Few things compare with the pain of betrayal.
When you love someone it feels like you’re in a nice, safe, love-infused bubble that no-one can penetrate.
Then, overnight, with a confession or a discovery, that bubble bursts. And boy does it burst with a bang.
This is a practical, step-by-step guide designed to hopefully help you through the process.
STEP ONE: Are they worth another chance?
Some cheating partners don’t deserve to be forgiven.
Ask yourself these five crucial questions.
1. Have they cheated on other people in the past?
If someone has developed a pattern of cheating over and over, they will continue to do it again (and again) until someone – hopefully you – dumps them brutally and they realise they can’t get away with it. No second chances in this case. Ever.
2. Why did they do it?
A one-off incident with seemingly genuine reasons to explain it is a lot easier to forgive than repeated slip-ups or a long-term affair.
Put yourself in his shoes: if you were him, feeling the way he did, in the situation he was in, what would you do? Can you understand it?
3. What do you think he will do if he’s in the same predicament in the future?
What guarantees can they give you that it won’t happen again?
4. How was your relationship when it happened?
You’ll be much more likely to forgive (if not forget) if you were aware your partner was unhappy, the relationship wasn’t great and you were suspicious.
If you thought you were blissfully happy and didn’t notice a single sign that anything was wrong, it’s desperately hard to trust again.
If there were no clues last time round, how will you know if it happens again?
5. Do they regret what they’ve done?
They should be even more miserable about the pain it’s caused than you are.
STEP TWO: Give each other space
Your first reaction will be to want to cling onto him and not let him out of your sight.
There are two things you need to establish at this point: that you mean business and their behaviour is not acceptable and that you have dignity.
If you live together, get him to move out for a few days. You need this time to logically sort through your emotions.
If you don’t live together, say you don’t want to see him for a while. Start a diary of all your emotions and your questions and use it make a list of questions you need answers to at the end of the time apart.
Watch this TED Talk on why people cheat. Post continues below: