All relationships face their own hurdles and challenges, but the most challenging is to move on after being cheated on. Cheating in relationships is the hardest to recover, but accepting the reality can be the first step if you want to survive infidelity and get your life back on track. Here’re some tips on how to heal after being cheated on.
Are you reeling from the discovery that your boyfriend cheated and wondering how you will ever survive the pain that you are feeling? Do you just want to curl up in a little ball and disappear?
I am so sorry if you are feeling this way. I totally get it – I have been there, as have many, many women before you. Having your boyfriend cheat on you, and the ensuing heartbreak, is one of the worst things you can go through and it feels like it will never end.
Well, I can promise you that, not only can you survive the fact that your boyfriend cheated but you can even thrive! I know it seems impossible right now but I promise you, you can! Here are 5 ways to survive, and thrive, after your boyfriend cheated!
How To Heal After Being Cheated On?
1. Know that it’s not your fault.
First and foremost, if your boyfriend cheated, it is NOT YOUR FAULT. So many womenblame themselveswhen their boyfriends cheat. They believe that if only they had been hotter, smarter, kinder, more outgoing, around more, etc. that their boyfriend would never have cheated.
A client of mine found out that her boyfriend had cheated and the first place that she went was that it was her fault. She had been working too hard and spending lots of time with her friends and she knew that she wasn’t giving him as much attention as he might like. So, she blamed herself for his infidelity.
I reminded her that there are two people in every relationship and that infidelity doesn’t usually happen in a void. I asked her if her boyfriend had spoken to her about the fact that he had been feeling neglected. She said he did not. She was guessing maybe he was but, because he didn’t speak up, she just continued on.
I do believe that if her boyfriend had spoken up, she might have been able to change her behaviors so that he was feeling more settled in the relationship. But he did not speak up – he cheated.
And, I would argue, that cheating is taking the coward’s way out. Instead of communicating with her, my client’s boyfriend looked outside of their relationship to get the connection he wanted. And that was not her fault. And neither is your boyfriend’s cheating.
2. Talk to him about it.
I am sure that you are torn right now. Part of you wants to yell and scream and walk out the door. Another part of you wants to pretend that none of this happened and just go on with your life. And I am guessing that the idea of talking to your boyfriend in any reasonable way about what happened feels unfathomable.
One of the most important ways to survive after your boyfriend cheated is by talking to him about it. Why? Because it’s important that you each get a chance to talk and be heard. Because, if you can do that, figuring out what the next steps are, will be easier.
First, you want to listen to what he has to say. He might have nothing to say which might make your decision whether to stay or go easy. But he might very well have something to say that he wants you to hear. Something that he hasn’t said before, like my client above. Either way, it is important that he be given the chance to talk – and you must be willing to truly listen.
Secondly, it is very important that you get the opportunity to say what you need to say. It is important that you get to ask questions, that you are able to express your anger and hurt, and that you get to say everything that you need to say so that you can move forward, one way or the other, without words being left unsaid.
A key part of how to survive after your boyfriend cheated, whether you stay or not, is to make sure that you have said everything that you want to say so that you know that you can move forward having been honest with him and with yourself.
All of that being said, if you truly feel that you have nothing to say to your boyfriend, that nothing he could say would make any difference, you don’t have to talk to him. It is within your rights to walk away and never look back. He cheated. You didn’t. You can decide.
Read: 5 Key Behaviors That Help Build A Healthy Relationship After Infidelity
3. Get some help.
If you want to survive after your boyfriend cheated, I would 100% percent encourage you to get some help – a professional who can help you process your feelings and figure out what are your next steps.
Of course, you have your friends and your sister and your mother and your co-workers and the internet and the guy who tends a bar down the street. You can talk to all of these people about what happened and each of them will have an opinion to share with you. The thing is, people who aren’t professionals will give you advice based on their own experiences, not necessarily based on your story.
Furthermore, our friends and relatives will generally tell us what we want to hear. If you are feeling sentimental about your person one night, your friend will support you with reasons you can work things out. If you go out with another friend the next night and express your anger, that friend will give you all sorts of reasons to break up with him.
