As someone who endured a relationship where I was cheated on repeatedly for about 4 years, I can tell you not to do what I did. Do not stay with a cheater. Do not blame yourself. When it comes to learning how to get over being cheated on, I hope you can learn from all of my mistakes.
Being cheated on is brutal. It makes you feel foolish, hurt, heartbroken, and angry. It lowers your self-esteem. It breaks your trust not just with the person who cheated but with yourself.
With all of that, no wonder, it is hard to get over. It took me years to fully move on and be ready for a healthy relationship. But, it didn’t have to. If I had taken some of the steps I will tell you about here, I could have learned how to get over being cheated on a lot sooner, with a lot less pain, and with a lot more confidence.
[Read: How to get over someone cheating on you and repair the damage]
Get over being cheated on by understanding it
Cheating is something I have never understood. It is something I could never imagine being heartless enough to do. In my book, it has no excuse other than in very specific instances.
So, how do you understand being cheated on? Well, not how you might think.
I know you want closure or an explanation. You think if your ex could just tell you why they did it, you could understand and move on. The thing is, that isn’t how it works.
It is very rare that someone who cheated will tell you the truth about why they did it, or even tell you at all. Many times a cheater won’t admit it, even with proof.
In my experience, there was no explanation or excuse. Naturally, I blamed myself. I thought if I was better he would stop cheating. If I could measure up to these girls, he would choose me. [Read: How to survive infidelity without tearing apart]
Please hold yourself higher than that. When someone cheats, it very rarely has anything to do with you. Yes, maybe you were overwhelmed with work or in a rut. But, those things do not make cheating acceptable or your fault.
You may have not been the perfect partner or you could’ve have been, either way, cheating is always a choice for your partner. They could have spoken to you. They could have broken up with you. They could have asked for a break or told you what they were struggling with.
Instead, they cheated and it almost always has a lot more to do with them than with you. I know we reflect on being cheated on by looking in the mirror, it is human nature. But they made the choice.
[Read: Why do people in happy relationships still cheat?]
The reason you probably won’t get an honest reason from your ex is that they haven’t really processed it. Most cheaters haven’t fully analyzed their feelings or considered the fallout or what they have done or why they’ve done it.
Even if they give you an answer, it probably isn’t the full truth. It is likely that they are telling themselves to ease their guilt. If they have fully comprehended what cheating would do to you or why they did it, they probably or hopefully would have made another choice.
But, people aren’t perfect. They can’t always communicate or even understand their own feelings, and that can lead them to cheat which we feel the repercussions of. [Read: The 10 sneaky giveaways of a potential cheater]
How to get over being cheated on
Once you come to terms with the fact that being cheated on was not about you, you can start to work on how that experience changed you and how to recover.
You can learn how to get over being cheated on. It isn’t easy. You need a lot of self-discovery and rationality which can feel a bit pointless at first. [Read: How to behave during a breakup and leave with your head held high]
When those feelings of being fooled are still fresh, it seems like you will never get over this. But learning how to get over being cheated on takes time. And that time is different for everyone. ??Do not let anyone tell you that you should be over it by now. Everyone gets over being cheated on at different times. For some, it could take weeks or months and for others, it can take years. There is no wrong timeline.
But, from my experience, I have come up with some tips to help you get over being cheated on a little faster and with a bit less pain. [Read: 10 questions you always must ask a cheater before dumping them]
#1 Mourn. You do not need to get over being cheated on right away. You have every right to mourn the loss of that relationship. You can be sad or angry or pissed. You can feel like crap.
Take that time. Grieving that relationship is healthy and helps you let go of it. You can look back on the good times while knowing it ended and you were betrayed. It is okay to miss the person that cheated on you even though they hurt you.
#2 Get closure. I don’t fully believe in closure. A lot of people feel the need to have one last conversation to end things once and for all. Once you’ve been ghosted and lied to enough times, you realize that no conversation, apology, or meetup is going to change what happened. [Read: How to find closure within yourself after the end of a relationship]
So, if your partner is begging to explain or to see you or if you feel you need that explanation, go ahead and get it. There is no guarantee it will help you. It probably won’t give you an epiphany or help you move on overnight. But, if you feel you need it and your ex is open to it, then go ahead. Just be prepared for a letdown. [Read: The truth behind why you should never seek closure from your partner after a breakup]
#3 Take time. You do not need a rebound in order to learn how to get over being cheated on. You don’t need to start dating again or be able to trust someone new right away.
Take time to be single. Rebuilding your self-esteem after being cheated on is so important. Until I realized that I didn’t need someone’s assurance or undivided attention to feel secure, I wasn’t ready to trust anyone, let alone myself.
#4 Protect. I have heard a lot of people say that trying to protect your heart ruins a potential relationship or sets you up for failure. I’m sure you’ve heard that without putting yourself out there risking it, you won’t get what you really want. That is partially true, but you don’t need to rush it.
You can meet people and date without being fully open. You don’t need to trust people right off the bat. These experiences are what slowly pull you out of your comfort zone. And it is okay to take your time. [Read: The 10 stages of a breakup and how to get through each of them]
#5 Try. It can be daunting to start dating and trying to trust someone new. I’ve done it. Unfortunately, I had some bad luck and began to trust people that were liars. And that is always a possibility. But, what I learned from actually putting myself out there was that it isn’t my loss, it’s theirs.
When someone lies to me or leads me on, instead of dwelling on that and thinking I’m not good enough I think of it as a step towards moving on. I am proud of myself for trying and putting myself out there even though it was scary. Even if it doesn’t work out, it is a sign you are getting over being cheated on. [Read: Self-discovery after a breakup and how to find yourself again]
#6 Let it be. Some people need to go out and date a lot to be able to trust someone new. Some people need to be single and trust themselves. Some people need a bit of both. That was me.
For about six years, I dated on and off with a lot of bad luck after being cheated on. I was ghosted, lied to, and cheated on again. It sucked. But around year four, I was finally coming to terms with what I wanted.
I would date someone and realize I didn’t like them so I didn’t need to stick around. ??I didn’t need approval from someone else. I would get annoyed at being ghosted rather than get hurt. I then took another break from dating for about a year. I realized it wasn’t making me happy. And after that, I met someone and realized I never questioned this person. I never distrusted them or myself. ??I went with my gut and it has been going strong for over six months. [Read: How to find the one without being desperate, and changing the way you see things]
#7 Go to therapy. If you are still struggling with self-esteem or trust issues due to being cheated on and you feel like it is holding you back from living your life, there is nothing wrong with you. We all react to these things differently and it definitely took me a hell of a long time.
But, if you feel like nothing is helping you and you’re not making any progress, find a therapist. Whether it is in person or virtual, talking to a professional can help you realize why you are holding onto that fear so much and guide you with baby steps to let go of that fear.
You can learn how to get over being cheated on and have a happy and healthy life. Start small, heal yourself and soon, you’ll find the strength to bloom and grow again.
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