Once someone steps out of line in the relationship, is it worth staying together? Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating? There is a lot of advice out there giving conflicting advice. Some experts, friends, and the media say working it out does wonders. Others say leave before it happens again, because “once a cheater, always a cheater,” right?
Turns out, deciding what to do after you or your partner has cheated depends a lot on the health of your relationship. Whether the relationship goes back to normal or not is up to you!
Can A Relationship Survive After Infidelity?
Yes, you can save a relationship after one of you cheats. The key to whether a relationship goes back to normal is how much you believe in it. Do you truly think the relationship is worth saving? If you both have faith that things can be rebuilt if you’re both willing to work on the faults in yourselves and the relationships, then there is nothing you can’t accomplish together.
But you shouldn’t think of it as “going back to normal.” This phrasing tends to trick you into repeating the past mistakes. Your focus from here on out should be overcoming the obstacles that got you to cheating in the first place.
How Do You Fix A Relationship After Someone Cheated?
The first step towards rebuilding trust and showing someone you still love them after cheating is to have an honest conversation. Infidelity often happens when something is missing or when one partner has a substance abuse problem. For instance, too much drinking could lead to your partner accidentally hooking up with someone else. Finding the relationship mundane and unfulfilling may tempt people to cheat, too.
Understanding what caused the rift can help you both identify what needs work. However, this isn’t easy. You shouldn’t attempt to do this alone, especially when you may be experiencing some negative emotions about the betrayal. For the best chance of recovery, you should consider contacting a couples therapist, marriage counselor, or an infidelity therapist.
How To Get Back To Normal After Cheating
As stated previously, don’t think about this process as returning to normal. Tell yourself this is something better. You’re not going back to the issues that caused you or your partner to cheat. You are going to fix the wrongs and make this relationship the best it has ever been.
Here are tips for getting back to normal after cheating:
- Find a marriage or couples counselor, such as Couples Academy, to help guide you through recovery
- Pinpoint the issues that caused the infidelity
- Rebuild trust
- Improve your communication
- Take responsibility for what happened
- Don’t dwell on what happened; look to the future
- Focus on finding solutions, not directing blame
- Respect each other’s needs
- Express remorse
- Seek closure
Let’s look at some of these points in greater detail.
Pinpoint The Issues
Once you have found a trustworthy and reliable counselor or therapist, it’s time to get to work on something crucial. Until you know the reason why the cheating happened, you won’t be able to move forward with your relationship. Too often, someone cheating is the result of something much bigger than what you would expect. People seek attention. If that attention and validation is lacking in the relationship, what do you think happens next?
Get to the bottom of infidelity. Work on resolving those issues together. If you do that, your relationship will be much healthier moving forward.
Rebuild Trust In Each Other
Cheating is a betrayal. Now, you might want to look at their phone every time it dings with a notification. Fight the urge to do that. Look, it’s not going to be easy to trust again. Infidelity damages trust and makes it overwhelmingly fragile. So if you learn to trust one another, you can start regaining intimacy as well.
Improve Your Communication
One of the reasons cheating occurs is miscommunication or poor communication. Do you feel comfortable expressing yourself and your needs to your partner? Do they often clam up rather than talking about feelings? Therapists can help you move forward by giving you better tools for communication. This will prevent misunderstandings in the future and help you understand each other on a deeper level.
Also, honest conversations are important during this transition between what was to what will be. You must be available for one another. Conversations built on trust and respect will get you through this trial.
Don’t Dwell On The Past
When such a betrayal happens, you might think it’s something worth bringing up once in a while. But once you lay the cheating to bed, leave it there. By dwelling on the past, you reopen wounds and diminish the importance of moving forward. You’ve been working so hard on rebuilding your relationship that you don’t want to sabotage that, right?
Remember, you’re not ignoring the problem. You’re working towards a solution the right way.
Respect Each Other’s Needs
One of the most important aspects of recovering from cheating is to understand how vital it is to attend to your personal needs. Give one another space, so you can deal with the betrayal, the therapy, and everything in between on your own time.
Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating? While relationships can survive and thrive after cheating, it’s important that things don’t go back to as they were before. If you want normalcy and stability, the only way beyond the act of unfaithfulness is forward. By improving upon your relationship and forgiving one another for the betrayal, you can do more than go back to normal. You can build a lasting, healthy relationship full of love.
Couples Academy is here to teach you exactly how to do that. With services from marriage counselors, you can learn how to overcome marital challenges, build trust, recover from infidelity, and foster better communication. Interested? Learn more by giving us a call or filling out the contact form today.