Getting over infidelity is a lengthy, excruciating journey that’s filled with nothing short of intense melancholy and nostalgia.
Being cheated on by someone forces us to be vulnerable, but, as with many other experiences, we must keep pushing through.
Take your time, though—your #1 priority during this time is you.
Healing from such heartbreak is not easy, hence why today I wanted to share with you some valuable tips that’ll help you along the way.
What is the status quo between you too?
Are you giving the relationship another try?
Did you break up with them, or are you thinking of it?
Depending on your relationship with that person, different things will help you find your peace.
No rush and no pressure: it’s up to you to decide what works and what does not! It’s easy to tell you that you must let go of that person (and I’m sure you already know that too), so do things at your own pace.
– If you’ve already ended the relationship, then:
You need to focus on getting your life back on track, re-discovering self-love, and learning to let go.
Take a vacation from people and social platforms.
If needed, take some time off to focus on yourself.
You don’t have to force yourself to talk to certain people, especially if they’re somehow related to the cheater, like their relatives and friends.
And if you want a break from people in general, that’s fine too!
Consider taking a small hiatus from social media—it sometimes drains the energy right out of us.
Prevent from getting tempted to check the cheater’s and their affair partner’s socials because it will not help.
Do not implement negative thoughts in your head.
Thoughts like, “It was all my fault” or “I’m not good enough” have to go.
Know that such thoughts are untrue—they’re only occurring because of the disappointment, shock, and sadness you’re feeling.
In no way were the cheater’s actions your fault: they selfishly cheated and were influenced from within (their past, commitment issues, opinions, etc.)!
Whenever these negative thoughts come out, relax, breathe, and think:
“This isn’t the truth. I’m only thinking this because of what happened, and not because I believe it. It’s not my fault and in no way a reflection of who I am.”
Keep the people you love close to you—seek their support.
Friends, family, or even strangers in online forums will be more than happy to offer their support and advice.
I tend to think I’m bothering the people around me by opening up, and it took some tough love and words to knock that thought right out of me!
In case you feel the same way, dismiss that thought! The people who care for you would be glad to help you.
When the time is right, vent, ask for their input, and just spend some quality time together with loved ones.
Seek closure if it helps.
Because sometimes, we can’t fully let go of an ex-partner while still wondering why they did what they did—that persistent feeling grows larger and larger, and you know what the remedy for it is? Closure.
I recommend seeking closure and talking to the cheater once more if you’ve been spending your days beating yourself up over their mistakes.
Reach to them calmly and warmly, and ask them whatever it is you need to ask them.
Why did they cheat? What pushed them? What’s their relation to the other person?
Otherwise, do not relapse by reaching out to them.
According to a survey on the dilemma of exes and reconciliation, 70.68% of participants did not attempt to get back with their ex; 14.38% did but broke up with them within the year of the breakup, whereas 14.94% stayed together even after almost a year of the breakup.
If you broke up with them, then you had a really good reason: you realized staying together wouldn’t work, and decided it was for the best to let go.
Stick by your decision, avoid reaching out to them again, and block them if needed—you’re doing this in a moment of weakness.
The fact that you’re familiar with your ex and you spent a lot of time together is creating the illusion that you want them back.
Avoid acting rash!
Think twice—or even thrice—before doing something out of fear, jealousy, or spite, such as:
- Begging the ex to take you back;
- Lashing out at the person your ex cheated with, etc.
Acting on our impulse in this situation is the equivalent of sending a drunk text (which by the way you should avoid at all costs).
It’s not what we truly want, and it won’t benefit us in any way—when you feel similar temptations, remember this.
Throw away what reminds you of them.
Throw away the cheater’s gifts, clothes, and any other objects that make you stare at them for hours and reminisce.
We attach sentiment to inanimate objects if they come from important people—that sentiment grows over time after losing that person.
Put another way, if you want to move on, your ex’s gifts will keep dragging you into the past.
Have fun every now and then.
Enjoy yourself by having fun from time to time!
This will help distract you, make you feel better, and show you that life has many other amazing opportunities to offer.
Do sports, watch a movie, go shopping—it doesn’t matter! If you like it and it makes you feel good, definitely do it.
Know that there are people out there who will make you even happier than the cheater once did.
When we break up with someone, our whole world comes crashing down: we think that no one else will be able to make us happy.
And what’s worse is that we start putting the ex-partner on a pedestal.
Keep in mind that your past feelings for that person are making this happen and once the love effect wears off, you’ll see all of their flaws.
Because of that (and because you’re so used to that person), you’ll be afraid to put yourself out there.
Don’t be afraid, and definitely don’t think that you won’t find love again—not only will you find a new love, but they will be someone who’ll cherish you.
Once you feel ready, don’t shy away from the opportunity.
Let yourself feel.
Cry, or even shout at the top of your lungs if it helps—anything but bottling up your feelings.
If you don’t feel well, tend to that feeling instead of suppressing it until it temporarily goes away.
