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Life After Cheating

Can Your Relationship Survive an Affair?

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Just like straight couples, lesbians cheat on each other. Cheating is not a problem unique to heterosexual relationships. Whether or not your relationship can be saved after an affair depends on a few things.
  1. Is the cheater remorseful and able to see the damage she has done to the relationship? Is she willing to look at what caused the affair and put the effort into fixing what caused her to stray in the first place?
  2. Was the affair an on-going tryst or just a one-time thing?
  3. Who was the affair with? If she had a one-night stand with a stranger she met while at a conference, that’s going to be easier to overcome then if she cheated with someone who is in her daily life or her ex-lover.
  4. How many lies and how much deception was involved? Was she sneaking off to meet her lover and telling you she was going to see a sick relative or friend? Often it’s the lies and deceptions that are more harmful to the relationship than the fact that she had sex with another person.
  5. What was the reason for the cheating and are you both willing to work to change? Although the cheating partner needs to take responsibility for the affair, both partners need to take responsibility for the relationship from this point forward.

Commitment

For a relationship to survive infidelity, you both must be committed to reconciliation. You both must ask yourselves what you really want. If you can both honestly say it is to stay in the relationship, then the hard work of repairing must begin. You will most likely need the help of a counselor to work through the damage. You must both be willing to be open and honest with one another.

However, if she cheated because the relationship is falling apart and she feels lonely, then maybe a decision needs to be made whether or not to stay together. But if the reason has more to do with one partner neglecting the other's needs, and both are willing to change, there is the possibility of making it work.

Work

You both must be willing to put the work in to repair the relationship. That means not just blaming your partner for the affair, but being willing to look at your own flaws and how you can be a better partner. The cheating partner must be willing to do what the therapist suggests. Saying she’s sorry is important, but it’s not enough. If she makes excuses or blames you, then it’s probably not going to work out.

Trust

She must be willing to try and earn your trust back. Understand this can take time. Often years. But you must not continually throw the affair back in her face either.

Forgiveness

You must be able to forgive. If you can’t then the relationship cannot be saved. You don’t have to forgive right away. And it doesn’t mean you condone what happened. It just means you’re willing to eventually put the affair behind you and move on.

Communication

Healthy communication is necessary for a successful relationship. But that doesn’t mean you need to know all the details of the affair. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. Sharing the “why” is much more important than sharing the “what.” Be open to hearing your partner out but if it gets to be too much, walk away and take some time. Come back when you are open again to hearing what she has to say. Try to talk about how you feel, not what she did. Communicate what you want from her and what you’re willing to give.

Know When It’s Over

Sometimes relationships can be saved. Other times, it might not be worth it. Not every relationship is meant to last forever. Or maybe the damage from the affair is so severe that you can never forgive or move on from it. Yes, it is worth it sometimes to give someone another chance and try to improve your relationship, but sometimes that cannot be done. If one or the other of you is not willing to change or can’t because of your own issues, it’s important to recognize that. Maybe you grew together for a while, but now you are no longer able to meet each other's needs. It happens. People change. Sometimes, as hard as it may be, walking away is the best option.
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