It’s one of the most emotionally scarring things that you will ever go through in a relationship. “My boyfriend cheated on me” is not just hard to admit but also to accept.
With that, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for you. Getting cheated on by your boyfriend is not easy—it never is. In fact, it is brutal.
There is no pain like the pain of having your man cheat on you. There’s the sting of betrayal, the pain of heartbreak, the shattered hopes for the relationship, and the bite of jealousy over the other girl.
You feel like a fool. Suddenly, the man you thought was best for you is living a double life, and everything you knew about him and your relationship is actually a lie.
How do you even begin to handle having your boyfriend cheat on you? [Read: 16 subtle signs he’s definitely cheating on you]
The pain of being cheated on is real, and it sucks. There is no way around that. You can’t skip this stage. You can’t go from shock to anger. It doesn’t work that way.
Before you can be mad or furious, you are sad. You loved him and maybe still do, and he shattered your heart into a million pieces.
That pain is not to be taken lightly. Don’t let anyone tell you to move on because he isn’t worth the tears. Even though that is true, your pain is real, and you deserve to feel it. That pain tells you that the relationship was real, at least for you.
That pain is also what makes handling being betrayed by your boyfriend so damn hard. How do you look past the pain? Will it ever end? How do you get back to feeling normal? [Read: How do cheaters react when accused? The 8 answers they’ll probably use to convince you]
While you can wrack your brain, searching for reasons why this happened to you or how your boyfriend could do what he did, the fact remains: he cheated. Now the ball is in your court, and it’s up to you to decide how to proceed.
Here are some tried and true tips on what you can do and how you can move on after finding out that your boyfriend cheated on you.
This may sound harsh, but when you’ve been cheated on, you have to hear it. Almost always, the adage, once a cheater always a cheater, usually holds good.
The guys who are most likely to cheat are those who have done it before. If your boyfriend has cheated in the past on someone else or you, the odds of him doing it again are pretty darn high.
While there are instances in which a guy can turn things around and be faithful for good, it is rare. So don’t think that you will be the one that changes him from his lying and cheating ways. [Read: Why are you still dating the wrong person?]
Since your boyfriend has already cheated on you, don’t ever think that it’s your fault. While you may have shortcomings or problems in your relationship, cheating is inexcusable.
Your boyfriend is responsible for his own actions and decisions. You can only be responsible for yours. You can be the best girlfriend ever but still be cheated on, so don’t think it’s all because of you—it really isn’t. [Check out: Why do men cheat? 3 big reasons and 27 more!]
Once you have found out that your boyfriend cheated on you, it’s time to make a decision: leave or stay? Your boyfriend may say sorry, but you have to see if he is really remorseful about it or if he’s just sorry for getting caught.
In times like this, it’s always best to listen to your gut and put yourself first. The pain you are dealing with can make it hard to say goodbye. You want to believe the best in him. But is the risk of more pain worth it? Remember: you deserve to be in a healthy relationship where you feel special and loved. [Read: 8 simple things you MUST do if you decide to forgive a cheater]
Accept the fact that, sometimes, you just have to let go. Sometimes we can sit in denial. You know he cheated, but you still want to make an excuse for him.
Learning to accept that he decided to cheat is essential. You deserve so much more than someone who would betray you like this. You deserve to be loved by someone who will stay true to you and that someone is out there, somewhere, waiting for the right time to come into your life. [Read: Feeling unworthy? How to accept the love you deserve]
“My boyfriend cheated on me…” This sucks and is something you cannot erase from your mind. What you can do is forgive.
While this sounds impossible, considering the state of affairs *and your heart* right now, you can forgive him. This is not for his sake, but for yours. Forgiveness allows you to free yourself from anger, pain, and resentment. You don’t want to hold a grudge for the rest of your life. It’s actually a favor you do yourself. [Try: Should you ever forgive a cheating partner?]
Now that you have learned to forgive, you have to get closure, too. No matter how much he has hurt you, you have to talk to him, as this conversation may help you move on.
The idea of closure isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, you do just have to walk away with a sharp break. But, if you can’t shake the questions you have, write them down, and ask him for answers. Keep in mind that he may not be telling the truth.
He owes you an explanation as to why he did what he did. But you already know what he is capable of, so don’t expect the truth. This conversation for closure may just remind you why you’re walking away and not looking back. [Read: 10 questions to ask a cheating partner before you decide to dump them]
It’s alright to cry. It’s perfectly natural and understandable to bawl your eyes out. Allow yourself time to mourn and let the emotions wash over you. Sit in bed. Watch sad movies—Pig out on ice cream.
Sometimes, the only way to get out of the rut is to go through all the emotions that go with it. So give yourself time to mourn.
While it’s alright to be sad and angry and to cry out due to loss, betrayal, and heartbreak, you don’t have to feel this way forever. Give yourself time to cry, but don’t dwell on the past.
You are sad, but that doesn’t have to take over your life. He wasn’t your whole life, just a part of it. And looking back, not that great of a part. You have to move on. This is why forgiveness does wonders for your broken heart. [Confession: What do you wish you could say to the one who cheated on you?]
You can’t keep this bottled up or just talk to him about it. That is how you fall back into old patterns. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Let them know what’s going on.
