Internet affairs can be easy to justify because they occur in the virtual world, but any time one partner keeps any kind of connection, whether physical or emotional, a secret from the other, the relationship is bound to suffer. Online infidelity occurs more and more these days. With access to social media, chat rooms and even websites devoted to cheating, making online connections is easier than ever. If you have been hurt by a partner’s Internet affairs, how will you recover? Is Online Cheating Really Cheating? The first thing to ask yourself and your partner is with respect to the nature of the infidelity. Are you both on the same page about what constitutes cheating? If not, you will have a hard time moving forward. If your partner thinks that his flirting with an old girlfriend on Facebook is innocent and harmless but you consider it inappropriate and hurtful, you will hit a roadblock in moving past the incident. Sit down together and discuss your limitations and what you consider to be cheating and what is fair game. When you agree, you can start to move forward. Online Cheating and How to Recover Relationship Trust in Four Steps Once you and your partner have confronted the issue of online infidelity and defined it, you need to move past it by restoring trust. Unless you are ending the relationship, you will need to address the infidelity and the harm that it caused before you can get back to a healthy partnership. Here are the important steps you need to take to move on:
- Talk and listen – Communication is essential to all aspects of a relationship. Talking about infidelity isn’t easy. It’s painful and uncomfortable, but if you don’t talk about it you won’t be able to move forward. Tell your partner how it made you feel and listen to him when he tells you why he did it.
- Set boundaries – As part of your discussion, lay out new boundaries that will make you feel comfortable and that will help your partner earn back your trust. This may mean that he agrees to close down his social media accounts or give you access to them.
- Work with a counselor – As much as you may want to solve this issue alone, it’s difficult to heal without the advice of a professional. See a couple’s counselor together to help you work through the issues that brought you to this place in your relationship.
- Finally, you need to learn to forgive your partner – If he is truly sorry and dedicated to making things right, your forgiveness will help both of you move forward and move past the infidelity.
Forgiving your online cheating spouse and learning to trust him again won’t be easy, but if you take these four steps, you will both be on the path to a new, improved and more satisfying relationship