CHEATING / Moving Forward after Infidelity
You just realized that your spouse or partner has been unfaithful and cheated on you. The news of the infidelity has hit you like a ton of bricks. You have hope that your relationship can survive your spouse or partner cheating on you, but you still feel sick inside when you think about the affair. You probably want to know why your partner cheated, but there is no simple answer to why someone becomes unfaithful. It could be a symptom of other problems in your marriage, it could relate to something in your spouse’s past, or it could be totally unrelated to you or to your marriage. You may never truly know why it happened.
Here’s what you can do to get beyond the hurt, forgive your unfaithful spouse or partner, and save your marriage or relationship (if you so desire):
Don’t try to make sense out of nonsense. Rationalizing your cheating partner’s behavior or sympathizing with him/her is pointless. It is never OK to go outside of your relationship to solve problems within a relationship. It’s not your fault.
Remember that it is better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else.
If your partner wants back in, he/she will have to earn his/her way back into the relationship. Renegotiate the relationship in a way that works for both of you.
There comes a point in time where you may have to draw a line and say, “That’s it, I’m done. I’m not mad at you. I withdraw my feelings, I withdraw my emotions. You just go do whatever you’re going to do because I’m not going to live like this anymore.”
Don’t stay together for the children. Remember, kids would rather be from a broken home than live in one. They’re much better off with one well-adjusted, happy, thriving parent, than they are with two who are cheating, lying, fighting, and living with stress and pressure.
If there was a child born of the infidelity, understand that your spouse will forever have a relationship with that child’s other parent. You have to make the decision about whether you can resolve to be part of that or not.
Ensure that your partner ends all contact with the person he was cheating on you with. That means no calls, no contact, no Facebook notes, etc. Should your partner refuse, it’s time to call it off.
Do not, whatever you do, try to carry on as though nothing has happened. Your partner had an affair and you can’t have that as the white elephant in the room.
Talk to your partner about the affair. Why did he or she do it? What was missing from your relationship? What did he or she gain from cheating if anything?
Don’t take the blame for the cheating – it’s easy to look at ourselves and pick apart the flaws we see in our relationship, but you were not the one who decided to cheat, so resist the urge to change yourself. The relationship, yes, but you? No.
Begin to rebuild the trust that was broken when your partner cheated. One of those ways is to insist that he allow you to pry a bit into whatever he’s doing. Accounting for his actions until you feel secure is one of the ways to gain back the trust.
Don’t take it out on the person your partner cheated on you with. While it may be easier to be angry at “the other woman,” that person is not the one who broke your trust.
Allow yourself to be open with your partner about your feelings about the relationship, the affair, and the aftermath. It may feel uncomfortable and like you’re rehashing old topics, but it’s vital to be honest.
Start slowly rebuilding your relationship and sex life, seeking the love and passion you once had. Go on dates. See movies or dinner together. Hold hands. Romance each other.
Don’t expect to ‘get over this’ easily. Infidelity hurts terribly, so allow yourself to grieve that loss of innocence, and be patient with your feelings. This was a major violation of trust.
Don’t be afraid to say goodbye if you can’t actually trust your partner or if he isn’t bothering to work on your relationship. A relationship is based upon mutual respect and if your partner isn’t willing to give you that, it’s time to hit the road.
Feelings are neither right nor wrong. Accept that your feelings of rage, uncertainty, shock, agitation, fear, pain, depression and confusion about having an unfaithful spouse are normal.
Take care of yourself. You may have some physical reactions to the infidelity such as nausea, diarrhea, sleep problems (too little or too much), shakiness, difficulty in concentrating and not wanting to eat or binge eating.
Balance is the key to getting through this experience of coping with infidelity. Force yourself to eat healthy foods, to stay on a schedule, to sleep regular hours, to get some exercise each day, to drink plenty of water, and to have some fun.
It’s okay and healthy to laugh. Watch some funny movies or TV shows. Spend some time with people who make you smile. Life goes on in spite of heartache and unfaithful spouses.
Tears are healthy too. If they aren’t coming naturally, put on some blues type music or watch a sad movie.
