Consistent Behavior is Proof of Who We Are
Often I am contacted by people whose partner repeatedly cheats and then wants their significant other back again. At the time, the cheater seems so remorseful that the people being cheated on want to believe them. Then it happens again and they reach out desperate to find out how to change their betraying partner for good
The truth is we cannot change anyone but ourselves. People who promised to be faithful then cheat do not love and respect themselves enough to remain committed to the agreements they make in relationship.
For those being cheated on their power lies in changing how they are allowing themselves to be treated. The first step is to accept the truth of their cheating partner’s behavior. Action, not words, are proof of who someone really is. The emotional roller coaster is created by clinging to the fantasy of how someone hopes the partner will behave someday rather than accepting repeated behavior as evidence of who the person is, today.
To protect our emotions, we must set firm boundaries. We must clearly and calmly tell the cheating partner how the behavior feels. “When you betray my trust and the agreement we made to be faithful to one another, I feel violated and abused. I need honesty and to know I can trust you in order for this relationship to work. Please address your issues or I will leave the relationship.”
If the cheating partner truly wants to keep the relationship then setting a firm boundary may get them to look at their behavior. If they refuse to get help or to actively work on their issues, we must be prepared to do what is best for us. If we continue to allow ourselves to be betrayed and do nothing then we are saying to them that their behavior is okay.
Regardless if a cheater changes or not the stress, disappointment and disloyalty we feel must end. We are the only person in the position to make sure it does by setting a boundary out of greater love and respect for ourselves.