Reconciliation takes work.
Whether you make up or break up after cheating is up to you. Relationships are difficult because we are human, and humans have egos. When sex is involved things get even more complicated. Great communication helps a committed relationship endure. We usually don’t start there though. Working through problems is an important part of every relationship. One of the hardest problems for couples to overcome is infidelity.
Cheating is a challenge.
A partner cheating does not have to mean the end. Having someone attracted to you is flattering. Especially if you are facing stress at home or at work, erotic attention can be a boost. The best cure for infidelity is prevention by keeping you sex life lively, but sometimes everyday pressures make that impossible. If your partner is seduced that does not mean they don’t love you.
Infidelity might give your partner a temporary boost, but it feels like an insult to you. When someone is unfaithful though it usually is not because they want to hurt their partner. It is a response to their own feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem. Our first reaction to being hurt is often to get mad like it’s a personal insult. If we give in to the temptation to retaliate, we may do more damage to our relationship than the cheater did.
Guilt hurts too.
Your partner’s enjoyment of the indiscretion was probably short lived. Many cheaters in committed relationships start to regret it even before the act is over. That guilt may make them irritable or distant. If you want to save your relationship you need to help them work through it and not rub it in. Talk about what was going on in your relationship before the incident. Find out what it was that created the space between you to allow another person access. The point is to fill those gaps, not create new ones. You do not need to, and it is better not to talk about the act. If you ask for details, you will be intentionally hurting both of you more. Focus on the before and after, not the hiccough.
Keep it between you two.
The worst thing you can do if you want to save the relationship is tell common friends or family. Your ego is screaming for you to expose the cheater, but if you do you will make reconciliation much harder if not impossible. Think before you share because the momentary relief you may experience may come at a high price. A close friend of mine’s husband strayed, and she made the mistake of telling her mother. She had no intention of leaving him but could not resist the vindication. As a result, every family function from then on became strained. Her mother told their children which shook their respect for their father. Even though they stayed married, their relationship was never fully restored.
Remember the 'F' word.
Forgiving infidelity is not easy, but it is essential to moving forward. If you focus on what you can both do to enjoy each other more that will help. Find something new you can try together. The best choices are activities that require collaborative effort and physical contact. It is extremely important to make time to invest in your connection. Set up date nights and agree not to spend them talking about work. Don’t just go to a movie and sit there in silence. Play miniature golf, take a ballroom dance class something that requires interaction. Brainstorm together to think about activities you would both like that are fun or sexy or both.
You have the power not only to save your relationship but to make it stronger than ever!