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Do I Still Want to Be With You After You Cheated on Me?

Indiscretions are one of the most painful disconnects that can happen.

The breaking of a sacred agreement between relationship partners is one of the most painful disconnects that can happen to them. Committed couples count on believing that their partnership will never have to face the loss of that promise.

When that happens, the betrayed partner often feels disillusion, disappointment, pain, and anger. But they may, at the same time, feel the positive connections that preceded the betrayal. They cannot just automatically let go of the love and attachment that existed before, as their world is shattering. That conflict is even more intense when the betraying partner is begging for another chance.

If you have been betrayed, how do you react to that anguishing dilemma? What do you need to take into consideration? Thoughts and feelings swirl in your mind and heart. Was it a one-night stand at a far-away convention, or long-term involvement with someone you know? Do they want you but still crave the other relationship? Can you ever get over being lied to? Will you ever trust that this won’t happen again?

If you are suffering from being torn between what your partner has done, and still wanting to stay in the relationship, you are facing a truly hard decision. Don’t expect to make that decision quickly or lightly. If your partner wants you to stay in the relationship, they will give you all the time you need.

How do you navigate this painful landscape? Is it better to give them another chance or to walk away? How is it best for you to untangle this complicated set of thoughts and feelings? How can you guide yourself in the right direction? Your self-respect and self-care are central because you cannot heal if you compromise that commitment to self.

Following are nine important questions you can ask yourself to help you make the right decision.

1. Have you ever been betrayed before?

If you have been betrayed before, you must ask yourself why this has happened to you again. Have you trusted partners who have a history of betraying in their pasts and just never thought they would do it to you? Did you see this coming but declined to challenge what you saw? You will have a better chance of reconciling if this is the first time for both of you.

2. Is your conflict driven by grieving the loss of your partner, or the loss of the relationship?

Sadly, many relationship partners become parallel companions in their shared world, but no longer are as connected to each other. This is your time to evaluate whether you still love your partner enough to consider the commitment to healing. It won’t be enough if you wouldn’t love them independent of what else you might lose if you give up.

3. Do you feel you have loved more than you have been loved?

Have you been the kind of a partner who kept giving even when your partner was not reciprocating in kind? Had your partner begun spending prime-time energy more and more elsewhere? The “us” in successful relationships is a high priority. Were you maintaining that priority even when your partner was no longer doing the same?

4. Do you feel that this is your fault?

Yes, it will be necessary for you, at some time, to look at where you might have driven your partner away by your own behavior, but not now. The first steps in healing have to come from your partner’s willingness to be accountable for choosing betrayal over the courage of telling you upfront before making that decision. If your partner, instead, blames you for why they cheated, it is not likely that any successful reconciliation is possible.

5. Are you more afraid of losing your partner, or being alone?

Many people are no longer in love the way they once were but fear they will never do any better if they try again. They are fearful of the other relationships that might disappear if they don’t stay where they are. Have you held on to a social network that would support you if the relationship can't heal?

6. Had you and your partner stopped working on nurturing and deepening your love for each other?

Many couples, beset by the challenges that all committed relationships face, let themselves sink into an only-do-what-is-necessary frame of mind and get the excitement and passion that life requires elsewhere. Do you believe that if the two of you did the work, your relationship could actually heal?

7. When you imagine life without your partner, what do you see your life becoming?

This is where you need to separate grief from relief, even though they are bedfellows. If you are honest with yourself, would your life be better without your partner or would you grieve your decision if you did not try? Don’t put time into something that you really were ready to leave anyway. Time will separate out grief from relief if you allow your feelings the time to emerge authentically.

8. Do you feel the need to retaliate?

It is only human to want to hurt those who have hurt us, to make them feel the pain they have inflicted. But, in order for your relationship to have a chance of healing, those feelings must ultimately give away in favor of new commitments and behaviors. Do you see a way forward for you to eventually let go of those feelings if your partner changes their behavior?

9. What would you need from your partner to consider going forward?

If you make the decision to let your partner back into your life, you must know what you will need in order to believe again that the relationship is worth fighting for. Your partner may need different behaviors from you as well. The past will define the future if the future is not created anew.

Choose Dr. Randi Gunther a Clinical Psychologist & Marriage Counselor who truly understands the complexities of human connection.

Reach out to Dr. Randi today and take the first step toward a brighter, more fulfilling future together.

Dr. Gunther is available by Zoom or Facetime


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