It has become increasingly common for partners to cheat on one another. Putting aside the moral and social judgments of this fact, let's look at how the affected partner can see and react to the cheating in the only manner that will bring true peace and happiness. Following is an example of the ‘cheating partner’ problem.
"I just found out that my boyfriend, Matthew, has been cheating on me, and it turns out that this cheating wench is a friend of mine who is cheating on HER boyfriend, too. I want to choke him, and then tear her hair out, but before I do all that, I thought I’d ask you what I could say to both of them. "
First let's talk about what your boyfriend has done, and then we'll deal with the other woman.
It's obvious that Matthew doesn't have enough Real Love in his life, because he's trying to fill his emptiness with the praise, power, and pleasure he can get from another woman. His lack of Real Love started long before he met you—almost certainly a lifetime of experiences with his parents, teachers, friends, and others. Nothing unusual about that—that's the case with the vast majority of people.
Then he met you, and the Imitation Love you two traded with one another-flattery, power, sex, whatever-was very intoxicating. I'm sure you both thought the love you shared was real. But you've pretty much proved that it wasn't, haven't you? Imitation Love always wears off—that's what happened between you—and now Matthew has gone looking for a new and more exciting source of it. That new source will wear off, too, but Matthew doesn't realize that yet.
You don't feel enough unconditional love in YOUR life, either. Your desire to “choke him, " and to “tear her hair out" are just two indications that you don't feel unconditionally loved or loving, and that has made a big contribution to the failure of your relationship with Matthew.
With both of you lacking Real Love, the two of you couldn't possibly have established an unconditionally loving relationship. What you had in the beginning was pretty exciting, but only because the effects of Imitation Love hadn't worn off yet.
It's critical that you recognize that this affair isn't about YOU. He was just trying to fill up HIS emptiness. He chose to have an affair. He could have chosen to spend more time at work, or drink alcohol, or take drugs, or any number of other things—it's all the same. That doesn't make his behavior acceptable, but it should make a big difference in how you feel toward him. Instead of wasting your time, energy, and happiness being angry, you can be understanding and compassionate and make a calm decision about whether you want to continue with this relationship.
I can't tell you to stay in this relationship or leave it, but I can describe some of the consequences of either choice.
One choice is to stay with him and recognize that both of you need to get a lot more of the one ingredient—Real Love—that will make a healthy relationship possible. Learn how you both can find the love you need, independently and from one another. You'll have powerful new tools that can completely change your relationship.
Another choice is to recognize that at this point neither of you has enough Real Love to make a healthy relationship work—not just with each other but with anybody—so it might be better not to be in any relationship at all. Unless you feel that this particular man is the only one on earth for you, it might be worth considering that it's often easier to first learn about Real Love, and to find genuine happiness, without the burden of someone who has already demonstrated that he or she can't be loving.
When you're in a relationship without a lifelong commitment—when you're not married—why continue in that relationship when it's obvious that both of you lack the one ingredient most essential to making that relationship work? Why not get what you need and start over? Learning to live life in a different way—with Real Love—can be like learning to climb a new mountain. Would you rather do that with or without a hundred pound pack on your back?
Now, what should you say to the woman he's been sleeping with? Absolutely nothing. Her behavior is absolutely irrelevant here. The real issues are understanding Matthew's behavior and making a decision about staying with him or leaving him, NOT what you can do to change HER behavior. She is just a small detail in this whole business-she's an object he's using to make himself feel better. If she hadn't been there, he would have used someone or something else. Talking to her about this affair would make no more sense than for the wife of an alcoholic to call the Jack Daniels distillery and demand that they stop making whiskey.
Focus on what matters. Remember, it's always about Real Love.
The world is literally dying from a lack of the one thing essential for our happiness—Real Love. We spend our entire lives trying to replace that unconditional love with praise, power, sex, money, entertainment, safety, and so on. But it never works, and the resulting emptiness and fear are almost too much to bear.
We don’t have to live like this anymore. Greg Baer and RealLove.com are teaching (1) the real cause of fear and anger and (2) how to find this Real Love that replaces the fear, anger, and conflict in our lives with peace, confidence, and genuine happiness.
Dr. Greg Baer is the author of 16 books, DVDs, and CDs—two of which are internationally published by Penguin Putnam Group—and has presented the life-changing message of Real Love to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
For more information on Real Love, including hours of free streaming video and audio, visit www.RealLove.com . You’ll be grateful for the rest of your life that you took this step.