My partner cheated; now what?

Published on January 8, 2021

Randy had been married for three years to someone that he thought was faithful.  He felt that they had a great relationship, and he didn’t see any problems that were out of the ordinary for couples.  He was shocked when he saw a notification come on his wife’s cell phone screen from another man.  When he asked her about it, she broke down in tears and admitted that she had had a fling with one of her co-workers.  Randy was devastated and wasn’t sure what to do next.

Aubrey had been slowly falling for a man that she had been dating for six months.  He was romantic and charming.  One night she was out with her friends when she saw him with another woman.  When she confronted him at the club, he told her to go home as it was none of her business.  Crushed, she blocked his number on her phone.  He later reached out to her on email to apologise.  He regained her trust, and they started dating again.  It wasn’t long before her friends saw his profile on Tinder.  This time when she confronted him, he told her that he might be a sex addict.  She felt betrayed and began to feel like she should never date again.  She was worried that this would happen to her again in the future.

Being cheated on can be confusing and heartbreaking.  How do you know if you should go or if you should work it out?  There are certain factors to consider:

1. Do their own actions deeply hurt your partner?

If your partner deeply regrets having betrayed you and hurting you, perhaps they have learned and won’t do it again.  The partner who cheats might now have a deep sense of shame. It might be harder for them to forgive themselves than it is for you to forgive them.

2. What were the circumstances around the situation?

What were the circumstances? Is your partner in love with the other person?  Is this a one-time event, or is this an ongoing relationship?  Any ongoing relationship needs to end before you, and your partner can repair any damage that has been done to the relationship.

3. Understanding your worth

Know your worth. If you were cheated on, it might not have anything to do with you.  It is possible that your partner was in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t have the will power to put the brakes on.  This doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t love you.  If you are in a relationship with a sex addict, encourage them to get help.  If they refuse to get help, do you want to stay with them knowing this is happening?

4. Address any underlying issues in your relationship

If there are underlying issues in your relationship, don’t blame yourself.  Relationships happen in a dynamic.  See it as a “us” problem and not a “you” or “I” problem.  If you are in an abusive relationship, find a safe exit strategy to escape.

5. Understand your and your partner’s values

Does your partner value monogamy or loyalty? If you want a committed relationship, don’t stay in an open relationship because you are afraid that you will lose the other person.

Being cheated on can leave you feeling like the other person is better than you.  You might wonder what they have that you don’t have.  Being hard on yourself can deepen the pain.  Understand that you have value and that you deserve to be in a loving and honest relationship if that is what you can also give another person.


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Photo by Jills from Pixabay

Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Complex PTSD, Divorce / Divorce Adjustment, Ending a relationship issues, Grief, Loss, Bereavement, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD, Self-Care / Self Compassion, Self-Confidence

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

My goal is to help you out of the pain you are feeling from abuse, loss, and unhealthy relationships. I understand how scary it is in the darkness, and I want to help you transition back into the light.

I have helped hundreds of individuals go from suffering to thriving. I have studied the effects of abuse, loss, and unhealthy relationships on self-worth, trust, depression, and anxiety for almost fifteen years. My education and clinical experience have enabled my clients to understand their worth, make positive changes in their relationships and careers, and have more confidence.

I specialize in attachment, trauma, and loss. I am experienced in helping adults, teens, children, and families adjust to anxiety, trauma, abuse, divorce, separation, and loss. This may include deciding what is in the children’s best interest during disputes and strengthening the relationship and communication between the parents and the children. As an attachment specialist, I help individuals understand and deal with relationship patterns that prevent them from developing or maintaining healthy relationships.

I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. I graduated with my master’s in psychology from Columbia University in New York City. I pursued her doctorate in Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. I live in California and am working on my PsyD at California Southern University.

Registered Clinical Psychologist with The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology (HKSCP). Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), The British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Hong Kong Family Law Association (HKFLA).

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