He strayed off the straight and narrow and cheated on you – just once, he says. Do you stand by your man and forgive his cheating ways or is it the end of your relationship?
By Zukiswa Dlamini
Relationship counsellor Pearl Ramotsamai, who works at Famsa in Durban, says a relationship is never the same after infidelity – whether the wife has found out or the husband has come clean about it – the consequences are the same. “Cheating changes the way you relate intimately.
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Your wife may sometimes think of what you were doing with the other woman while you are intimate and this will spoil the mood and ultimately your relationship. This third person will always enter your intimate circle,” says Pearl. But, she adds, if you are truly sorry about the affair, don’t give up.
Why he cheats
- Sexual variety. If his current partner is not adventurous in bed, he may ‘shop’ around.
- Proof of manhood. If he’s at a crossroad or experiencing a midlife crisis, he may stray to boost his ego.
- Nagging partner. If you’re a nag you may be driving your man into someone else’s arms.
- Emotional disconnection from current partner. If he feels emotionally alienated from you, he may fall for someone who “understands” him better.
- The fun and the thrill of pursuing and conquering. Some men just enjoy the chase.
Here’s how you can put your relationship back on the road to recovery:
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- Don’t blame yourself for you man’s cheating. It’s about him and what he has done.
- Try to rebuild the trust. The saying goes: ‘it takes years to build trust, but a second to break it’. Trust is earned and he’s got to show you that he can be trusted.
- He will have to work hard on it, but you must also pull your weight and recognise his efforts. Work together to rebuild your relationship.
- Don’t get personal and attack your partner’s character. This is about his behaviour. Don’t try to change him; he needs to change his behaviour.
- Come to a decision or an agreement on how to proceed from now on and what should be done if it happens again. Don’t say: ‘if it happens again I’m leaving’, rather discuss the options with your partner and have a mutual understanding of what the consequences will be if it happens again.