Infidelity is a symptom, not the actual disease. Infidelity is a sign the relationship is broken somehow. Every couple goes through relationship crisis: some break up, some survive. Percentage of relationships that work after cheating are 23.6% in older, married couples but only 13.6% in younger couples in committed survives something so graveSource. Older couples, that is couples over 40 years of age have learned to compromise and empathise with each other. Their relationship has lasted longer and a mere mistake can’t take away all the good things they already share. But couples in their 20s do not survive infidelity at all as they haven’t yet been that emotionally dependent with each other and has more options open. Couple in their 30s are the real demography that oscillates and can surprise you with their reaction.
Moving on together after infidelity
Once the trust is broken it is hard to rebuild relationship after cheating. Trust issues in a relationship cast it’s doom, so to say. The key is to moving on together after infidelity and not thinking as individuals. A certain amount of sacrifice and compromise is required for couples to build a successful relationship after cheating. If you can put love ahead of your ego or guilt, then only can a relationship go back to normal after cheating.
11 tips to build a successful relationships after cheating
If love is there, a relationship can survive infidelity but you need to work on your relationship. If you only talk about the instance of infidelity, then you can’t move ahead towards a solution. Here are some tips that will make it a smoother process, and you should be able to build a successful relationship after cheating. There are five tips for the one who cheated and five for the one who was cheated and the last one is for both of you as a couple to rebuild what is lost.
For the infidel – Winning the trust
You can’t set the limit to how many times you need to apologise, it’s for your partner to decide. Once or twice is not enough. You need to apologise as many times it takes you partner to believe that you are doing it from the heart. Once you have hurt the person closest to you it is bound to take some time and hard work to rebuild confidence again. So be genuine and frequent with your apologies
- Admit guilt
Just apologising won’t help. You need to face the music by telling your partner exactly what happened. You might have to try a number of times as you might encounter rage and anger when you go into the detail. That is, unless your partner refuses to listen and chooses to be in denial. But that is not healthy and you should let your partner know that you are genuinely ready to be honest about the whole thing. It is only when you put the details on the table can your partner stop thinking about the exaggerated version in their head. And no, it is not about the excuses you make to justify the whole thing
- Be transparent
Be transparent about your intentions: whether you really want to be in this relationship or is it a sign that you want to move on. If you are going to stay, then you must admit to your partner why you cheated in the first place. What was dis-satisfactory in the relationship? What were you looking for in other people that was missing from this relationship? What change you couldn’t cope with that lead to such action? What were you thinking? Without transparency, there would be no progress
- Sacrifice freedom
Freedom is a privilege that you can’t take for granted. Like every privilege, it comes with certain criteria. But now that you have abused your privilege it is time to sacrifice your freedom to recover and rebuild trust. Unlock your phone, share your passwords, and so on. Most importantly, don’t complain about having to do these things
- Give more time
They say, time heals everything, but it is not without effort. You need to give your partner heal from the injury you must have caused. Pain makes people blind and vengeful. But if your partner chooses to stay then they are doing their bit for the relationship, now it is your turn
For the victim – Trusting again
- Accept apology
I know that it feels that an apology is nothing after the pain your partner caused you but it is the first step. It is your place to tell whether the apology feels genuine or not. Take your time, don’t hurry yourself, accept the apology only if your gut says it is genuine. It is not your duty to make your cheating partner comfortable even in this scenario. But if you choose to forgive and trust, make sure you do it from the heart and look beyond the indignity of being cheated upon
- Be open
Be open to the idea that your partner can change. I know it is hard to accept that right now but choosing to stay entail being open to the idea of change. Things won’t go back to as it were ever before but if you are open and accepting about what to come then maybe you will arrive at a new normal
- Be self-critical
As I said before, infidelity is just a symptom, not the disease. You need to look at the cracks that appeared in the relationship before the instance of infidelity happened. You are never to be blamed for your partner’s infidelity: that’s their responsibility entirely. But you need to exhume the reasons for which your relationship and communication failed so much that you didn’t even notice the change in your partner’s behaviour
- Sacrifice ego
The pain that is caused by infidelity comes from a latent idea of possessiveness that makes you feel that your partner is your property. But you know, that is not the case. Also if you feel that what will be your position in the society if they knew that your partner cheated on you, stop that line of thinking. It is a problem between you two and the solution would rise from within you: Don’t let the society put distance between you when you are trying to work it out amongst yourself
- Give more understanding
If your partner is making genuine effort to get over this crisis and stay with you, you must know how important you are to your partner. Now it’s your turn to give support. I know that you have been cheated on but don’t let that spoil every other good thing that you have between you guys. Cheating was out of the question when you two started the relationship: so try to think about what changed, where there needs to be more effort, where there needs to be more understanding to ignite that old spark
Related reading: What if I had never discovered my spouse’s cheating?
For the couple – build a successful relationships after cheating, together
- Set definite rules
Every relationship should have boundaries. Define to each other what you truly consider cheating. For some it may be casual flirting with a colleague where to others it can be sleeping with someone else. Once you have had a heart-to-heart about these things then there will never be any chance of misstep. You both should be understand the limits that you can explore: thus far, no further
- Set definite rules
Couples that survive infidelity come out stronger than ever. Trust rebuilding is resilient and nothing can come between you two ever again. From this point onwards starts a new chapter in your life that you are not opening blindly.