A committed relationship, whether you are in a legal married relationship or otherwise, is a sacred vow between yourself and another person. This other person, your spouse, is someone that you are supposed to be able to love and trust without fear.
When there is cheating in a relationship, it hurts more than just the relationship itself. It can hurt you both as individuals, and also your outlook on the world and relationships as a whole. When it comes to dealing with infidelity, there are many harsh realities that you have to face. Knowing what you are dealing with can often take some of the shock and pressure out of dealing with cheating.
Your Vows Were Broken
Cheating in a relationship means that your vows, no matter how elaborate or simple, have been broken. Your relationship as you know it has been changed forever, and it will take an immense amount of time and work to repair what has been broken, if in fact it can be repaired.
Marriage, or a committed relationship in any form, is a vow that you make to each other. In many cases it is a literal contract between the two of you, and so when a partner cheats it is like tearing that contract right down the middle.
You Have Been Deceived
Your spouse, when he or she broke their vow and cheated on you, not only broke their vow but also seriously breached your trust. There is an unspoken sense of responsibility and trust that comes with a committed relationship and infidelity causes a breach that may never be fully repaired.
This deception is often the hardest part of cheating to deal with. The lack of trust stays with you for a long time, and may never leave. Some people find the lack of trust a major deal breaker when it comes to dealing with a spouse’s infidelity.
You Must Deal With Uncertainty
There is an immense feeling of uncertainty that follows infidelity in a relationship. The uncertainty of whether or not your relationship will ever recover — even the uncertainty over whether or not you want to recover. An extra marital affair can lead to many forms of uncertainty. Warranted or not, victims of infidelity often deal with the following questions and feelings:
- Am I to blame or is there something I did wrong to push him/her to cheat?
- Am I not desirable?
- Will I ever be able to trust my spouse again?
- How do I know he/she isn’t lying about everything else too?
- Was he happier with the other person or did they do something better than I did?
- Will my spouse cheat again?
- Was this the only time he/she cheated?
- Why did my spouse cheat?
After an instance of cheating, it is normal for the injured spouse to feel uncertain about nearly everything in their lives. You might find yourself questioning your relationships with other people, such as friends and family members. Should your current relationship end before you can find a healing place, this uncertainty can follow you into future relationships as well.
Your Relationship May or May Not Be Over
One very harsh reality that you may have to deal with is whether or not your relationship will end as a result of this cheating. There are many parts of this reality to consider.
- Will you be able to move past the infidelity and find love and trust for your partner again?
- Will your partner decide that he/she prefers to be with their lover instead of you?
- Do you truly want to move on with your relationship?
Many relationships do end as a result of cheating, but not all of them do. Plenty of people are able to find a way to heal, move past, and rebuild their relationship after infidelity. There are even people who have learned from the situation and have built even better relationships after cheating.
For now though, you have to deal with the harsh reality that the future of your relationship is yet another uncertainty. The best thing you can do to deal with this is to take some time to think about what you want out of the relationship, if anything.
You Have To Find the Strength to Move On
Especially in the beginning, when the betrayal is fresh and new, it can be hard to think about the future. As harsh as it is though, life goes on and you have to live it. At some point you have to put one foot in front of the other and get on with it. Whether your relationship stays together in the end, or you find another path, you do have to find the strength to move on.
The best thing you can do right now is take some time to yourself. Find a way to process your own thoughts and feelings about what has happened, and figure out what you want to do as an individual. Only after you have come to a certain point on your own can you then start worrying about what you are going to do as a couple. Cheating in a relationship can make any reality harsh.
You are not alone, however. There are people all across the world that have dealt with cheating in their marriage, and have come out the other side. There are online forums, support groups, counselors, books, and even online training programs that can help you deal with and overcome the affair.
You will come out the other side of this. With the right help and support, you do not have to let the affair ruin your life. You can overcome the uncertainty, regain trust in the world as you know it, and possibly even rebuild your relationship.