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When your partner cheats

The first step towards lessening the pain is to verbalise the trauma. Talk out your experience with a friend. It helps reach a logical decision as your mind is clouded with conflicting thoughts making you incapable of taking a decision.

sex and relationships Updated: May 17, 2011 16:40 IST
Shara Ashraf

It was a crumpled hand written love note that marked an end to Rahul and Samaira’s (names changed) five-year-old relationship. “I found it in his car. The discovery that Rahul has been sleeping with Rupali, an intern in his office, brought my world crashing down. I reacted like a lunatic, sunk into depression, and popped sleeping pills at night,” shares the 28-year-old HR executive. Two years post her break up, she can laugh about it: “It happened for good. I lost 8 kg in 2 months flat!” On a serious note, she says, “It seemed the end of the world then. The realisation that my man was cheating on me was killing. But thank God I found out before it was late,” says Samaira.

Samaira is not the only one to have faced such an ordeal. Recently Shania Twain shared in an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show how she penned down her anguish in a letter she wrote to her friend Marie-Anne, who allegedly had an affair with her husband Robert Lange, pleading her to leave her husband. A breakup can be devastating if the cause is another man or woman, say experts. “There is loss of trust, angst and despair. There’s a major emotional setback too,” says psychologist Dr Sandeep Vohra.

People also often experience disbelief when they discover that their partner is cheating. “When you love someone, you think that the person is incapable of hurting you. It takes a while to accept the truth,” says relationship expert Dr Kamal Khurana. But counselling and support from your loved ones can help cope up with the trauma.

The first step towards lessening the pain is to verbalise the trauma. Talk out your experience with a friend. It helps reach a logical decision as your mind is clouded with conflicting thoughts making you incapable of taking a decision. “Spending time with parents, friends and siblings also helps. Take a break from your job, go on a vacation or take up something you always wanted to do,” suggests Dr Vohra. If you are not able to decide your next course of action, move out and don’t communicate with your partner for three months. It will help weigh pros and cons of continuing or ending the relationship, advises the psychiatrist.