In contemporary times, holding on to the same person has become harder than ever. With the availability of transport, technology, Internet, and mass media, at least XX one in five people XX in monogamous relationships have cheated on their partner once or more. No matter how romantic your relationship is, a simple act of infidelity can shake up everything.
Can a relationship work after cheating?
Fortunately, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Cheating doesn’t always mean the end, and everything can be fixed if both partners are devoted to returning the faith in each other. But first, the couple will have to go through a list of advice on how to recover from cheating. For the unfaithful ones, there are a couple of tips that will help them stay humble and remorseful during the recovery period.
How Couples can Recover after Cheating
Find the will to continue
When you have made a mistake, running from responsibility is the easiest option of all. This is quite common in relationships where one of the partners is caught cheating. However, relationship researcher Dr. Kristen Mark states that if a couple can get through infidelity and restore the trust between the two, then they’ll come out as a stronger couple. For this reason, it’s important to note that the healing process has to be a two-way street, and it will take different amounts of patience which is perfectly fine.
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Admit your mistake
Of course, the first actual step to recovering from an act of infidelity is to admit you have messed up everything. Recognizing that you have caused pain is vital so as to show a certain level of regret and remorse. No matter what, you have to show your partner that you’re able to take responsibility for your actions and therefore are willing to do what it takes to fix the relationship.
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Talk about why this happened
Because infidelity rarely occurs as a result of a momentary lapse, many psychologists suggest that couples have a conversation about the reasons for the infidelity. This will help get things straight in terms of what the cheating partner is missing in the relationship. In this case, active listening is more than important as it will allow both partners to present their point of view. The goal is to understand the roots of your mistake and not repeat them again. Sharing how you feel about certain things is perfectly fine as there’s no shame in seeking help from your beloved one.
Cut off your lover
Obviously, if you want to get back your significant other, you’ll have to dump any other person in the way. The Mayo Clinic notes that ceasing all interaction with the person you’ve cheated with is mandatory for proving your partner you want to fix things. Of course, it won’t be easy at all, especially if you’ve got used to the other person. But with the right mindset, you’ll be able to prove your significant other that you’re fully committed to moving forward with your relationship.
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Let the topic die down
After you had already discussed the issue, the best thing you can do is to let everything die down. According to psychologist Dr. Coleman, the best way to do this is to give yourselves about 15 minutes every day to specifically talk about the issue. You should do this until you or your partner has decided to talk less or even stop talking about the infidelity. Generally speaking, being constantly concentrated on negative things is not healthy at all and positive acts such as seeing a movie or going out to dinner can be a lot more beneficial to the future of your relationship.
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Healing takes time
Probably the most important of all, you should realize that healing takes time. So don’t think that saying “I’m sorry” will instantly win back your partner’s love. According to Dr. Coleman, it takes at least a year for the betrayer to start regaining their partner’s trust. For this reason, trying to force things will only make the situation worse. After all, recovering after such an act is not easy for anyone and what you should do is let your partner figure everything out by themselves no matter how much time it will take them. In this way, you’ll show your devotion to solving the issue and moving on.
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Another important note, being honest with your partner is imperative to saving your relationship. If you’ve been caught cheating, you’ve surely lied about the affair at least once. This automatically brings down the trust of your beloved one. Even more, expect things to be worse than having no trust. The betrayed partner will be almost always suspicious of any wrongdoings, so you must be completely open and honest. This means not only telling the truth but also sharing everything your significant other needs or has to know. Of course, cheaters often complain that even when they’re rigorously honest, their partners don’t believe them. In such cases, it’s important to understand that it’s impossible to expect an instant fix. The betrayer should sacrifice a lot of patience to regain their spouse’s trust.
Seek professional help
Last but not least, sometimes it’s good to talk to a third person about your issues. It’s not everyone’s thing, but visiting a relationship therapist or a family psychologist can help you sort things out from a different point of view. Moreover, a therapist can give you valuable advice on how to restore and maintain your relationship.
What couples shouldn’t do if they want to make it work
No matter how motivated you are, sometimes working towards bettering yourself after you’ve cheated fails. The reasons for this can be different. There are six common mistakes that betrayers usually make that can worsen things even more.
Passive truth-telling – To begin with, passive truth-telling, or not sharing particular information voluntarily to your partner, is a pretty common mistake in this case. What’s important here is to realize that failing to disclose pertinent information is just another form of lying. So, don’t try to convince yourself you’re not lying just because you’ve answered your partner’s question truthfully. You have to be willing to tell your partner everything they need to know without waiting for them to take the first step.
Partial disclosure – In addition to passive truth-telling, partial disclosure is another common form of mistakes that betrayers often make. Obviously, revealing only parts of the truth that will serve your purpose just won’t do as it will make your task of rebuilding your partner’s trust as hard as possible.
Belittling your partner’s reaction – If you really love your partner and want to earn back their trust, never try to belittle their pain. In some instances, the betrayers do it out of love but it’s highly suggested that you always respect and empathize with the betrayed partner’s suffering and healing process.
Acting like a child – A well-known behavior, playing the child’s role and acting like one is completely unacceptable and you should do your best to avoid it at all costs.
Acting defensively – Similarly, if you don’t get the same attention and trust from your partner right away, don’t be angry because they’re probably going through much more than you can actually see on the surface. With this in mind, acting defensively or going on the attack is totally counterproductive in the case and you should refrain yourself from replying. Moreover, you should try and stick to active listening rather than getting angry over your beloved one’s reaction.
Expecting immediate results – Last but not least, don’t expect immediate forgiveness. Always remember that you have a long way to go to win back your spouse’s love and trust.
Stats about the Chances that a Relationship works after Cheating
Generally speaking, most cheaters don’t admit their transgression. When they do, nearly half of the male and female cheaters confess their act of infidelity within the first week. In this case, gender doesn’t even matter.
However, there’s a noticeable difference in the statistics when it comes to married and unmarried couples. According to the Health Testing Centers, less than 30 percent of married cheaters feel remorseful and tell their partners. In addition, almost 50 percent of the married waited for six or more months to tell their significant others they have cheated. This is not the case when it comes to unmarried couples as the percentages there are way lower.
As the study suggests, men usually admit they cheated, and the reason for this is guilt, while most women do it just because they want out of the relationship. Here, the status of the relationship matters too, only about 25 percent of married cheaters admit their act of infidelity.
However, the most important of all is the statistics on post-cheating chances. The study shows that in more than 50 percent of the cases, relationships end immediately. Additionally, in around 30 percent of the relationships that give it a second chance, things don’t work out as planned.