Learning you've been cheated on can be devastating, to say the least. Whether it was physical or emotional infidelity, one of your first instincts will likely be to question what went wrong and who is to blame.
While this is a completely natural reaction to the shock that comes from learning someone you trusted lied to you, it's important to remember that it's not your fault and there's no one answer to why it happened. Most importantly, there's no one thing that you did or didn't do to cause your S.O. to cheat.
In every relationship, there are alternatives to cheating. It's not the only way out or the only option, no matter your relationship. Each partner in a relationship has the ability to speak up if they are unhappy or voice concerns if they're unsatisfied, rather than commit physical or emotional infidelity.
If you need some more reassurance, keep reading for five things to remind yourself after your S.O. cheats.
Some People Cheat Because a Bond Has Broken Down
Time, bills, children, and life in general, can all take their toll on any relationship. Most people realize that relationships take work, but other things get in the way, and many couples find themselves drifting apart.
Unfortunately, some people choose to look for answers outside of their existing relationship instead of handling a problem head-on. Although both partners may be to blame for the breakdown of a relationship, the choice to be unfaithful is the responsibility of the cheater alone.
Some People Cheat Because Their Needs Aren’t Being Met
If someone feels that their emotional or physical needs are not being met, it may lead them astray. Again, this can be caused by an emotional distance between partners, but it can also be related to a difference in sex drives, a lack of energy for sex due to demanding schedules, or a manipulative relationship with sex in which it becomes a form of control (think participating in sex as a reward or withholding sex for punishment).
Turning outside of a relationship is not the answer to this situation either, especially since there are so many other options like trying to correct the situation through communication or counseling. Unfortunately, however, some people choose to look for excitement somewhere new instead of fixing or ending their current relationship.
Some People Cheat Because of a Mid-Life Crisis
Most people reach a point in their lives, usually between 30 and 50, when they realize they are getting older and wonder if they made the right choices in life. It is common for people experiencing this to wonder if there is something more out there or to feel like they are in a rut.
In a bid to recapture the feelings that they had when they were younger, they might think that looking outside of their relationship will make them feel better or more fulfilled. This comes down to emotional and psychological issues that are not the fault of the victim of infidelity.
Some People Cheat Because They Lack Maturity
No matter how old someone may be, they might not be mature enough for a long-term, monogamous commitment. Maybe they don't have impulse control or they are serial cheaters. Whatever the case may be, these patterns are serious red flags, but they may help explain who's really to blame when it comes to physical and emotional infidelity.
People don't change overnight and long-term, serious change has to come from within. It's not exactly something you can do for someone else, which is why it's not your fault when someone with commitment and maturity issues is unable to remain faithful.
Some People Cheat in Order to End the Relationship
Occasionally referred to as the “exit affair,” some people cheat simply because they don't know how to get out of a relationship. Breaking up is hard to do, and some people avoid confrontation by doing something to cause even more of a stir. It's an unfortunate move that more often than not causes more pain than necessary.
While it's common for people to blame themselves after a former S.O. cheats, you're not at fault. Yes, the work that relationships require calls for both people to contribute, but even if you and your partner were going through a rough patch, you're not to blame for someone else's indiscretions.