couple talking,  "my boyfriend Thinks I cheated" here's what to do
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What To Say If Your Partner Thinks You’re Cheating

It’s a tough conversation, but you can do it.

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In the third grade, my teacher accused me of cheating on a writing assignment. Knowing my work was original, I pleaded with her to believe me and change my grade. This was a big deal for my 8-year-old self. But, as an adult, false accusations can cut deeper and feelings don’t heal as quickly. Some of the most difficult implications to deal with come from those we love the most, especially romantic partners or spouses. If an anxious significant other ever points a judgmental finger at you, consider what to say to your partner if they think you’re cheating, because having the right conversation just might save your relationship.

Even though you know you have been faithful, something has set off the Spidey sense in your partner. Hearing that they think you’ve been cheating hurts, and can put you on the defensive. But if this is a relationship you believe in and want to make work, you're going to have to lay down your shield, put on your big girl pants, and see if you can sort this situation out. Talking openly and honestly with your partner is the only way to resolve this confusion and move on in a positive direction.

“If a respectful conversation can't be had, leave the conversation,” says Alana R. Ogilvie, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialization in Sex Therapy. “If infidelity has been uncovered or if one partner can’t move past their suspicions, it’s best to get a couples therapist involved. A therapist who works with relationships will help you both to acknowledge the rupture this has caused to your relationship and repair from it.”

Before blowing up and breaking up, try using these five, simple talking points to get a calm, honest conversation started with partner who thinks you’ve been unfaithful.


“I hear your concern”

Truly listening to your partners feelings can strengthen your relationship. Letting them know that you hear their worries and you are really listening to the heart of what's bothering them. Once you understand where thoughts of perceived infidelity originated, you can work together on how to avoid these types of misunderstandings in the future. “It's best to start from a place as free from anxiety and anger as possible,” says Ogilive.


“I’m not that person, but I understand your fear”

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Everyone brings baggage from past relationships into new ones, but if you want a fresh start, you must leave behind the old and focus on the new. If you're partner was cheated on in the past, it's possible they are worried that the same pattern will repeat with you. “Because this conversation can be uncomfortable, anticipate that emotions will flare up for both of you,” suggests Ogilvie. “If your partner has confronted you with their suspicions, whether you are cheating or not, respond honestly and without defensiveness.” Remind your partner that you are not the person who hurt them — you're not their past, but their present and future.


“This hurts my feelings”

Just like you want to validate your partner’s feelings, you want to make sure yours are heard as well. In a gentle way, let them know that these accusations hurt your feelings. “Be sure that you've taken the time to approach your partner from a level-headed place,” says Ogilvie, and that includes acknowledging and expressing your own feelings, calmly. Holding on to this and pushing those emotions down can lead to unresolved feelings and possible resentment aimed at your partner.


“Let’s talk about our relationship”

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Once you have confronted the topic calmly, it might be good to ask the hard questions, like: Could this concern resurface in the future? Are you both satisfied with the resolution of this topic? And most importantly, Is there trust? But tread lightly, honestly, and calmly. And remember, if you think you’ll begin fighting, shouting or saying things you’ll regret, consider bringing in a therapist to help facilitate communication. A fight about infidelity in your relationship can do a great deal of damage, to each of you and to your relationship,” adds Ogilvie.


“Can we move beyond this?”

Once you and your partner have had the opportunity to express you thoughts and feelings on this issue, it's time to decide if your relationship is one you are both invested in making work. No doubt you both had some hurt feelings from this situation, so the big question is, Can we move past this?

Hopefully, you and your partner have the courage to be honest and trust your instincts about your future as a couple. And don’t be afraid to seek help from a therapist, who may be able to help you work on any issues of trust or communication in your relationship.


Alana R. Ogilvie, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialization in Sex Therapy

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