Saturday, June 24, 2006

What would you do?

I have heard a lot on this subject lately and I am wondering what everyone would do in this situation.

You are in a committed relationship, either married, engaged or dating, for several years.
This may be your very first committed relationship or it may not, but either way, you are now in the relationship that you want to be in forever.
This is the person that has connected with you like no other person, the love of your life, your partner.
You put as much of yourself into the relationship that you can and totally and completely love them, sharing everything.

One day, you find out they are cheating on you!
Your heart is broken and you feel a devastation like no other.
It crushes you to the ground, as you are in disbelief that the person you intimately and whole heartedly trusted has betrayed you.

Okay, here it is, the question....."What would you do"?
Now, let's think this through.
Of course, I know what most people would initially want to do.
You would be so hurt, mad, sad and betrayed that initially you might want to say or do something out of impulse.
This may not be the best idea.
So, I seriously want to know what you would do.

Remember, this is the person that five minutes ago you would have laid down your life for.

Your heart is torn apart and your soul fills with an emptiness.
You wish with all your heart that this wasn't true and that your partner had not betrayed your relationship.
You are hurt, but still love this person to the depth of your soul.

The first question you ask yourself is, "Why did they do this to me"?
Then you try to analyze as best as you can at this point, "What did I do to make them want to do this to me" (the person that truly loves them more than anyone)?
"Is there something missing in our, fun, talking, sharing, love"?
"Did they do it to intentionally hurt me"?
"How could they"?
Regardless of the reasons, betraying a committed relationship in this manner is morally wrong.
"Does this person I have been dedicated and faithful to, have no morals or ethics"?
"How could this be"?
"Will my heart heal from this"?

Do you confront your partner and say something immediately? (If so, what do you say?)
Do you ignore that this has happened and try to repair yourself and continue as nothing has happened? (Are you being true to yourself if you do this?)
Do you give them another chance and trust they will never do this to you again?
Or, no excuses, you messed up, get out?

So, what would you do?


hotboy said...

Do nothing. Go and hide away. Don't act. You don't really understand this, do you? Try to wait for your emotions to settle down a bit. Then ask yourself stuff about them. Why do you have feelings? Where do they come from? What use are they? What are they made up of? Don't do anything or mention it to anyone. Wait till it goes away.Get in your motor and drive. Take a tent. Camp. Build a fire and wait. On no account respond to any missives from Nosferatu. Stay away from Tennessee. That's my advice. Hotboy.p.s. Monogamy just gets everyone into bother

Bathroom Hippo said...

A cheater almost never has a change of heart. Get rid of them! Even if the relationship lasted for 70 years....GET RID OF THEM.

coach said...

My advise is follow what my friend got when she consulted a relationship Expert. Here's copy of the letter she got which I'm reprinting here with her permission.

Dear Ms.Understood,

Have you heard of the song Gloria by the Rolling Stone ? Or perhaps the classic 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline. Maybe the LedZep piece ' Stairway To Heaven' or the Beegees hit ' Jive Dancin' tugged at your heart. What are these songs got to do with your problem you asked .Nothin. They just mean that you are an old hack who's choice of sounds is pathetically old. So , lose it and most especially lose the man . Find another one. Change your harmonies and go to


Not Hillary Clinton.

Fred said...

My initial reaction would be to bid my partner goodbye. It would be the right decision for me at the moment I found out, and 20 years later.

ticharu said...

It depends entirely on the people involved. There is no cut and dried answer to this question. Getting control of your emotions is key, so no one gets killed. Beyond that, I have no answer, it really depends on the level of communication and trust and love that is there. Even people in committed relationships can make mistakes. The cheater may be committed and trustworthy but simply made a detour in the process of growing up. Sometimes we are still growing up in our 30s!

robmcj said...

Firstly: "Is there something missing in our relationship....?"
Is there any relationship that doesn't have something missing? I'd like to see it. So I'd say that's a red herring.

Secondly: Why leave them? You've now got a lever you can use over them, and a get-out-of-jail-free card that you can play if one day you ever feel like cheating. Okay, that was not a wholly serious answer. But, if it's likely that it probably won't happen again, then stay, but negotiate a penance. Then if it happens a second time, you torch their clothes and roll their car into a lake, and you walk.

Shannon said...

LOL..Spme of these answers are twisted but FUNNY!! I have no answer but I agree with Ticharu, it just all depends...=)

Shannon said...

Some* I meant SOME* SHEESH LOL

jamwall said...

sometimes a clean break is a good idea, and this might be one of them.

the cheating part is an indication that the other person is deeply confused and doesn't know what he wants.

you shouldn't put up with that shit.

and stay away from, that guy from the commercial creeps me out.

Big Mama said...

Wow! This post is really thought provoking. Waiting and cooling off is key. But having been there done that. I do believe there is something lacking in a relationship if one of the people involved has strayed. Let them know you love them enough to let them leave. They will do it again, it's just a matter of time. The trust is broken and you can never ever again have the absolute feeling of security because this will always hang over the relationship. I figure if they hurt you once it's their fault if they hurt you again it's your fault...

Goan Pao said...

If there was an answer to this question, we could have saved so many people so much money that they spent hiring shrinks.
Still, once a cheater always a cheater, its not that the person does not love you, its just that they have forgotten about the sanctity of a relationship.

BKS said...

IMO if you act as if nothing happened, they will think they are slick and can get away with it and will most assuredly do it again and again. If you let them know that you know about their cheating and you stay with them then they will think you are ok with it and will most likely do it again. If you leave them and find someone who truly is trustworthy you may be alone for a long time looking for someone like that in this morally inept world we live in today. Me? I put a lot into trust....If you feel someone is not able to be trusted then most likely you are right. And with me it is almost impossible to gain my trust back after you have lied or cheated me in anyway. I may still be civil to ya but being civil and trusting are not even close to the same.

WDKY said...

VERY interesting question, Lee Ann.

Having been in that sitaution, and having been absokutely certain that I knew how I'd respond if it ever happened, I found I became as much unlike the me I thought I knew as was humanly possible. Whatever I thought I'd do, I ended up doing the opposite.

Looking back, the ironic thing is that had I acted in character (and slung the ****** out of the house whilst simultaneously commencing divorce proceedings) things might have been different. As it was, I didn't. And I'm left to wonder occasionally.

WDKY said...

Sorry - it was a bit too close to home to make a joke about it.

Mister Underhill said...

Those are good questions, and having gone through it I have no adequate answers even now.

twolf1920 said...

Once a cheater ALWAYS a cheater-I have ZERO tolerance as I was the one cheated on when I was married.

If in the future I am dating someone in a commited relationship, and she cheats, she is OUT with the rest of the morning trash.

No discussion. See ya! Wouldn't want ta BE ya!

Phats said...

I would totally trash them verbally haha! Immature, yes, makes me feel better HELL YA! :)

boo said...

ask them if they wana stay or leave, go with that decision. love them & let go.

The Juice said...

Very interesting question indeed. I don't know if there's one fit-all answer. You know what you feel like doing, but is that the right thing to do? I don't know.

The Appalachianist said...

I would give them orders for Kuwait, it's a miserable place this time of year. Yep, that would take care of that.

Leesa said...

Lee Ann,

Okay, my heart bleads for you, it really does. I started reading comments, and I had to stop. Most don't seem very useful.

You see, I was at the other end of the affair, the one doing the cheating. I have written about it on my blog, but those entries are burried somewhere.

I would suggest individual and couple's counseling. And by chosing this, you don't have to stay together. I did with my hubbie. I found out why I was cheating, changed some things, and the desire to cheat is gone. It is not an easy road, and there are lots of yelling and tears, but I believe that my marriage is much stronger now.

Let me know if you want to discuss this further - I do have some experience in this. (unfortunately)

angel, jr. said...

I don't think there is an excuse for cheating. If the other person is cheating, then there is something they aren't getting out of the relationship and so seek it elsewhere.
I would dissolve the relationship. I know the old addage "one a cheater, always a cheater" maybe cliche, but somehow it seems to hold true.
Other times I feel a person cheats because they want to sabatage a relationship that they want out of, but can't find a way to end.
I believe in second chances, but I also believe that someone's trust is sacred, especially when the trust involves their heart and soul.

AndyW said...

I'm sure I'd be over-the-top pissed off for many days. After I calmed down I would try to talk things out with the person.

The question of being able to ever trust the person again is the one that needs to be answered.

twolf1920 said...

I think if you go that far, you cannot be trusted again. Seriously. I would NEVER EVER be able to trust a cheater. Maybe its because I never have even when I was in a bad relationship. I wasn't a good partner at the time I was cheated on (Hell I was young and stupid and selfish and should never have been married to ANYONE), but my take is if you have a problem, communicate, and if you can't do that, get out of the relationship BEFORE you shtup the new guy/girl. Besides the new guy/girl will never trust a (known)cheater either! Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but being cheated on hurts too!

Nuff said!

Jason said...

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this. The only contribution I can make at this time is the two reasons why I think people cheat;

1. They are selfish, vain, and just plain greedy to begin with. The kind that will take the last cookie on the plate simply because they enjoy them and not caring that their neighbor hasn't had one bite.

2. The cheater is missing something from their current relationship and are looking elsewhere, but for some reason lack the courage to speak up to their partner about it.

MyUtopia said...

I don't know what I would do if my husband was cheating. I think I would be shocked!

Bathroom Hippo said...

Hey Lee Ann,

I heart you too babe =)

Dave Morris said...

Just an opinion:

Not all insecure people are cheaters, but most all cheaters are insecure. Mostly, it's an effort to gain self esteem, reinforcement that they are worthy of another's attention. Sometimes it's for secondary reasons, such as sexual addiction, but again, that addiction usually goes back to the root problem.

A cheater can get help and become a non-cheater, but it takes a huge commitment to fix the causal issues. Most people simply do not have that commitment. I'd say cut your losses... unless you are the most patient person on earth, and are willing to risk it happening again.

Dave Morris said...

PS - I know these things from experience, I've been where you are. (at least I assume it's you)

Mystical Me said...

Sweetheart, I can only hope these questions you seek arent concerning you, & your real life.

Sweetie, in all honesty these questions you seek you only have the answers to. You have to really search deep down within yourself & find them. There is no right or wrong answer. This is your life not anyone elses, so you have to go with whatever you feel is the right thing to do.
I can only tell you about my own personal experience. My Ex-husband cheated on me & I took him back. But never once was I able to trust him again. He ended up cheating on me again & I caught him in several lies as well. Once the trust is broken its very hard to get it back. In some cases the relationship is over even if it takes years after the affair for it to end. So knowing that it could happen again this is something you have to decide whether or not you can live with or not. But just because one person goes thro one thing doesnt mean you will too. But its something to think about. Past behavior is good predictor of future behavior. So with that said I hope you find the answers your looking for.

FYI; if it was me, knowing what I know now & what Ive been thro in the past with a cheater. I would leave him in a hot second if he cheated on me. I would move on to someone worthy of my love & respect.

I hope all is well & do take care of yourself sweetie. You deserve someone who is only faithful!!

Heather said...

My initial response is to say the relationship is over. For me, that's the ultimate betrayal. And I would have a hard time trusting again. I can say I've never been cheated on but I know people who have been the cheater, the cheatee & the nookie on the side and never once have I understood it.

Fame said...

Good questions all of them, and I think we all have our "this is what I'd do" speech prepared. But does anyone know really what they would do? I say I would kick him to the curb, but would I? If it was an on going relationship cheating or just a one night stand. A one night stand I might forgive a relationship never. But then again who knows. It's a personal thing between two people. What is at stake, why did it happen. Questions that only those 2 people know. All in all it sucks.

Neo said...

Lee Ann - Well I've been on both sides of the fence, and it hurts either way. My first impulse would be to immediately kick them to the curb and move on. Trust is a precious thing in a relationship. Without that, you have nothing.

If I found out they'd done in intentionally just to hurt me, then the gloves would ocme off, and I'd look for a way to get even. That's just the spiteful side of me though.

Hopefully this is just a theoretical question you're throwing out there and you man hasn't done that to you.

Peace & Hugs,

- Neo

Alistair! said...

Having been on both sides of the fence twice in my life I would echo neo's comments. But what's really needed is a cooling off period. You need to step back from the situation and think it through if you are the one who has been cheated on. Trust is a precious thing in any relationship and once it's been broken it's mighty hard to put back together again.

If you truly love this person and they truly loved you , then an understanding on both sides would be easy enough. Step back, take stock and then really see if this is what you want.

jiggs said...

in that situation, the first thing I would try not to do is make myself feel guilty by asking "what did I do to make them want to do this to me?" There is nothing that the person cheated on did to initiate that other person's action. It was their choice and their choice alone that lead to their betrayal. Even if the cheater was unhappy in the relationship, there are many alternative things that could have been done that weren't betrayals.

secondly, I would confront the person. if you really care for the person, you're gonna have to talk it out. otherwise the resentment and distrust will never possibly abate. and it still might never go away in which case, you'll have to leave them if trusting your partner is a high priority. If it isn't and other things make up for the lack of trust, then the relationship can survive.

Also your new pic is cute.

Becky said...

A specific song pops into my head, "R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me.... A little RESPECT!"

I'd be out the door in a heart beat! I've had it happen and believe me, they never change! If they know they can get away with it once, then they try to get away with it twice, then three times....

I had someone cheat on me repeatedly behind my back, and when I found out, I kicked him to the curb and haven't regretted it since!

Angela said...

You of course bring the info to the surface because otherwise you can't deal with it. You have to decide what is right for you and then follow through. If you decide to stay then find a good counselor to help both of you deal with what happened. A relationship never fully recovers from infedelity. (I know I have been there). Good Luck and healthy healing.

hotboy said...

God, you're still not posting! I thought this was hypothetical. Or hoped anyway. I hope your not hearbroken. It's a platitude, but time heals. Dearie me! Thank God I'm so old I don't have to deal with this kind of thing anymore! Hotboy

Edge said...

Well, I have been on the receiving end of this and I can tell you it really hurts. Leesa has (unfortunately) good experience in this so she's a good person to draw from.

I'll tell you that my relationship was an engagement and it hurt just as much as if we were married. I learned that wasn't the person I thought they were and so they weren't the perfect one for me.

I think the amount of the committment in a relationship has a lot to do with how you react or respond. I have been cheated on by girlfriends and it hurt and I dumped them. Caught one in the act.

It's hard to rebuild the relationship because there is a level of trust that has developed. Trust is the very deepest foundation of a relationship and when it's breeched then it's like repairing the foundation of a house - very difficult.

What we fear about moving on is the absence of familiarity. That can be replaced in time. I agree with those who have said, "Once a cheater always a cheater." That is true.

I think I would advice someone who is dating to turn the page and break clean and move on. "No cheaters" can be added to the list of "can't stands". If they were engaged, then I would say the same thing. Married, I would advize a therapist and some changes in the way things operate.


Oº°‘¨t®ãg‘°ºO said...

I broke off with him. I spent ten years trying to find my mojo & finally found someone who makes me happy & loves me. The love I left is still my best friend however & he is my new baby son's godfather as well as my youngest daughters Dad. It was a long road but I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

Polyman2 said...

I wouldn't expect forgiveness for my transgression if it happened. Could I forgive her? Probably not. To me it is the ultimate betrayal.
Something is destroyed and can never be regained.

Aliecat said...

My advice? Get tested for STD's and kick his ass out. Life is too short to accept anything less than a trusting relationship...I know. Something isn't missing in your relationship, something's missing in him, and no amount of ass-kissing on his part or understanding and forgiveness on your part will ever erase the fact that he broke your trust. The things that make people cheat are varied, but it all comes down to wanting your cake and eating it too.

Tumbleweed said...

wow, there is some outstanding advice here! I am going to agree with several things. You have to get emotions in check. Did you get it straight from the horses mouth? Do not rely on gossip! If he told you himself, then it may be time to walk away for a while. That is the hardest thing to do, but if you get mad and then just forgive him...he will never respect you. You will probably never know the real reason he did it, but the relationship may be more one sided than you had hoped. The trust is forever gone and now you have to decide if you can live with that or not. If you stay, you will question everything he does and want to know every move he makes. Maybe some time apart will make him realize what a huge mistake he did make and the healing can begin, with you letting him know you CAN live without him....and you can. I promise!!! *HUGS*

cinders said...

His answer to why he did it? "I just don't know." I wanted to forgive him, but he picked her instead. Obviously he knows why, he's just not telling me.

Kala said...

thats such an interesting scenario and I hope its purely "hypothetical" and not something that has happened to you - but what would I do is try to find out if the person feels the same way for me - if the feelings are mutual - and just having typed that - I guess if a person is cheating on me, it probably is not mutual, because obviously, it would not have happened but being the forgiving person I am - that is a Virgo trait right? I would probably stick around and give it another shot.

Kala said...

Actually, I was just in a relationship - fortunately, i did not get the complete sense that this was THE one - but nevertheless, I thought we had something special going until she went out with another guy one night so last week, I made up my mind that I would not see her again. So far, I've held true to that and patting myself on the pat for not going back to what is probably not good for me. It also helped alot meeting another person that week!

Fame said...

Although I already commented I read this again (considering I'm having relationship issues myself), anyway Don't ever think that you have done anything to make someone else cheat. It doesn't work that way. Cheating is a purely selfish thing that one does for them self. Gives them a high. It doesn't stem from something someone else did. Please don't ever think that (if you ever did think that ;-)) Hang on Girlfriend...I need a friend like you in my "boat" right about now!