.
My suggestion for the cheater is to be more transparent. When you’ve gotten caught cheating then you lose the right to privacy at least for a while. The best way to build trust is to open up your life to your partner. If you have nothing more to hide, this should be a simple step. It is humbling, but a little humility can go a long way to repairing your relationship. If you did the crime, now you have to do the time. If you love your girlfriend or boyfriend it is definitely worth the effort to prove to them that you are now an honest, trustworthy person. You can’t expect your partner to trust you blindly anymore. You lost that privilege. For a good long while, you are going to have to prove it.
This means opening up your cell phone. You shouldn’t have to keep it on your person at all times like its worth a million dollars. If your partner is feeling insecure and asks to look at your phone, you should let them. If you have nothing to hide this will make you feel good to show them that you aren’t do anything wrong. It also means opening up your email and Facebook accounts to them. If you do break up later, you can always change the passwords again. You should agree to cut off all communication if possible with the person you cheated on them with. If you do still have to see this person in class or at work be very open about your interactions and try to minimize your interactions with this person as well. Relationships are work and repairing a broken relationship is even more work. Don’t expect to build trust back in a few days or weeks. It will take some time to recover, but don’t give up trying to prove that you are now being loyal.
Tip: If your cheating partner remains very defensive, be aware that they are most likely still hiding something. Defensiveness means they feel guilty or insecure about something. They should want to prove their honesty to you if they are in fact being honest.
If your partner is being open and transparent with you this will help you move forward and gain back some confidence in yourself and in the relationship. You also have to work at building trust. It is going to be easy to want to exact some kind of revenge to pay them back for your heartache. Try your best to resist being negative or hurtful. This will only hurt, not heal your relationship. If you have unresolved anger, try to figure out healthy ways to work through it. You have a right to feel angry, but if you want to keep your relationship intact, you can’t just go off on them any time you feel like it. There is a time to vent your frustration and hurt. It will help your partner to hear about the hurt feelings underneath the anger. True feelings draw people together, but anger pushes them apart. Help your boyfriend or girlfriend understand your feelings instead of shoving your anger down their throat.
You also have the right to go through their emails, Facebook pages and phone for a certain amount of time. You are wiser now, and will be able to recognize the signs better if they decide to cheat again. After a certain amount of time, you should know whether you can trust your partner again. You won’t have to be so vigilant and check up on them as consistently. Don’t be afraid that you will be taken for a sucker. Be smart and if some old behaviors return have a discussion and try to figure out what is going on. If your partner starts to be secretive or overprotective of their privacy at some point again in the future, that is a huge red flag. You then have a decision to make and it doesn’t make you a sucker for trying to give someone a second chance. Some people are going to use that second chance to prove to you they do really love you and some people are going to blow it. If they do blow it, you still can hold your head high that you did everything you could to make the relationship work.
Some people are more private than others. I’m not saying you don’t have a right to privacy in a relationship. However, the person you choose to make an intimate partner should know a lot more than other people in your life. They have the privilege of getting past some of your walls. If you are dating someone who is very private, even with you, be cautious. If they guard their phone like Fort Knox, be cautious. If they get defensive easily, be cautious. These things aren’t healthy in a relationship. Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. The more time you spend together and the more you are able to share your thoughts and feelings with one another, the better. If you choose to stay together after one of you has cheated, you will need to spend time together to build back the intimacy. You don’t have to spend every waking moment with one another, but it helps if you start paying attention to each others needs and put each other first for a while.