If You're Getting Back Together With Your Ex After Infidelity, Here's What Therapists Want You To Know
So, you've decided to get back together with your ex. This can be a great choice for many people — after all, there's a reason you wanted to date them the first time around, right? However, maybe your relationship had some bigger problems, like infidelity. While infidelity isn't an issue you should brush over, it doesn't mean you can't ever get back together with an ex. There are a few things you should keep in mind when getting back together with an ex after infidelity (on your part, on their part, and both), so I turned to the experts to give me a summary of everything you should know before you make this move.
Before getting back together with an ex who has been unfaithful to you, you should consider how they've changed and how you've changed. "You need to consider what's changed in the time since the infidelity and the breakup," Erika Martinez, licensed therapist and founder of Miami Shrinks, tells Elite Daily. "Primarily, how have you changed since that experience. Have you healed, forgiven your ex? Are you having any difficulties trusting others since? How has your ex changed and worked on themselves?" Of course, you aren't responsible for your ex's infidelity. But you are the only person who truly knows if you've forgiven them, so that's a critical question to ask yourself. Similarly, they are the only person who knows if they've truly worked on themselves, so this is something you should discuss with them before getting back together.
Even though it's challenging, it is possible to move past infidelity and get back together with an ex in a healthy way, according to Martinez. "It requires both partners to take a deep look at themselves, their roles and behaviors in the past relationship, and intentionally plot a different course for this new iteration of their relationship," Martinez says. Introspection and communication are key to getting back together with an ex, especially after a large breach of trust like infidelity. Again, it's not your fault that your partner cheated on you, so there's no reason to feel guilty about being cheated on. As with all relationships, though, both partners need to be in communication to ensure that each person's needs are being met.
However, there are some circumstances in which it might not be a great idea to get back together with an ex after infidelity. Martinez gave me a few examples of when you should perhaps be careful getting back together with someone who has cheated on you, such as if you haven't healed or forgiven them yet, or if you are still upset with them. While it's completely understandable that you would be upset, restarting a relationship from a place of anger isn't the best idea, she says. Additionally, Martinez advises against getting back together with an ex after infidelity just because you are lonely and miss being in a relationship. It's totally normal to be lonely after a breakup, but it's important to be aware that you should only return to the relationship if it's truly what you want. Similarly, if you've cheated on someone, you should make sure you're not getting back together for any reason other than that you want to be their partner again.
It can be very hard to trust your ex again after infidelity, but there are ways to rebuild it, Martinez says. "You have to look at their actions and behaviors, not just once but over time. Anyone can say they're sorry, but the important thing to consider is whether they're acting in a way that's consistent with what they're saying." It's up to you to determine what you need your partner to do to show that they're sorry — for example, some people may need to know that their partner has cut off contact with the person they cheated on you with, while for others, the big thing they need is more communication. Infidelity is a massive breach of trust, and there's nothing wrong with you if you don't want to move past it. Still, if your partner shows you that they're truly sorry, you may be able rebuild the trust, if that's something you want.
Getting back together with an ex after infidelity isn't a decision you have to rush into. Infidelity can cause pain, and you want to make sure the wounds have healed before returning to the relationship. That doesn't mean you have to forget all about the cheating — it just means you have to have your heart open to your ex and a genuine desire to be in a relationship with them. Forgiveness may not always be easy, but it is a magical thing if it's what you want. You and your ex can definitely get back together in a joyful way, if you do so carefully, with an open mind and heart.