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How to Deal With Infidelity in a Relationship

A couple discussing how to deal with infidelity.
There’s no universal approach to how to deal with infidelity. It’s a complex and personal process.

So you met a special someone. You encountered them during your most fragile moments. Emotions blossomed, and a connection formed. You envisioned a shared future, perhaps with a family with two or three children. But your world was shattered the moment you witnessed them with another person. The relationship has ended, but you’re left devastated and unable to move forward. Now, you ask yourself, “What should I do?”

Cheating—the ultimate betrayal and relationship killer. For many, it’s an absolute deal breaker. It’s a circumstance no one desires to encounter. It’s infuriating, devastating, and disheartening. It makes you question your worth. Undoubtedly, it ranks among the most despicable actions one can commit.

In her 2017 article in The Atlantic, Esther Perel, a psychotherapist and sexuality expert, stated that adultery is as old as marriage and that it has persisted throughout history. She also explained that it could happen even in a seemingly happy relationship. What could this mean? It could mean that cheating is common even among seemingly happy married couples, but it should not be regarded as acceptable or justified.

But many people who have been cheated on still choose to remain in the relationship.

Most people don’t know how to deal with infidelity in a relationship. But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. If you’ve ever been cheated on, this article is for you. We’ll offer some guidance and support for you to cope with being cheated on.

But before all that, you do want to be certain that you have been cheated on.

Psychological Tricks to Catch a Cheater

You may be a victim of cheating and you don’t know it yet. Or you are suspicious of your partner, and the mental stress is killing you. So you want to be as sure as you can be before dealing with the worst-case scenario.

Let’s say you catch your partner checking their ex’s Facebook account. But is looking up an ex on Facebook cheating in the first place? Or is it an indicator of something much worse? Keep in mind that cheating is not always physical. It comes in many forms. Your partner may have either a personal or phone affair with others. And that may still be cheating if they are having an affair with someone other than you.

Philip Adcock, a body language expert, has revealed various ways to catch a cheater through the subtle actions of your partner. Although there is no certainty that your partner is cheating if they do any of these, it is still worth your time to address these issues in your relationship.

A couple having a phone affair while committed.
Infidelity extends beyond physical encounters; engaging in a phone affair is also considered a form of cheating.

To begin, here are some helpful ways to observe whether your partner is being unfaithful. Oftentimes, the body language of a cheater doesn’t lie.

  1. Look into their eyes.

    You know what they say, “Eyes are the windows to our soul.” And they’re right. A person who is hiding something from you will avoid prolonged eye contact. They will not be comfortable with you staring at them. They are afraid that you might catch them through their eyes.

  2. Watch their reaction when you try to touch their phone.

    Although there are couples who value their own privacy, watch for an overreaction if you try to take a peek at your partner’s phone. If they become hostile and lash out at you, there is a possibility that they may be hiding something. An honest person will not be worried about a simple sneak peek at their phone.

  3. Focus on their breathing.

    According to psychology, you will notice a change in the breathing patterns of a person who is lying. Their breathing may go faster or slower than usual. And you will also notice associated signs like blushing or reddening of the neck area.

  4. Watch their gestures while talking.

    A person’s gestures are a telltale sign of how they feel. A person who is lying to you will cross their arms to protect their body. They will also have fidgety fingers and distinctive hand movements, which can be signs that they are nervous and faking.

  5. Trust your gut feeling.

    If you have a gut feeling that your partner is cheating on you, remember that your intuition is valid. It is your brain telling you that there may be something wrong. However, it is not always wise to decide based on your gut feeling. So seek confirmation through other ways. Make sure to address what you feel about your partner instead of making abrupt decisions.

5 Ways How to Deal With Infidelity

Dating a cheater can impact your mental well-being. It’s even worse when you’re married as you are legally committed. Coping with cheating is a complex and personal process, especially if it’s repeated infidelity. But consider the following strategies to help alleviate the effects of infidelity:

A woman dating a cheater.
Dating a cheater will have a great impact on your mental well-being.
  1. Acknowledge and process your emotions.

    Give yourself some time to process your thoughts and feelings. It’s important to acknowledge and validate your emotions. It’s part of your journey toward healing to pour out your anger, sadness, or fear after betrayal. You need an emotional release to start healing.

  2. Engage in open communication with your partner.

    It’s difficult, but it’s needed. It’s crucial to communicate openly with your partner to discuss things that led to their infidelity, especially if you decide to keep the relationship. It’s a way to figure out what could be possible avenues to rebuild trust.

  3. Establish boundaries.

    Many things will change after infidelity, as trust has been broken. And it would be really difficult to rebuild it. So you have to set boundaries with your partner. Let them know what is acceptable and what is not in the relationship moving forward. Determine your expectations and needs for constant reassurance.

  4. Allow yourself to heal.

    Accept that it takes time to move on. Some may take weeks, months, or even years. Do not put a deadline on your pain. Focus on yourself and do things that will improve your mental health. Remember, it’s not your fault they cheated. If you think the relationship is not healthy anymore, do not hesitate to end it for your sake.

  5. Consider professional help.

    The emotional effect of infidelity can have an impact on not only you but your loved ones as well. If the effect is unbearable, it’s time to seek help from an expert. Go to a therapist who can provide you with professional advice about your situation.

Final Thoughts

Is it cheating if you think about someone else while you’re with your partner? Would you still stay in a relationship and give your partner a second chance if it’s their first time cheating? If you got this far, these may be only a few questions that are running through your mind right now. It’s completely normal because you want clarity in your relationship.

But if you have that gut feeling that your partner is cheating, the best way to know is to confront them. Trust, respect, and love are the pillars of a healthy relationship. If one is compromised, you have to decide if the relationship is still worth fighting for. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and leave.

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