Relationships form and relationships dissolve. That’s just the way it is.
You see vast differences in the relationships around you, and you will even see differences in your present relationship from your previous ones. Sometimes people part for stupid reasons, and sometimes they never go their own separate ways.
I believe that you should be concerned about those around you and that a lot of your choices can ripple out into other people’s lives. This is especially true if you’re a family man. But you do have to look out for yourself, and take care of yourself, too.
While the stereotype is that our counterpart is “emotionally-driven” in their decisions (fact or fiction, this is the naive assumption many men have), we men should acknowledge that we too are emotional. Just because our cards might be held closer to the chest, we too are passionate humans with strong emotions.
How would you deal if your significant other told you that they had cheated on you? Seriously, I want you to imagine it happening—stir up that emotion within you. How would you feel about yourself right then? What if you had caught them in the act? What feelings would come over you right then? What would be your initial reaction? Really, chew on these feelings for a second.
Now, ask yourself: Are these feelings and emotions justified? What about your physical reaction? What would you have done?
We as humans—especially we men—are impulsive. We’re quick to show our cards, especially when we feel right about it. But with such a life-changing event such as infidelity, rapid decisions can have life-altering and life-sentencing effects.
Some things to keep in mind if you are cheated on in the future:
- ANGER – Set in your mind right now that you will most likely be angered. Do not act upon it. You have every right to be angry. But any impulsive reaction can have many side effects, if not permanent ones. Don’t throw your spouse out. Don’t set the bed on fire. Don’t hit the road and ghost your partner. Lift some weights or throw around that punching bag instead. Release that adrenaline elsewhere.
- HURT – You will hurt, even if the person seems justified in cheating on you (“You work too much” or “You’re emotionally distant”). Let the hurt come out, but do so privately first. Get that well of emotions to overflow. Get a good cry out. It’s good to do that once in a while, actually, particularly us guys who have the “resting poker face.”
- DEPRESSION – It will come, strong as you may be. Remember that while it takes two to tangle, your loved one cheating on you was their This is not your fault. Even though we all make mistakes in relationships, another person’s decision is never your responsibility. Their choice, not yours.
- FEAR – A new revelation will bring on scary thoughts. You’re going to fear divorce, if that is what things come down to. You’re going to fear where you’ll live, where your kids will live, or even where your potential ex will live. Your possessions, your property, your car, your stuff, your credit. This is natural, and it can be messy. For some people, leaving the relationship is the only option, but it might be smart to delay it a few days or weeks until you get a Plan B somewhat realized.
- VISION – After finding out your significant other has cheated on you, you might have a new vision for your future. Perhaps every daydream you’ve had rushes your brain: hitting the road solo, hooking up with that hottie at the bar, buying that thing you always wanted but told you couldn’t. All those flippant wishes can now happen … if you walk away from your relationship. But while a few weeks or moments of fun can possibly be had, is this what you would want in the long run? Don’t be impulsive. Some daydreams and fantasies are better left as that: imaginary.
Statistics vary (probably because people don’t like to admit to mistakes), but an average of 50% of men have admitted to have cheated, while women hover around 25-40%. Chances are, you have cheated before, or your partner has.
In some relationships, cheating happens but the partner never finds out. And in some relationships, one cannot keep quiet about the wrong they have done to their partner. Be prepared for not the inevitable, but instead the possible.
Deny it as you may, your partner may cheat on you. Statistically, it’s very possible. But hypothesize now how you will react then. It can make a world of a difference to how you handle it. Are you going to fly off the handle? Or are you, with a clear and sound mind, make rational decisions?
Whether you stay in the relationship after you’re cheated on is totally up to the individual, as each situation is different (and it’s your life), but make sure that you keep impulsiveness in check. It can make a tough decision and plan a little easier to deal with.
* The title of this post is taken from the 1993 Patty Loveless song, “Blame It on Your Heart.”
– Originally posted at GoodMenProject.com