14 Ways to Survive Infidelity Without Tearing Apart

Survive Infidelity

Although cheating may seem like the end of the road in your relationship, there are ways to survive the infidelity without giving up on each other.

The biggest problem and the biggest fear in pretty much every relationship out there is infidelity. Cheating is the most talked about mistake that any person can make—and for good reason. It breaks trust, loyalty, and hearts.

As someone who has been cheated on more than once, I can attest to all of these consequences. It’s never an easy situation to deal with, and sometimes it’s easier to just leave the person than to even try to make things work. But then again, sometimes fighting through that difficult time can be the right thing to do.

Why do people cheat?

First, we should understand what cheating is in order to move forward.

People cheat for a number of different reasons and almost all of them have absolutely nothing to do with their partner. While the other person often blames themselves for their partner’s cheating, it usually boils down to psychological issues that the cheater has. [Read: Why do men cheat? 3 big reasons and 27 excuses they use]

Many times, people who cheat have self-esteem issues, or dominance issues—or they might just be an asshole, with no respect for anyone else. No matter what the reason is, it is still wrong and no one should ever do it. [Read: 25 truthful reasons why women cheat so easily]

That being said, there are ways to work through such issues and still stay with your significant other. This is especially vital if your partner comes clean right away and feels bad about it. And for those of you who have years under your belt, you are likely still loved by your other half and working through it may be worth it.

Since there are two sides to this situation, we will address each one separately in order to move past this horrific event.

The cheater

You messed up. There’s no doubt about that. But if you want to move on, get over this rut in the relationship, and perhaps even improve things, then listen up, because here’s how to do it:

#1 Be remorseful. You did wrong. There’s no excusing it and you need to be sorry. If you truly want to make things better and fix things with your lover, then you have to be really sorry about your actions. And you need to make sure they know that, too.

#2 Own up to your mistakes. Don’t deny it and don’t try to hide it. If you made that kind of mistake and feel bad about it and immediately regret it, go tell your partner. Don’t try and push them away, because eventually they will find out and it may be too late to be forgivable. Own up to your mistake immediately if you want to survive your infidelity. [Read: The step-by-step guide to ending an affair and getting over it completely]

#3 Show empathy for your partner. You just put them through their own personal hell. You’d better let them be angry. Let them cry. Let them hate you. Let them have any emotion they might have because you are responsible for it. Show that you actually care that you made them feel this way. Be there when they’re venting, and sit back and let it happen.

#4 Don’t expect to be trusted right away. You violated the only thing that can immediately make someone stop trusting you. Don’t expect, after talking it out, that they’re going to trust you right away; they won’t. Trust needs to be built back up. You can’t be annoyed if they check in more frequently, or are a little more suspicious of your actions. It’s your fault. [Read: 9 practical steps to rebuild trust after you’ve cheated]

The victim

I know exactly how you feel—believe me. But if you truly love your partner and feel that you can get past this, here are some steps you can take to make that happen.

#1 Listen and try to understand. I know it’s really hard to understand why someone would do such a thing to you, but they probably had no intention of hurting you at all. It could be their own personal problems that they’re working through and that’s the way they tried to get through them. Listen to their reasons and try to understand where they’re coming from—even if it doesn’t make sense to you.

#2 Talk about how you feel. Let it ALL out. I mean it. If you have to throw a temper tantrum that makes a bratty 3-year-old look like a perfect angel, then do it! You need to tell them how you feel and get all of your emotions out. Holding onto feelings is like holding onto resentment, and that will hinder any progress you’re hoping to make toward surviving this incident.

#3 Don’t blame yourself. This will only hurt you further. It’s not your fault. Whatever their reasons are, it’s not your fault that they cheated. Realizing this will go far as you learn to forgive them. [Read: 8 ways to confront a cheater who plays the victim card]

#4 Try to trust them. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen right away, but try to trust them again. If they came to you about this and really want to fix things, then you have to give it your all to make it right, too. Try to trust that what they say is true and that their actions will match their words.

Together

Now that you know what it takes on your own, you both still have to work together to get through this kind of situation.

#1 Realize that there are deeper relationship issues at hand—on both ends. Cheating is a sign that something in the relationship is off. On some level, you two aren’t connecting. By realizing this, you can work to find the root of the problem and fix that; the rest will follow.

#2 Talk to each other. Communication is key. If you’re feeling annoyed and angry at them for any reason, tell them. Successful relationships need communication to function properly—especially after an incident like this. Don’t be afraid to open up to your partner about anything.

#3 Don’t forget. You can forgive for this type of issue, but never forget about it. This is a serious violation of trust and the two of you need to remember it for the future. Just because you worked things out this time doesn’t mean that it can be done again if one of you slips up. [Read: How to regain your partner’s trust after you’ve cheated or lied to them]

#4 Don’t expect everything to be normal right away. This type of thing takes time: time to forgive, time to move on, and time to heal. The pain that is caused by something like this is not easily mended. You two may be off for a while, and things may be a little awkward. Just know that eventually things will get better—if that’s what you want.

