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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    When Your Partner Refuses to Change: How to Cope with Infidelity in a Relationship

    When you are in a committed relationship, it can be devastating when your partner is unfaithful. You may have gone through all the stages of emotions from anger and betrayal to hurt and sadness. It is hard to believe that someone you thought you could depend on and trust decided to deceive you. While it isn’t easy to forgive a partner who is cheating, you can start to pick up the pieces and move on by understanding why your partner chose to cheat and find ways to cope with the betrayal.

    The first step to healing is to talk to your partner openly about why the infidelity occurred and if their behavior will change. If your partner considers your feelings and expresses regret, it might be possible to work on the relationship. You will need to accept that any trust that was there may need to be re-earned, and that your relationship has changed; but it doesn't necessarily mean it’s over.

    Your partner may not want to change or admit that they have been unfaithful, and that will make it more difficult. It can be hard for your partner to take responsibility for hurting you, so don’t expect them to be immediately remorseful. However, if your partner shows no signs of wanting to work on the relationship, it may be time to let go and move on.

    Note that you cannot control what your partner does; you can only control your own reactions and emotions. That means accepting that your partner cheated, and the unavoidable pain and sadness it brings. Acknowledge the hurt and sadness you feel when your mind wanders to the time your partner was unfaithful. Don’t push those feelings away or try to “fix” them. Instead, allow yourself to sit in the discomfort they bring and let yourself experience the emotions that come with it.

    It can be helpful to talk to a counselor or therapist to get emotional support during this challenging time. Talking to someone else can offer impartial support, help you sort out your feelings, and provide helpful strategies for dealing with the situation. You should also reach out to family and friends who you trust and can rely on.

    Being cheated on is something nobody wants to experience, but you can turn the situation into an opportunity to grow emotionally. Forgive your partner if you still choose to be with them, and also forgive yourself. Acknowledge that you are a victim in this situation, and give yourself permission to learn from the heartache, hurt and sadness it caused. Emotional pain can be used constructively to build your strength, resilience, and empathy.

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