Finding out a partner has cheated is often met with feelings of shock, hurt and betrayal. Whether you feel like hurling a sledgehammer into their car Béyonce-style or crying on the sofa with a takeaway, there are some things you can do to help decide if you want to leave them high and dry or attempt to patch it up. Relationship and life coach, Ben Edwards, talks us through a few tips on how to handle a cheating partner and how to make your next move.
1. Take some time to think about what you want
Struggling to accept the news that a partner has cheated is normal and taking some time out to consider your options is wise, whether that means moving out for a little while or just taking a break from your phone for a few hours. Feelings of anger and resentment are to be expected and bottling up your feelings can only ever end in disaster! Talk through the situation with your partner but make sure that you are ready to do so. Have questions ready and your end goal clear before discussing the future (if there is one) with them.
2. Look after yourself
Do something that makes you happy! Whether that’s exercise (releasing those happy endorphins could probably come in handy at a time like this) or going out for dinner with your friends; try to find happiness in other things and people. A common response to relationship problems can be to shut off and this can often result in a lack of appetite or trouble sleeping. By establishing a routine and resisting the urge to fall into bad eating habits, you will be able to cope with the situation with a clear head.
3. Don't be afraid to seek professional advice
Your friends and family often know you better than you know yourself and can give you some valuable advice- But be wary that they may be biased! Don’t be afraid to seek some form of professional therapy as it can help having someone new look at your relationship with fresh eyes and give you advice on how to handle your feelings.
4. Remember that each couple's relationship is different
Try to avoid comparing your relationship to your friends as everyone is different- what goes on behind closed doors is rarely what we present to the outside world. Getting advice from those who have been in similar situations can be helpful, but remember that you and your partner know the relationship better than anyone else and the issues are between the two of you.
5. Look at the relationship before the cheating
Were there cracks showing before you found out your partner was cheating? You need to assess whether the relationship was fulfilling for you before you found out about the cheating. If you were blissfully happy before, maybe it can be salvaged. If you were having doubts or feeling unsure before, this could be the push you needed to pursue a happier life as a singleton for a while.
6. It is your sole decision on whether to stay or leave
Fight or flight? Depending on how long you have been together, whether you have children or co-own a home, choosing flight can result in a whole life change. Make sure you have thought through your options thoroughly and had a frank conversation with your partner, the choice you have made together should fill you with hope and not fear- if this isn’t the case you might need to go back to the drawing board.
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