Today, cheating is more the norm than being faithful, and it’s more than likely that you’ll probably have to deal with cheating at some point in your life. The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy in 2016 indicated that 57% of men, and 54% of women admit to being unfaithful in a relationship.
Despite being common, cheating hurts. It is a breach of trust, and tarnishes the memories of the relationship. The fact that it is more common, doesn’t mean it’s any easier to deal with, or that it should be readily accepted, but it may mean that it is less likely that it will mean the end of a relationship.
Taking back a cheater is a difficult emotion filled decision, and if you decide to try again with your partner and you’re not ready you’ll just create more heartbreak, and the relationship will be doomed from the start. The following questions are what you need to ask yourself if you’re going to take back a cheater, and ensure a better chance at a successful relationship.
1. Have you given yourself enough time to process what has happened?
You’re ready when you can think about your partner, and not your partner cheating. If you are still imaging your partner with someone else, or losing yourself in thoughts that revolve around cheating then you are not ready to start a new relationship with your partner. Both partners have to agree to avoid living in the past, because you’ve now agreed that you’ll have a future.
2. Do you still need revenge?
Your mind needs to be disconnected from needing to get even, to make your partner feel how you felt. Never take back a cheater if you feel that you can use the fact that they cheated as an excuse to do whatever you want. If you need to, get whatever revenge you need out of your system. Hit the town, have fun, let the anger out, but do not bring it to the relationship.
3. Are you able to view the past experiences from your relationship in a positive light?
Moving forwards requires you to believe that the foundation of your relationship and everything else is real and still exists. One bad memory (even as bad as cheating), does not tarnish all the good ones. Everything else from your relationship actually happened, and was real.
4. Are you embarrassed or proud of your decision?
Embarrassment regarding your decision to take back a cheater is a sign that you are not ready. It will hold you back from being able to grow together, and allow the memory of cheating control the relationship. Embarrassment can cause resentment, the desire for revenge, a lack of openness and a range of other negative reactions, and emotions. You should be proud about a new beginning, not embarrassed by your past.
5. Have you had an open and honest discussion about why your partner cheated, with yourself, and your partner?
Never start a new relationship with someone that has cheated on you without first creating a plan of action, and setting expectations for the new relationship. Cheating is a sign that there was a need that your partner was not getting, and that some type of communication was missing. Are you able to have a discussion bearing all? Are you able to communicate positively about your needs?
The previous points are incredibly important to the success of continuing a relationship with someone that has cheated on you, but nothing is wrong with you if you cannot move forwards with someone that did cheat on you. You do not have to, but if you do take back a cheater, you are agreeing to start anew, learn from the past, move forwards, and agree to a future together.