Discover how to heal after being cheated on with these 5 essential tips. Overcoming infidelity can be a painful process, but by remembering these key points, you can begin to move on and find closure.
We all know that only a few things are as hurtful and emotionally devastating as a romantic partner straying away from their fidelity. It’s one of those painful experiences that can force out lots of negative emotions and feelings from one.
Because apart from feelings that make one question the core of his or her identity, feelings of being betrayed, and even the ones that make one extremely stressed, anxious, and depressed, it can make one so disorganized and messed up to forget the most important things to always remember when in pain of being cheated on.
While it can be as painful as hell, have your trust beaten to death, make you question why you have to face such a painful experience when you’re honest and faithful, and it can even make you lose focus and interest in everything that concerned you, there are a few things you must never forget when in pain of being cheated on.
Because they’ll make it easier for you to not deal with the pain of being cheated on but will also make it more likely for you to recover and get over everything easier and quicker than you’ll otherwise do should you ignore them.
That being said, here are five things you should always remember if you’re in pain of being cheated on.
1. It’s not necessarily about you.
So your heart is filled with not just the pain of being cheated on, but also bursting with self-blaming maybe’s where you’re practically looking for reasons to pin your partner’s infidelity on yourself?
Let’s be honest; a lot of us also do.
As soon as we learned that our partners have strayed away from their fidelity, we rationalize, muse over, and try to make sense of everything. We wrack our brains to figure out where things went wrong. And we mostly end up blaming ourselves for our partners’ conscious decisions to disrespect us.
No doubt, self-blame is a common response to traumatic experiences, and for some of us, it has been a survival mechanism or response we developed growing up: We easily blame ourselves with thoughts such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m unlovable” when our caregivers somehow failed to meet our needs, instead of seeing things for what they were — They were incapable of meeting our needs.
And hence, we’ll end up blaming ourselves to make us feel better about the whole situation. The same thing happens when we find our partners cheating.
But the truth is, even though our sole intentions are to feel better or cope better with the pains of being cheated on, blaming ourselves is just one of the worst ways to do so.
Because blaming it on your inadequacy, unattractiveness, or something or even things you failed to do, will only lead you down a dark, intrusive thought spiral or catastrophic thinking spiral that often occurs alongside anxiety and depression.
That’s why you don’t have to get yourself drowned in a pool of self-blaming anxiety because of a cheating partner’s conscious acts of disrespect that has 100 percent more things to do with them than it has to do with you.
It could be because they wanted to experience the thrill of something new, they couldn’t deal with some problems within the relationship, or they had abandonment issues right from childhood … All of which have nothing to do with you. It’s just the level of their maturity and ethics.
The bottom line is that you’re such a great person that while you were busy living your life and trying to better your future together, they were so immature to be out there breaking their promises. Yes, it’s nothing but a difference in levels of maturity.
2. Forgiving them is very vital.
The outcome of your life aftermath of the affair of a cheating partner is often determined by what you do with the anger and resentment that came as a result of their infidelity.
Whether you decide or choose to continue with the relationship, both of which are great and normal decisions, what matters is how liberating or enslaving the traumatic experience is to you.
Did you choose to “forgive” and continue with the relationship only to be wallowing in bitterness, resentment, hostility, hate, or even fear of being hurt again?
Or did you choose to move on with your life only to be carrying with you all the baggage that’s full of unforgiving emotions from the experience?
These are some of the ways a lot of people deal with traumatic experiences like being cheated on by a romantic partner.
They, in either or both ways, hope to put the experiences behind them and make way for better and more meaningful experiences and partnerships that are full of love, honesty, loyalty, and respect, only to be sabotaging everything themselves.
Because the thing is, even though they might not want it to be so, their conscious and subconscious mental slavery to the traumatic experiences will in one way, or another, ruin the relationship they wanted so badly to work despite their partner’s infidelity or it’ll ruin other relationships with entirely different people.
That’s why you’ll need to choose to forgive a cheating partner and let go of the anger, resentment, and other negative emotions they triggered even when you will be breaking up with them.
Because when you do, you won’t ruin your subsequent relationships because someone cheated on you before. And even if you stay back, you won’t ruin what might have been one of the best romantic partnerships you’ll ever enjoy because you can’t let go of your partner’s transgression. Sure, it isn’t easy, but you have to do it because of yourself.
