August 28, 2015

Staying with a Man who Cheated: 5 Thoughts.

Frankieleon/Flickr

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When a man cheats, it is important to carefully weigh the decision to stay or leave.

Not every woman who is cheated on chooses to leave, but either way the consequences are huge.

A woman who leaves a cheating partner will eventually find peace of mind; however, a woman who stays can hardly sleep at night. Her mind is like a video tape that lost the pause button.

Having been in such a situation before, I know how hard it is to be cheated on.

What’s even harder than the actual incident is the decision that has to follow.

In my own experience, staying with a cheating man caused damaging thoughts, particularly at the beginning.

Those thoughts don’t apply to all women who stay; some do a great job of letting go of what happened. Sadly, others can’t easily let go, and as a consequence hold destructive debates in their heads.

These are five common thoughts to have, which other women in similar situations can probably relate to:

1. Was it really a mistake?

Most cheating men—who get caught—claim that it was a mistake. However, many do so only to make their woman feel better. To come clean and tell her why he really cheated would be somewhat problematic.

The woman who was cheated on is constantly trying to assure herself that it was a mistake would make her feel a whole lot better.

Why? Because mistakes are followed by lessons. Hence, a cheating husband who considers his wrongdoing a fault will probably learn from it and never do it again.

On the contrary, if it wasn’t considered a fault, this only means that he will do it over and over again.

2. Is he cheating on me now?

This is probably the most prominent thought in the mind of a woman who stays with a cheating partner.

Thoughts like, “he did it once, he might do it twice,” tirelessly wander in her head. Often in such cases the mind becomes a devil that keeps whispering unnecessary opinions. With time, those opinions get stuck in the woman’s mind, and keeping them away becomes a difficult task.

She might start doubting every move he makes. She might even feel the urge to search his phone or his contacts just to comfort herself.

Behaving this way is tiring not only for her, but also for him. The thought alone is capable of decreasing trust, which in turn creates tension in the relationship. Eventually, a relationship that lost the foundation of trust can’t grow as expected.

3. Would cheating on him make me feel better?

Thinking about this doesn’t necessarily mean doing it. But a woman who was cheated on will search for ways to ease her pain. Hence, in a moment of madness she might consider cheating on him as a solution.

Putting an end to the pain isn’t the only reason why some women consider cheating. Some women feel the loss of balance in the relationship—they gave too much and got so little in return. Or, they feel the urge to take revenge. And sometimes, they think about cheating because they simply lost hope; they start living as if they are going to break up with their partners anyways.

Not all women actually do it, of course, but some might consider it. It’s just another negative thought that haunts the woman who never expected her relationship to take that turn.

4. Is there something wrong in me?

I believe the biggest damage that cheating causes a woman is the loss of her self-confidence. Her focus will instantly be redirected to herself. As a result, she starts looking for the bad in her instead of the good.

She blames her body, her way of thinking, her lifestyle and even sometimes her underwear, which she thinks her partner got bored of. Thus, she indirectly starts looking for ways to “renovate” herself. It could be the way she dresses, the way she brushes her hair or the way she wears her make-up. She may remake herself in any way that seems it would appeal to her partner.

As a matter of fact, cheating usually has nothing to do with the woman. But trying to persuade the woman who was cheated on is beyond the bounds of possibility.

5. Did I make the right decision?

This thought is a dagger. Wondering if staying with a cheating partner was the right thing to do is enough to deplete a woman of her energy.

She will find herself questioning this decision in everything she does during the day. Whether walking, showering, watching TV or with friends, she’s perpetually thinking about it.

The worst part is that she can never figure out the answer while she’s still with her partner. The voice in her head will be split in two: One tells her that she did well to stay, while the other shouts at her.

Trying to turn down the volume on this voice is out of the question. It seems like the remote control is lost and will never be found again.

Staying or leaving is a decision that every woman is utterly free to take. If she decides to stay she should do so with full awareness of her feelings, especially at the beginning; however, if the thoughts I mentioned above keep haunting her, a woman might consider leaving, as this is a big sign that the trust for her partner is dead.

Having said that, I know of a lot of relationships that did flourish, and the couples’ partnerships now are stronger than ever.

Below are five practices a woman who stays with a cheating partner might try to build again what has been destroyed:

1. Learn to trust him again even if it was hard at the beginning. We should try to find the lost remote control and turn down the volume of the voice that tries to convince us that out partner is cheating on us again. We should never listen to what our mind is trying to tell us as all arising thoughts are only an illusion created by our grief.

2. Even if you don’t trust him yet, don’t let him feel it. Most men lose their authenticity when they acknowledge that we don’t trust them.

3. Focus on yourself and find the positives in your being. Your partner didn’t cheat on you because of you. You are perfect just the way you are. We should keep on loving ourselves and never allow any outside stimulus to induce the loss of our self-confidence.

4. Don’t consider cheating. I think cheating on the man who cheated on you will only make you feel worse. Stay good to him and your goodness will reflect on him sooner or later. Have him learn from your loyalty; don’t learn from his cheating.

5. Truly forgive, and avoid any actions that are indirectly punishing him. We tend to unconsciously punish our partner who has cheated on us. Maybe we become rude to him, put an end to our good actions or simply refrain from “loving” him. Behaving this way, however, will only make him feel bad, while putting us in the position of a victim. Keep on loving him anyways. Remember, you reap what you sow.

And always remember, no one’s making you stay.

If staying with him is causing self-guilt, untrustworthiness or agony, make your way out of the relationship as soon as possible. Good luck!

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Relephant:

He Cheated, and I Chose to Stay.

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Author: Elyane Youssef

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Flickr/Frankieleon

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