This can lead to physical and mental health problems, says psychotherapist Katherine Cullen, such as:
- Higher level of stress;
- Depression, etc.
Find other ways to express those unpleasant feelings, such as crying, writing in a journal, and affirmations—your call!
And if necessary, you can seek a trusted therapist’s help.
And most importantly, take care of yourself.
Every day, at every time, never stop caring for yourself no matter what life throws at you.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it: being cheated on changes one’s life, and it’s going to take a while to get it back to normal.
During this time it’s easy to forget basic self-care—this should be absolutely avoided.
- Don’t lose sight of your goals;
- Spend time with your family and friends;
- Don’t allow habits such as sleeping, eating, exercising, coping mechanisms, etc., to get unhealthy;
- Be kind and understanding to yourself.
Leaving yourself behind is the worst thing you can do in this situation as it directly affects your mental/physical health and future for the worst.
– If you’re giving the cheater another chance, then:
I recommend mostly focusing on getting over the trauma they’ve caused together.
Changes need to be made in the relationship, and the cheater needs to not only respect them but also try their best.
Make sure you two are on the same page.
You need to know for sure if the cheater is 100% in on making your relationship work and fixing their mistake.
This way you’ll know if you’re wasting your time and if there’s a chance of them getting with other people again.
If at any point the cheater expresses not wanting to keep going, then that needs to be respected—don’t waste any more time on them, and definitely don’t force a relationship.
Confirm that they’ve cut their affair partner(s) out of their life.
We can’t stand a partner being on friendly terms with an ex, let alone with an affair partner!
For your relationship to work, if the cheater is contacting their affair partners, they need to stop ASAP (which should come naturally if they feel regretful).
This will hopefully help put your mind at ease and the two of you navigate the new relationship.
Lay out your boundaries and convey how important they are.
Your partner absolutely needs to know just how important it is for them to not overstep your boundaries—tell them that.
Re-establish your boundaries: change whatever you think is necessary and whatever might help your mental health.
It can be something regarding:
- Their general behavior;
- Their social circle;
- The unreasonable things they do;
- How they communicate with other people, etc.
If it’s lacking, fix the communication in your relationship!
Explain to your partner what your needs are, what you’re thinking, and how you’re feeling—encourage them to do the same thing!
Communication helps the bond between two people, leading to a better understanding and connection.
Make it a habit for the two of you to often talk and speak your thoughts.
Is there something bothering one of you? Do you want to express how their actions impacted you? Would you rather pick a different place to eat? Make it known.
But before everything, think if it’s worth it.
I think forgiving and trying to better oneself is an admirable trait, however, I can’t not give you this advice.
Is the person you’re going above and beyond for worth it? Does being with them have a detrimental effect on you? Have they actually changed?
You need to think about the pros and cons of giving your partner a second chance—is it better to just let them go?
If you’re better off without them, then that needs to be acknowledged because any negative effect in your life is vital, especially if it’s constant.
What to do when someone cheats on you?
You confront them, of course!
Unless you have proof, you need to verify if what you’ve heard and seen is true, besides, they have some explaining to do.
Take some time to breathe and digest everything.
Seeing something that even remotely resembles cheating in your relationship can be a lot to take in, so take your time.
Take your time calming down and getting your thoughts in order, and after that, start taking everything in.
The proof, your feelings, impulses, and thoughts—this is important because not a lot can be accomplished in this state.
Once you’re calm, start analyzing the situation from a logical point of view.
Attempt to gain evidence.
Confronting someone without any evidence would be the same as going into a battlefield without armor!
Even if your partner did cheat, they are more inclined to lie about it (and persuade you)—not having any proof will also make you unsure of your actions.
The less convinced you are that they cheated, the less intense your actions will be, in the sense that you won’t have a lot of confidence when having the talk.
Go through their phone, look for clues around your house, observe their appearance and behavior after their night out, etc!
Think of a plan for when you confront the cheater, and how your relationship will end—or go on.
Think of a plan for the confrontation and the future of your relationship.
Let’s start with the confrontation! Think about what you’re going to say, in what way you’ll say it, and how you’ll be explaining the evidence.
I recommend being calm about it, as you’ll get more established and the cheater will most likely be honest in return.
As for your relationship, decide if you want to break it or try and fix it (based on this, you’ll know what to say and how to act).
As I said, confronting them calmly has its advantages:
- The cheater will likely be calm as well;
- They’ll open up and be sincere;
- The discussion will go smoothly and you’ll get your closure;
- You’re doing the right thing.
Do not insult them, yell, or do anything that might be taken as aggressive, as tempting as it may be—if they act aggressive on the other hand, then let their immaturity tell you something.
This might as well be the last time you two ever talk to each other, and it needs to be able to aid your healing in the future.
Being determined will help you heal after being cheated on.
If you already have your plan, then stick to it.
If you’ve made up your mind about never, ever talking to the cheater again, then that’s great! No matter how tempting, don’t break down.
And if you two are determined to try again, respect that commitment.
Focusing on yourself and the things you believe benefit your happiness will help you find your peace.