Cheating in relationships
So, he cheated on you... The moment you found out, you felt like a rug was pulled out from under your feet... it felt like you were hit by a dozen lightning strikes directly into your heart... the world became blurry, and you forgot how to breath... all you could think of was 'how could it be possible'!?
Ok, let's forget about the unfortunate event for a moment and start with this question :
1) What are YOU looking for in a relationship with a man?
It's very likely that these would be among your answers: security, love, adoration, appreciation, care, financial and/or emotional support, companionship and friendship, intimacy, 'feeling special', loyalty, and fun. These are the basic needs of a woman involved in a romantic relationship.
And now, how about this question:
2) What are you NOT looking for in a relationship with a man?
After a little bit of brainstorming we would probably come up with: feeling neglected and lonely, financial instability, bad and destructive habits, disrespect, stressful fighting, boredom, no intimacy, being controlled, fear of commitment, feeling unloved, humiliated, and unappreciated.
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Men's answers to these 2 questions would not be much different. After all, we are all humans and we want to be loved. Not to justify behavior of all the cheaters on this planet, but the moment he feels like the status of his relationship slides from category 1) answers into category 2) answers, he becomes vulnerable i.e. inclined to cheat. It is worth noting though, that cheaters are UNHAPPY people. Besides feeling like they are stuck in the category 2 answers relationship they take it one step further – instead of being honest with their current partner and try to fix the issue they choose to fool around with someone else AND lie about it.
One lie is never just one lie. Now he is lying to himself trying to justify his own behavior, lying to you ‘for the sake of your own good’, and lying to the other woman about you, the relationship with you, and his true intentions.
At the end of the day, the cheater is not even going to end up where he started, he is going to end up at a much worse place, much much worse. Lying, hiding, being pressured by another woman, feeling guilty and scared, the burden of constant internal confusion and conflict – all these ingredients will contribute to his mental turmoil and eventually start eating him inside.
So, in essence, he will eventually come to the realization that fixing issues of a current relationship by cheating leads to having only more issues in the end.
No one ever said that cheating is good but there is something I would like to point out, ladies, nevertheless. There is actually one good thing about cheating: him having a chance to compare her to you. If he discovers that she is not measuring up to his exquisite expectations he may appreciate and re-discover you (yes YOU) all over again. Is it a bit too little too late? Should you take him back?
What should you do??
Cheating is very damaging to relationships. It usually takes YEARS to get over the betrayal, and sometimes - NEVER.
Because of all the pain and damage he has done, all you want is to leave. You feel like it is over and nothing can change it. He was feeding you with lies making it look like they were truth and now he wants you to believe him again.
Where do you find that inner strength to trust his words and promises from now on? If you were to take him back how would you cope with his late comings from work, being distant or lack of affection without feeling suspicious or insecure?
You, as a vulnerable, wounded party here, will be requiring an enormous amount of reassurance. Unlike in healthy relationships, where a woman turns to her man for comfort, turning to a cheater to get that comfort will not feel like the right thing.
You will want to feel comforted (by him) but because of trust issues you will feel like it is not possible. And since he cannot give the sense of security you are seeking, you maybe in for a long lonely journey in the land of fear, discomfort, and anxiety.
Is there any other EXIT besides the one pointing towards exiting the relationship completely? Is there hope? Yes, ladies, there is hope. It as a tiny one though, but still hope.
Once cheating occurs, your relationship will have a chance of survival only and only if the cheater feels genuine remorse. If he wants to work on the relationship, if he is open about his unmet needs, if he regrets and feels truly sorry for what he has done (and you still want him) then, by all means, I suggest that you give him a chance. Once you take him back it may take several years (for you) to regain emotional balance to feel normal again. As an old saying goes - ‘time heals all wounds'.
If, however, he is defensive, does not think he did something wrong, makes it all look like it was your fault, and blames you instead of himself then you may have to make a tough decision. He will not change, and there is a big chance he will cheat on you again.