Ask all the questions you want. Talk with your spouse about the infidelity. However, you may have to accept that your spouse may not know why the infidelity took place or may not want to reveal this to you.
Seek counseling. Don’t try to get through coping with unfaithfulness alone. However, don’t shout from the highest mountain to all you know that your spouse is an unfaithful jerk. Pick with care who you will share this information with. Knowing the type of infidelity sometimes makes understanding it easier and counseling can help get answers to questions. Was it a one-night stand or an affair? Due to a mid-life or life crisis? A sexual addiction or an act of retaliation? Did the cheating occur to end the marriage?
Take it one day at a time. Both you and your spouse should be tested for AIDS/HIVS and STD’s before you resume sexual intimacy without protection. Consider what boundaries you need in your marriage in order to stay in the marriage. Contact an attorney and get these documented in a postnuptial or separation agreement.
Your children need to know that you are going to be okay. You can’t hide the fact that you are going through a trauma. Be honest with your children, but don’t weigh them down with details about how your spouse or partner cheated on you. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.
Try not to get into the blame game over who or what caused the infidelity. It’s just wasted energy. That includes blaming the third party. It won’t change anything. Also, think twice before you tell your family or your spouse’s family about the infidelity. Family members can often hold grudges a long time.
You may have post-traumatic stress. If you are jumpy, yell at trivial actions, feel like you are walking on egg shells, and continue to have physical reactions when you are reminded of the infidelity, see a physician as soon as you can.
It takes time to get beyond the pain of having an unfaithful mate. Don’t expect the mixture of feelings, the sense of confusion and limbo, and the mistrust to go away just because you’ve tried to forgive your spouse and made a commitment to save your marriage. The stages of death and dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) are part of the grieving process. It doesn’t mean your marriage can’t be renewed and strengthened, because it can. But it will be different.
Remember that your marriage has changed. You will need to grieve that loss.
Get practical. Look at your finances, housing situation, transportation, etc. If you do decide to end your marriage, make sure you have thought out where you will live, if you have enough money to pay for your essentials, etc.
These unmistakable signs will help you figure out if your husband can change and become worthy of your trust again, or he is a serial cheater in the making.
Serial Cheater Sign #1 – No Apology, No Remorse
If your partner doesn’t even apologize for their back stabbing actions, that’s a very bad sign. If they don’t show any remorse and try to blame it all on you (by accusing you of not satisfying his needs or caring enough), they are probably on their way out of the marriage, or planning their next affair.
The quality of the apology is another unmistakable sign. If he or she just said “sorry” a couple of times, or avoided the topic by saying “I’ve already said I’m sorry, so let’s not bring it up again,” it’s clear that he or she is not really regretting his or her actions or taking full responsibility for them.
Sign #2 – Not Listening to You
Is he or she willing to listen to how this makes you feel even if you are repeating the same things you said yesterday?
Is he or she willing to contain your pain and emotions?
If he or she runs away from every conversation about the cheating, it’s a bad sign. It means that he or she doesn’t want to feel guilty about something he or she may do it AGAIN.
If he or she is being defensive, secretive, or otherwise less than open, there may be something going on behind your back.
Sign #3 – Refuses to Cut Contact
This one is pretty obvious: If he or she is having a long time affair with another woman or man and refuses to cut contact with her or his (usually by using all kinds of excuses like “I work with her everyday”, “I’ll lose my job”, “she or he threatens to hurt herself” etc), it’s a very bad sign that he or she is planning to continue the affair until they decide weather to they married to you or not.
Sign #4 – High Sexual Drive
According to research, the second most common reason for men to cheat (the first one is lack of emotional attention) is the quantity of sex in their marriage (Not quality). Some people have a very high sex drive while others are less interested in a lot of sex. If your husband wants sex all the time and is constantly frustrated by the quantity of your sex life, it’s more likely that he will cheat again. Serial cheaters were found to be addicted to the excitement of a new affair.
Sign #5 – He is Entitled
Some people just think they are entitled to cheat. Their general opinions about gender roles, about their role in society or their cultural upbringing make them believe they have a right to cheat. This type of person is more likely to cheat and also to not feel any remorse or guilt about its actions (Remember sign #1?)
