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He cheated: Now what?

Finding out your spouse or partner cheated is many women’s worst nightmare. Some turn a blind eye, others forgive and forget, while still others immediately end the relationship. Whatever your thoughts on infidelity are, we have some strategies for dealing with the aftermath.

Couple dealing with betrayal

1Give yourself time.

We’re not stopping you if you want to toss him out immediately, but we do suggest you give yourself some time to absorb the information before making any decisions. You can tell him to sleep on the couch (or at a friend’s place) for a few days while you make sense of recent events. Once you’ve had some time alone, you might be better equipped to decide what you want to do.

2Find out the details.

No, we don’t mean those details — just what type of cheating went down. Yes, all cheating is bad, but a drunken one-night stand at a bachelor party might be considered less of a problem than something that’s been going on behind your back for months. You may decide that sleeping with someone else — no matter what — is enough to send him to the curb (and that’s fine), but getting the facts can change things.

3Take a break.

If you’re wavering about whether you want to make the relationship work after he cheats, you can always put the relationship on hold while you decide. Whether it’s two weeks or six months, tell him you need time to think and to figure out what’s best for you and the relationship. He should understand. In that time, you can examine your feelings in more detail to determine whether you want to remain a couple.

4Think about couples’ counseling.

Many couples who survive infidelity use couples’ counseling to navigate the rough patch. If you’re not ready to break up but can’t move past his bad decision, try a few sessions with a marriage or couples’ counselor.

5Ask yourself if you can forgive.

When it all comes down to it, you need to look inside and ask yourself if you can get over the fact that he cheated. It may take months or even years for you to forgive him, but that’s OK. The question is, do you want to forgive him? If not, then you need to think about ending the relationship. And if that’s the case, you have every right to feel the way you do.

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