My Partner Cheated On Me; Should I Leave or Stay?

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With all of the hype surrounding Beyonce’s Lemonade album, I constantly see posts and memes on social media encouraging women to stay with their significant other when he cheats, by stating things like, “See ladies, don’t let a little cheating ruin a good relationship” (I know, crazy, right?). Let me start off by saying that, if your partner cheats on you, it is entirely your decision as to whether or not you’ll stay or leave since you’re the one who has to live with that decision. But, there are several women in unhealthy relationships constantly being abused through cheating (yes, cheating is a form of abuse) because they are in denial about many things. So, allow me to clear some of those things up, that way your decision to leave or stay comes from a place of knowledge and discernment.

Firstly, a relationship in which you are being cheated on is far from a good relationship. You may trick yourself into thinking if only things went back to the way they were before the affair, all would be well because we really did have a good relationship. When, in all actuality, the relationship led to him having an affair. Now, I’m not blaming you for being cheated on and don’t let him blame you either. I am a firm believer that cheating is solely the cheater’s fault. No matter what you did or didn’t do, there is no excuse for cheating. If he was that unhappy, he could have simply removed himself from the relationship. What I am saying, though, is that trying to hold on to him wishing for things to go back to the way they were is a nonprogressive way of thinking that probably won’t get you what you really want. Know that if you choose to stay, you need to focus on identifying the problems in the old relationship and building a brand new one. After all, you don’t just want things to go back to the way they were, you want them to be better!

Secondly, don’t make excuses when someone cheats on you. It seems very natural for many women to do this, but it’s so damaging to your self-esteem and any romantic relationship you may have in the future. If he cheated on you, he is wrong and nothing can justify his actions. Even if you’ve cheated on him in the past and he says he cheated on you to get back at you, that is still no excuse. Besides, do you really want to be with someone who set out to hurt you? I know many women that blame themselves for the actions of their partner. They think that if only I would’ve done this right or if I was better at this, he wouldn’t have cheated. Well, let’s be honest, you don’t know that for sure and neither does he. Even if you did all the things you thought would keep him loyal, he could still end up cheating on you. Which brings me to my next point, you can’t make anyone loyal. They are either going to be loyal to you or not, and it’s likely not dependent on something you did or didn’t do. As stated earlier, having a good healthy relationship can diminish your chances of being cheated on, but primarily, it has to be a personal decision you partner makes. If he is not ready to make that decision, nothing you do or say can change that. Also, if you try to change it, you’ll find yourself constantly being cheated on and wondering what is wrong with you. The answer to that question is…nothing, except that you’re choosing to be with people who have not made a personal pledge to themselves to be loyal to you. So, watch the signs. Not only pay close attention to how he treats you but also how he treats other women. How did he treat the women in his past relationships? Has he been respectful to you over the entire course of the relationship? Is he verbally abusive? Does he make you feel loved? Has he verbally made a vow to you to be loyal? Does he lie to you often? Does he over sexualize women? These are all of the questions you can ask yourself when trying to analyze your partner’s character. Most times, people tell you who they are and your job is to pick up on the signs. If his personality traits are telling you that he is prone to cheating, he probably will cheat on you again and again and it is not worth staying.

Lastly, ask yourself is staying really going to make you happy? Is cheating something you can get over? It’s going to take a lot of work to repair the relationship and gain back trust; are you ready for that? Remember, it’s all about being honest with yourself; so, make sure to answer these questions honestly. The last thing you want to do is to settle in a relationship. Many women stay in an unfaithful relationship because they are emotionally attached to and dependent on their partner. They are in love; they can’t imagine life without him. So, they’d rather stay than leave and risk additional pain. But, trust me when I say, dealing with a little pain is a small price to pay for your overall happiness. If the only reason you are staying is because of your feelings for your partner, then that is not a good enough reason. You don’t want to lose yourself trying to keep someone else around, and you definitely don’t want your happiness to rely on the presence of someone else. I promise you; the pain will ease tremendously with time, and, as cliché as it sounds, there are plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of opportunities for love and happiness. So, most importantly, when deciding whether or not to leave or stay, listen to your intuition and spirit. Think hard about what you really want and know that you deserve and can get just that.