Do remember that if you decide to get back together, what you say will stay with them. Be honest and share what happened and how you’re feeling. Trash talk may feel good at the moment, but it can backfire later.
Go out with your friends, go to the gym, pick up that hobby you once put off, or find a new thing or interest to spend your time and energy on.
The secret here is to occupy yourself, so your mind won’t wander off to thoughts about how hurt or confused you are.
Staying busy with productive tasks may sound like it won’t work, but once you’re in the thick of a new work project, you will notice yourself not thinking about your cheating boyfriend for hours or even days on end. [Check out: How to get over being cheated on quickly without breaking apart]
Trying to get even by doing the same thing to your boyfriend, whether or not you decide to get back together, is a big waste of time and energy.
You may spread rumors about your ex or the girl he saw behind your back—and this might feel good for a while—but at the end of the day, you’re still on the losing end.
Dating his friend or someone else just to get back at him will not work either. All of this is done out of anger and won’t fill that hole in your heart. It will only make you feel worse in the end.
So, you want a distraction, and you set off to date the first guy you meet? No, no, no!
Even if you’re having a hard time moving on, jumping into another relationship is not the answer. Finding a new boyfriend, even as a rebound, may make you feel attractive again or give you a boost of confidence for a while, but that’s not really what you need.
Whatever void you want to fill with a new guy will never get filled unless you give yourself time to be on your own. Sure, you can go out with friends and flirt a bit, but keep your boundaries.
Give yourself time to get over this heartbreak and love yourself before filling your heartbreak with someone new. That will only pass these trust issues onto them. [Read: 13 rebound sex questions to know if you’re ready to handle something this drastic]
Even if he blames you for his decision to cheat or the downfall of your relationship, don’t give in to it. A cheater will gaslight you and blame you. He will say you’re smothering or not having enough sex with him.
No matter the crappy reason he gives you, it was his choice to cheat instead of talking to you. You don’t have to carry the burden of your *hopefully* ex-boyfriend’s poor decisions—and cheating is a decision that he chose on his own. Don’t blame yourself for what happened. It is not your responsibility, and his cheating is not your fault.
Now that you’ve been burned, don’t look for a relationship cut out of the same mold. Don’t go looking for serious relationships in bars, and don’t go into the same pattern in your new relationships. Once you see the red flags of a cheater or at least someone who isn’t willing to commit to you, turn around and head for the exit—ASAP!
We know it sucks right now, but learning from this relationship and this heartbreak will lead you in a better direction. [Read: Why am I single? The honest answer, 36 reasons and the excuses we use]
Being single after breaking up with your cheating boyfriend is actually a great opportunity to reconnect with yourself.
Enjoy your single life and focus on improving yourself, whether by climbing up the career ladder, making yourself healthy, improving your lifestyle, traveling more, or investing in more worthwhile experiences.
Use this time to do what you want and just enjoy life.
Discovering that your boyfriend cheated on you can be utterly devastating. However, if he really loves you, his remorse will show, and you won’t doubt his sincerity. He will also immediately break it off with the other girl and try everything he can to do to win back your trust possibly—and your love. [Read: How to end an affair and get over it even if you still love your affair partner]
As much as you want to say nasty things about your cheating boyfriend online, we both know that gets you nowhere. Being rude and even complaining to your friends about him won’t get him back or make you feel better.
If you really want to release some of those frustrations, write it down. Get out all your feelings. Say you miss him. Write about the good times and bad times. Say all the things you can’t say out loud. Then burn that paper or delete the document or just toss it in the trash. Get it out and let it go. This can be incredibly cathartic. [Read: How to get over a breakup and pick up the pieces]
Whatever decision you make, stick to it. This can be hard, especially if he tries to win you back with flowers and sweet poems.
All that is nice and all, but if you can’t trust him, it will never work. You will fall back into a routine. Things will be good for a while, and then it will go back to how it was, and you will be hurt all over again.Don’t get back with a pig and expect him not to be a pig. If you decided to give it a shot, go to couples therapy to really work on your trust. [Read: 14 steps to survive infidelity without tearing apart]
You can rack your brain for years trying to answer the question, “Why did my boyfriend cheat on me?” But, that answer will never come. You can make up excuses. You can think of every reason in the book and beyond. But, even with an answer, even with the truth, it won’t help.
You could know the cold hard truth, and you will still feel pain, you will still be betrayed, and you will still not trust him. Try not to focus on the why, and focus on moving on. [Read: Why NOT to seek closure after a breakup]
For years after I was cheated on, I felt like a total idiot. I didn’t blame myself for my boyfriend cheating, but I felt like a fool. We started our whole relationship on a secret, and it just got worse from there.
He gaslighted me anytime I questioned him or shared my fears. He cheated over and over and promised to change, and I believed it. Even with the obvious signs that he would do it again, I wasn’t the fool. He was. [Read: He cheated on you? How to get over a guy without seeking revenge]
Build yourself back up. Don’t let him have control over how you feel about yourself. If you can rebuild your confidence and know what you deserve, you can move for feeling happier than ever before. It is possible. Sure, it might take some time, but knowing that you are worthy of having an amazing boyfriend who would never cheat is what will get you there.
[Read next: How to love again after being hurt]
At the end of the day, it is up to you to deal with being cheated on however you see fit. But, hopefully, you follow these guidelines to help yourself move on in the healthiest way possible.
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