Sign #6 – He Has Performance Anxiety
This sign is a little confusing, but none the less true. If your husband suffers from performance anxiety or sexual anxiety and has low self-esteem, he is more likely to become a serial cheater. The type of cheating will probably be one night stands or paid sex, because these are women that he doesn’t care about and therefore doesn’t feel he has anything to prove to them. Performance anxiety tends to disappear when you have anonymous, emotionless sex, right? In a weird way, this is actually a sign that he still cares about you and is exhausted from feeling inadequate in bed and disappointing the woman he loves.
DID YOU HAVE AN AFFAIR?
Own the problems that you created by having an affair. You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge.
It is unfair to compare a new, exciting, taboo fantasy relationship to one you’ve been in for years where there are kids, bills to pay, a house to run and noses to wipe. That is a ridiculous comparison.
In order to resolve your relationship, contact with “the other person” must be cut off 100 percent. You can’t work on dealing with the consequences of the affair while you’re still having it.
Don’t rely on your heart to tell you what to do; rely on your intellect. Do what logic tells you.
Make the hard decisions. Either leave the marriage to free your partner, or commit to stay. Remember, checking out of one relationship before you finish it appropriately doesn’t work.
Ask yourself: What are you doing to help your partner get past the affair?
Be mature enough to recognize that life is not always all about you and what feels good for you in the moment. If you are married and have children, you have an obligation and a commitment that far transcends what feels good.
Help the partner who did not have the affair find emotional closure.
You must do whatever it takes until your partner finds it. If it requires you to check in with your spouse multiple times a day, then do it.
It’ll require you being where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, so your spouse can trust you again. And you do it until.
If a child was born of the infidelity, you will have to have contact with the other person in order to be co-parents. And you do this the right way by not having any contact without your spouse’s involvement. If you want to talk with the other person, then you do it with your spouse present.
Want to know if something is cheating? If you wouldn’t do it with your spouse standing there, it’s cheating.
If your marriage is over and you have children, understand that your relationship with your ex will never end. You will always at least be co-parents of your children. Build a new relationship as their allies.
Do you know what a healthy relationship is? Figure out what you want and behave your way to success.
WHY DO PEOPLE CHEAT?
The age-old assumption that people cheat with someone better looking than their current partner may not actually be true. According to a new survey, most people consider their significant others to be more attractive than their affair partners. Most men consider their significant others superior to their affair partners in other ways as well. Only 30 percent of men cheated with women younger than their current partners, and only a quarter of the men found their mistresses more interesting or more in shape than their partners.
SO WHY CHEAT AT ALL?
Based on the survey here are the top 10 reasons WOMEN cheat. Men admitted that they found their mistresses to be more passionate, better listeners and more caring than their significant others.
Over half of the female respondents also found their significant others to be more attractive than their affair partners, but 50 percent said their lovers were in better shape. Similar to the male respondents, women reported that their affair partners listen better and are more passionate than their man at home. 89.6 % of the women indicated that the man they’re cheating with makes them feel more appreciated than their significant other.
Infidelity generally comes from the same inner emptiness as alcohol and drug abuse, food addiction, gambling, spending, shopping and so on. In the case of infidelity, when the Remember the good old days when you could stay up forever fooling around? Then responsibility entered the mix and kids and before you knew it, sleep was more important than sex. Well, women want to feel wanted. If you’re not
making her feel that way, she could seek it elsewhere. To keep that spark alive, ask her out on date nights, send her provocative e-mails at lunch, and by all means, don’t let life get in the way of kissing, cuddling and sex.
According to an American Sexual Behavior study, 14% of married women have cheated at least once, compared to 22% of married men.
Based on the survey here are the top 10 reasons WOMEN cheat
10- Not enough sex
Remember the good old days when you could stay up forever fooling around? Then responsibility entered the mix and kids and before you knew it, sleep was more important than sex. Well, women want to feel wanted. If you’re not making her feel that way, she could seek it elsewhere. To keep that spark alive, ask her out on date nights, send her provocative e-mails at lunch, and by all means, don’t let life get in the way of kissing, cuddling and sex.
