Cheating. Cheating is the one word that no one wants to think about his or her significant other doing. If you are in a committed relationship, thoughts like this may at some point crossed your mind. What do you do, however, when the act is actually committed and you find yourself needing to work through cheating, lies, or an affair? How do you recognize some of the signs?  While there is no “easy” answer, we can help you to work through it.

There are four “R’s” if you will when it comes to cheating. We look at them as follows:

1. Responsibility

Own up to what it is that has occurred. Accept the responsibility that you have hurt your significant other by lying, cheating, or hurting them with an affair.

2. Remorse

Accept the consequences and understand that you will have feelings of remorse for what has occurred. Express this to your significant other in hopes that you can connect with them and share that you acknowledge you have remorse in regards to what you have done.

3. Repair

Understand that your significant other has the option to walk away, and so do you, but that repair is an option you have to save the relationship. You have to accept that this cannot go on, and that you have hurt the person you are with. Take the necessary steps to work through this and understand what it is that may have caused this situation in the first place and repair the relationship that you had before.

4. Steps to not repeat a behavior

In order to not repeat a negative behavioral pattern, it will be necessary to set boundaries and to rebuild the trust that has been broken. This may include boundaries such as “I won’t go out with ______ group of friends” or “I will communicate when I have feelings of ______”.  It will take time, and if you are willing, cause you to be a better person. Understand however, that this is something that will require a checks and balance between you, your partner, and possibly the help of friends and/or a counselor.

You and your partner will have to follow these steps to recovering after a significant other is caught, or comes forward from cheating. It is never easy, but it is something you can recover from. If you are willing, it will take great sacrifice and hard work on all counts. You will need to open communication more than before and will have to be honest about your feelings and what you are experiencing.

The other things you must pay attention to are different situations that may put you at risk for cheating. These things are:

  1. Being close to someone other than your spouse.
  2. Being around someone who is sexually attracted to you.
  3. Spending a lot of time one-on-one with someone.
  4. Not feeling close or connected to you your spouse.
  5. Opportunities that create a feeling of “No one will ever know” such as business trips.
  6. Situations that involve alcohol or drugs

Do any of these situations look familiar? If they do, you might want to see what is going on and re-evaluate the situation.

Unfortunately, when cheating does happen, it renders you powerless over your significant other, as well as your emotions, and may hurt you. Don’t let that be the case. Pay attention to the signs and look at what is going on. Understand that you are not able to control things outside your circumstances (such as what your significant other is doing) and seek the help to work through this.

Image sourced from January 31, 2013


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Marta Rocha

About the Author: Marta Rocha is a Mental Health Counselor. Marta is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Marta Rocha is specialized in the areas of Marriage Counseling, Family Issues, Stress Management, Leadership Training, Anxiety, Depression, Sports Psychology, Grief, and Substance Abuse & Addictions. Marta Rocha has 12 years of experience in sales & marketing, advertising, promotions, management, and professional development. Her professional affiliations are with the American Counseling Association, and the American Association of Christian Counselors.

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