Cheating in relationships
Cheating is one of the most hurtful things someone can do to a relationship. It is disrespectful to the person with whom you have a relationship. It is a breach of trust which undermines the foundation of the relationship. It causes hurt, pain, resentment, and other feelings. Because of the devastating effect it can have, many people are unwilling to give their significant other a chance at maintaining the relationship. This is understandable. However, what can you do if someone you have a relationship with cheats, and you want to keep the relationship going? Consider the following:
1. Find out the reason. It can be difficult and hurtful to do this, but most of the time, cheating has nothing to do with you. Men may cheat because they are reaching middle age and feel a need to prove something to themselves, to show themselves they still have it. Women might cheat because their spouse works a lot and does not pay them as much attention, and so they turn to someone else to find fulfillment. There are numerous reasons for cheating, but if you want to work through it, you have to know what their reason is so that you can rectify the situation. If she cheats because she is feeling neglected, you will have to make bigger efforts not to neglect her, and she will have to make bigger efforts to communicate her needs to you. Whether you cheated, or were cheated on, knowing the reasons why will help you not make the same mistake again.
2. Re-build trust. Cheating is so devastating to relationships because it destroys the trust which tends to be the foundation of a relationship. It makes the spouse who was cheated on feel unimportant, and often they will resent the cheater for making them feel that way. So, if you want to work through a relationship where someone has cheated, you have to start with the little things to rebuild trust. This means being trust worthy, extending trust, following through, even if it is on something silly like picking up milk on the way home from work. Relationships without trust are doomed to failure, so if you have broken yours by cheating, or your spouse has, then start taking the steps to rebuild it, and be willing to do so, but not naive.
3. Be faithful. Cheating makes your spouse doubt their appeal, and feel as though they are not enough. If you are giving the relationship a go after cheating, then it is critical that you do what you can to help each other feel wanted, desirable, loved, etc. The spouse who was cheated on may not want to be intimate for a while, and this is understandable. As the cheater, you have to be careful not to push it, or guilt them into it, and while they adjust, be faithful, caring, and sensitive to their needs. Make sure they know you desire them, but respect if they won't or can't be intimate yet. It takes trust, but that does not mean you should not try, and that can be the first step to helping them heal, as they need to know they are wanted still.