9 – Being the bad girl
Just as men feel the urge to sow their wild oats, some women have an inner sex kitten just waiting to be unleashed and when the beast escapes from the cage, look out. This frisky behavior usually rears its ugly head in response to some sort of life change: major weight loss, new job, new friends, mid-life crisis, etc. Keep the lines of communication open and she’ll be more likely to talk to you about what’s going on instead of spilling her guts to a stranger in the night.
8 – Self-esteem
Sex can be an instant pick-me-up; a self-esteem booster that makes women feel sexier, more beautiful and more loved. If your wife or girlfriend has self-esteem issues, it doesn’t mean she’s automatically going to cheat and it’s certainly not your fault if she does, but there are ways to make her feel secure in the relationship that could help her from straying. Pay attention to her, ask her questions and don’t hold back on compliments, a little flattery goes a long way with women.
7 – Revenge / payback for past wrongs
No, you didn’t cheat, but whether you blew your retirement fund in Vegas or got caught in a big lie, you did break her trust (and, possibly, her heart). She feels wounded and betrayed and wants to hurt you the same way you hurt her. To regain her trust, it’s not enough just to tell her you’re sorry; you have to show her. Actions speak louder than words.
6 – Lack of intimacy
You have it all: the house, the two-car garage and the two-and-a-half bathrooms at least on the outside. But inside, the relationship is lacking the one thing women want most: intimacy. It’s not just sex that makes women feel connected in a relationship; it’s touching, kissing, cuddling, and communicating. Women crave it, and she could seek it elsewhere if she’s not getting it at home; to improve intimacy, spend quality time together, give her a foot massage, make a romantic dinner for two, anything that will give her a sense of unity and closeness. A few more warning signs and reasons women cheat…
5 – Neglected / ignored / under appreciated
Women wear many hats in a relationship; housekeeper, errand-runner, grocery shopper, babysitter, etc. When she feels more like a maid than a girlfriend/wife, that’s when she could stray.
The fact that you spend all your time at work or on the golf course gives her double reason to seek attention elsewhere? No, you can’t quit your job, but you can thank her for all her selfless deeds, and do your share around the house.
4 – Our emotional withdrawal
Women are emotional beings. Not only do they need physical support, but they also need emotional support. Once you retreat from the relationship, she sees it as a sign that things are through, a breakup is inevitable. So, she’s not really cheating, she’s moving on. To avoid this, be present in the relationship. Yes, that means sharing your icky feelings, but it’s better than the alternative, right?
3 – Bedroom boredom
Sex can become monotonous if you let it, but the same position; the same setting; the same person. An affair adds adventure and gets her adrenalin flowing. To avoid routine, avoid repetition. Sweep her away for the weekend, make out at the movies, and kiss her for no reason at all…
2 – Exit strategy
Instead of breaking up with you, she cheats on you. That way she doesn’t have to deal with the broken relationship, which is much harder to fix. An affair is the easy way out or at least that’s how she sees it. That’s another reason communication is key. Let her know that she can talk to you about anything and that you love her enough to work through any bumps in the relationship road.
1 – Revenge for your cheating
Because you cheated, she wants to get back at you and give you a dose of your own medicine. Cheating is her vengeance, her chance to even the playing field. No, you can’t undo your indiscretion, but you can ask for her forgiveness, assure her it will never happen again and suggest couples therapy to help you get through this tough time.
Her cheating heart
When you add up all the reasons women cheat, it’s usually her heart (or her ego) that needs healing, not her libido. Keep the lines of communication open, be supportive and encouraging and work at keeping that spark ignited. In other words: Don’t give her a reason to stray.
Based on the survey here are the top 6 reasons MEN cheat:
6 – Not enough sex
If you’re in an emotionally fulfilling but sexually inadequate relationship, it can almost be more frustrating than having no one at all. For guys unwilling to have a difficult conversation or jettison an incomplete relationship, cheating is often seen as an option.
5 – She cheated on you
If she cheated on you, she’s probably already checked out to the point where you turning the tables isn’t going to phase her much. If anything, you’re just validating feelings she already had.
