Whether you are married, or boyfriend and girlfriend, being in a relationship takes a lot of work. Relationships are also built on trust, but infidelity can break that trust. However, you have choices on how to handle a relationship after cheating.
A lot of people are surprised to hear that. The first thoughts that probably ran through your head were to hurt the cheating partner, or to leave them for good. You should never try to hurt someone, even if they cheated on you, but leaving may be a real option for you. That doesn't mean that leaving is the only option, but rather that it is one option.
You need to step back from the situation and do your best to take your emotions out of the equation. Invest some time in giving serious thought to your relationship and how cheating has changed it. Don't make a decision yet; there are still other things to consider.
How did you find out your partner was cheating? Were you the one who cheated, and does your partner know? If there was an apology how sincere was it? Was it a one-time incident or has it been going on for a long time? Is the third party someone both of you know? Did you have previous suspicions that your partner avoided answering? Do you feel partially responsible and if so, why?
Those are just some of the questions you will need to answer. Again, don't get too emotional while answering them. What you are trying to do here is make an accurate assessment of where your relationship stands and where it is heading.
If you do decide to split up, then make as clean of a break as possible. There is no sense in prolonging this difficult time. Furthermore, there is no sense in trying to exact your revenge. Just move on with your life and go your separate ways.
Deciding to stay together is often the best choice, but it's going to take a lot of effort. If you still love your partner and want to patch things up, then you have to be committed to working things out. There will be some rough spots along the way, but it can be done.
Trust is the hardest thing to regain in a relationship after cheating, and it's the most important. To be blunt, all trust is gone from a relationship after someone has been unfaithful. It may seem as though you can never trust them again, but you have to try. A good way to go about it is to take small steps. Give a little bit of trust on something inconsequential and then build from there. You may never get back the full, unfettered level of trust, but you can get enough of it back to stay together.
Being able to get trust back is the first major hurdle that needs to be overcome in a relationship after cheating. Once you do that you can move forward with the healing process.