Their phone rang while they were sleeping and you only wanted to silence it because you had to be up at 5am to make your monthly staff meeting. You reach over and there are several incoming texts from “Rebecca” and you wonder…”Did I drop the ball?” You replay every office holiday party, every family bbq, every night you’ve met them after work at happy hour attempting to recall if you’ve ever been introduced to a “Rebecca”. Nope. No recollection of her. Wait, its 2am…Why are they getting texts and calls from one person repetitively at this time of night.
The morning comes and you’ve tossed and turned all night over it. Instead of ruining your morning, you decide to go to work to avoid argument and focus on your day of productivity but you just can’t think straight. You decide to ignore the thought and make your way home to surprise your sweetheart with a home-cooked dinner but they’re suddenly “working late” or decided to go out with “the crew”. They’ve never been this spontaneous before. In fact, you’re usually invited along for these things.
Months go by and there wasn’t any solid “proof” and you wouldn’t dare show your lack of trust by going through their phone but one day while doing the laundry something falls out of their pocket that isn’t normal…a pack of cigarettes and your partner doesn’t smoke. A lighter? Something that shows a change in behavior, unstable work schedule suddenly, odd excuses for not checking in or new habits that aren’t traits of their normal character. Intimacy levels decrease between the two of you and finally you have the guts to outright ask, “Is there someone else?”
After asking the question you never know you’d be prepared for you receive the response, “Yea, but it’s nothing serious.” So now what? You might be thinking, “IT’S NOTHING SERIOUS? If it’s ‘nothing serious’, then WHAT’S THIS?” You’ve been with this person several years, you’ve sort of built your lives around each other and you thought you were tight, going in the same direction. Where was it on the signup sheet that it would be okay to see other people? Were you supposed to be doing the same thing? Should you start?
Many questions are now running through your head and you probably want to lose it on them and as easy as this may be reading rather than actually doing…DON’T! Although relationships aren’t about achieving the upper hand, right now you do have it and it’s up to you to decide if this is something you want to deal with whether you want to or not. You may not want to deal with this person physically or intimately right now but you will be dealing with this mentally in your own way. How?
The average person is now deciding if this will make or break the relationship. If you ask any couple who has been together or married for 50 yrs or more if infidelity ever played a role in their relationship, there is a high chance they’ll tell you it did. Now trust is something that should not be toyed with and can leave permanent emotional scarring as well as mistrust for years, even decades often not being rebuilt. The first step that you have to do is forgive. “Why the heck would I forgive a person who wanted someone else over me for any moment of their day?” You must forgive for yourself, not for them. Consider up front before asking them to apologize that they can be forgiven. Maybe not overnight, but one day you will not care about their action so be ready and open to that day. Focus on the day you are able to forgive them, and not today. It will provide you with peace of mind in the present without you even knowing.
Consider if this is something you will allow to continue. If you know your worth, you are probably thinking there is no way you can share your mate with someone else if the two of you have not already agreed on such an arrangement. Consider the potential risks they are choosing to expose you to while not being monogamous. Is this something you will allow? If not, make it clear to them where you stand on it. Do not allow them to make you feel at blame for their actions or choices. Their choice to cheat is on them. Communication plays a major role prior to infidelity as well as post infidelity and is vital to the potential repair of the relationship. If the cheating mate chooses not to open up about their actions and becomes reclusive or withhold information, seek solitude…
Find a friend you can trust who can put you up for a few days to clear your head. Right now you want to talk to someone about what’s going on to determine if you thoughts are rational and co-sign. Make sure that the person you are confiding in will not look down on your mate should you make the decision for yourself to stay and work things out. The last thing you want is for your friend or family member to lose long-term respect for your mate if the relationship can be salvaged.
Allow yourself enough time to weigh all factors before making a final decision and again do not blame yourself. A mini-vacation or weekend away may be due for a mental break but make sure that whatever your decision is, it will be something that you will be happy with and know that at any point in time it is okay to change your mind. Take it one day at a time until you are at a comfortable place and able to say, “I have healed, I am at peace, and I have conquered.” Finally, remember.. Everything will be okay in the end and if it’s not okay then it’s not the end.