"What Do You Do When Someone Cheats On You?"
The topic of this blog post came in to me in the form of an email as I was asked to write a post about it. The individual asked that their name and location not be mentioned. My reply was simple. I would be happy to write a post about it, as for answering the question, every circumstance is different. I am not a doctor or trained physiologist. Therefore, I never give advice. However, I will talk about a topic and always recommend that if something is bothering someone, they seek professional counsel. I wrestled with this topic because like many, I have been a victim of this. I am not ashamed of that. I wrestled with it because I wanted to be sure I could discuss without bias. Here it is.
We must first understand that when this occurs, IT HURTS. People may agree in the beginning they will be honest and walk away before that happens, however, the data shows that is NOT true. Here is a link attesting to that data as of 2017. https://www.trustify.info/blog/infidelity-statistics-2017 To save time, I will leave it to you you view the statistics if you would like.
Let's be honest. Most of us have experience with infidelity, regarding if you are the perpetrator, or the victim. Many are probably expecting to read about me bashing those that have committed the deed. Honestly, that would be easy. As a victim, I can relate. However, as a writer, I MUST remain biased and present the facts. I can do this because of my own personal experience, as well as the countless patients I cared for due to infidelity during my 35 pre-hospital medical career. It comes as no surprise that anyone who is the victim feels they are right. Frankly, the person who did this to them is a scum bag. However, the truth is that in approximately less than 10% of the cases of infidelity, the fault was with one of the parties in the relationship. What does that mean? Simply put, in approximately 90% of the cases, both parties shared in the result of infidelity. Why is that? Who the hell would ever knowingly do something they knew would cause their partner to cheat? The answer is, NO ONE.
Most times when this occurs, it is because one of the two parties is mad, can;t let go of something, and their anger causes them to react in ways they do not consciously think about. Especially the outcome of their actions. You have heard me use this term before. "The Human Condition." When people are angry, they strike back. Many times it is their way of justifying their position. The trick is to NEVER let it get to that. Before we continue, there are mental disorders that cause people to engage in infidelity. Even if the other person has done nothing to merit it. Those reasons could be, but not limited to, insecurity, (#1 answer), it is simply their way as a learned behavior, or culture. The first step in any relationship is to know the person you are involved with. Leave the butterflies in your stomach and out of your eyes. With that said about those types, let's move on.
It takes many nails to close a coffin. In life, most of those nails can be accepted, but NEVER removed. Eventually, when enough nails are hammered in, the coffin is sealed. Therefore, each event is a nail. Here are some examples of those nails:
1. Every time one or the other leaves the house or do not sleep together.
2. Every time there is an argument that goes unresolved.
3. Every time people try to communicate and anger gets in the way.
4. Every time one person rejects the other. (sexually, morally, or otherwise)
5. Every time either person is just thinking of themselves. (selfishness)
6. Every time one does something to the other they know will offend the other. (jealously)
7. Every time one or the other has an addiction. (drugs or alcohol which can lead to various forms of abuse)
8. Taking each other for granted.
9. Not spending enough time together or spending to much time apart. Not having a good balance.
10. Social Media (one of the major causes)
These are just a few. There are more. So I ask you to think. How many in that list are you guilty of?
Most times, you didn't mean it. Your anger simply got
the better of you. Who the hell lives with someone to sleep on the couch? You know the phrase "In the doghouse." In order not to have a problem, either party has to practice what it takes not to be a participant in causing the problem. That needs to be established and practiced early on in your relationship. If not, it will become your learned behavior. In my twenties, I managed a nightclub and worked as a bouncer. The one thing we learned was, given the right set of circumstances, married or not, anyone is vulnerable. Notice how I highlighted given the right set of circumstances. The human condition is such that people by nature will always feel they are right, and not take responsibility for their part of the problem. It is always easier to blame others, rather than share in the blame.
For all these reasons and more, infidelity occurs. Personally, I do not practice it and never have. However it has been done to me. It does hurt. Also, I can see where I may have contributed to it by traveling so much, working a lot, and not being around as much as I should have. It's one thing to have to go away for a short period of time for work, verses always going out with your friends. Let's not confuse the two. There are people that travel for work, verses going away with their friends. Another issue not to confuse. One is a result of necessity, the other is a result of choice.
Now to answer the question. What do you do? First, if you want to be honest with your self, evaluate what happened and why. You may not be able to fix the broken relationship you were just in, but you could certainly play a part in reducing the risk of it happening again. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Learn for them and carry that lesson forward. I said I do not give advice, but I will tell you what worked for me and others. Many of these things are also statistically proven.
1. Identify and correct what you may have done to contribute to it's demise. No one is perfect.
2. Move on. No one likes a pest.
3. Spend time with friends, family, and those that care about you.
4. Remember, a friend is one that will tell you the truth, not tell you what you want to hear.
5. Stay active. Don't sit around and become depressed. Go to the gym, take walks, burn off that stress.
6. Don't bury yourself in work. There is no point in replacing one problem with another.
7. Don't make excuses. Face it for what it is. Your life will go on.