How to handle a cheating girlfriend: Take a few minutes to breathe before reading this guide. Just once in, then once out, because you’re about to go on an adventure of discovery, let’s see whether that girlfriend was worth you time. I once had a friend who thought he was down with malaria. He had all the symptoms: dizziness, fever, weak joints, loss of appetite, etc, you name it. We both thought that was the issue. Yes he took days, that after awhile, he claimed to make him feel better.
On further investigations he sat me down and told me it was a break up that left him feeling like that, hence the importance of this topic. I knew how this guy felt because, even though I’ve not really had any substantial relationship that transended friendship, I know you feel stupid, hopeless, angry, betrayed, embarrassed, plus the malaria symptoms. Someone I almost feel for was later disclosed to be in a serious and blooming relationship with another man. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, take the following handy tips and you’ll get better soonest.
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1. Having an open & honest talk: It’s possible she wasn’t even cheating on you. Yes! This can be as real as this texts you’re seeing. For the discussion, take note of the following:
a. Be respectful: Make the conversation as serious as possible but understand that everyone is human and can make mistakes or just become plain stupid at times. Don’t try to throw in sly, witty, or joking comments. Ask meaningful questions, be polite, be diplomatic. Imagine it was a mistake and you’re just trying to clear your conscience. Don’t use ‘You’ now or ‘We’, use ‘I’. Mention your flaws and weaknesses, lay it all bare. Listen, keep eye contact.
Nod when you’re understanding and shrug when you don’t, don’t shake your head; that’s negative, don’t do anything negative now, she might think you’re attacking her. Take turns speaking and do not interrupt when she’s trying to make a point, but have what you have to say in mind because, as Dale Carnegie once said: A speaker who starts nowhere, often gets there.
b. If she’s cheating on you then emphatically ask her if she wants to continue the relationship. Tell her to give you a ‘no’ or ‘yes’ answer not anything vague, and then ask her why. This should be done after gathering evidence from as many people as possible. Make sure to get evidence from people that are willing to share, don’t force anybody on this one, and don’t act desperate. Never let your discussion be on a hunch. That’s why first of all, even if you are just noticing some subtle signs, you need to have.
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2. Talked to someone: It is said that a problem shared is a problem half-solved and I can’t imagine any truer statement. Don’t bottle up anger and fear. Talk to someone who you can be open with; a sibling, a friend, or maybe your parents if you’re close to them. If you don’t have anyone like this or you feel your fear is overwhelming you then consider seeking the help of a therapist.
3. Confront her in private: Haven’t you ever seen people quarreling in public? Or having a serious argument or even worse, exchanging blows in public? It didn’t look good, right? That’s why doing such things in private is better. Try to not raise your voice and try to have a plan of conversation with her, taking the topics one step after the other. This could be a good time to ask her if she was serious about the relationship at first or just came for other reasons.
If she opens up about not wanting to move further with the relationship:
a. Seek the attention of family, friends or loved ones, and make sure this are people you could talk to comfortably about your love life without seeing it as a big joke or seeing you as someone who wasn’t serious with other things in your life. (I mean, anybody who imagines having a reasonable lifetime partner should at least want a healthy relationship to start with so if they think you shouldn’t worry about something as serious as a cheating girlfriend then they aren’t worth your time).
b. Seeking professional help from a counsellor or therapist can also help. Don’t let yourself brood in silence, it can make you take actions that you would regret.
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4. Make your break-up real: Don’t go shouting it out in the streets but let everyone know about it. And when I mean everyone I mean everyone that enquires. Don’t go throwing it on their faces; except if they were interested in hearing about it.
A very good way to keep your mental health safe and not let your feeling resurface is to keep her at a distance and stop seeing her, calling each other and replying her texts. Act like you are aquiantances and not even friends. If it’s a life treatening situation such as you hear she is in hospital, please do answer and provide the necessary help. If not forget it. If she reacts with tears and with being emotional that you have “Forgotten about her” then apologizing will only make her disrespect you further, hurt you the more and throw you into the friend zone. If you think she doesn’t like you for telling her how you feel at the moment and walking away then know that women don’t need to like you to be attracted to you. Besides, even if she didn’t like it, you deserve better.
Moving forward with the relationship
If you’re willing to move forward with the relationship then:
1. Give her a chance to justify her mistakes, just like your parents always gave you a chance to when you broke that glass cup, or stole, or went out without anybody to monitor you. Listen when she does that.
Maybe she’s looking for a way to break up with you but can’t amicably end the relationship, or she’s having some trouble with your behaviour or your finances and she feels someone is giving her more. Analyse if there were any circumstances beyond her control that made her cheat. Ask her to specifically tell you what you were doing wrong and how she would like you to become better with it.
2. Before having an open, honest talk and seeing a therapist or consultant, give each other space. Figure out what the problem was in the first place, then your wants and needs. I suggest buying a notepad and pen to write this down. This is so that you can be able to see it and evaluate accordingly. Take the advice of the therapist, but only in relation to whether they can fit into the life you have, not hook line and sinker.
Change yourselves if possible, and take note, future mistakes, agression and confusion will come, but because you guys have talked about it and decided what to do, you’ll get through it, I’m sure, and the universe willing, you’ll end up together forever.
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In conclusion, getting through a cheating girlfriend, catching one, and getting back together (if possible) isn’t easy, but when you’ve tried your best as a man, don’t forget there is always the option of walking away. Peace.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.