The more people you ask, the more confused you will get. And, if you decide to get back together with him, all of those people who you shared your story with will not be so happy to welcome your boyfriend back into the fold.
So, if you want to survive after your boyfriend cheated, get some help. Find someone (like me!) who will listen to YOUR story and YOUR feelings and use their professional experience to help you move forward from where you are right now. Wouldn’t that feel great? To move forward?
4. Hold your head high.
As I mentioned before, for many people, when they find out that their boyfriend was unfaithful, they just take to their bed. They are devasted, feeling guilty, scared of people’s judgment, and full of self-loathing. Their agenda – TV, ice cream, and Kleenex boxes.
While I definitely support anyone who needs to retreat when they find out that their boyfriend cheated, I 100% percent recommend that you limit your time doing so. Why? Because isolating will only make you feel worse about yourself and further devastate your self-esteem.
The amount of time that people need to isolate is different but I would definitely encourage you to get up off the couch within a week. If you wait any longer, you just might find yourself permanently attached to it!
So, what do you do when you get off the couch? Anything that would bring you some sort of joy – or if not joy, then happiness. And if not even happiness, something that doesn’t feed the misery.
If you like to go for walks, do it. And make yourself a break-up playlist to listen to as you do. Spend time with your girlfriends. Go home and let your mom take care of you for a while. Buy yourself something pretty. Plan a trip. Dig into a work project. Whatever it is that will make you feel stronger. Strong enough to move forward.
And, if you haven’t yet had the conversation with your boyfriend, now is the time to start thinking about having it. Having that conversation with him will help you decide what the next steps are in your relationship.
Read: 3 Steps to Healing from Betrayal
5. Get on with your life.
Yes, your boyfriend cheated. And it sucks. But that doesn’t mean that this infidelity has to ruin your life and affect your future. And you are the only one who can prevent that from happening.
I know that right now you feel betrayed. You feel like this person who you gave your heart to broke it. And you believe that you will never be able to love or be loved again. The idea of trusting someone else is inconceivable. And that is how you feel right now but it doesn’t have to define how you will feel in the future – if you don’t let it.
How many people do you know who go into relationships with chips on their shoulders because of past issues with an ex? They have been hurt and they will never let that happen again, so they put up walls. And what does that do? Damage, or end, the next relationship and the next and maybe even the next.
I always tell my clients that people are only human and humans are fallible. We all make stupid decisions that we regret. And sometimes that human being makes a mistake that affects you. And that can be very damaging.
If you can try to recognize that that one person, one human being, made a mistake, that it doesn’t mean that every other man in the universe is going to be unfaithful, you will have a much easier time moving on with your life, being happy and finding love again.
If you stay mired in the past, making decisions around one person’s infidelity, you might never move on and find the love that you want. You don’t want that do you?
So now you see, there are ways to survive after your boyfriend cheated. I know it seems inconceivable but it’s true. This moment is one moment in your life. It doesn’t have to define you. You can take what happened, learn from it, and get on with your life.
When my ex found another girlfriend, I was forever framing it as the fact that he ‘left me.’ That was how I felt it was. And, while, technically, it was true, in reality, our relationship hadn’t been perfect. So, I started to frame it not that he left but that we ended it. Which, ultimately, is what we did! That reframing helped me move on so I could use my coping skills to survive and thrive!
You can do it too! Make sure that you accept that this is not your fault. Talk to him about it (if you want to). Get some help outside of your social circle. Hold your head high and move forward with confidence.
This one thing doesn’t have to define you. It is a small blip in your long life. Remember that. The life, and love, that you want are out there waiting for you!
Written By: Mitzi Bockmann
Originally Appeared On: Let Your Dreams Begin
Cheating husbands may be defensive over the smallest things. They may seem unusually sensitive or touchy about things that seem harmless to you. If you ask an innocent question about what they had for lunch, they may snap at you and accuse you of being controlling or demanding.How do I find inner peace after cheating? ›
- Find Out Why You're Overthinking. Thinking seriously about why you're overthinking is important. ...
