Deal with a Cheating Live in Girlfriend
Edited by Kathy McGraw, Eng, Alma, Maria Quinney and 1 other
Your girl hasn't been herself lately, and along her keeping weird hours and mysterious callers who hang up when you answer the phone, you suspect that she is cheating on you. Your stomach clenches and your heart sinks in your chest. It's killing you not to confront her right away with what you suspect, but you know she'll only deny it. What do you do? How do you cope with a cheating girlfriend when you live together?
Gather the Evidence
Before you act on your suspicions, you need to make sure that your girlfriend is indeed cheating on you. There are several ways you can do this:
- 1Physically check the text message and call history on her phone but be aware that you are invading her privacy and she will not appreciate it at all.Advertisement
- 2Surprise her at work or come home unexpectedly. Use the element of surprise to try and catch her in the act. This method, while not always successful, allows you to retain the moral high ground without invading her privacy. After all, you're just coming home, or stopping by her work to see her, right?Advertisement
- 3If you have a landline, keep track of incoming calls, along with the time they come in and the number calling. Along with that, document if there have been an unusual amount of hang ups when you answer the phone.
- 4Check for dating profiles online. This post has some information on programs and web services you can use.
- 5Ask a friend to follow her. It should be a friend she doesn't know or wouldn't recognize. Have them tail her and report to you where she goes and with whom.
- 6Set up a trap for her. Have a male friend, one she doesn't know, pose as a potential suitor. Have him proposition her, and if she accepts, the trap is sprung.
Confront Her about the Cheating
You've confirmed your suspicions, and now it's time to confront your girlfriend.
- 1Make sure you have gathered enough evidence. Anticipate that your girlfriend will deny that she is cheating and try to make up other reasons for the evidence you found. Have your facts written down and prepare to counter her efforts.Advertisement
- 2Be honest and tell her how you are feeling, but try and remain calm. Tell her that you are very hurt and angry right now and that you need some time to process this.
- 3If she starts crying, avoid comforting her. She is the party in the wrong here, and she needs to own her feelings and face the consequences for what she has done.
What to Do in the Immediate Aftermath
In the days following your discovery of your girlfriend's infidelity and the subsequent confrontation, your mind and heart will be reeling. It's a fact no one wants to find out about someone that they love, and it hurts. How long you need to process what has happened depends on you. It could take a week or months; there is no way of knowing for sure.
- 1Don't decide anything right now. The first thing to realize is that you are in no state to make any life-changing decisions right now. You've been dealt a shock, and you have to allow your mind and your emotions time to settle before making any big decisions, such as whether or not you should break up with your girlfriend.
- During the day, you can go somewhere peaceful to think, such as the beach, lakeshore, or a mountain trail.
- If you have a separate bedroom in your apartment, use it for sleeping while you sort things out in your head. If you don't, then consider sleeping on the couch or bunking with friends for a few days.
Making the Decision to Stay Together or Break Up
After enough time has passed, you'll want to think about the future of your relationship with your girlfriend. Some things to consider as you make this decision are:
- 1Not all cheating is created equal. A one-time casual hook-up might be more forgivable than a long-term affair that's lasted months or longer. Other considerations include how truly remorseful you girlfriend is, how she reacted when you confronted her, her reasons for cheating, and her providing you with concrete steps she is taking to prevent her from cheating again. I will discuss the last two in another section.
- 2Determine if you can forgive her. Forgiving her means more than accepting her apology; it means that you are open to trusting her again, or at the very least, allowing her to try and get your trust back. It means that you can foresee a time when you will be able to trust her again and to let go of the hurt she caused you. If you don't think you could ever trust her again, then you'll never be able to forgive her truly, and it's time to end the relationship.
Breaking Up with Your Girlfriend
Since you live together, splitting up is more complicated than if you had been living separately. Although Things to keep in mind include:
- 1You may be considered married under the Common Law. In some states, if you have been living together as a couple for a certain period (it varies from state to state) and act as though are married, for instance, have a joint bank account, credit cards or credit cards in both your names. If you are considered common-law married, then you'll need to go through a divorce to legally split up from each other. Yes, this includes the splitting of marital assets.
- 2Be aware of the legal consequences of breaking a lease or leaving a month-to-month rental situation on short notice. Whether you have a lease or are on a month-to-month tenancy, if the apartment is under both your names, then the person leaving must be released from the lease by the landlord or give the landlord at least 30 days' notice before leaving.
- 3Can you afford to keep the place up yourself? If you want to stay in the apartment, are you able to manage the rent on just your income? If you can't, you may be able to get a roommate to replace your girlfriend's half of the rent. In any case, you will need to be able to show the landlord that you can pay on your own or be actively looking for someone else to cover the rent.
- 4Protect yourself. Breakups can get nasty, particularly if they are acrimonious. Take pictures of all of your belongings and catalog them so that you have evidence if your girlfriend steals or damages them.
- 5Take care of yourself. Although you may be depressed for a while, make sure that you get out of the house regularly and watch your health. Get a gym membership and start working out.
- 6Surround yourself with people who care about you. Your network of family and friends are crucial during this difficult period. Lean on them for support when you can, and spend time with them. Don't isolate yourself.
- 7Focus on you for a while. Don't be keen to jump into a new relationship right away. Keep the focus on yourself and the ways you can make your life better, such as going to the gym as mentioned above or taking some classes at your local community college.
- 8You could also take revenge. Although I don't recommend it, we have a nice little guide on how to get sweet vengeance on her for stepping out on you.
If you decide to stay together, then you've got a lot of work to do to repair your relationship. Yes, I said you, because even though you are not to blame for your girlfriend cheating on you, the basics of a healthy relationship still require two people for maintenance.
- 1Discuss your relationship with your girlfriend. Were there any problems in your relationship before her cheating? If there were problems, ask her how she thinks they can be resolved. For your part, now is the time to bring up your feelings about the relationship, as well, and talk about outstanding issues you have, apart from the cheating.
- 2Discuss the cheating incident. As difficult as it might be, you need to find out her reasons for cheating, and don't let her wiggle out of telling you. Everyone has reasons for what they do, no matter how lame they may be. Also, she absolutely must give you some concrete changes she has made or is making to ensure that she will never cheat again. Finally, make it clear to her that if it happens again, then your relationship is over.
- 3Rebuild and restore trust. Make a plan with your girlfriend about what she needs to do to regain your trust and a timetable for how long the process will take. There needs to be an end in sight. Otherwise, the relationship could languish in limbo with no forward progress to full reconciliation.
- 4Rekindle the romance. For some couples, life together becomes more passionate and fulfilling following an affair, but it takes work on both your parts. Take your girlfriend out on dates. Do the things you used to do together during the early days of your relationship. Cuddle on the couch, surprise her with champagne and roses, or cook her an amazing meal and serve it on a table set for two, complete with candles.
- 5Perhaps decide on an open relationship. If your girlfriend finds it hard to remain monogamous, and if you are okay with it, you might decide to become polyamorous. However, it's okay not to be comfortable with it, and if you are at all unsure, then it's best to refrain.
- 6Get couples counseling if you are having trouble reconciling. Couples therapists are skilled at facilitating communication between two people in a safe, non-threatening way. They can help you to find your way back to each other, or part with less animosity.
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