Not many things can break your heart like being cheated on. To experience betrayal by someone you love and trust leaves behind a stain that seems hard to remove. I want to discuss everything I know on how to get over being cheated on to help you work through your pain and baggage.
First of all, I just want to emphasize that being cheated on isn’t a reflection of you in any way whatsoever.
On the contrary, the act of cheating usually reveals the flaws and insecurities of your partner.
It doesn’t feel that way though, right?
If anything, being cheated on makes you feel unworthy or devalued. You start to look at yourself with heightened scrutiny in an attempt to understand why your partner was not satisfied with you.
I’ve been through it before, twice!
It affected the way I looked at myself, other people, love and relationships. Insecurities and doubt were cast over me like a dark cloud.
But, you can only function in that state for so long before you either fall further or rise and overcome the pain of being cheated on.
And that is what I managed to do. Rather than accept defeat and give more power to my ex and the infidelity, I channeled all that energy and emotion into growing as a person.
Granted, it wasn’t an overnight journey but with a lot of self-reflection, guidance, effort and experiences, I figured out how to get over being cheated on and regain my thirst for love again.
Here’s what I have to share with you.
1. Walk away from the relationship
Some people choose to avoid ending a relationship over infidelity and I can understand that.
If you are able to make peace with what has happened and forgive your partner then it’s okay.
But, for anyone who simply can’t look beyond their partner’s betrayal, the healthiest thing to do is walk away from the situation.
What can be gained from staying involved with someone who has broken your trust and betrayed the sanctity of a commitment?
Furthermore, if he or she is full of excuses and you can sense that their guilt doesn’t stem from making a mistake but from being caught, then is that someone who has a truly good character?
The likelihood of you ever regaining complete trust in that particular relationship is slim to none.
Like most breakups, the best thing you can do is walk away. Initiate no contact and let the healing process begin because what you’re looking for at that point can never be found in your partner.
In life, we only get what we negotiate for.
Accepting someone who has undermined, devalued and disrespected you in this way is what actually does the real damage to you.
Choosing to walk away is a sign of strength. You have taken control of the situation and decided to negotiate for a better partner.
In doing so, you will respect yourself tremendously in the future when the shock and pain of being cheated on subsides.
2. Don’t blame yourself at all
We are only truly responsible for how we show up in life. The decisions of our partners must and will never reflect who we are. A commitment to a relationship is not a forfeiture of your own self.
When your partner fails you and the relationship by cheating, it rests solely on his or her shoulders.
There is no excuse for infidelity.
A lot of people spend this time criticizing themselves. Why? Because they are scared to acknowledge the fact that someone they love can fall so far and do something so disgusting.
But that is what you must do.
You must see the situation for what it is.
When you criticize and blame yourself for being cheated on, you are not just disrespecting yourself but also all the people who have less than perfect relationships who still remain faithful to their partners.
Put the blame where it belongs. On your partner.
Then and only then will you be able to forgive him or her and move on with your life.
3. Be alone for some time
Breakups are hard enough on their own, couple that with being cheated on and it’s a lot to handle.
I made the mistake of trying to avoid that pain and discomfort.
What I realized is that just because my partner cheated and the relationship ended, doesn’t mean that I magically stopped loving my ex.
Only when I accepted the reality of my situation did I take the necessary step of being alone for as long as I needed.
I like to compare this time to having a cold shower.
The fear of what it’s going to feel like is actually worse than it is. Not to say that this won’t be difficult but it’s manageable, beneficial and essential to your long term health.
Being alone is the fastest means to accepting what has happened.
When you can’t avoid or run away from those feelings and thoughts that scare the living daylights out of you, you are forced to deal with them.
You may feel some suffering at first but beyond that is peace and acceptance.
At a certain point, I promise you that things change.
You’ll wake up feeling less upset about what happened and the void of your ex’s presence begins to close up.
There’s a number of things you should be doing during this time alone that I will touch on in the next section because they drastically help you accept, heal, and move on after being cheated on.
4. Take care of yourself now
I’m not going to lie, the first few weeks after I got cheated on was the hardest. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and do nothing but mourn the death of my relationship.
I went down the rabbit hole and obsessed over the past. Searching for answers, all I found was more questions and sadness.
Sure, it’s okay to mope for some time. But at a certain point, you have to start living again. And that’s where routine and self care come into play.
To me, I felt like I hit rock bottom emotionally.
It sucked but this leveled the playing ground for me. Being at rock bottom meant I could start piecing myself back together bit by bit.
The only way of doing this is through movement. Doing things provide you with a dose of dopamine and mental clarity.
So, I started restructuring my life around myself. Before, it was all about the relationship. Now, it was time to be selfish in the healthiest way possible.
Here’s what you should do:
- Create a list of goals.
- Draw up weekly or daily To-do lists.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat healthily.
- Socialize and step outside.
- Designate some time for new hobbies.
- Pamper yourself to look and feel good.
- Listen to podcasts.
- Learn a new language.
- Focus on your career.
