After You Catch a Cheater, Then What

When you catch a cheater, there three courses of action available. You can try to work through the problem to repair the relationship, you can end the relationship or you can daydream (and daydream only) about what it would be like if you ran over them with your car. 

If you do happen to catch a cheater, it's natural to feel shock, anger and despair. There's nothing wrong with being upset; in fact, feeling happy about the situation would definitely be an odd response. The most important thing to avoid is going into denial about the problem. Don't lie to yourself or let others lie to you, because the problem will just fester and grow.

When you catch a cheating spouse or significant other, there are a few hard facts you're going to need to face.

  • It's probably not the first time. One of the most difficult realizations to make after you catch someone cheating is that this is probably not the first time they have cheated. The chance of you catching somebody the first and only time they cheat is very slim. It's much more likely that they've done it before.
  • The relationship has changed. Catching a cheater means the relationship you had has now changed and will never be the same. It doesn't matter if you break up or stay together, your relationship has altered some. Things could be better or worse in the future, but it will never be the same.
  • It isn't your fault they are cheating. Even people that big beauty magazines declare as "the sexiest alive" have had cheating spouses. Though it's natural to feel that the problem lies in your lack of beauty, money or anything else, it probably isn't about you. The problem that drives a person to cheat is usually found within that cheating person.

Once you've caught a cheating spouse or significant other, you have some decisions to make. Those little decisions will help lead you to the ultimate decision, whether you should stay in the relationship or end it.

  • Will you ever be able to truly forgive? This is a big determination if you should end the relationship or not. Even if someone has the best reason in the world for cheating, you'll never be able to repair the relationship if you'll never heal from the wound.
  • Is the relationship worth saving? Repairing a relationship after a huge breech in trust is hard work. You need to determine if the relationship is actually good for both of you with potential for long lasting results. Otherwise it's a big waste of time to try to fix it.
  • Will you ever be able to truly trust them again? Just because you can forgive a person for cheating doesn't always mean you'll ever honestly trust them again. Trust is a fundamental piece of any healthy relationship, and the constant suspicion will eventually drive both you and your beloved crazy. If real trust cannot be re-established, there's just no way the relationship will ever succeed. 
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