Let's say that a relationship is like a piece of paper. When you start out, the piece of paper is usually crisp and unblemished. Just as at the start of the relationships, very little experiences are shared by the couple. But writing on paper is permanent. No matter how you erase, something of that writing will remain. Over the years, you may decide to keep on adding to it as you continue to share a life together.
Sometimes the sheet of paper gets wrinkled or torn. Sometimes it is incidental, such as when both partners become too busy with their own responsibilities and forget each other. Other times, one or both become careless and unmindful of the other, consequently hurting the other with little thought. No matter what you do, however, the crease or tear will always be there. It may be repaired, but the damage done can never be denied.
Finding that your partner has cheated on you is painful. You have been deceived, even betrayed. You may feel that you have been made to look like a fool. That is not easy to accept.
In such a major life event, act as truthfully as you can towards yourself and your husband. Make time for some soul searching and ask yourself these crucial questions:
- Is keeping your marriage and family intact more important than the deception and pain you are going through?
- What kind of man do you think you married? Did he deserve your trust? After doing what he did, to what extent does he still deserve your trust?
- What do you need to do for yourself in order to heal? How do you mourn the loss of the ideal relationship you thought you had?
- What do you do to protect your children from the possible effects of this infidelity? You may decide not to let them know, as it is a matter between husband and wife.
- What does your husband need to do in order to help you get through these difficult times? What can he do to best show that he is willing to continue working on your relationship?
For more advice and articles on this topic, FN suggests these reads:
- 13 Telltale Signs Your Guy Could Be Cheating on You
- Is miscommunication ruining your relationship? + 10 Tips on Effective Communication
- Is your guy cheating on you?
- Are Internet relationships a form of cheating?
(Photo by Gabriella Cmerotti via Flickr Creative Commons)
It takes two to make the relationship work, but only one to make it fail. If you decide that your relationship is worth saving, both you and your husband have to commit to this decision. As partners, you need to agree on what each of you will do to nurture the healing of your relationship. You need to communicate and understand each other to the best of your abilities.
It may be best if you and your partner seek the help of a counselor. The sustained support and understanding of such third parties may be helpful in promoting healthy ways of interacting at this crucial time. This can prompt healing and help you develop new habits that will nurture your relationship.
Finally, your relationship definitely needs some mending. As it took the two of you to start the relationship, it will also take the two of you to straighten it out.
(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Good Advice section as "Keeping It Real" in April 2007; photo by pistoletty via Flickr Creative Commons; adapted for use in Female Network)