Have you been cheated on or been caught cheating?
Over one third of marriages have been affected by infidelity according to the Associate Press and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, with 22% of men admitting to cheating on their significant other at least one time during their marriage, and 14% of wives sharing that they had also strayed off the path of monogamy.
Chances are you’ve dealt with this situation or know someone who has whether you are married, in a committed relationship or dating. The simple definition of cheating within a relationship is being unfaithful but defining infidelity in this technological age is much more complicated. We have the means to communicate with people around the world.
Reconnecting with a past friends or an old flame? No problem. Social media has given us a myriad of ways to text, chat and share pictures with anyone. These new social channels make straying emotionally and physically even easier. What’s considered being unfaithful to one person varies to another, which is why clear boundaries should be outlined by the individuals involved in a relationship. Discussing what’s considered cheating with one another lessens the odds of someone getting hurt by the other’s actions.
Be responsible once those parameters have been set. We all know when we are putting ourselves in a situation that may lead to something our partner would not approve of, whether it’s messaging that former flame or flirting online. Ultimately, it comes down to honoring the rules you have established with your lover no matter the temptation you might face…innocently or not so innocently.
So, what are the causes of infidelity? There are countless reasons someone might cheat, such as sexual dissatisfaction, lack of emotional intimacy, feelings of neglect or incompatibility. Sometimes, people simply grow apart, leaving the door cracked for someone else to enter.
Infidelity is a draining secret to harbor and in most cases near in possible to keep. At some point the cheater is exposed, which puts their significant other in the difficult position of trying to figure out what to do next. Dealing with an affair is one of the most emotionally stressful and traumatic events one can go through.
How can you cope with cheating? If you are the cheater it’s time to take responsibility for your actions. You have no control over whether your significant other stays or goes. Give your partner space and accept the fact that your relationship might be over.
Give yourself time to sort through your emotions if you fall on the other side of this painful dilemma. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to call it quits and try not to let outsiders push you to handle things the way they would. Come up with a plan you are comfortable with if you decide to stay in the relationship. Keep the lines of communication open and don’t hesitate to reevaluate your decision if it becomes clear your partner hasn’t changed their cheating ways.
Feel empowered in whatever decision you make on how to maneuver through this emotional minefield and know you are not alone. Many couples have struggled with this issue and have worked through the heartache to build a stronger relationship than they had before. Be encouraged and stay open to the infinite possibilities the Universe has to offer if you decide to walk away. Betrayal is hard to forgive but doing so frees you to begin the process of healing your broken heart and connecting with your soul mate!