Being in a relationship means taking a risk by opening up to someone. That sense of vulnerability can be damaged by cheating. Having to cope with a cheating girlfriend may be extremely difficult. The sensitive situation must be treated with respect to yourself and to the relationship in order to handle it with the best intentions for you.
Handling Your Initial Reactions
Remain as calm as possible. You might be overcome by emotions of anger or sadness. Giving in to these emotions might lead you to react poorly. Do your best to give yourself some time to think and reflect. It’s often good to talk about your thoughts and feelings with a friend or even a counselor. To relieve stress, pick a recreational activity or spend time with friends and family to get your mind off of it.
Avoid putting the blame on yourself. A relationship should belong to two people. Both individuals carry the responsibility of actions and communication that make the relationship work. If she cheats on you, do not falsely put the burden of blame on yourself. You are never in control of her actions, but you can control your thoughts. Keep your mind clear of feeling you are at fault.
Think positively towards yourself. You will have a lot of thoughts and scenarios running through your head when you find out the disheartening truth. Often times, guys focus on the damage of their pride or reputation. While it won’t be easy, rely on the fact that a relationship should not be built on what a person brought to your reputation. Also, her actions should not shatter who you are, so avoid thinking you are not good enough. Don’t weigh yourself down
Talk to someone. Avoid feeling alone during this time. Realize that people around you can help. Bottling up anger or doubt might be too much, so find either a family member or friend whom you can open up to about the situation. Seeking a therapist is also a good choice; a therapist is both professional and unbiased.
Gather any kind of evidence. Something sparked your thoughts of your girlfriend cheating, and a hunch can only go so far. Ask friends and pay attention to your girlfriend’s actions. Keep track of things as they happen. Wrongfully accusing her will cause relationship problems.
Make sure your relationship has been established. Times have changed, and people accept open relationships. If your relationship has only begun, perhaps she didn’t see it as cheating. Reflect upon your history together and be open to her perspective if there is a misunderstanding about the relationship. People need to choose the relationship model that best suits them.
Confront her about the issue face-to-face and in private. In order to verify if she is cheating, you will have to talk to her in person. It won’t be easy, but it is a must. Be confident in your questioning, and be ready to hear her out. Ask her What went wrong with our relationship? Is this an ongoing incident? How did this happen in the first place? Listening to each other will be very key in order to know what lies ahead for the two of you.
- One meeting might not be enough. Be ready to talk about this over several meetings.
- Keep your focus on talking about what happened, your feelings, and her perspective on what happened. Avoid assigning blame at this point, as it will shut down the conversation.
Prepare for denial. If you get your hard evidence and plan to bring up her cheating without warning, you will catch her off guard. Chances are she might deny it. Have questions ready along with your proof. Ask her to explain specific days in which the incidents occurred. She might take some time to admit it especially if she is still cheating or seeing the other person. Bring that up, too. Either case, approach her when you are absolutely ready as possible.
Leave the other person out of it. The issue going on between you and your girlfriend should be the focus. Realize that the root of the problem stems from your girlfriend and her actions. The other person should be neither involved nor confronted; it can only cause more problems.
Decide to stay with her or move on. After emotions calm down, you will begin to focus on you and your next decision. Choosing to either work through the incident or leave her will not be easy. Pick the option that will be less hurtful and more fruitful for your future.
Accept an apology. The relationship will not move on without an apology. If she hasn’t given you one, ask her. It might be difficult to tell if the apology is heartfelt, but ask your girlfriend for some time to process all that has transpired. When the time is right, your acceptance will begin to mend the relationship.
- Keep in mind that this might not be the end of the issue. Even if she is truly sorry, your relationship will likely need work, which will require both of you to work together.
Express trust issues. If you decide to work through the incident and keep the relationship going, talk about trust. The hurt that occurred will drive a huge wedge between you, but deciding to be together means regaining that closeness. Communicate with one another and express changes that should occur in the relationship.
- Avoid stripping each other of any and all privacy (i.e. checking cell phones, demanding social media passwords); the relationship must have the enjoyable will of being with each other.
Understand forgiveness. Being betrayed by someone you care about can leave you seething with anger. It’s likely that the memory of this incident will remain with you for a long time. That feeling of anger must be replaced by forgiveness, which in this case forgiveness means the release of anger in hopes of happiness. Mending your relationship will take time, and you’ll feel more patient as you forgive her.
Discuss your future together. A new relationship must be built. It’s up to you and her to move past the incident. Stay true to your decision. Help each other by looking forward to a new and better relationship.
Move forward. Do not dwell on the past. If your relationship is going to work, do not take any fight as an opportunity to bring up the mistake she made. Your decision to be with her should be driven by better communication and future-oriented thinking.
Seek counseling if needed. Discussing issues with her might be difficult. Even though you you are moving towards a better future, an incident of cheating can be too big for you to handle on your own. Seek a professional therapist or relationship counselor if you feel as though you can’t get something off your mind. Don’t force your girlfriend to go to counseling as well, but invite her with the best interest for your relationship.