Cheating, You Know the Negative Aspects but Do You Know the Positive Aspects?
Cheating by a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner is painful and often negatively affect future relationships. Cheating is a kind of betrayal that causes you (the injured party) to raise serious questions about your partner, and the experience can also cause you to ask equally heart wrenching questions about yourself that your partner could violate your trust that way. The devastation, humiliation and sexually transmitted diseases resulting from cheating can last a lifetime.
If you have had a partner to cheat, I empathize with you. Respectfully, I would ask that you consider something that your instinct would suggest that you dismiss outright. You may not be in the mood to “trust” anybody right now; I’d like you to try. As difficult as your experience may be, there are some positive aspects. You know the negative aspects as the injured party, but what are the positive aspects? Please hear me out. If it helps, stop and take three deep breaths. I’m serious: three deep breaths. Inhale through your nose then exhale; do it three times. As excruciating as the experience is for you there are unique opportunities once you regain your sense of balance emotionally. What are the positive aspects?
Honest evaluation of the relationship: The first is an opportunity for a frank conversation. This is a chance for a candid discussion about some of your most nagging feelings or observations that you previously may have dismissed. You now have the opportunity to say how you feel about issues that you avoided; you also have an opportunity to ask important questions that you may have previously ignored. A word of caution, in order for you to be heard your questions should be selective and asked calmly so your partner doesn’t use your anger as justification for his/her behavior. It’s also best to avoid asking for details about an affair because explicit information can cause more distress.
Discover the real person: The second opportunity is for you to discover the “real” person you have been sharing the most intimate details of your life with. As you think about your partner in light of the infidelity, you may come to realize that you may not know your partner as well as you thought. One way of figuring this out might be for you to calmly ask, “What is it about you that made it okay to betray another person?”
Self-discovery: The third opportunity is self-discovery. This is an opportunity to learn some deep truths about yourself; this won’t be easy but you can do it if you set your mind to it. Before your partner’s infidelity your point of view may have been that you would without question break up with a person who cheated on you. Perhaps you now recognize that this experience is much more complicated than you initially thought. Your personal beliefs might be in flux. At this time, it’s normal if you find that you’re less certain about how to resolve the problem. However, it’s important that you be patient with yourself rather than criticizing and judging yourself.