It’s bad enough to get cheated on, but it’s even worse to confront your partner, only to have him or her play the victim and paint you as a villain. Very few things in life will irk you as much as this situation. But even then, there are some people out there who fall for the whole “woe-is-me-I’m-the-victim-here” trap. If you think your partner has the guts to pull this ploy, don’t fall for it!
How to handle a cheater who plays the victim
Don’t allow the cheater to guilt you into thinking that you had it coming. In fact, it should be the cheater who should be showing remorse, and not the other way around. If you find yourself being blamed by a cheater who’s playing the victim, here’s what you should do.
#1 Tell them that feeling sad or lonely doesn’t justify cheating. If your partner was having an emotional issue in the relationship, then he or she should have brought it up with you. Going behind your back to deal with an emotional issue by cheating is extremely shady and unacceptable.
There are many ethical solutions that the person could have used instead. He or she could have tried to communicate with you. Couple’s therapy is another option. Even an honest breakup would have been preferable! No matter how much he or she was struggling, cheating is still unacceptable.
#2 Explain to them how much it hurt you. This is a great way to flip the tables on your partner, if he or she is acting like a victim. So if your partner is going on and on trying to portray themselves as the victim, simply remind him or her how painful it is to be cheated on. In fact, emphasize on this point until they drop the victim act and genuinely apologize.
#3 Tell them that you didn’t cheat on them when you were feeling hurt. By saying this, you effectively cancel out your partner’s whole argument. The reason is because your partner is trying to make cheating seem acceptable, by claiming that emotional pain justifies it. However, if you can remind your partner of situations in which you endured emotional pain, but did not resort to cheating, then it puts you clearly on the moral high ground.
#4 Emphasize how immoral cheating is. If you can really dig into the ethics of cheating, it can help to unravel any argument that your partner gives you. The reason is because cheating involves such a basic betrayal of trust, which is the foundation of the relationship. After discussing the immorality of cheating for a little while, your partner may realize that it’s hopeless to try to play the victim card.
#5 Ask them how they would feel if the situation were reversed. Doing this can also help to make your partner see the light. Perhaps your partner genuinely, truly feels like the victim in this situation. When you make them imagine if they were the one being cheated on, they may realize that no matter the reason behind the cheating, the act of betraying your partner with someone else still trumps that argument.
#6 Just don’t listen to them at all. When it comes down to it, do you genuinely want to know why your partner cheated on you? It could be because they felt neglected or ignored or abused or anything, but in the end, do you have to put up with all the excuses?
When you’ve made up your mind to leave, why not spare yourself the trouble of listening to excuses and just walk away? It would certainly be better than putting up with your partner’s accusations about you being the villain and he or she being the victim.
#7 Use any evidence that you have. If you have a picture on your phone of your partner cheating on you, or some other form of proof, you can use this as a rebuttal to the argument. You get plus points if the proof you have depicts your partner as a happy-go-lucky person who’s enjoying his or her time with the third party.
Wave that photo in your cheating partner’s face and ask if this looks like a photo of a victim.
#8 Who’s the REAL victim here? If your partner refuses to drop the act, give them a taste of their own medicine. Cry spousal neglect or lacking space or not spending time together. Whatever lame argument your cheating partner is throwing at you, throw it right back with as much gusto.
If your partner is clever enough, they may realize that their previous argument sounds really desperate and, at times, pathetic. If your partner isn’t clever enough, outline the fact that the ultimate betrayal in a relationship is cheating, and that no amount of neglect or smothering can justify it. The only thing that your actions will justify is a breakup.
Although the pain is not physical, the pain of being cheated on can still be very, very difficult to endure. This is why so many relationships end once cheating has been discovered. It’s like all of the good energy between you and your partner just vanishes in an instant.
However, despite the fact that cheating is usually a death sentence for a relationship, some people still try to keep their relationships after they have been caught cheating. They do this by playing the victim and making the cheating seem like it was justified. But cheating is almost never truly justifiable.
So you have to be really careful when you are dealing with a cheater. You don’t want to let them convince you that the cheating was actually no big deal or that it was your fault that it happened at all. Keep your wits about you, and don’t fall for the victim ploy!