What to do if your partner is flirting online with other girls? Whether it’s liking another girl, dirty talk, or even mutually sending nudes – in any case, it’s hard to accept the fact that a loved one pays attention to someone on the side. Especially if you are in a relationship that does not involve contact with others. Let’s figure out how to be in this case. These tips are applicable for two people in a couple, because such cases should be worked out together.
Figure out why it hit you
It’s one thing if you didn’t discuss the boundaries with your partner in advance, and it’s quite another when you and your partner told what each of you considers cheating. Each of the cases should be considered in a special way.
Figure out what a person put into his desire to correspond with another, try to understand how his reaction to your arguments resonates in you. Knowing what emotions you are dealing with will help you recover in a timely manner and return to the methodical study of the problem without unnecessary irritants.
If you and your partner have not yet agreed on the limits of what is acceptable, share your thoughts about how his actions affected your condition – we will return to this later. Together try to establish how to be in each individual case.
When you and your partner have already discussed the boundaries, but he still did what he sees fit, make it clear: at this moment you regard his act as a real betrayal.
Don’t pretend the problem doesn’t exist
Hushing up the fact of sexting with another, you and your companion, as it were, agree to the current order of things, which means that you will have to endure the partner’s ongoing correspondence with outsiders, and he will deceive you over and over again. The authors of the book Male Sexual Health, Michael Metz and Barry McCarthy, note that it is not uncommon for companions to claim to have engaged with others (whether through texting or actual infidelity) on the spur of the moment.
In fact, a person may have real motives to seek intimacy on the side, and they are not always related to sex. It is very important to understand what exactly motivated them. Start a conversation by talking about your emotions, find a convenient time when you are both in a good mood, and figure out what exactly is happening in your couple here and now.
Share your pain
The first thing you should do after discovering a deception and a possible quarrel is to talk about feelings. Describe why the partner’s sixths actually saddened you: perhaps you thought that you were close enough not to once again express your gratitude to each other, and the lover’s further step simply turned everything upside down in you.
Tell him what really saddened you, while trying not to blame your partner, but remember that it was he who was responsible for what happened. This will help your loved one understand that their actions hurt your trust.
Remember that a simple “understand and forgive” in this case will not work: without proper elaboration, an incident can resonate in your couple over and over again, awakening mutual anger.
Feel free to ask uncomfortable questions
Psychotherapist Laurie Gottlieb notes in an article for The Atlantic that in family therapy it is customary to distinguish between two types of questions: those that increase trauma and those that allow you to better understand the situation – we just need those related to the second. This includes structures like:
- How did you meet this person?
- How and when exactly did your correspondence begin?
- How often did you contact?
- Why did you decide to hide this from me?
- Have you cut off contact with him? If not, what do you usually do?
If any of these questions hurt you, replace them with the ones you see fit. Note that the approximate list is the basis that will allow you to establish for what purpose the partner sexted with others.
Decide with your partner when to slam doors
No, this is not about parting: the creator of the telegram channel about relationships in a pair of Boring Blog, citing a psychotherapist Harriet Lerner, argues that partners can often have different ideas about how to communicate with others. He compares it to the ability to close the gate in front of strangers.
Lerner tells the story of his clients. Husband and wife were faithful to each other. At the same time, the husband “kept the doors a little ajar”: he could flirt with women because he liked to feel sexy. It was important for him to close the gate, as soon as he felt that flirting was turning into something more.
His wife’s libido was noticeably weaker, but she knew that she quickly became attached to people: she began to think about them, to lose touch with her husband. Therefore, she felt that with other men, you need to keep the gates locked tightly so as not to change emotionally.
Before you figure out what exactly you expect from relationships both with each other and with strangers, discuss your principles of communication. Perhaps the partner needs to receive confirmation that he is a good lover: this is why he could have sex with others. In this case, you can agree to give each other more attention, if necessary.
See if you can keep dating
You may not be able to communicate as you used to at first – this is a completely natural reaction to such cases. However, later, if you want to save the relationship, you should come to a new harmony. This is a long way, but if you are sure that the effort is worth it, decide on serious work on yourself.
You may need more than one conversation, not two, or even five: the understanding has come that the two of you cannot cope with this – contact a family therapist. His support will help you figure out what was missing from the relationship for both of you and what problems sexting with strangers showed in a couple. What to do if your partner is flirting online with other girls?