Infidelity often visits when you least expect it. A random phone message is read or heard. Maybe it arrives as a lipstick smear or the scent of perfume on the laundry he immediately places into the washing machine.
Sometimes it might burn your eyes through an unintended social media post you weren’t supposed to read. Or maybe it arrives more blatantly, knocking on your door at 2 am with a confrontational statement like,
“Hello, I’m ____. I’m the one sleeping with your man.”
Oh, please don’t get it twisted fellas. Infidelity is an equal opportunity abuser. The men are just as exposed to potential heartbreak as the women. Remember that “friend” she told you about? You know, the one that knows the ins and outs of every single argument the two of you had in your relationship?
Well guess what kind of body pic might come to her cell phone while she’s taking a long shower? How about that party she hit with her girlfriends last month? Turns out some weird group pics surfaced and guess who’s in those compromising positions with her tongue down that dude’s throat?
Cheating can happen to anyone. No one’s exempt. From the rich to the poor. The young to the old. Anyone can have that bag of bricks dropped on them. Successful long-term relationships usually only reach that level by going through a fair amount of pain and forgiveness. If you listen to the radio, there are a lot of songs about love. But there are waaaaaay more songs about heartbreak and infidelity. That’s just a fact of life.
When someone has cheated on you it can be the absolute worst thing in your life. Instantly that bubble of confidence and comfort is popped and you’re left in a free fall, eventually slamming back into that hard block of concrete called reality. And although mom and dad tried to prepare you to lift yourself back up, that lesson is truly one that is learned alone. Being the victim of infidelity can be one of the loneliest feelings you ever experience.
But what are you supposed to do when you discover he or she has been unfaithful? Do you ride with your girls to confront him at his apartment building? Do you confront the guy she cheated with and get physical? Do you ignore it all together and chalk it up as willful blindness? (The obvious answer to each of these scenarios is NO WAY!)
So, what do you do when you discover he or she has been unfaithful? Here are the 5 Things You Need to Do When Your Partner Has Been Unfaithful:
1. GO TO THE DOCTOR: Chances are very large that this isn’t the first incident of infidelity he or she has had since you’ve been in a relationship. Just like liars, cheaters perfect their craft through practice. If you discover your partner has been unfaithful by accident (meaning he or she didn’t come to you and start pouring out their guts) then assume it’s happened multiple times.
And you should also assume it happened without a condom. Be smart. You went from being able to trust this person with your life to not knowing what kind of freak he’s laid with. Get facts from the doctor. If the doctor says you’re clean, good. Avoid make-up sex with the idiot and keep yourself that way.
2. GET ALL OF YOUR EVIDENCE READY: There’s nothing uglier than accusing someone of something that they’re actually innocent of. Once you open up your basket of supposed pain and blast your partner with your suspicions, it will permanently alter your relationship. And if you’re wrong, you’ve just shown yourself to be dumb, impulsive, and insecure. Welcome to that road to the eventual break up.
Instead of going down that road, load up on facts. Collect your evidence. But before you put it out there for mass consumption, get some other pieces of evidence to back up your suspicion. Did they receive a sexy message via cell phone? Well if you guys have a joint cell phone bill, call the cell phone company and see if they have it saved (or at the very least, the phone number of the invader). Take your blinders off and back up those suspicions before you step out there. There’s always multiple pieces of evidence.
3. KEEP YOUR GIRLFRIENDS AND BOYFRIENDS OUT OF IT: Friends are good for certain things. Friends are good listeners. Friends can give you some good advice on planning positive things. But when it comes to pain? Please. I’ve never heard a friend give good advice when it comes to infidelity.
Never. Most of the male friends that I have would recommend some testosterone filled event like riding on the suspected individual for a group beat down. Wrong! Most people are feeling bad enough without the added complication of jail mixed in. And the female friends I have would probably recommend the same thing, or at the very least, the typical
“Leave him, girl!”
But in matters of the heart, if you recommend something to a friend that is experiencing infidelity and you get it wrong, you’ll get blamed for it. I mean, can you imagine trashing your friend’s boyfriend during that moment and then they reconcile? Do you really think they aren’t going to talk about why your friend gives him the evil eye all the time? Friends are never good to involve in the discovery phase of infidelity. Leave them out of it…..for now.
4. PRESENT YOUR EVIDENCE AND HAVE THAT TALK: Suffering in silence is so 1940’s. Keeping his or her infidelity inside and not having a healthy conversation about it can literally kill you. Sit them down and present the evidence. Don’t blame. Don’t yell. Simply present the evidence and ask the following question:
“Can you explain this?”
Sit back and listen.
You have all of the power and the upper hand. They need to show and prove the reason your multiple pieces of information don’t add up to infidelity.
After listening to their excuse, you state firmly what you believe the evidence tells you and why. Be firm. Don’t ask stupid questions like
“What if I did this? How do you think it would look?” Asking dumb questions like that gives the impression that you don’t have confidence in your own eyes and you’re begging him or her to tell you some kind of magical lie about what you see. Simply state what it is, how it makes you feel, and what you plan to do about it. Tears are okay but doubt makes you seem dumb.
5. DON’T RECONCILE QUICKLY: Have you ever heard of MAKE UP SEX? Ummmm…… NO! After someone has done something like violate everything that you had special between you, the last thing you need to be doing is returning to normalcy. Take some time for yourself. And let me be clear. I’m not talking about a weekend. I’m talking weeks.
He or she needs to know that you take this seriously. But even before that, you need the time for yourself to analyze the whole relationship. If he admitted his shortcomings, you need to decide if the relationship is worth it. And you need to make that decision alone. That’s right, I said it. ALONE!!! A relationship involves two people. But when you’re the only one that has been faithful, you’re the only true adult left in the room. You have some serious thinking to do. Let them know that you are taking some time away from them. Send them out of your apartment for a few weeks. If they won’t go, you crash at a family member’s home. Get out of there. When you finally had time to think things over then you’re ready to have that conversation about either staying together and trying to work it out or dissolving the relationship. But you need time for yourself first.