Cheating on someone or being cheated on yourself has an enormous emotional impact on you, your partner and your relationship. Naturally, infidelity is the end of the line for some couples, while others use the experience to make some much-needed changes and come out of it with a stronger bond.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
Regardless of what a couple decides when a partner cheats, honest discussions, transparency and some introspection should be a part of it.
You may find it understandably difficult to move forward if you cheated or were cheated on, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Whether you and your partner decide to try to work things out or are ending your relationship, here are three rules you need to follow to stay on the fastest path to healing.
1. Be Incredibly Honest
Brutal honesty isn’t something we apply to ourselves or other people very often. We’ve all told ourselves our frizzy hair looked just fine or no one is going to notice our coffee shirt stain. Similarly, we’ve all told friends a new outfit or hairstyle looked great while shaking our heads mentally.
But sometimes you have got to be brutally honest with yourself, and in the case of infidelity, with your partner as well.
Ask yourself how honest you’re being about the situation and everyone in it. Are you really able to stay with your partner if that is what you decide? Can you trust him or her again, or will your partner ever be able to trust you? Are you comfortable leaving if you’re leaning that way, or will you regret it sometime down the road?
You need to know the true answers to these types of questions, and you must know what your partner feels too.
It might be hard to ask yourself the right questions and get clear answers because your perception is going to be tainted by what happened, so you’ll have to work on discovering your internal truth. Remind yourself to focus on what you’re thinking and feeling, outside of the preconceived notions you have.
2. Listen To Yourself
Nothing is harder than trusting your own instincts, and that’s especially true when you’ve got well-meaning friends and family offering advice and their take on things. However, you alone have to live with the ultimate decision here, not the other people in your life who are giving their two cents, so make sure you are in touch with yourself.
Listen to the clues and signals your body and mind are giving you. For example, ask yourself if you can trust your partner again if he or she cheated on you. Focus on your immediate, instinctual reaction to this query.
If it’s positive, you know there is a possibility you and your partner can mend your broken bond. But if your first reaction is hesitant or negative in nature, it’s going to be a rough and possibly uphill battle.
Don’t be afraid to heed your internal voice. If you make a decision that goes against what you really want or are comfortable with, you’ll carry that negativity with you. That scenario is not fair to your or your partner. Work on recognizing where your mind is at and what you need to do to be truly happy and satisfied in the future.
3. Learn To Accept And Forgive
A key part of moving forward when infidelity is involved is acceptance and forgiveness. You need to accept what happened, as much as it may have hurt you and your partner. There is no time machine to hop into to stop cheating from happening, and the sooner you accept the reality of it, the faster you can get on with your life whether you’re staying with your partner or going single.
Forgiveness is a bit more difficult when it comes to a very important person: you. Chances are, whether you cheated or were cheated on, you’re blaming yourself for some part of it past the point of normal. But you need to learn from the past, and in order to do that, you have to be willing to let go of some of your guilt and anger, as the rest will fall away with time.
The best way to move on after something emotionally difficult such as infidelity is to use the experience to self-reflect, learn and grow. Remind yourself you won’t feel this way forever, and you can come out of the entire experience a better, stronger and wiser person!