Everyone handles breakups differently, whether it was a quick fling or a decades-long marriage. Some need to work through emotions of sadness for a long period of time while others can move on quite quickly. Some cope by cutting an ex out of their life completely and immediately while others find a way to maintain a friendship with their ex.
No matter which camp you fall into, there's always going to be a period of grief, acceptance, and adjustment and how you deal with it is entirely up to you.
But what do you do when an ex-spouse who cheated on you wants to be friends? The end of a marriage always comes with a myriad of extra factors to be considered. There's no such thing as a clean break in which you and your ex never speak to one another again. Between legal proceedings and children, there will be plenty of times when you're forced to interact with one another.
While being civil to someone who cheated on you is one thing, accepting them into your life as a friend is another. In case you need some reassuring, keep reading for 5 reasons not to stay friends with the ex who cheated on you.
1. It Will Delay the Healing Process
It's incredibly difficult to heal the pain that comes with the loss of a spouse who hurt you if they are a constant part of your life. Instead, it's best to quit them cold turkey and only communicate when it's absolutely necessary.
Consider using email or text messages to exchange information rather than talking on the phone or in person. This will help you move on rather than be reminded of your ex all of the time.
2. It Can Be Emotionally Painful
After experiencing infidelity in a marriage, being around your ex may cause serious emotional pain. Being friends with each other may only make this more difficult. Instead, try spending time with yourself and focusing on what will make you feel your best.
3. It May Be Fueled By Guilt
Even if an ex truly wants to remain on friendly terms with you, doing so is much more beneficial to them than it is to you. By allowing an ex to be your friend, it assuages any guilt they may feel over being unfaithful to you. It simply lets them off the hook for their bad behavior. While some couples can remain friends after a complicated breakup, be sure you pursue a friendship only if and when you are ready.
4. It Will Keep You From Moving On
The best thing for you and an ex who cheated is for both of you to move on. Staying friends will only delay this. Instead, this is a time to move through the pain and accept the unexpected changes that are now a part of your life. Once you accept the situation, you can start to adjust your life accordingly. However, this will be impossible to do if your ex is in and out of your life.
5. It Will Be Harder to Let Go
Letting go is the secret to healing your pain, but it takes discipline and will-power. There may be times you feel the urge to contact your ex but it's important to remember that the more contact you have, the less progress you will make.
Keep yourself busy with daily distractions and surround yourself with a good support system. Emotional pain is an opportunity for growth and with the right mindset, you'll be able to grow and flourish through the change.