Randy had been married for three years to someone that he thought was faithful. He felt that they had a great relationship, and he didn’t see any problems that were out of the ordinary for couples. He was shocked when he saw a notification come on his wife’s cell phone screen from another man. When he asked her about it, she broke down in tears and admitted that she had a fling with one of her co-workers. Randy was devastated and wasn’t sure what to do next.
Aubrey had been slowly falling for a man that she had been dating for six months. He was romantic and charming. One night she was out with her friends when she saw him with another woman. When she confronted him at the club, he told her to go home as it was none of her business. Crushed, she blocked his number on her phone. He later reached out to her by email to apologise. He regained her trust, and they started dating again. It wasn’t long before her friends saw his profile on Tinder. This time when she confronted him, he told her that he might be a sex addict. She felt betrayed and began to feel like she should never date again. She was worried that this would happen to her again in the future.
Being cheated on can be confusing and heartbreaking. How do you know if you should go or if you should work it out? There are certain factors to consider:
1. Do their own actions deeply hurt your partner?
If your partner deeply regrets having betrayed you and hurting you, perhaps they have learned and won’t do it again. The partner who cheats might now have a deep sense of shame. It might be harder for them to forgive themselves than it is for you to forgive them.
2. What were the circumstances around the situation?
What were the circumstances? Is your partner in love with the other person? Is this a one-time event, or is this an ongoing relationship? Any ongoing relationship needs to end before you and your partner can repair any damage that has been done to the relationship.
3. Understanding your worth
Know your worth. If you were cheated on, it might not have anything to do with you. It is possible that your partner was in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t have the willpower to put the brakes on. This doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t love you. If you are in a relationship with a sex addict, encourage them to get help. If they refuse to get help, do you want to stay with them knowing this is happening?
4. Address any underlying issues in your relationship
If there are underlying issues in your relationship, don’t blame yourself. Relationships happen in a dynamic. See it as a “us” problem and not a “you” or “I” problem. If you are in an abusive relationship, find a safe exit strategy to escape.
5. Understand your and your partner’s values
Does your partner value monogamy or loyalty? If you want a committed relationship, don’t stay in an open relationship because you are afraid that you will lose the other person.
Being cheated on can leave you feeling like the other person is better than you. You might wonder what they have that you don’t have. Being hard on yourself can deepen the pain. Understand that you have value and that you deserve to be in a loving and honest relationship if that is what you can also give another person.
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Although I am a registered clinical psychologist with the Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology, I am not a licensed psychologist or any other type of licensed therapist in the United States. The information I am providing here is educational and informational. This social media page does not provide professional advice, nor does it create a professional-client relationship or any other type of relationship between us. You should always consult your own licensed mental health professional before making any changes regarding your mental health. My goal is to educate, guide, consult, and empower you regarding your mental health journey. Always consult your licensed mental healthcare provider(s) and never disregard or delay medical advice based on information posted on this page or post.