Surviving Infidelity: 4 Things You Shouldn’t Do Once You Discover Your Partner Has Been Unfaithful

The Associated Press and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy did a survey on infidelity, and they found that partners admitted to either emotional or physical infidelity in 41% of the marriages they surveyed.  In a world where an affair can literally be a search and a few mouse clicks away, there are a lot of couples struggling with infidelity.  Finding out that a spouse or partner has been unfaithful can be emotionally devastating, and those powerful emotions can cause people to make some bad decisions. 

If you Googled “managing fidelity” you’d see thousands of articles about what you should do if you find out that your partner is cheating, but not too much advice on what you shouldn’t do when you’re handling a cheating partner.  If you’re dealing with a cheating husband, an unfaithful wife, or a dishonest significant other, make sure you avoid doing these things when you handle the situation.

Don’t plan a big confrontation in front of other people

When some people find out that their partner has been unfaithful they envision dramatically confronting the cheater in front of friends, family, and even co-workers.  That image may be satisfying, but the reality of the situation most likely won’t be.  There’s an old saying that relationship matters should be dealt with in private, and that saying is especially poignant when it comes to infidelity.  You don’t know how your spouse is going to react, and honestly you don’t know how you’re going to handle the confrontation.  The last thing either of your loved ones or co-workers need to see is the both of you sobbing, screaming, or airing each other’s dirty laundry.  Pick a time where you know that the two of you will have some privacy, and tell them there.

Don’t get revenge with your own affair

It may not be the most mature thing to admit, but it’s perfectly normal to want your partner to have a taste of their own medicine.  It’s normal to feel that way, but actually getting revenge on your spouse isn’t the best way to deal with your feelings.  Do you really want to sink to your spouse’s level by cheating on them?  They may have broken your heart with their dishonesty, but doing the same to them won’t make you feel any better, and it also will look very bad on your part.  Imagine standing in front of a judge or your friends and explaining that you had an affair to get back at your partner.  Keep your revenge fantasies in your head, and don’t try to make them a reality.

Don’t beg for your relationship

You may feel like having your relationship end is the worst possible scenario, but please don’t cry, plead, and beg for the person to stay.  When you practically throw yourself at your cheating partner you’re only feeding their egos and giving them even more power over your emotions.  You’re also inadvertently telling them that you’re willing to overlook their transgressions for the sake of keeping the status quo.  If the person you love is willing to hurt you and find fulfillment outside of your relationship, are you sure that this person is truly worth begging for? 

Don’t take responsibility for their affair

Maybe you could have been more affectionate, perhaps you could have done more to show that you appreciate them, and it’s possible that you were too wrapped up in your own problems to give your partner enough attention.  The bottom line is that they chose to cheat on you and that they’re 100% responsible for their own behavior.  It doesn’t matter what was happening in your lives when the affair took place.  Your partner may try to blame their behavior on something you did, but don’t believe it for a second.  There are couples in San Diego fighting over money, husbands and wives in Chicago dealing with their own midlife crisis, and partners loosing their youthful good looks and Brooklyn. The vast majority of these couples won’t need a private investigator to confirm that their spouse was dealing with their issues by being unfaithful.  Relationship struggles are common, but cheating isn’t.

Jennifer Dee is blogger from Philadelphia that loves giving advice and helping others.  She spends much of her time reading, writing, and helping her friends.

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