Clearly, whenever you’ve been cheated on, there are many feelings that arise.
However, some of these emotions could be based on myths about those who cheat. And that can cause you to make decisions based on faulty information.
If you are trying to cope with a partner’s infidelity, get the facts and reject the myths.
Myth: “My partner cheated, which means they don’t love me anymore.”
FACT: In reality, many people who cheat report that they did not cheat just because the relationship was bad. It is completely possible that despite your partner’s infidelity, they still feel very strongly toward you. In fact, their reasoning behind the affair may have had nothing to do with how they feel about you and much more about how they feel about themselves.
Myth: “People who cheat once will cheat again.”
FACT: That kind of thinking only sets up your partner to fail again. Yes, they made a mistake. But that doesn’t mean they are doomed to make it again. Everyone has the capacity to make decisions that affect their future. Your partner made a poor decision for your relationship by cheating. However, what they do afterward can mean a lot.
You can see their attitude, for example, if:
- Your partner takes responsibility for their behavior and thee pain it’s caused.
- They sincerely apologize and asks for forgiveness.
- They have permanently cut all ties to the other person.
- Your partner wants to participate in therapy with you.
- They make an earnest and sincere effort to repair your relationship.
Myth: “If I stay, our relationship will always be defined by the affair.”
FACT: Certainly, the affair will have an immediate impact on the relationship. A major factor is trust. With any affair, the wounded partner will feel a loss of trust to the other. Yet, the cheating does not have to define the relationship in the long-term.
If both of you want to make things right it will take a lot of work and commitment to change. For your partner, this means putting in a sincere effort to rebuild the lost trust. Of course, this will take time and hard work but it is possible. Trust can be rebuilt.
Myth: “My partner won’t cheat on me if we have a lot of sex.”
FACT: Although sex is important for any relationship, it won’t prevent a partner from cheating. In fact, your partner may cheat because things have gotten routine. And that will only set you up to believe that you are to blame. This would also be a misconception.
Your partner made the choice to cheat. For whatever reason that they chose to be unfaithful, that was their choice. Avoid blaming yourself for your partner’s behavior or thinking that the situation could have been evaded if you would have been more sexual intimate.
Myth: “There’s no way to fix this relationship.”
FACT: Recovery from an affair requires that both partners examine their part in the broken relationship. Also, both partners have to want the relationship to succeed and must commit to doing the hard work of relationship repair. If both of you really want to make things work, then both of you should seek out professional counseling. With the help of a trained therapist, in time each of you will be able to make a better-informed decision about whether to stay or go.
Repairing your relationship also depends on both of you being truthful about whether or not you both want to stay. If your partner is cheating because they are chronically angry or bitter or resentful toward you, the chances of success are probably not good. But you still need to know how their true feelings. If you think this is might be happening, ask for an honest answer and be prepared for the truth. However, if your partner acknowledges that they made a mistake, there is hope.
Myth: “Men cheat more often than women.”
FACT: Research on this topic varies. Some studies suggest that about one third of men and about one quarter of women have been unfaithful. Other studies suggest about 20% of both men and women cheat. Some studies indicate that men are more likely to have sexual affairs while women are more prone to having emotional affairs.
Admittedly, an affair is a very painful experience to endure. Of course, you are going to be angry and think that it’s impossible for your partner to change. However, with the right help, you and your partner can develop hope, heal your relationship and move forward—together.
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