If You Both Cheated, Is Your Relationship Doomed? An Experts Weighs In
One of the best thing my yoga instructor ever said to me was, "Your stance may not look like your neighbors' and that's OK." In or out of workout class — all bodies are different, so it's natural that all bodies will hold poses differently. Emotionally speaking, this same subjectivity goes for our romantic relationships. What's right for you and your partner may not look like what's "right" for your parents, your coworkers, or even your sister and best friend that you share everything with. The answer to something like, if you both cheated is your relationship doomed? May not be a one-size-fits-all resolution.
"There is not one single reason or path for cheating in a relationship. As well — people cheat in different ways in a relationship," Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Host of 'The Kurre and Klapow Show,' tells Elite Daily. "However there are a collection of very distinct psychological patterns that cover the vast majority of reasons why people cheat. From on line affairs or emotional cheating to one night stands, to a long standing relationships. From spoken words to written words, to physical contact to intimate contact. All of these can occur with the common denominator being that the individual who engages in this is engaging in an act of betrayal."
If you and your partner both cheated — you certainly aren't alone. Whether the simultaneous cheating happened concurrently or as a reaction, Dr. Klapow attests both parties cheating isn't all that unusual. "I see both partners cheating all the time. In two different scenarios. The first is neither have knowledge about the other. The second is one has knowledge about the other and cheats as a form of retribution."
No matter how long you have been together, or the parameters of your relationship, according to Dr. Klapow, sometimes cheating just happens. "There is no single predictor of cheating that is 100% guaranteed. Like a health condition, there are risk factors and warning signs," Dr. Klapow says. If you know your partner cheated on you, you may have cheated back out of anger or potentially you and your boo both cheated for your own reasons. As Dr. Klapow said, there's not a single reason people cheat, and there's not a single resolution.
If cheating is an end-all for you and your partner, then infidelity in your relationship may mean a breakup. Yet, according to Klapow, with communication, a mutual desire to repair the relationship, and allowing enough time for grief and recovery, it is possible for couples to stay together after one, or both people, cheat. "The research is clear on what it takes to have a chance for couples to stay together: A mutual understanding that they both contribute to the problems and the solutions in the relationship. The acceptance on both sides that the relationship will never be like it was, that the cheating will always be a scar on the past, and that the only way to stay together is to grieve the loss of what was and redefine the new relationship," Dr. Klapow says.
If you and your partner both cheated, the best way to repair your relationship may mean accepting that the future of your relationship is going to look different that it did before. According to Dr. Klapow, a good way to do this is by both parties taking accountability for their actions, and being responsible for making and keeping positive changes. "The person who cheated needs to take responsibility for their actions — verbally and explicitly. The couple need to acknowledge that healing will require both parties to take responsibility for making the relationship better. Moving forward doesn’t work at a rapid pace," Dr. Klapow says. Ultimately, according to Klapow the only way to pass the storm is to go directly through it. Opening and maintaining lines of honest communication is super important when recovering from cheating — especially cheating on both sides. "Your partner needs to know that no matter what the issue is, it is better for them to talk with you than to cheat," Dr. Klapow says. "The more you both feel open to communicate your fears, dreams, wishes and concerns the less likely you each are to resolve an issue outside of the relationship."
Just as there is no one way to have a relationship, there is no one way to cheat or to handle infidelity. If you and your partner both cheated — it may be time for some major talks. Taking accountability for your actions, being explicit about your solution, and giving the relationship time to breathe can help in your healing process. If you and your partner both cheated, the future of your relationship can be whatever you want it to be.