- Gender and Relationships
How to Deal with Cheating
Before you write that Dear John Letter...
It's not about "fault"
A commonly misunderstood part about infidelity within relationships is that cheating is NEVER the cause for a the problem. Cheating is only a symptom of a BIGGER problem. It doesn't matter if you are the one cheating, or they are. Cheating doesn't occur EXCEPT when someone in a relationship isn't getting everything they NEED.
So What Do I Do Now?
So now, after the cheating has occurred and they have "forgiven you" or you have "taken them back," is it any better? Probably not... because you have only addressed the symptom of the problem. If they were possessive before, chances are they are even more possessive now. The things that weren't working before are only emphasized by the cheating... so what do you do?
Treat the Problem, Not the Symptom
This is no different than taking a cough drop when you have a cold. Treats the cough but you still have the cold, right? How many months of cough drops are you going to suffer through before you realize you have to address the REAL issue? You have to treat what caused the problem, or the problem is not going to go away.
Start with asking yourself two questions... and be honest.
- Is this person treating you any better now?
- Are you really happy with how your relationship is going?
Bottom line: If you are not happy, and they are not happy ... it's time for a break.
Take Some Time
You both need TIME to access for yourselves what you want from a relationship and if the other person is truly capable of providing what you want -- and why. Once you have had some time to think about it on your own, meet with them and talk about it. Most importantly... be honest with each other.
If you decide you can work on these issues, more power to you! It takes a lot of guts to face the REAL cause of a non-working relationship, rather than focusing on the symptoms... like cheating... arguing... abusive behavior.
If you decide you both would be better off without each other, at least you are facing it now and not ten years from now when there are kids and mortgages in the picture.
You Are Going to be Okay
If it doesn't work, yes... it is sad, but don't let it become the end of the world. It didn't work out because it wasn't MEANT TO.
But you know what? You are going to be okay and so are they. Just keep in mind what led to the infidelity and learn from the mistakes. Put it this way... when you know what you DON'T want in a relationship, it makes it easier to recognize what you DO want in that special person. Each failed relationship you have better prepares you for your next relationship.