When our partner cheats, it feels like we have been betrayed and deceived, as if we have been hit by a ton of bricks.
We feel broken, confused, hurt, and deeply wounded.
Although the natural reaction to a cheating spouse might be to get angry, frustrated, rageful, or hateful; there is another way to approach the cheating.
If you are the one that has been cheated on, pause for a second and ask yourself, how did I contribute to his or her behavior?
Now I am not by any means trying to put the blame or the fault on YOU. To understand and possibly mend the relationship after cheating, we “the victim” per se, need to step up and be willing to ask the hard question from ourselves. We need to dig deep within ourselves to find out what was our part in the cheating.
Stay with me!
I know the thought of “what the heck is she talking about” is lingering in your mind as you are reading this. You have been wronged; the shock, the pain, the fear, and the grief are all real and valid, and you need to acknowledge and process them fully. Your feelings are real and valid. I am not disputing that.
It is always easier to point the finger at someone else.
Relationships or marriages have two equal partners in them. And each partner is responsible for 100% of the relationship. Contrary to the old belief, there is no 50/50. Both partners are in it with their 100%, fully engaged, and responsible.
Now, if our part of the relationship is 100%, then asking the tough questions from ourselves is a necessary part of our growth and understanding. Because if we don’t heal, grow, and understand our part, we end up moving from one relationship to the next and end up getting the same results and the same heartbreaks over and over again.
Then, because of our unwillingness to learn from our past experiences, we collect our results and put them in a box and decide that all men are cheaters, and all men are up to no good. We start to generalize and label the other as “bad,” “wrong,” and “immoral,” without allowing ourselves to learn and grow from the experience.
So, take a deep breath in and step into your power and step out of the victim mode and dive deep inside and ask:
How did I cheat myself?
Was I not available emotionally to my partner?
Did a deeply rooted belief that I am not lovable subconsciously sabotaged my relationship?
How did I create the condition for betrayal?
What are the hard truths about this relationship that I am not willing to see and admit?
What is the real, authentic dynamic of this relationship?
How was I blind to the signs? Did I ignore them? Was I in denial?
Because cheating doesn’t happen overnight, almost no one in a happy and healthy marriage decides one day that today, I will cheat on my spouse. There is a process of disconnect that happens over time — over many days and nights of misunderstanding, dissatisfaction, feeling unappreciated, unheard, and feeling unworthy.
This is where we begin the exploration- deep within ourselves. This is the time that we need to be genuinely authentic and real to ourselves. No more pretending. Raw and honest answers. We need to begin to be responsible for our results, no matter how difficult or painful they may be.
This is where we decide that I am the creator of my life and, therefore, my results. So, where did I go wrong, and what can I learn from it? How can I put the pieces back together? And move forward.
Betrayal ALWAYS start from the SELF
Once the self-exploration is done
Then the next step is to shift the focus to the partner and begin to dig deep and ask the tough questions.
How did they play small in this relationship and did not speak up of their needs and wants?
When and how did the lying and the deception start?
What it is that they don’t have the courage to tell you?
Once we have the honest and truthful answers of both partners, then we look at the cheating ACT and ask ourselves, can we grow and evolve from this?
Can this bring us closer, more intimate, and more connected to each other?
Cheating does not have to be an end to a relationship. It is not an automatic dismissal…if we are willing to evolve from it and allow trust and transparency into the relationship.
There is always great learning from our painful experiences. Use this as an opportunity for growth and a gateway for transformation.
Your relationship can pass the toughest test, only if both of you are willing to do the deep inner work truthfully and authentically.