- Rekindle old friendships.
- Take yourself out on a date.
- Do some shopping.
The list is limitless. You have all this extra time and love on your hands, pour it into things that benefit you.
There’s absolutely nothing to lose by taking care of yourself.
I find many of those activities to be therapeutic and a healthy way to exercise the stress and pent up feelings from my system.
I’m pretty sure it will have the same effect on you as it has on others.
Give it a few weeks and I promise you it will reignite your desire to live again. That’s the greatest take-away I got from prioritizing self care after being cheated on and ending a relationship.
Life goes on and you can rediscover happiness again, even after a traumatic romantic ordeal.
5. Spend time with people you love and trust
Talking about your feelings and thoughts is therapeutic. Some people visit a therapist and that can be extremely beneficial.
I would invest a lot of time speaking to the people who are closest to me.
Avoid opening up to the wrong people. Invest your time in those who you trust and love. Why? Because they’ll listen and advise you to do what’s best for your happiness.
Do this for as long as you need to and eventually, start focusing your time on having fun.
Gravitate towards those who are good for your heart. Those experiences and memories will help piece your heart back together after something difficult.
6. Forgive your partner or ex
There’s something insidious about holding onto anger and hate for a long period of time.
It starts to infect your personality in a toxic way.
Even if someone has hurt you in a lifechanging manner, forgiveness goes a long way in helping you heal and move on.
It’s not about your ex.
Forgiveness is for you. It allows you to let go of those painful emotions you carry with you all the time.
Look at it from this perspective – if you change who you are based on your ex’s infidelity, not only do you lose happiness but you continue to feed more power and control to your ex and that experience.
Don’t let that happen.
Don’t give anymore power or investment to your cheating partner and the experience.
You win and truly move forward by letting go of all attachments to that experience.
Forget about trying to get even or anything of that nature. It doesn’t serve you in any way whatsoever.
So the idea behind forgiveness is to let go of everything that prevents you from living your best life now and in the future.
It’s not easy. God knows, it made my blood boil every time I thought about what my ex did.
But, in the end, the only one who kept suffering was me. Only after I forgave my ex and moved on completely from the breakup was I able to see that.
7. Learn from the experience
For a long time, I just felt like there was nothing to be gained from being cheated on.
All it did was hurt me and throw a bunch of baggage on my shoulders.
That mindset did me no favors now that I think about it. During my stint of self-care and after forgiving my ex, I started looking at the scenario without any attachment to the situation.
I was thinking about ways in which I could use a crisis to elevate myself in life.
For a while, I kept asking myself the same question – what can I learn or use from the experience to be better?
As time ticked on, I started breaking things down and analyzing the relationship from an objective standpoint.
I realigned my values in life. What I wanted from a partner changed in some ways. I picked up on some warning signs that flew over my head because I was so in love.
All these lessons started to accumulate over time until they started affecting the way I approached my love life.
Rather than living in fear of being cheated on, I started to understand relationships on a deeper level.
More importantly, I started to understand myself on a deeper level and that has benefited me to this day.
Since then, I have had some of the most amazing relationships of my life.
My radar for toxic or unhealthy relationships has skyrocketed. I’ve gained a deeper insight into how improving communication can help any relationship thrive.
And all those lessons has helped me create content for this site that actually help people.
I’m not the anomaly.
Even if you have allowed yourself to be changed and negatively affected by a cheating scandal, you can still turn things around by simply altering your mindset.
There’s something to be gained here.
Find those lessons that help you grow beyond the situation. One day, this experience will be just another lesson that helped you become the perfect lover for your perfect relationship.
Let that sink in.
8. Let time heal your wounds
Whether you decide to leave your partner or work through the issue, it’s going to take a significant amount of time.
Try to be patient with yourself. If your partner really wants to help, explain to him or her that they need to be supportive during this time and help you rebuild trust in the relationship.
This may require you to talk or cry about the pain you’re experiencing over and over again.
And that is okay.
Don’t beat yourself up for how you feel through this ordeal.
You can help time works it’s magic by experiencing new things and making new memories.
It will be hard at first but the more you put yourself out there, the easier it becomes to move beyond the memories and pain of being cheated on.
If your life is like a book, the only way of moving onto the next chapter is to get through a few more pages.
You’re going to be okay
Trust me and all the people who have been through this, it get’s better and you will move on with your life.
We are extremely resilient creatures and it’s really astounding what we can bounce back from.
You are bigger than any single relationship. Your life is not defined by a romantic relationship. Always remember that.
Down the line, this event is not going to hold any emotional weight over you.
Sometimes it doesn’t even cross my mind that I was cheated on before because so much of time has passed by. More importantly, I put in the work to heal and recover.
I rebuilt the parts of me that were bruised and through self care and experience, I have become a better person and partner in relationships.
Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.
This is just another experience that will make you a tougher person.
And when the right person comes along, they’ll love and adore you for it.
I hope you found some comfort and guidance from the advice in this article. Please feel free to reach out in the comment section below to share your story or some advice.