The crisis that can accompany discovering that your partner is cheating on you can be quite traumatic. At times, this is so well hidden, that there was no previous inclination that cheating was even a possibility with this person. Whether it be an emotional affair, sex outside of the relationship, or cybersex chatting or phone sex, there is likely to be sense of serious betrayal. This may catch you completely off guard or you may have wondered if there was a concern that has now been verified. Either way, emotions are likely to be high at this time. It’s extremely challenging to know what to do next. Several questions may come to mind:
- “Does he love me?”
- “Did we have an healthy sex life?”
- “Am I some how to blame?”
- “Is the other person more attractive?”
- “Is he questioning his sexual orientation?”
- “Is our relationship hopeless?”
- “Should I stay?”
- “Can I ever trust him again?”
Any or all of these questions can lead you to feel angry, unsure, and sad. These questions are understandable after dealing with such a situation. Coping with such a betrayal becomes a long-term challenge. Although the pain won’t go away instantaneously, this is a time where you can keep yourself busy with things and people that you enjoy. I’m not an overall fan of using distraction, but after an early painful event, some distraction is fine to help with coping.
There are several things that may help your relationship, but even more importantly yourself. The most important thing to figure out at this point is what you want. This can be a very challenging task at such an emotional time. You are best to avoid trying to foresee the future. There’s no way to know what will happen in the future, but you can decide if this is a relationship that you can salvage with the right help.
Your relationship may be in a very fragile place, but it could still have hope. I recommend that your partner seek out counseling to better understand the underlying causes of his behavior, and you seek out supportive counseling to answer questions like those above. You may not want to make an immediate decision of whether or not you want the relationship to continue. It is fine to say that you’re not sure what you want at that particular moment.