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You’ve found out your partner’s cheated on you, now you have no idea what to do about the cheating or the relationship. Here are some steps to work through…
Once you’ve discovered the cheating, your thoughts become clogged with a tsunami of questions and mostly no answers.
Your head throbs and it’s almost like you can feel the physical pain from thinking about the cheating. You can’t help yourself from trying to process things over and over again but it’s not helping so far.
If you can tease out some of the thoughts, you might be able to ease the pain just enough to get some clarity.
What you can do to help the situation when you’ve found out your partner has cheated
- Firstly, don’t attempt to uncover all the answers or make permanent decisions just now. It’s reasonable that you want explanations, but when the situation’s still fresh you won’t be able to process any information you get, properly at this stage.
- Instead, start with taking care of yourself. Put more self-care strategies into your life. Take a step back and spend time with people who re-charge you and make you feel good about yourself.
- Now you’ll be in a better position to critically look at the relationship as it was before the cheating. Look at how the relationship functioned, what was missing, what changed over time, what outside factors could have influenced things and how each of you have changed over the length of the relationship.
- Anger is normal but will hurt you more than it hurts your partner. Try to put your anger aside enough to make a safe environment. You’ll be more likely to get answers if your partner feels safe enough.
- Try to have compassion for both of you. You’re both going through different, but still highly emotional journeys. Try to see things from each other’s perspective on what’s happened and what was happening in the lead up to the cheating
- At this point, your partner may feel safe enough to be able to fully accept responsibility for the cheating, disruption to the relationship and the pain they have caused you. They will also need to work on guilty feelings.
- You may then be closer to being able to work towards forgiveness or be at least open to considering the idea.
- At this stage, you need to take all the information you do have at this point. Note all of the items down separately and see if you can figure out solutions to each one. For example, if lack of healthy communication was one of the issues, how can this be fixed for the future? You won’t be able to repair things if all the issues are chunked together.
You may need help to figure out what to do about the cheating
Getting through the pain won’t be easy. Without outside help it may take you a long time to figure it all out enough to be able to start healing.
You’ll need to work through each step slowly and calmly and it’s more than likely you’ll feel like, at times you’re right back at the beginning.
If you get stuck at any place, a quick phone call to Therapy Lounge will help you get unhooked and back to forward movement.