Vanderpump Rules’ Brittany Cartwright and Jax Taylor are engaged. Jax officially popped the question to his girlfriend of three years after a rocky season, during which he cheated and his father passed away.
During the reunion, Jax said that the reason he became a better man to Brittany was, because after his father died, she completely took over and was there for him in every way. And everyone believes he’s changed, which is great because that’s what Brittany deserves. Now Jax may have become a better boyfriend in the months following, but what steps should couples go through when moving on from cheating that make them ready for marriage?
Answer the question 'why'd he cheat?'.
Before they tie the knot, Dr. Elizabeth Lasky, Ph.D., LCSW, says that “it’s vital to address the reason that someone (or yourself) cheated in the first place.”
“This answer will be different for everybody,” she says. “Knowing what was missing or unfulfilling in the previous relationship and having an understanding of the feelings is important.”
Figure out who you are first.
Dr. Lasky also says that working on your own self with a good therapist or coach can help you figure out what it mean to be “marriage ready,” which is exactly what Jax had been trying to do with his Reiki master.
People get married for different reasons but, overall, marriage is a commitment. Knowing yourself inside and out will help you assess if you are in the right place to make that commitment or not,” she adds.
Brutal honesty is key.
Fran Greene, Author of Dating Again With Courage and Confidence, says the cheater should be willing to answer any and all lingering questions you may have about your relationship.
“Even if you wake up at 3 a.m., you can call him and he will be totally and completely honest with you, no matter what,” Greene says. “He promises that he will tell you anything you want to know.”
Figure out what you were looking for.
The partner who cheated should be in therapy long before the wedding.
“Cheating just doesn’t happen because you are attracted to someone else. It fills a need or a void. Your partner must be willing to invest the time and effort in understanding what led him to this affair. He also needs to share with you what he is learning about himself as it unfolds,” Greene says.
Looks like last season Jax was truly attempting to do that.
Don't blame anyone, or anything, else.
Before anyone who has cheated on their partner marries them, they need to also take ownership for the infidelity.
“The person must take responsibility for their actions and the hurt and betrayal you are experiencing,” Greene explains.
Say sorry. And mean it.
Lastly, if their apology comes from the heart, they may be a changed person, Greene says. “They apologize with their entire being and accept that your [renewed] trust won’t happen instantaneously.”
We all saw Jax's heartfelt apology at the reunion. It seemed very honest and very real, and makes us hope that these two have already conquered the worst of times together.
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