#5 Build the trust again. Between both of you, you need to build the trust back up. That’s the only way that you will be able to move on from this part of your relationship. It won’t happen right away, but you will eventually be able to trust each other again.

#6 Love each other. Show each other that you care. If there’s one thing that can heal any relationship, it’s love. Get back to that phase where you can’t leave each other alone, because you just always want to be around each other, and because you love one another so much. Finding that place is a perfect way to survive infidelity without tearing apart.

[Read: 8 sure things you need to do before forgiving a cheater]

Cheating is rough. Mending a relationship after that kind of trust is broken is not an easy process, but with all of the help above, you can survive it—and even come out better than before.

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Bella Pope
Bella Pope
Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...

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DISCUSSION

4 thoughts on “14 Ways to Survive Infidelity Without Tearing Apart”

  1. Sarah says:

    I have been on both sides and as the cheated on it was almost impossible to stay in it. I still had a bit of immaturity in that I could not trust or forgive. I had to realize though I could never trust that person fully again I had to forgive. Years later I have and though I can still remember how it was it feels like a dream I had a long time ago. Now as the cheater I should have ended the relationship before I started another but didn’t. Though I had communicated my needs to my boyfriend who never listened or took my concerns seriously. I had to ask for his forgiveness, forgive myself, and move on. We are friends today and often talk about our parts in this time in our lives.

  2. Dani says:

    This is a tough situation. I have never been on both sides of this, but I have had a guy cheat on me before. We were together for 7 years and his ex from California came back into town. I knew they would see each other, I knew something was bound to happen. I just thought it would be a kiss or some feelings coming back. I was wrong. He slept with her and then immediately told me. He felt horrible, but that was it for me. I spent so much of my life on him and for him to throw it all away on one night was just too much for me. I know a lot of people can forgive, but he made the decision and I couldn’t handle it.

  3. Infidelicious says:

    I am a man who cheated on his wife. I know I am a fuc*ing douche bag, or whatever you want to call me. I accept responsibility for effing up my marriage. I have been trying to reconcile with my wife and I love her. But it is not going so well. I was in a relationship with another woman for three years and I fell in love with her. She was my rock and best friend. I treated her like shit in the end. I dumped her in the cruelest of ways and never made contact again. It was like a death. I think of her every day, I miss her and I am filled with regret and guilt for treating her like that. I am also racked with guilt over how I treated my wife. I l stayed with my wife and I want it to get better, I have responsibilities with my wife. My wife discovered the affair in October of 2014. How do you reconcile loss of someone you love and a marriage at the same time? I think I am fu*ked with no one to blame but myself.

  4. Deli says:

    Back in March last year, my boyfriend and I fought about what to do with an unplanned pregnancy. It was to the point we were bickering every day about what we should do since he had just moved to another state and I was still in school. The fighting lasted throughout April. We talked every day, trying to work things out because we ultimately came to a decision to keep the baby. He said he was ready to become a father and be a family. In June I suffered a miscarriage. Two weeks after that, my boyfriend left for Europe, a trip he planned behind my back because he felt that once the baby came, he would never have the chance to travel. He claimed that he didn’t think to take me because I had a lot of health issues with the pregnancy. So I grieved the loss on my own for two weeks. He came back, we got better together, so I thought. Then in September I had suspicions about the only two contacts on his new phone: me and another woman, let’s call her Jen. For weeks i’d see Jen was texting my boyfriend but every time I asked, he said she was just a friend. He finally confessed in September that he and Jen dated the entire month of April. He said he slept with her multiple times, skipped driving to see me on weekends and skipped several emergencies and sonograms to spend time with Jen. I asked him if there was more. He said he planned his trip to Europe to meet with an ex girlfriend. One that he not only shared a room with but a bed as well. I was/am devastated and as I look back (I know I torture myself) I get more furious. I pull up old phone logs, texts, emails, cards, social media posts to make sense of how this could happen without me knowing. Yes I was 5 hours away but I feel like such a fool that this man told me every night he loved me and our unborn baby while possibly cuddling up in bed with another girl. I saw that he wrote me a card dated May 5th talking about how much he loved me and couldn’t wait to hold our baby someday but saw that Jen posted on social media that May 3rd she had a “perfect weekend” with my boyfriend. I have screamed, cried, seen therapists and done everything under the sun to process this but my boyfriend can’t seem to acknowledge what he did was cheating. He will agree during an argument that he cheated and will apologize–but I’ve been told by mutual friends that he says he didn’t technically cheat on me since we “weren’t together.” Even if it was a gray area whether we were together or not, why hide Jen from me? Why keep it from me for months?

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