- It isn’t about the “other” woman/man
The natural instinct after infidelity is to not only “blame” your partner, but the “other” person as well. The truth is that there will always be individuals outside of your relationship and marriage that may be open to engaging in an extramarital affair; there will always be temptation. When your partner/spouse chooses infidelity, the focus of your disappointment, anger, frustration and sadness needs to remain focused on him/her. I recognize that you will not embrace nor like the “other” person; no one is asking you to. But, the infidelity is not an excuse for revenge, being nasty or harming this person in any way. Your partner is accountable for his/her behavior within your relationship and placing your attention on the “other” man/woman will only create more conflict with your partner than already exists.
- Good people make bad choices
The act of infidelity alone does not make someone a bad person. Before you try to find my email address so that you can send me an email telling me why this isn’t true, understand that there are good people who make bad choices. In fact, almost all good people have made poor decisions in their life; decisions that they wish they hadn’t made. Again, I am not making an excuse for the bad choice, but rather it is important not to judge your partner by this single choice. There are many ways to assess a relationship and an individual; infidelity will make it harder to judge fairly but you will be a better, healthier person if you can attempt to do so.
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- Don’t let the infidelity draw attention away from the real issues
I have seen marriages and relationships fail only to blame the failure on an extramarital affair when that wasn’t the truth of why the relationship really ended. There is a lot that is unfortunate about marriages that end with cheating, but the most unfortunate piece is that it almost always takes the focus off of what really happened in the relationship and places it on the act itself while they are two separate, but connected issues. The choice to have affair is one that needs to be examined and managed, but it is most often NOT the sole reason for the demise of the relationship. While I know this may be difficult to hear, it is the truth; and understanding this truth will help you to move forward far more effectively.