If you were cheated on by your partner, you may be experiencing a whirlwind of different emotions as you process what happened. You may feel devastated one moment and angry or sad the next. And when you’re dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, these six steps can help you cope with what transpired and help you deal with the emotional roller coaster of being cheated on by someone you trusted.
1. Work Through Your Feelings
If your partner was unfaithful, you’ll likely go through many different emotions as you work through what has happened. For instance, it’s not uncommon to feel let down, upset, or betrayed after infidelity, and it’s imperative that you take a moment to recognize that these feelings are normal and natural. Rather than pushing your emotions aside and refusing to deal with the hurt and pain that you’re experiencing, you have to work your way through it rather than burying these feelings within you.
In order to deal with what happened and come to terms with it, this is the time to experience these feelings so that the healing process can begin.
2. Don’t Blame Yourself
After being cheated on, it’s not uncommon to blame yourself for what happened and for what your partner chose to do. However, you shouldn’t feel responsible for your partner’s hurtful and unfaithful actions. Remember, you're not accountable for his or her behavior, and the blame doesn’t fall on you for what's now happened to your relationship. Rather than being hard on yourself, finding fault in your own actions that led to this moment, and obsessing over what you should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve done, don’t be your own worst enemy and misplace the blame on yourself.
3. Don’t Live in the Past
Are you questioning everything you had in your relationship with your partner? Are you replaying conversations in your mind to see if you can spot where things went wrong? After an affair, many people fixate on the moments they had with their partner and the experiences they shared with him or her to try and figure out what happened and how their relationship ended up going in this direction. However, obsessing over the past and re-examining every minute and moment you shared with your partner isn’t healthy or productive.
Instead of living in the past and dwelling on what may have been, you should look toward the future and try to focus on the positive that lies ahead of you rather than the negativity that’s behind you.
4. Think About What You Want
If you want to move on after infidelity, it’s important for you to take the lead on how you’d like to proceed with the rest of your life. Do you want to break up with your partner? Or do you want to work on your relationship and try to recapture what you had before? These are major questions that don't have right or wrong answers, and no matter what you may hear from others, including your partner, you have to do what's best for you and follow your instincts. For instance, your partner’s actions may be a deal breaker for you, and you may choose to end your relationship.
On the flip side, you may be hurt and betrayed by your partner, but you still love him or her and want this person in your life. You may also not be sure entirely what you want going forward or how this will all play out. Whatever the case may be, what's important is that the decision is yours alone to make. You shouldn’t feel pressured to break up or stay with your partner—it should be something that your heart decides.
5. Take Care of Yourself
When you’re dealing with something as life-changing as infidelity, this type of news can take a toll on you emotionally as well as physically. For instance, you may want to shut out the outside world and not see or talk to anyone. You may notice that you have difficulty concentrating at work or even find it hard to get the energy or desire to take care of yourself. But it’s especially important when faced with hardship and disappointment that you practice self-love and self-care during these difficult moments in your life.
You’re stronger than you think you are. And if you believe that things will get better, treat yourself with respect, and make yourself a priority, you’re one step closer to getting over being cheated on and taking control of the rest of your life.
6. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you want to get over being cheated on, don't be afraid to lean on those around you for support. Being cheated on by your partner can make you feel isolated and alone. However, you shouldn't be afraid to reach out to friends and family after this has happened and surround yourself with people who care about you and your well-being. Plus, you also shouldn't hesitate to meet with a trained professional who can help give you personalized strategies to deal with the reality of your new normal. You don't have to face this alone, and having more people in your corner who have your back is only going to make it easier for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.