Is there anything worse than finding out you are being cheated on? Here, we discuss how to get over being cheated on in 12 ways, and how to move on.
Relationships are all about trust. When you agree to be in a monogamous relationship with someone, if you strip it back to basics, essentially what you are saying is, “I am not going to hook up with anyone else…”
If you find out your partner has cheated on you, it can take a long time to feel like you can trust someone again, and can have a serious affect on your future relationships.
The scope of cheating
Of course, there are varying degrees of cheating. You may have only been officially going out for a month or so, and it might have been once—a drunken kiss in a night club—and your partner might have told you about it straight away. [Read: Is flirting cheating in a relationship?]
At the other end of the spectrum, it may be that you are married, and they have been having a long-lasting affair for months, even years, and would have continued to do so if you hadn’t caught them.
All cheating is wrong, and regardless of the circumstances, it is going to hurt. But perhaps not all of it is unforgivable.
#1 Be devastated. This is actually an important part of healing. If you remain stoic and refuse to tap into your emotions, it is likely they will just catch up with you at a later date. Deal with the pain now. Face up to it–scream, yell, and cry about it, then let it go.
Sobbing on the kitchen floor, refusing to get out of bed, crying in all the public places you frequent because you can’t keep it together—this is all completely normal. You’re allowed to feel sad; what happened to you was totally crushing and soul-destroying, so feel it.
It might be that you only last an hour before you are reduced to a shriveling wreck again, but it’s still worth it. Getting up, washed, and dressed every day will mean that you aren’t being totally defeated, and that will make you feel stronger. Little by little, it will start getting easier, too.
#3 Make a playlist. Listening to music really helps put you in touch with your emotions, and making the perfect playlist can really help with this.
Then make another one. A happy, punchy, shouty one that gets you up, pumping your fists in the air and dancing like a mad, crazy fool. It will really help—we promise!
#4 Stop blaming yourself. Even the most confident person will have their core shaken if they have been cheated on. You’ll run through all the different questions and scenarios that everyone who has to go through this asks, and, at one point, undoubtedly wonder, “Was it something I did?”
Misplaced self-loathing is pretty commonplace when you have been cheated on. You’ll start to think it’s because you gained a couple of pounds, because you didn’t tidy up as much as you should have, or because you insisted on watching your favorite movie that night.
If you are not careful, you can end up in a spiral of self doubt and start to believe that, somehow, your partner had no choice but to cheat because you are so ugly and useless, and you totally deserve it. [Try: How self respect affects you and your relationship]
While it’s quite normal to feel this way, at some point, you need to sit up straight and realize that none—and we mean absolutely none—of this is your fault. Once you understand that, you’ll feel stronger already.
#5 Make a list. Of everything you didn’t like about your partner, that is. Focusing on all the negatives will help you get over them quicker, and perhaps make you realize that you were never right for one another in the first place.
It’s so easy to get sucked into feeling all nostalgic about the good times you had together, but this is pointless. Instead, remember what crappy taste they had in music, how they would always leave hair all over the bathroom, how they were selfish in bed, or used to get annoyed with you for really unfair things. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]
Then, remember that they cheated on you, that you are worth way more than that, and that you will find someone better, who will make you way happier, too.
#6 Get angry. You should be angry. The person you trusted the most totally broke your trust. Getting seriously angry is good–it’s cathartic.
Get angry when you are with your friends, swear a lot, and plan ridiculously far-fetched acts of revenge. You’ll eventually calm down, and dare we even say laugh about it, but you’ll certainly feel a lot better if you can vent from time to time. [Read: 12 devious ways to be a crazy ex and get your revenge]
#7 Get a new hobby. There is nothing better than getting rid of your old life by starting something new. Getting a new hobby will get you out of the house, get you meeting new people, and will distract you from thinking about your ex all the time.
Do something that you have always wanted to do, but put off when you were with them. You’ll feel an awesome sense of achievement and realize that they were holding you back, anyway.
It takes a great night out with friends to realize that you can be okay without your ex, and there are plenty more fish in the sea.
#10 Be alone. At some point, you have got to be alone. When you spend that first day, evening, and night alone and you are okay with it, that’s a brilliant sign that you are moving on.
Of course, there is no need to force it, but when you feel ready spend some time just being with yourself, it actually can be quite fun! You’ve got no one to answer to anymore, so just do your thing, exactly the way you want to! [Try: 14 things you need to know when you’re living alone]
#11 Realize that you actually really don‘t care anymore. One day, in the not too distant future, you are going to realize that you actually don’t care anymore, and when you do, it will feel as though a massive weight has been lifted.
#12 Forgive them. OK, so this one might be pretty hard to do, but no matter how badly they hurt you, if you can forgive them, you will feel so much more at peace with your life.
You don’t have to be best friends with them, you don’t have to meet up with them, or even call them on the phone. Just know, in your heart, that you have forgiven them, and that it’s definitely time to move on and let go.
Being cheated on is horrible and devastating. However, the one thing you can be certain of is that you will get over it, and you will move on. Think about everyone you know that has suffered loss and heartache. At the time, they couldn’t see past the darkness and pain, but now they are happy and renewed.