Unfortunately, too many people know what it's like to be cheated on -- myself included. It breaks your heart, makes you angry and can make you doubt yourself and future relationships and partners. After you've been cheated on, it's hard to make sense of what happened. Over time, I ended up learning several valuable lessons through personal experience as well as from many who either cheated or were cheated on.
Worrying won't change anything
Being a good partner, unfortunately, does not guarantee that you won't get cheated on. I know this statement isn't exactly comforting, but there are always ways to cheat and there are always people willing to be the "other person." You can't spend your life or your entire relationship worrying that your partner is going to cheat. It's a simple truth that anyone can cheat at almost any time; the only thing you can do is have faith in your partner that it won't happen. All the worrying in the world won't change things.
There's no excuse for cheating
There's a lot of reasons people give for cheating, some of which include not getting enough sex at home, not getting enough attention from a partner and wanting the thrill of sneaking around, but one thing remains the same -- there's always an option not to do it. Those I've talked to who have cheated said that despite the reasons they gave for doing what they did, they could have easily stopped the situation but didn't.
If there seems to be something lacking from the relationship, it's important to talk to your partner about it; not talking won't help fix things and neither will cheating. If you've tried to fix things but feel the relationship is irreparable and you're incredibly unhappy, you don't have to stay with the person.
Once a cheater always a cheater?
I've heard this statement more times than I can remember, but I don't completely agree with it. For example, I believe those unlikely to cheat again are those who admit their mistakes, are genuinely remorseful, backs up the apology with action, talks about why it happened, has a "repair plan" and doesn't talk to the other person anymore. Years ago, a friend of mine cheated on his girlfriend when he kissed a female friend; he felt so horrible about it that he confessed. After a lot of groveling and showing he was truly sorry, they stayed together and got married. That moment years before was his one and only instance of cheating.
Those who have cheated multiple times, cheated for an extended period of time, has done everything to hide the lies, gives an apology full of excuses if there's one at all, doesn't seem very sorry, still sees the other person and blames the partner for the cheating are more likely to be repeat offenders.
Personally, regardless of how sorry the person is, I would never be able to continue to be with someone who cheated on me. From personal experience, I know I couldn't look at the person the same way and I just wouldn't feel the same anymore.
Cheating is equal opportunity
Here's the thing about people who cheat -- it can be the obvious people and it can be those you would never suspect. It's done by people and to people of every gender, race, profession, sexual orientation, color, relationship status, creed, nationality and religion, there isn't one single type. Generalizing based on one or even a few people isn't fair to anyone, not even yourself.
Not everyone is a cheater
Although everyone is capable of cheating, not everyone is going to do it. There's two options: you could either be exceedingly suspicious about everyone you date or have faith from the beginning until you have a reason to no longer do so. Your best bet is the latter. No one wants to feel like a suspect and no one deserves to pay for the mistakes of others. Your relationship has a better chance of thriving when there's a base of of trust rather than suspicion.
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