It’s called “falling in love” because you’re risking the chance of falling flat on your face. And when someone is cheating on you, that’s pretty much the feeling most people describe. Even if you think it might be happening and learn you were right, or you have no idea it’s coming and discover the truth out of nowhere, it hurts like landing on a ton of bricks.
Because you may not know exactly how to act in the moments, days, weeks, and months after learning your partner’s been unfaithful, we asked top relationship experts to share their advice for how to respond.
1. Stay calm and gather information
No matter how upset you are at first hearing the news, it’s important that you collect as much information about what happened between your partner and this other person. Was it a one-time thing? If not, how long have they been seeing each other and how often were they seeing each other? Are they still in contact?
“All of this information is valuable,” Dawn Michael, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, relationship expert, and author of My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me, said in an interview with The Cheat Sheet. “Just be careful not to overreact or do anything you may regret later on, as yelling, blaming, and freaking out won’t resolve anything and will only make your partner shut down and not want to talk about it.”