Forgiving after cheating
Cheating has become a topic that has never been swept under the carpet or forgotten. You hear different stories from friends, acquaintances and even enemies talking about how they caught their partners cheating and all and recently, many are discovering the particularly brutal form of heartbreak caused by infidelity. But what happens after the affair? Can you repair the damage?
I was chatting with a friend of mine sometime back and our chat went thus: “My long-term boyfriend and I recently broke up. What led to the break up is that I found an email where he had responded to a formal invitation from a woman looking for a “male casual sex buddy”. Can you imagine that? He swears they never met up. And that he loves me and it will never happen again. He said that he wants to try and work things out because now he realizes what he had. I love him and miss him as my boyfriend. But I am afraid that he will do this again. He swears he will not”.
Then she further asked for my advice. She asked if there are any certain signs she can look for to help her decide if that is true or if he is just going to do it again? The thing is that you can never know if they will or will not. It only takes the fear of God in a man for him not to cheat.
Cheating is the worst, it is like your whole world gets turned upside down. Cheating is not just having sex with somebody. The thought of it, it being on your mind is cheating too. Cheating does not always constitute sexual intercourse or even anything physical. People can carry on very sexually and emotionally charged affairs via phones or emails like my friends’ boyfriend did so watch out.
There are a multitude of reasons a person can break promises and cheat.
*Constant bickering or belittling, making the person feel they are not good enough.
*Boredom in a predictable relationship.
*Ongoing or unresolved issues in the relationship.
*Incompatible sex drives.
But the cheating is almost always a symptom of a problem within the relationship. It is rarely the actual problem itself. Which is not to say cheating is wrong. It is way wrong. It damages the trust between two people and it is just a low-down dirty shady thing to do.
Even though some people say the percentage falls somewhere between 10-20% of people who have cheated while in committed relationships (the number goes up the longer you have been together interestingly) there is never an okay reason to deceive your partner.
You will notice that attractiveness is not on the list. Sure, some people might admit they cheat because the attraction level has faded over time. And again, it is possible that if your boyfriend gained a bunch of weight or had poor hygiene, getting down and dirty is less appealing, but the reality is appearance alone rarely causes a person to stray.
A man (or woman) does not commit adultery because they found someone more beautiful. No, they commit adultery because they find someone who pays them attention, makes them feel desired, and gives them a thrill.
A lot of people flirt with the idea of cheating. They might answer personal ads, set up fake dating profiles, or chat privately with people they meet online. Knowing there are options out there helps boost the ego. I do have to point out that there are some men (and women) who make a sport of cheating. They might have some form of sex addiction or they just might be really rotten people who delight in destroying those they claim to love.
Thankfully, those types are in the minority. But they do exist. Which leads me to answering her actual question of whether he will cheat again. The truth is, you do not.
There is not a magic crystal ball of signs that can predict whether or not his wandering eye will cheat. What you need to do is uncover what was actually wrong in your relationship that led him to cheat in the first place.
You must have a no-holds barred honest conversation and each answer the question “How was I not feeling good in our previous relationship?”
Be prepared to really listen. And know that the truth might sting a little bit. And by “sting a little bit”, you might emotionally feel put through the wringer. But unless you do the hard work of acknowledging those issues and then set about resolving them, your relationship is vulnerable. And doing the hard work of resolving your issues is what will ultimately make your relationship stronger. You know how you hear some married people say that an affair was actually the best thing that happened to them? This is what they mean. The affair was the symptom of deeper issues. And they made the decision to tackle the issues head on.
The choice is yours on getting back together. It is reasonable to say the trust is gone and you keep moving forward. But it is just as reasonable to give your love another chance.
What you cannot do is white-knuckle your way through love. You cannot be constantly vigilant for signs he might be cheating. You cannot spy on him. You cannot interrogate him on the daily. You cannot demand that he never speak to another vagina-owning human being(excuse my use of raw language), You do have to decide if you are willing to trust him and you must ask yourself, “Am I willing to get back together, knowing full well that he may do this again?” And you are the only person who knows the answer to that. I wish you well in your decision, whatever it may be!
To our happiness. Cheers.
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