Rebuilding the relationship after a betrayal can be hard, if not impossible. Can a relationship stay the same after one partner cheats?
I think we all have been there, if we haven’t experienced it then maybe we know someone who has. Cheating is, sadly, fairly common in today’s society where very few people understand the importance of fidelity. If they do, they don’t usually apply it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be here writing like I’m better than most people. In fact, as I have experienced being cheated on, there also came a time when I was the one doing the cheating. We’re not love experts, too, so I’m just going to be writing everything out of experiences. The real question is: Can a relationship stay the same after one partner cheats?
The aftermath of cheating
Just like the disaster that it is, cheating leaves behind destructive aftermath. People who cheat don’t always get the gravity of their actions when they do it. It can be just one night, but the ripple goes on for a veeeery long time. The problem is that you don’t get cheated on, wake up, and then forget about it. If that’s happened to you, or anyone you know, tell me about it (I need some advice)! Point is, it’s not something that’s easy to forget.
It changes you
For one, getting cheated on changes you.
I used to be a very confident girl who didn’t care how other people would think about my appearance; I wear what I want and just live my best life. You’d find it amusing that I can leave the house in the same clothes I slept in (I know, gross), and I wouldn’t think for a second that I am less than worthy.
That was before I got cheated on. Let’s just say I was replaced with someone more physically appealing than I was. I was never the same after that. I became insecure, conscious. That was when I began thinking that, his cheating couldn’t be helped because I was ugly, or I didn’t do enough.
And the girl he replaced me with? She became my own standard of beauty. I remember there was a phase where I put it to mind that I have to be skinny and have blonde hair so that people will like me (a rather unhealthy mindset). As much as you want to blame the partner who cheated, someone who got cheated on might have the tendency to put the blame on himself, but this still depends on the person. To be painfully honest, there are still times that I catch myself thinking that way, but it’s just a conscious effort of correcting it.
It’s not easy to forgive.
Cheating is not something you can forgive easily, especially if you’re someone who is really faithful in a relationship. There are people I know who’s had a history of broken families, which makes faithfulness all the more important for them. As a result, cheating may trigger a hate cycle. Have you experienced fighting with your SO and then you can’t help but bring up his mistakes from the past? That’s what it is. You can get back together, and you can say you’ve forgiven what the other person did. But true forgiveness means you erase your record of wrongs and keeping the past in the past. Not to say that I’ve already accomplished this, and there’s nothing wrong about talking about the past, but throwing it into a completely unrelated argument is somehow off.
It will also be hard to forgive the third party. I don’t know about you, but that’s never going to be easy for me. It’s not impossible, (and who knows, we might end up as BFFs in the future) but it’s not going to be easy. I tried being friends with her, but when I realized she’s really up to no good when it comes to my SO, I just stopped completely. Seeing her photos and her posts just always made me feel like I don’t have control of things like everything could be taken away from me… and I didn’t like how that felt. So I unfollowed and blocked her in every way possible. No, blocking someone doesn’t mean you lost or something. Sometimes you just gotta do what you have to do to protect your own mental health.
It will still hurt after some time.
It’s been years since that incident happened, but truth be told, I still find myself crying about it at night. I question my self-worth sometimes and think that maybe I’m not good enough. There’s still that fear of being replaced even when you’re given constant reassurance. And, whenever her name comes up in any conversation, I still feel the heaviness in my chest. That’s how it is. You can be happy and all, but at times it will still hurt because the damage was not that simple.
It breaks trust.
I guess it goes without saying that with betrayal comes broken trust. If you decide to get back together, you might find it hard to trust him again. When he’s not texting or is busy with something else, you might find yourself worrying that something is up, or that he can be lying again. If you choose otherwise, the next relationship is going to be hard as well, because then you’ll have trust issues that you can take out on someone who hasn’t done you wrong. We can end up hurting another person just because someone hurt us.
So, can the relationship remain the same after the cheating?
To this, my answer would have to be no. It can never be the same after something like that happened. Hearts have been broken, trust was gone. It will never be the same, but you can’t say the relationship can’t get back even better. You see, the key to a happy relationship is of course love, but to have it last longer, you have to have forgiveness. We are not perfect people but we try every day. Though there are doubts, it is always worth it to give the other person a chance. it’s always a risk, yes.
But to me, it always comes down to how you feel. If your heart can’t take it anymore, then you’re always free to let go already, we’d be all for it and support you. But if you feel like you still want to give it a chance, we won’t be the ones to say “Don’t.” People will tell you it’s dumb, that you should know better. But if in your heart that’s how you feel, then no advice would be enough to stop you. No judgment, we all have been there.
As for me, we got back together after giving each other some time off. We were both singles for almost a year. I met other people, he met other people. I’m not going to be corny and say the usual “If it’s meant to be, it will be” line. But we got back together and resolved differences. We have learned so many things apart, that we couldn’t have learned if all that happened didn’t happen. Never in a million years would I have thought that it is possible to be this happy with him. So, I guess it really depends on the person and on the circumstances.
UdoU also talked about this topic in one of our Realtalk episodes. Watch it here: