If you just found out that your partner is, or might be, cheating on you, read this article to help you decide exactly what to do right now before you make a bad situation worse.
It is never a pleasant situation when you suspect, or have reason to believe, that your partner may be cheating on you. If you are in that situation here is some Frank Kermit advice on how to handle yourself.
First stay calm.
Getting angry or getting violent will make things much worse for you (and your kids if you have any). No matter how much you feel justified, go do whatever you have to do to avoid letting your negative emotions take control.
Get out of the house, go to the gym to work out your frustrations, talk to a friend or your coach (if you already have one). But cool off before you take any action.
At this point, you do not know anything more than your partner has (MAYBE) been unfaithful.
The second thing you need to do is verify
and confirm that the cheating is taking place.
Your best friend telling you he/she
saw something is NOT evidence.
(Read my previous article about Sabotage Between Friends)
If you have no evidence (as would be accepted in a court of law) then focus on getting some. Depending on the nature of the cheating, look at:
-hiring a private investigator, or
-security camera footage.
You must think LONG TERM.
Thirdly, while you are collecting evidence, check all of your bank statements and accounts and see if there is any unusual activity. If the infidelity was a casual occurrence, it can be dealt with differently than if your partner is planning on leaving you and you see large sums of money missing, it could be a sign of upcoming abandonment.
If the infidelity was not a step towards abandonment, then it may be possible to save the relationship (if that is something you want).
Fourth, once you have the evidence and have secured some financial security for yourself (just in case abandonment is still a risk), seek out the advice of an independent account or a lawyer specializing in family law.
NOT to be pressured
into leaving your partner
(unfortunately some professionals
may encourage splitting up).
Fifth, do an analysis of how a break up would affect you realistically.
Depending on your circumstances, you could be in a lot worse situation if you leave without first trying to fix the relationship you are in.
Ask people (or your coach Frank) who's lives got worse after a significant break up, and they will tell you (if they trust you with the truth as they do when they talk to me), that if they knew how their lives would have turned out, they wouldn't have jumped ship so quickly.
-not seeing your kids on certain holidays,
-losing savings and retirement funds to pay legal fees,
-and struggling to find a decent relationship afterwards
are not pleasant.
The Sixth action for you to take is:
Work on an exit plan to make sure that you will not be facing homelessness, and consider putting it into action even if you do not break up with your partner.
Consider staying with your partner if your exit plan may take some months to take effect (for example, if you never finished a certification and have 3 months left to get your license for a new profession that would allow you to support yourself, it may be wise to get it done before you exit the relationship).
Seventh, finally, if it is true that your partner is cheating, but after confronting your partner, it does turn out that your partner does want to work on your relationship,
then no matter how hurt or angry you are,
make the effort to work on your relationship if the good in the relationship outweighs the bad
Especially if the infidelity is the only major blemish you have to contend with.
Nothing happens in a vacuum.
This is very important, because people that do not stop and access the repeating behavior patterns that they exhibit (conscious or unconscious) that put them in this position to begin with, are destined to repeat said behavior patterns, and likely end up exactly where they are again, with the next significant partner and the next big break up.
This is a great time to seek out the help of a professional counselor, licensed couples therapist, or relationship coach, or other authority figures you trust (a religious leader) to get additional perspectives.
You may have played a part in the infidelity of your partner; then again perhaps it had nothing to do with you.
A third party perspective can help you determine that.
How you react
will very much influence
if the two of you can survive
as a couple or not.
This is not a time to shame your partner to friends and family, but instead, spend time with your partner and see what it was that brought you together in the first place, where things went wrong, and what would have to happen going forward to bring things back to a place where the two of you can move on.
This may require both of you to make sacrifices (not hanging out with friends, not working late at the office, etc...) to make sure the two of you have TIME to work on this. If you do not, things could get worse.
It could be that the two of you have to re-define some boundaries, and perhaps even modify your relationship structure (even consider something that is consensual non-monogamy if you have not already).
Perhaps it is time for a discussion about unreasonable or unrealistic expectations that each of you had to begin with.
A key point is to never make a rash decision.
Remember that the concept of "in good times and in bad" was set to remind couples that bad times are part of life.
You have a choice.
You can put in efforts to make it better, or you can put in efforts (or lack thereof) to make it worse.
Either way, you will live with the consequences of your choices.
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