The Devil's Advocate in Cheating
Why Would We Play the Devil's Advocate with a Cheater?
It's important to always understand both sides of a situation. No, you didn't bring it upon yourself. No, you have never deserved such treatment. Yes, you will heal and get past it. All of these things are true.
So, why write this article?
Because sometimes, you need to know all the things which are in the mind of a cheater. You need to know how their brain works and why they are doing what they are doing. Then, you can decide whether or not you can live with it.
Cry First, Before You Do Anything Else
Step 1: Cry, Grieve, Yell and Scream First (Before You Do Anything Else)
If you grieve first, then your emotions and your mind are both clear to accurately assess your situation. If, however, you try to reason things out without crying first, every attempt at reasoning will be heavily tainted by your inner grief and pain.
You must cry first.
Even if you are not sure if you've been cheated on, still cry first. By venting your feelings and saying everything to an empty room that you would want to say to your loved one, you have been heard and can come to this matter with a clear, strong heart and a clear-sighted mind.
If crying isn't your style, say everything to your empty room that you would want to say in each scenario you have imagined with your loved one. Say it all and don't hold back. Get it all out of your system, practice all of your lines, and perfect your reasoning.
Are you an angry type of person? Make sure your apartment is sound-proof or go outside in a nice, lonely area. Have everything out at the top of your voice.
Do this before moving on to the next step.
Pick Yourself First
"Whatever you decide will determine not only how you approach your loved one, but also how you will feel about the cheating afterward."
Step 2: Decide What Kind of Person You Will Be
This sounds naive and incredibly trite, but this is the strongest thing you can do for yourself at this point.
Are you going to be the vengeful person who never lets this rest?
Will you pretend to forgive but nurse old wounds within yourself?
Do you like being clear-headed, self-respecting and calm?
Whatever you decide will determine not only how you approach your loved one, but also how you will feel about the cheating afterward. It will calm or enrage you later on when you reflect on what to do next and how you will handle this situation.
As long as you are faithful to yourself and your own needs first, you will not feel burned to the ground by your loved one. In fact, the more respect you show yourself, the calmer and more forgiving you will feel toward them.
Oh, and one more thing. Good luck.
They Feel It, Too
"Self-punishment for a single cheating session can be forty times worse than the incident itself."
Step 3: Make Sure They Really Cheated
A good portion of the population has what is known as the "worrier gene" and this can drastically affect all of your relationships. Are you a naturally insecure person? Were you insecure before you met them? Are they truly exasperated with your accusations or are they hiding something real?
There are two parts to this step:
Part A: Make sure it's really happening
It is one thing to wonder and worry and it is quite another to walk in on it (cringe!) or to have photographic evidence of it.
If you are making ANY accusations at all, you had better have proof. Otherwise, you are indulging in pain for pain's sake.
Part B: Determine if it happened one time or if it's ongoing
Partners who have been cheated on can easily forgive a one-time indiscretion. However, compulsive cheating is a rare trait and is the only thing which cannot be cured in this situation. If you know, for sure, that you are with a compulsive cheater (multiple people, multiple times), then you have official and written permission to cut things off with this person.
A single instance of cheating can seem like the end of the world, but this article is playing the devil's advocate and sometimes the self-punishment for a single cheating session can be forty times worse than the incident itself. Allow your partner to punish themselves and don't take it upon yourself to do the job for them.
Forgive Them Before They Confess
Step 4: Watch Them and Forgive Them Before They Confess
Now that you are on firm footing again (thanks to all of your self-care and gentle self-nurturing), you are in a position to watch your loved one and to actually see how much they hurt themselves.
Cheating hurts the cheater far more than it hurts the betrayed and this is an evergreen truth which was known in ancient times.
Never feel as if you are in more pain than the cheater. What they have done to themselves is far worse than what they have done to you and they feel every inch of it, whether or not they admit it at the time.
The more you are able to observe their suffering, the more you will understand that you are not required to punish them, to make them feel guilty, or to bring vengeance on them in any way.
In fact, by the time they confess, you may have witnessed so much of their pain that you will almost have to pretend to be angry with them in order for them to feel punishment for their sins and feel as if your anger could someday vindicate them.
Step 5: Forgive Them, Hug Them, and Comfort Them
Per all of your observations in Step 4, you may even feel a great deal of pity for your loved one by the time they confess to cheating on you. Don't hide this.
Instead, bring it out into the light and tell them very calmly that they hurt you and that you forgive them.
Hold your partner to you closely, hug them tightly and sigh deeply into their neck. Do you still need comforting? Let them be the one to comfort you. Let them hold you back and take away some of your pain. Don't delegate their job to someone else.
Start Meeting in a Different Location
Final Step: Meet in New Places
In step 6, take your relationship to new locations, allowing yourselves to reconnect in brand new places. Hold each other close. Share new memories.
This is the time to start a brand new phase of your relationship together. Mark this phase in the physical world by creating a few new places you hang out or meet. Make sure a couple of them are private so that you can, er... pick wildflowers.
And, again, good luck.