Before we go any further, understand that this article assumes you want to fix the relationship. Not everyone will make that choice, and that is an individual decision that ought to be respected. However, if you want to fix the relationship, there are steps you can take together to repair the breach of trust and get your relationship back on track.
Fix the relationship with acceptance
Most people don’t like to discuss cheating’s proliferation or the biological reasons for it, but it is quite common. Anywhere from 50-75% of all relationships have at least one incident of infidelity, according to multiple studies. Most people don’t want to accept that it can happen to anyone. In fact, when people think “it won’t happen to me, I’m not like that” they set themselves up for an unrecoverable spin if, indeed, they find themselves attracted to others. Understand that this not only can happen to anyone but also accept that it happened and figure out why.
Talk it Out & Bring a Cup of Understanding
Unfortunately, you are going to have to talk about it—with each other, with a counselor, with a priest. In order to fix something, you have to understand why it happened. You need to know how it happened, and in spite of how you really feel (which is probably to put a knot in his head) you have to try to understand. Understanding will lead to forgiveness and mercy (we’ll get to that in a second) and those are two things that need to happen if you’re going to fix the relationship.
Forgiveness and Mercy
Well, you knew this was coming. You have to forgive him. Not because he deserves it, but because you do. Anger causes stress; stress causes weight gain and hair loss…you can see where I’m going with this one. You have to learn how to forgive someone, and I’ll make it easier. You’re not perfect. Not by a long shot. Even if you feel more perfect, there was a moment or two of cruelty somewhere in your life that you wanted forgiveness for—maybe in high school, maybe elementary, maybe last week. When we forgive others, we get to forgive ourselves.
Mercy is a word that should be used more because it means a lot. It is a noble act. It is done by the very best people and is rewarding. When you have no reason to forgive, no reason to help, no reason to do something for someone else, but do it anyway—that makes you awesome.
And who doesn’t want to be awesome?
I’m going to drop another hard truth here. You’ve lied, too. Maybe not about this. Maybe not to him. But you have. There was a study I read last year that said every human tells AT LEAST 2 lies a day maybe more. Lies are an evolutionary trait. You lie to your boss when you say you’re sick, but you really want to stay home because it’s Friday and gorgeous outside. Should he not trust you with your reports after that? If you avoid your mom’s call by having someone say you’re not there, should she believe you the next time? Yes, we all lie, but mostly we don’t. That’s the truth.
If you are willing to extend trust to someone who doesn’t deserve it, you will breed the type of loyalty that only those who get second chances ever dole out.
I hope that this article helped (although probably not as much as a few margaritas with the girls would help) and that you can get back to a place of forgiveness and stability.