No, don’t pull a Shaggy and say it wasn’t you.
I’ll play the devil’s advocate this time around. I understand why people cheat, and truthfully, I believe people who are otherwise decent can cheat. Sometimes, people cheat because they are truly unhappy and feel unappreciated by their partners. Other times, it’s because you just ended up falling for someone else or just met the right person a little too late.
I won’t say that cheating is inevitable, but I will say it’s understandable. Whatever the reason is, if you’re reading this, chances are that you have been caught cheating. You might have covered your tracks well, but hey, it can still happen. Most cheaters get caught.
So, what do you do now? If you’re like most cheaters, you will want to go back to your primary partner and learn how to fix a broken relationship rather than your side piece. The problem is, your primary partner probably won’t want you back and your love life is going to be in shambles.
If you want to get back with your partner, or even just put your life together again, you’re going to need ample tact. This means that you are going to have to make sure that you avoid making these major mistakes when you’re trying to salvage your relationship.
1. Trying to gloss over things
A lot of cheaters believe that they can make things better by simply glossing over things and acting like nothing is wrong. This doesn’t work. There’s no quick return to normal while you’re caught cheating. Your partner is in a world of pain and doesn’t trust you.
Acting like you didn’t do anything wrong will only make them think you don’t care. Most betrayed partners will assume that it’s no longer salvageable if they see this behavior.
2. Trickle-truthing your partner
Adding detail after detail of your infidelity doesn’t soften the sting of betrayal, nor does it do anyone any favors. If anything, trying to “trickle-truth” your partner in the following months will do little more than erode any trust that could still be left in you.
3. Getting angry and defensive when your partner accuses you of cheating
When cheaters get angry and defensive at their partners, it only adds fuel to the fire of hurt they feel. It’s not going make them think, “Oh hey, maybe I should just be quiet and suffer alone.” It’ll just make them think you’re a self-centered jerk.
4. Continuing to demand privacy after being caught
Sorry! It doesn’t work like that. Your partner is going to need to have a lot of access to your life in order to trust you. They will want to see your email or talk to other people, simply because they need proof that you are willing to change your life around to show that you’re loyal to them.
5. Refusing to cut ties with the other person
There is no way to salvage your relationship while you’re still with the other partner. If you refuse to break up with the other partner entirely, then you shouldn’t be shocked to hear that your partner will most likely leave.
When you’re caught cheating, you will be forced to choose between your partners. As a result, you better expect to have this happen and align yourself with the person who you really care about. Otherwise, you’re guaranteed to lose both.
6. Expecting your partner to “just get over it”
When your partner caught you cheating, they lost the person who they wanted to be with. The person they thought you were no longer exists to them, and that means that they are going through grief. Just like with any other major form of loss, they will need time to grieve and parse out their feelings.
Your partner can’t just “get over it.” They are hurting in ways that you may or may not understand. So, give it time. It could take months. Sometimes, it takes years. Sometimes, the pain never really goes away. It’s something you have to deal with now that you have been caught.
7. Ignoring your partner’s needs
Nope! Do not do this! Now is the time for you to show how much you love and appreciate your partner, and that means you should be focusing on how they feel. They may not want to speak with you or deal with you right now, but you still should try to make an effort to show them that they are really your number one.
Honestly, though, you should probably continue doing this for the duration of your relationship. At this point, it may be the only way to realize how much your partner means to you and might be the only way to convince your partner to trust you again.
8. Not coming totally clean
You might think that keeping your mouth shut about the affair’s details will do your partner well, but you would be wrong. This actually destroys any chance of trust being rebuilt in the relationship, because every time your partner finds out something new about the affair, they will find a new reason to distrust you.
Keeping the details secret is a great way to give the betrayed partner a reason to go through your phone just so they can find out what really happened. Or, more likely, it will cause your partner to decide that it’s time to wrap things up.
Moreover, the act of coming clean also shows that you want to work things out. That’s crucial if you want to stay with your partner.
9. Getting annoyed when your partner cries
This is not only a horrible way to treat your partner, but a sign that you might not even really love them at all. If you get annoyed with the way your partner reacts after finding out about infidelity, you really have to reevaluate what you want to do with your partner. Do you really want to stay with them?
10. Blaming your partner for your infidelity
They didn’t sit you down and tell you to cheat. They didn’t send women your way. You chose this, all on your own, rather than break up or talk things out. Own what you did, and maybe they’ll trust you more.
11. Clamming up
Nothing is quite as bad as refusing to answer a betrayed spouse’s questions. Your partner really wants to know what went on, and if they are still a part of your life. They want to know whether the relationship is even worth salvaging, and if you are silent about your infidelity, all you’re really doing is showing them that you’d rather save face than save the relationship.
Seriously. Come clean. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You might actually gain your partner’s respect that way.
12. Trying to defend your affair partner
While your affair partner may not have known about your original relationship, this is not the time to try to come to their defense. Your partner is really hurt, and may see both parties as guilty parties, even if the other woman or man didn’t know you were already taken.
Though this is mostly your fault, your partner doesn’t want to hear it right now. If anything, you defending your affair partner might suggest that you care more about protecting them than you do about your primary. Your partner may also have a point: it takes two to tango.
13. Not keeping commitments to your partner
Truth be told, you probably aren’t if you’re not taking this as seriously as you would. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Would you want to stay? Probably not.
14. Using other people to try to force your partner to forgive you
This isn’t just a bad move for the sake of your relationship; it’s downright abusive to everyone involved. Whether it’s trying to rally others to your side, or trying to use your kids as pawns, this kind of behavior does nothing aside from hurt an already wounded person and toss others into the mix too.
You cannot force a person to stay with you. Trying to do that is abusive and will only lead to resentment.
15. Believing everything your partner says
Your partner just found out that you lied to them about something major. They found out that they are not your “one and only,” and that you may have even been betraying them in ways that could directly impact their future. They are not going to be entirely rational at this point.
So, if your partner claims to want a divorce or says that you’re not going to live in the same house as them, don’t take them seriously. They may just be lashing out because of the pain you doled out. With some time, things might heal. Or they might not. That’s the problem with cheating.