3. Never try to suppress or act on your feelings but do this instead.
Like what we saw in the previous point, carrying with one the counterproductive and enslaving anger and resentment of being cheated on is one of the worst ways to deal with such experiences.
One will only be punishing him or herself and even their partners when they refuse to forgive and let go of the crime or mistake an ex or current partner committed or made.
Now, maybe you might not be consumed by the anger, bitterness, and other negative emotions associated with the experience of being cheated on. But suppressing your emotions or even acting on them doesn’t make you any better.
And you know what’s funny about suppressing your feelings or acting on them? They won’t only give you delusional feelings that you’ve gotten over everything, but might eventually mess up your dating and love life thereafter.
Want to stand a better chance of enjoying a better, deeper, and more meaningful love life after the traumatic experience of being cheated on?
Be patient, kind, and fair enough to yourself to walk through your feelings and gradually, but eventually and completely heal from the traumatic experience.
Because when you choose to walk through your feelings. Come to terms with the fact that feeling disappointed or betrayed is normal. And pass through the usual stages of grief (shock/denial, anger/defiance, depression, remorse, and acceptance.) You won’t see any reason to act in ways that’ll sabotage your love life and relationships as a result of your suppressed feelings.
And on the other hand, you won’t make the mistake of jumping too early into new relationships or even becoming a serial cheater yourself — By choosing the quickest path to avoid pain or being hurt, and even hurting others instead.
Because the truth is, nothing beats going through the painful but worthwhile process of self-heal.
Also read: 5 Signs Someone Never Really Loved You
4. It doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be permanent.
A lot of us naturally have the worst beliefs, views, or mindsets toward pain. We often think of pain as the effects of unfortunate events that’ll last forever after their occurrence.
When we are experiencing pain, we often feel like we’ll never be comfortable again and like the pain will never go away.
The truth of the matter is that they’re very few pain that’ll never go away — If there are at all. Meaning that most pains aren’t permanent and will go away as long as the affected victims hang on until they gradually and completely heal.
It might take significantly less time than one will ever imagine for him or her to feel better and even get over the pain of being cheated on. And most times, all it takes to ensure and hasten the healing process, is actively seeking to heal because you know that the pain won’t last forever unless you want it to.
The latter is the case for people who’ve ruined a lot of their relationships and are still sabotaging their love lives because someone, some time ago, disrespected them by straying away from their fidelity — They’re still prisoners of the traumatic experience and subconsciously want to remain there forever.
But if you want your case to be not just different, but more than better, you’ll need to see the pain for what it is: Something that’s temporal. And hence, honor your feelings and emotions, feel everything but don’t stay there for too long. You might want to lean on your family or friends for support. Talk to them about your feelings and everything.
And don’t forget self-care. It can be a very rewarding and worthwhile coping strategy that’ll eventually boost your healing process. Music, meditation, relaxation, or time in nature can do unimaginable wonders. And last but not the least, be patient. Take things one day at a time as you recover because all of these will eventually make everything pass away whether you continue with the relationship or not.
5. It can be a life-changing cause of transformation.
How often do you think of unfortunate events or situations as the worst possible things to have ever happened to you?
Chances are: You’ve always thought so of all the ill-fortunate things that have ever happened to you. And you might even be thinking so of your partner’s infidelity.
And the thing is, while it’s unimaginably painful to be cheated on by a romantic partner one loves so much, most times, it often turns out to be everything but the worst possible thing that has no good sides at all.
Even though it might not always seem so immediately after you learn about a cheating partners’ infidelity, it can be the reason for a life-changing transformation or greater experience.
I know a lot of couples whose relationship, love, and bond experienced a transformational turnaround after making up again following the infidelity of one partner.
And sometimes, people end up in better relationships with even better partners that are just better in all ramifications compared to their cheating ex.
Sure, for the former to be a reality, both parties must be willing to make things work better from the deepest parts of their hearts enough to put in the necessary work. But the affair of the cheating partner is the main wake-up call for them to work towards having a better and healthier relationship.
And for the latter, the key turning point might be the decision to end things and make way for something better.
In both cases, being cheated on is a blessing in disguise. That’s why amidst the depressing pain of being cheated on, you should often remember that there’s always a brighter side to every bad thing that happens in life. And being cheated on is no exception.
John Emmanuel is a results-obsessed relationship blogger and founder of Top Love Hacks, dedicated to helping you level up your dating and relationship game by motivating you to be in control of your love life.