It seems like everyone cheats. Unfortunately thinking like that can cause people to minimize the pain someone feels when they are cheated on. The reality is that if you want to repair your relationship after you’ve been caught cheating, it won’t be easy. You may want to hurry up and move past it, but it helps to see things from your partner’s point of view sometimes. Here are some things to be aware of…
First, just because your girlfriend or boyfriend doesn’t break up with you after you cheat, doesn’t mean they forgive you immediately. In time, this should be their goal, but it isn’t going to happen right away. They are going to feel all sorts of things after they find out. Underneath the anger, they will feel humiliated, disgusted, disappointed, scared, betrayed, confused, not good enough, jealous, depressed and hurt. Those emotions are powerful. Try to understand that it will take awhile for them to process those feelings. I don’t agree that they should use those emotions to “get back” at you, but be aware that those emotions are there and will affect your relationship for awhile.
Two, don’t expect them to not want to talk about it. Your instincts may tell you to push them away because what they have to say will be hard to hear. It won’t be easy to talk about what happened again, but if you become too frustrated when they bring it up, it will start too look like you’re trying to hide something. The hard part of trying to work things out after getting caught is that you just want to move on. Your brain wants to forget about it and try to “start over”. Trust me, your partner wants to forget about it, but it will be harder for them to push those thoughts away. You may have to rehash the same story several times. You may feel harassed or impatient during the whole process, but if you really want to stay in the relationship it will be worth it.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that there are some details I don’t think are wise to share or rehash again and again. Your partner may want to know specific sexual details that aren’t a good idea to share. It will only make things worse. However, you do need to let them talk about their feelings and allow them to bring it up if they need to. It will drive them crazy for awhile and if they keep it all bottled up inside, it will only come out to haunt you in other ways. If you can be open to listening it may help them move through their feelings faster. I think it’s better to face something head on then try to hope that the problem will just disappear. If you truly love this person and know you made a mistake, do your best to listen and be willing to answer the same questions over and over.
When should your boyfriend or girlfriend finally let it go? That is a great question. First of all, I don’t think people really let things go. It is more like they get through things or learn to deal with it in time. Don’t expect them to just forget it ever happened, however, their goal if they want to stay with you is to learn to forgive and trust you again. How quickly that happens depends on them, but it also depends on you. If you handle things the right way, you will help speed up the process.
The best way to handle getting caught or telling your partner that you cheated, is to be upfront about it. Do your best to NOT MINIMIZE what happened. This means, don’t down play it, say it was nothing, or pretend it only happened one time. If it takes months to sort through all the lies because you aren’t completely honest right away, it is going to delay the process of your partner getting through it which will make life more frustrating for you as well. Rip off the band-aid all at once and be honest from the start. This means swallowing your pride and doing your best to be humble about what happened. Also, DON’T BLAME the other person. This will make it harder for your partner to trust and respect you again. Think about it, if it wasn’t your fault, then you really can’t guarantee it won’t ever happen again right? Taking responsibility and admitting what you need to do differently in the future will go a long way in repairing the relationship.
I’ve said this before in another post, but you also have to open up your life to your partner for awhile. No hiding your phone, your email or Facebook from your boyfriend or girlfriend. They are going to be suspicious for awhile and rightfully so. Let them know you don’t have anything to hide and this will speed up the process to getting your relationship back on track. It may become frustrating at times. When you feel impatient, try to remember all those feelings your partner may now be going through and give them the time they need. It will become obvious after a few months if your partner is unwilling to work through their pain or move forward. At this point, you have the choice to leave the relationship.
Sometimes there isn’t anything you can do to make it right. Your girlfriend or boyfriend may try at first to make it work with you, but in the end, they may not be able to deal with it. If you’ve done everything you can to try to repair the damage, then don’t blame yourself if your partner isn’t able to move forward. You could be the perfect person in the relationship at this point, but some people have a hard time with forgiveness and trust due to their own reasons. Sometimes one mistake can ruin everything you’ve worked hard to achieve. It sucks, but it does happen to some relationships. If your partner is not able to work it out with you, know that you can make positive changes for the next relationship. If you don’t want this mistake to define you, learn from it and do your best not to make it again. We all have to live and learn. Sometimes we can mess up and have a chance to make it right. Sometimes, another person doesn’t give us that chance. Focus on what you can control and hopefully that will help you make future decisions.