Can A Relationship Work After Cheating?

Written by Harini Natarajan

Trust, honesty, and harmony create the string art called relationships. Once broken, these threads can never be restored to their original strength. Sure, you can tie a knot and pretend everything is alright – but is it? Cheating, also known as infidelity, is the act of being unfaithful to your partner. It doesn’t just break the relationship but also the partner who is at the receiving end. When infidelity is revealed, either the relationship is immediately terminated or the partners may try to find a way to survive this blow. If, unfortunately, you find yourself at this crossroad, here is a checklist that may help you make a decision. Keep scrolling!

Infidelity By The Numbers

Infidelity By The Numbers

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It can be very difficult to get over the infidelity of a spouse. According to a new survey by Health Testing Centers, a healthcare company, only 16% of relationships work after a cheating incident (1). While most cheating cases — around 40% — occur in unmarried relationships, 25% of marriages also see infidelity at least once.

It may take a long while and a lot of hard work to get over such a painful event. Thus, it is completely fine to let things go and move on, and it is also alright to try to work things out.

While figuring out your approach, you may wonder why someone has the urge to cheat on their partner. It happens when they don’t get the kind of love, attention, satisfaction, acceptance, or respect they seek from their significant other. The reasons may vary, but at the end of the day, it is only about finding something that’s missing in the present relationship.

While you may be giving your best in the relationship, it is imperative to understand that every individual has different needs. You can’t always meet them all, and they have to work with you to find a middle ground. Do you see a future with your partner or is it only about keeping up the pretenses? Here are some parameters that shouldn’t define your relationship’s future.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Them Back

Why You Shouldn’t Take Them Back

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  1. Duration: You have been in the relationship for too long and don’t want to lose them or you feel like you won’t find some as loving as they are.
  2. Tit-for-tat: You consider this a counterbalance for a previous affair you had or an earlier argument where you had hurt them.
  3. Kids: You have kids together and want to forgive your partner for the children’s sake.
  4. Social circles: You have a common friends’ circle and don’t want it to be awkward at the next get-together.

Not all is always lost. Your relationship might just be able to sail over the mishap as both of you try to create a stronger bond. Here are some tell-tale signs that your relationship can work after all.

The Right Reasons For A Second Chance

The Right Reasons For A Second Chance

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  1. Willingness To Forgive: You find yourself ready to forgive them and honestly give the relationship another chance.
  2. Persisting Ease: The time you spend together doesn’t feel strained, and you enjoy it. You work smoothly around each other without any hiccups.
  3. Friendship: Your trust in the friendship and confidant-ship with your partner is still intact.
  4. Communicate: You can talk about the affair without yelling or getting physical. Crying and being hurt is natural, but you can cruise past that phase and make up.
  5. Counseling: Both of you are open to counseling to mend your relationship and work on the suggestions given by the counselor.
  6. A Strong Relationship: Your relationship has stood the test of time and you believe this is just a temporary hurdle. You feel your bond will emerge stronger out of this turmoil.
  7. Do Better: Both of you are ready to address the gaps and work harder to ensure such misfortune doesn’t befall your relationship again.

Once you are sure that your relationship will work out eventually, you have to embrace patience as it may take as long as years to mend. Here’s a road map to help you reach the destination of blissful togetherness again.

Steps To Mend Your Relationship

Steps To Mend Your Relationship

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  1. Remorse: First things first, make your partner feel remorse for the loss your relationship suffered because of their cheating. Unless you speak your mind and make them understand hurt you are, they will not understand the full extent of the damage.
  2. Apology: An authentic interest in restoring the relationship is communicated through a genuine apology. It should not sound shallow.
  3. Communicate: A proper communication channel between the two of you is vital to help put your point across and understand each other.
  4. Honesty: Talk about why it happened. Was it intentional? Was it under influence? Had a stupid dare gone too far? However silly the excuse may be, speak the truth.
  5. Simple Questions: Asking simple questions and answering them honestly is the surest way to regain the lost trust.
  6. Limited Interference: Be selective about who you tell about the incident. Preferably, involve only close family and friends. Telling everyone, fearing their judgement, and hearing unnecessary suggestions can be a pain.
  7. Therapy: Working with a licensed therapist is the easiest way to work on a broken relationship.
  8. Temptations: Temptations carry a danger of returning unexpectedly. So, work on managing the desire to have an affair again or cheat.
  9. Co-create A Plan: Renegotiate the terms that the relationship was based on. Include the learning from the mishap, what issues need to be worked upon, etc.
  10. Mutual Commitment: For the relationship to last, emotional investment, quality time, constant assurances, efforts, and understanding need to be put in from both parties.

While the above mentioned 10 points will help you rekindle your relationship, here are some tips on how you can implement them practically to repair the broken trust.

Some Recommendations To Ease The Process

  1. Get to the root of the problem to understand why the mishap occurred. This is the time to be completely and brutally honest, as it can save your relationship from any such future recurrences.
  2. Be patient with each other. Listen and communicate to understand what is being said. Rather than being reactionary, be receptive.
  3. Create and implement a plan to build a trusting future together. It can include couple therapy and laying new ground rules through discussions with each other.
  4. Limit the number of times that the topic is brought up. When you keep talking about it, it is harder to get over.
  5. Cut the third person out completely. Don’t contact, meet, or even text them.
  6. Accept that the affair happened, acknowledge the reasons behind it, understand the emotions you have felt and made your partner go through. And finally, try to move on.
  7. Shed the blame game, taunting, teasing, and any sort of low-handed insults that you might want to throw at each other. Do it before you start trying to mend the relationship and, once done, never mention it again.
  8. Focus on strengthening your relationship. Engage in activities, collaborative tasks, massages – anything that will help rebuild the lost trust.
  9. Get over the envy that there was a third person involved. You might want to blame the shortcomings you may have, but remember it was never your fault.
  10. Forgive them and yourself for letting it happen. Focus on improving yourselves and your relationship from here on.

The Takeaway

Cheating is one of the worst things that a partner can go through, but it is also something that can be dealt with, albeit slowly. If they feel it is worthwhile, partners can save their relationship by putting in real work and effort into the process of healing and ensure that they take away lifelong lessons from this dark phase. We hope this article helped you understand why someone cheats, why and why not give them a second chance, and how to rebuild a relationship.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Admitting To Cheating – Exploring How Honest People Are About Their Infidelity
    https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/research-guides/admitting-cheating/

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As Chief Editor, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She has over 14 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of Beauty, Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.