4 – You want to know you’ve “still got it”
Everyone has a deep-seated need to feel wanted and attractive, not just by their significant other, but by the public at large. That’s why you clean yourself up when you’re just going out with your bros, or why your lady friend puts on makeup even if she’s just going shopping. Even the occasional harmless flirting by or with an attractive member of the opposite sex can put a little extra pep in your step, and that’s fine, because it’s likely your partner who will reap the benefits. For a truly insecure man, though, that won’t be enough. He needs to actually score in order to feel validated. If you combine the insecurity here with the barren sexual lake beds of No. 6, it’s almost (almost) understandable why some men stray.
3 – You couldn’t say “NO”
Most men have, at some point in their lives, had an attractive woman really come on strong to them. How we handle it depends on several factors, dating status presumably chief among them. Single? Great, hit it like it owes you money. Not single? You know what the answer should be, but do you have the willpower? The kind of man who gives into this kind of temptation is often less experienced with women, and despite his being spoken for, believes it to be an opportunity he can’t pass up. But if you’ve been around the block a time or two, you see that kind of come-on for what it is: abnormal, desperate and kind of a turnoff. If it helps, you can say you couldn’t blame her because you’re so handsome.
2 – She disgusts you
Sometimes in a long-term relationship, people let themselves go. Maybe she’s gained a ton of weight, maybe she’s developed a drinking problem. Whatever it is, the problem with familiarity is that you don’t notice these things as they happen over time, the way you would with a friend or relative you don’t see very often. Instead, all of a sudden, you wake up one day and realize the creature sharing your apartment is a far cry from the girl you first said “I love you” to.
1 – You don’t love her anymore
If you feel like you’re going to cheat, try to resolve you issues. If not, suck it up, be a man and get out. Cheating is an act of disrespect and cowardice. When a partner cheats, the first thing the cheated party asks is “am I ugly?” You don’t have to be ugly to be cheated on. Unfortunately many people cheated on their extremely good looking partners.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO CHEATED ON THEIR PARTNERS
Madonna cheated on her husband Guy Ritchie.
After being married for 25 years Arnold Schwarzenegger cheated on his beautiful wife Maria Shriver with their ugly cleaning lady Mildred Patricia Baena. Arnold and Mildred even had a baby boy together. Keeping her dignity and pride, Maria divorced Arnold.
The former President Bill Clinton cheated on his wife Hillary with Monica Lewinsky.
Prince Charles cheated on his beautiful wife Diana with the ugly Camilla Parker.
Ashton Kutcher cheated on his beautiful wife Demi Moore.
Hugh Grant cheated on his beautiful girlfriend Liz Hurley with an ugly hooker.
Jude Law cheated on his wife Sienna Miller with the babysitter of his children from his previous marriage.
Mario Lopez cheated on his wife Ali Landry after being married only 2 weeks. She divorced him.
Kim Kardashian cheated on her husband Kris Humphries with Kanye West after being married only 72 days. She is now married to Kanye West.
Tiger Woods cheated on his beautiful wife Elin Nordegren with 19 women during 5 years marriage. As a result, she divorced him.
Brad Pitt cheated on his wife Jennifer Aniston.
Jesse James cheated on Sandra Bullock . As a result, she divorced him.
Ethan Hawke cheated on his beautifil wife Uma Thurman with their babysitter. Later he married the babysitter.
Mel Gibson cheated on his wife Robyn Moore after 26 years of marriage. As a result, she divorced him.
James Cameron cheated on his wife Linda Hamilton.
Eddie Fisher cheated on his wife Debbie Reynolds. Later they divorced. Reynolds and Fisher wed in 1955, but got divorced four years later after Fisher fell for Elizabeth Taylor.
Meg Ryan cheated on her husband Dennis Quaid. Later they divorced.
LeAnn Rimes cheated on her husband of seven years, Dean Sheremet, with actor Eddie Cibrian. LeAnn and Eddie two are now married.
After more than seven years of marriage, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon divorced amid rumors that Phillippe cheated with his “Stop-Loss” co-star Abbie Cornish in 2006.
Kobe Bryant cheated on his wife Venessa with many women. Later they divorced.
Kristen Stewart cheated on her husband Robert Pattinson.
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