As good as we perceive relationships to be, they aren’t perfect, and there are times when you could have had a lapse in judgment and make mistakes, so some of these may see you have an objective in mind, but it may be the wrong way to go about it.
Cheating on a partner falls under this category, which can be very destructive to any relationship where you feel shame and seek forgiveness. While you may think low of your situation, we’re here to tell you that you should find a way to forgive yourself.
Below, we give you some steps to coming to terms with this action and how you can begin the process of improving yourself and your outlook on your mental health.
Recognize And Take Accountability For Your Actions
This aspect of learning to accept your mistakes and learn from them can help you grow and show elements of yourself where you may want to make changes. Is there something you feel you aren’t getting in your current relationship, for example?
While you may feel remorseful afterward, there’s no point in thinking about the what if’s because the action has already taken place. Instead, you can ask yourself how to prevent something like this from happening again.
If you can accept the negative effect this has on your relationship, and you feel you want to try to save this relationship, you can build from this intense desire to try to make things better and communicate to yourself why you cheated or what may have led up to this.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
This is a crucial step when trying to save your relationship, but it can also be the most uncomfortable and confrontational step that many will try to avoid.
By communicating with your partner about your actions, you have the chance to be honest about what aspects of your relationship you find are lacking, or maybe you wanted some variety, improved your self-esteem, or felt a lack of commitment.
When you begin to answer your partner’s questions as honestly as you can, it can seem as if a large burden has been lifted from your shoulders. If you sincerely apologize, you can find some reassurance that if this relationship is worth your energy, you won’t repeat the action.
Suppose you are as detailed about your answers as possible. In that case, you can clear the air and prevent making things worse if more details about the action are to arise in the future, so communication here is vital if you want to make the process of rebuilding easier for both of you.
Ultimately, you want to make your partner happy, so if you feel you have nothing to apologize for, or think that you are over-apologetic and feel that your sense of worth is lowered, perhaps you should think more about your relationship and whether you value it or not.
Be Prepared For Some Unwanted Outcomes
There may be a chance that your partner decides to end the relationship, and while this is a likely outcome in some situations, it can still come as a shock when you find out the relationship is over.
This can be due to you not wanting to accept this outcome fully, or you genuinely want to make the relationship work, but you must also be realistic and accept that your partner has a say about whether they can move past this mistake or not.
Part of this outcome may mean that your partner is willing to look past this mistake as long as you make changes, such as cutting off ties with the person you cheated with, communicating more about how you feel in the relationship, or going to couples therapy.
Seek Counselling Or Relationship Therapy
This can be for yourself or both of you, where you can communicate how you feel and allow your partner to understand these, as the biggest stage in this process is to encourage communication and openness.
This means being as honest as possible about your outlook, and this could lead you to think about what you’re looking to achieve in your relationship or anyone in the future; so, do you want to have flings or a committed relationship?
This aspect of self-discovery can be challenging to identify, which is why another viewpoint on the relationship can give you another perspective that you may not have noticed before, like you may prefer polyamorous-type relationships, for example.
Or perhaps you are still trying to work out what you really want and are trying to find out what makes you feel happy and fulfilled, but the main point here is to be direct with your partner regarding your intentions, so both of you know the best way to proceed in the relationship.
Even if the relationship ends, therapy can be a great way to identify aspects of your life that could’ve contributed to your actions in the first place and whether there are any psychological needs that you need to fulfill to be a better version of yourself.
This way, if you do end this relationship and move on to another one, you can identify the signs or behaviors that make you want to cheat. If you find you still have the desire to follow through on these factors, perhaps you’re not ready for a committed relationship.
Building a headspace where you can forgive yourself and move on can be a liberating thing, and we understand that some forms of cheating may occur over a longer period of time.
There may be aspects in your relationship which make this process harder, such as children, that need to be considered in this process, as you need to ensure that you can have an arrangement that suits everyone, and with the right help, you can become happier as well.
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