It sucks to be cheated on, whether you’ve come from a three-month relationship or a 25-year marriage. Dealing with your partner’s infidelity is also a difficult task in itself. For one thing, the pain of sexual betrayal that goes with it and needs to be overcome can be damaging to your ego as a person and to the relationship as a whole. We learn about our partner’s extracurricular sexual activities and it often leaves the betrayed partners in a daze – a combination of confusion, hurt, uncertainty, and the inability to assimilate or accept what has transpired.
In the event that you are currently dealing with your partner’s infidelity and you’re unable to deal with the pain and uncertainty that’s been colourfully described above, then here are some DO’s and DON’Ts when you are cheated on.
What to do when cheated on
- Do get tested for STDs – Your health is your primary concern and you should always get yourself checked with a FULL STD SCREEN once you’ve confirmed your partner has cheated on you.
- Do check on your legal rights – This applies to married and non-married couples who are staying together in one property (like you moved in to your partner’s apartment). Parenting issues like child custody need to be taken care of as well.
- Do seek help – It’s not going to be an easy journey to get through the hurt and confusion, so it’s always advisable to seek professional help, or at the very least, reach out to your friends who will provide you with the emotional support you need.
- Do trust your gut instinct – Instinct is a natural behaviour necessary for survival and it has been around since mankind existed. Gut instinct will often tell you that something’s not right and when it has something to do with your partner, listen to it. If you don’t feel safe around your partner, seek help.
- Do learn everything about sexual compulsivity – This is often the root cause of sexual infidelity and learning about the tendency for sexual compulsion allows you to help make better and healthier decisions in the future.
- Do work with your partner together in therapy – In most cases, a person often stays together with the cheating partner, and if this is the course of action you want to take, you may want to work it out together with a therapist or a counselor. The healing process for both of you will be geared towards helping you build your relationship anew and helping you find a new level of love for one another.
What you should not do when cheated on
- Don’t get even – Revenge sex is never a good idea to begin with, amidst the prevalence of such an idea in mainstream TV shows and Hollywood movies. This will only be more disastrous to what could otherwise be a salvageable relationship.
- Don’t have unprotected sex with your partner – You never know what kind of disease he or she acquired from the third party.
- Don’t make long-term decisions – At this point in time, your emotions cloud your judgment and anything you decide for yourself and on your own may not be good for you. These decisions include moving out of the house, moving to a new city, or even leaving with the kids in the dead of night.
- Don’t use SEX as a way to fix things – There was probably a reason why your partner cheated on you and sex may not be the centre of all his or her reasoning behind it. This will only force you to become more emotionally attached to the cheating partner, and as much as you can, you need to try and distance yourself from him or her to fully recover.
- Don’t blame yourself – “It’s not you, it’s me” is a passive aggressive way of saying that it’s actually your fault and the partner is 100% blaming you for whatever is wrong with the relationship and why he or she is cheating in the first place. Infidelity is often borne out of a sexual need and fantasy that your partner may need to fulfill and it is in no way in conjunction with whatever is going on within your relationship.
It’s difficult to deal with infidelity and I cannot stress how important it is for people to acknowledge this fact. A broken relationship takes time to heal. The two parties involved, the loyal and the cheating partners, are on a journey to recovery and it is here that they try to fix things that are broken within them and within their relationship.