Cheating is the big hitter in all relationship drama. The big question of whether or not to stick around has reigned for decades. Millennia, probably. It’s not always as cut and dry as “never trust a cheater,” but equally, it’s a good mantra to live by. Here are a few suggestions on how to rebuild trust after cheating ruins everything and when you think all hope might be lost.
First of all, before you think of anyone else, think about what you want and what has happened. You can’t change the past, only the future. Unpack how you feel and what you want to learn from it. You can control how this goes. You might not feel like it, but you control the degree of closure you get.
Redefine the relationship.
If you’re feeling like you can’t get the trust in your relationship back as it was, maybe think about ways you can change the nature of the relationship to feel more secure. Maybe monogamy isn’t on the cards anymore but that doesn’t mean that your relationship with that person has to be over at all. You can still salvage what you want out of the relationship. Remember that.
Unpack what happened.
This is a kind of trauma that most people go through. You owe it to yourself to unpack all the details and the way it made you feel. You need to find a way to deal with what happened and just take things slow. Do whatever you need to do to feel safe and seen. Take it up with all the people around you and get the support you need. In particular, the first time that this happens will feel bewildering. You won’t know how to deal with it or express your emotions, but it’s an important experience. The first time being cheated on will leave you feeling like you will never recover, but you will. Give it time.
Talk to your friends.
They might have gone through something similar a few years ago or in their family. It will make you feel less alone to talk about it with someone who understands. Or, even if they don’t, having a willing and empathetic listener can help you take a load off. Thinking about things from different perspectives is so important in terms of shaping your views.
Stay with your mom.
Live with her for a few weeks – she knows what you need. You might not think she does, but she will remember all your favorite recipes and comfort foods. You’ll feel like a kid again in the best nostalgic way. It’s all that you need and it’ll give you time to have a break.
Ask honest questions about yourself.
This isn’t the time to lie to your friends and family about how you are. However, sometimes it’s necessary to get them off your back. That said, it’s even worse if you lie to yourself. That sets you on a spiral path down to nowhere good. If nothing else during this period, be honest with yourself. Ask what you want out of a relationship and figure out how you can go about getting it for future relationships. Most of all, sit in your own space for a while. Don’t think about other people, focus on your own needs.
Put yourself in their shoes.
A change of perspective to see why they behaved the way they did is always necessary. It won’t excuse their behavior but it will perhaps go some way to explaining it. All experiences help shape us.
Don’t be afraid to walk away.
Cheating is a more than reasonable excuse to leave someone. They always say that a cheater never changes his spots, so if you don’t feel strong enough to stay there, that’s fine. Trust your gut if you don’t think their apologies are sincere. You will have to live with your decisions, and they will have to live up to theirs.
Consider how they’ve changed.
Question how your partner or ex behaved and whether they have pulled through on their changes. Make sure that they fulfill their promises. If you still don’t feel comfortable, that’s plenty of reason to leave.
So there you have it, a few reasons to be thoughtful and considerate with yourself. Take your time and be kind to yourself. You won’t ever achieve normality, but you can salvage it if you really value it.
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