- Lean On Social Support. ...
- Work on Trust Issues. ...
- Practice Mindfulness. ...
- Try a New Environment. ...
- Acceptance. ...
- Work on Yourself. ...
- Positive Self-Talk.
- Remember: you are not to blame. ...
- Accept that things are going to suck for a while. ...
- Put yourself first. ...
- Try to keep your cool. ...
- Don't make decisions out of fear. ...
- Surround yourself with your squad. ...
- Take a mini-break from socials. ...
- Ask for (professional) help if you need it.
Share your feelings without getting angry.
Tell your partner about the betrayal, hurt, and fear you feel as calmly as you can manage. Sharing your feelings will help you process better than getting caught up in your anger. For example, say “I'm feeling really hurt.
Look for these telltale signs to determine true remorse: Not only do they apologize, and often, but they also openly express what they're apologizing for. They don't make vague statements or blanket apologies. They show their remorse by doing things that they feel will lessen your pain.What are the behaviors after cheating? ›
They might also want to escape from you, emotionally and perhaps physically withdrawing from you. Regression into past pain. Your partner may slide into feelings related to past trauma or abuse, meaning their current reactions may be about more than just you and the betrayal they've experienced with you.What does being cheated on do to a woman? ›
If you've been cheated on, it may take a long time to heal. It can cause you chronic anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, and mistrust of others for a long time after the event.What causes a man to cheat? ›
There are eight key reasons and motivations for affairs, including low self-esteem, anger, low commitment, lack of love, neglect, sexual desire, need for variety, and circumstances. If you're looking for some of the reasons why men cheat, consider the following key reasons below.What does being cheated on do to your brain? ›
Being cheated on can physically impact your brain
Love can produce dopamine and make you feel happy, which is addictive to the brain, according to PsychCentral. Likewise, a feeling of rejection brought on by infidelity can alter brain chemistry in a manner akin to withdrawal in substance use disorders.
- Blaming yourself. Never ever blame yourself for what your partner did. ...
- Forcing yourself to heal faster. It is never going to work this way. ...
- Thinking of taking revenge. This is the last thing you should do. ...
- Shying away from professional help. ...
- Acting like it is no big deal.
The most important thing to remember is what cheating says about a person. They're insecure, impulsive, selfish, and immature. Sometimes, it's a chronic problem that likely won't ever be fixed, just be sure not to ignore the warning signs.Why does it hurt so much to be cheated on? ›
Infidelity makes you feel that you are not good enough. Your self-esteem plummets from reasonably high, or just okay, to close to zero. Your beloved found someone who was better and more attractive than you in his or her eyes—at least temporarily. You feel like trash, unworthy of being loved, unworthy of being.Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating? ›
Relationships can survive infidelity if both individuals are willing to do the work of processing their emotions and thoughts with the goal of healing from the infidelity together. Moving past infidelity takes time and patience, but healing can result in greater growth and resilience for the couple.How do cheaters respond when guilty? ›
If the cheater feels guilt or shame, they may respond with an emotional outburst, which can also be an outburst directly to you. This could be sobbing, screaming, or another expression of emotion to hide or have a cheating excuse.Do men hurt after cheating? ›
Most definitely. While some cheaters take pride in how many people they've been without outside of their marriage, most unfaithful partners feel guilt and stress over breaking their marriage vows.Do men change after cheating? ›
Yes, the psychological facts about cheating tell us that a cheating man can definitely change and be faithful. Often, you'll be able to tell what he truly wants by the way he reacts after infidelity.How does a partner feel after cheating? ›
How does a spouse feel after infidelity? The majority of the time, it is guilt. Cheating happens because something is missing in a marriage, or they believe so. People often leave a marriage because they no longer feel liked, loved, or respected.Can a man love you after cheating? ›
It is natural to assume and to feel that your partner must not love you if they could have done this to you. And yet, the real answer to this significant question is this: It is absolutely possible that your partner does love you, did love you before, and will continue to love you in the future.