There’s nothing more heartbreaking and no greater betrayal than being cheated on by your partner. Relationships are built on trust and knowing that the other person has failed to respect that bond can be devastating. If you do notice these signs of cheating – or if he actually comes out and admits that he’s stepped out on you – can you really recover? Here’s what you should look out for and how to save your relationship after the fact.
- If his behavior doesn’t add up, it’s time to worry. While there are plenty of normal and harmless reasons he might be acting strangely from time to time, if you notice that his schedule changes, he’s less (or more) interested in sex than usual, you’re always fighting, he’s constantly on his phone, or he’s started pulling away, he may be seeing someone else behind your back. Most importantly, if your gut is screaming at you that there’s something wrong, there probably is even if the signs of cheating aren’t all that obvious.
- If you’re going to move forward, something has to change. The signs of cheating were likely there for a while and you either didn’t notice or were in denial. That’s okay – relationships are complex and love isn’t always straightforward. However, after his infidelity has been exposed, if you want any chance of recovering from it, some big changes will have to be made. Assuming you both want to proceed with the relationship and get back on track, you’ll need to be all-in on incorporating some new routines and behaviors to make it through.
- The cheater needs to feel remorseful and genuinely never want to cheat again. As Psychotherapist and New WYork Times best-selling author M. Gary Neuman shares, there’s no way for a relationship to come back from cheating if the cheater doesn’t actually feel bad about what they did and genuinely never wants to do it again. Unless you can sense that in him and he expresses it clearly and with conviction, it will never work and it’s better to walk away now.
- The cheater needs to be willing to make you feel secure and comfortable. Once trust is broken, it’s not regained easily and will take a lot of work. That means he needs to go above and beyond to prove to you that he’s committed to the relationship and will never be unfaithful again. Not only should you never have to pick up on the signs of cheating again, but he should be more than willing to regularly reassure you via his words and more importantly his behavior that he’s right there with you. Unless you can feel certain it’s not still happening, you’re screwed.
- You need to be willing to let it go. There’s no way your relationship will ever be able to recover from cheating unless you also make peace with some truths. You should never ask about the person he cheated with or the details of the affair, and you certainly can’t hold it over his head for the rest of your days. If you’re intent on wanting to repair your relationship, constantly throwing it in his face what he did isn’t going to get you there. You need to work together to repair what’s broken.