Being cheated on can shatter every illusion you have about love, your partner, and the future of your romantic life. It is one of the worst betrayals not because of the act itself, but because of all the lies, the planning, and the quiet disregard for you as a person that goes into it. Having this happen to you could make you want to act out in ways you wouldn’t normally, but there are a few things you should never do if someone cheats on you.
Cheat back It might be the first thing you want to do. After all, they went out and had fun. Why can’t you? The problem with vengeance is that it never really does make you feel better. You’ll just end up in a situation that you didn’t want to be in the first place with them in the driver’s seat. Cheating back gives them even more control over your emotions and that’s not what you want.
Stay in the relationship Many people say that staying after cheating can lead to a healthier and happier relationship, but I say those people are wrong. Even if you can get back to a level of happy intimacy with the person that cheated on you, there will always be a little voice in the back of your head wondering if they’re going to do it again. It’s just not worth it.
Let it ruin your confidence At first, your partner cheating is going to really deflate any confidence you have. You’re going to wonder what’s so wrong with you that they had to step out to have those needs met elsewhere. This is a mistake because when a person cheats, it says a whole lot more about them than it does you. If you let their terrible actions ruin how you see yourself, you’ll have a hard time recovering when you do finally move on from the initial pain of it all.
Look for validation elsewhere It’s easy to want to feel desired after going through getting cheated on. You’ll likely feel like attention is exactly what you need, but in the long run, it will make you feel worse, not better. Sure, in the moment it will be nice, but you won’t be putting your best self out there and you’ll come across as needy, insecure, and attention-seeking when all you want is to just get over the fact that you were hurt so badly by someone you loved.
Feel bad for yourself Sitting down with a tub of ice cream and watching sad movies until you cry can be cathartic, but throwing yourself a whole pity party isn’t going to help you get to the healing process any quicker. The more you pity yourself, the more pathetic you’ll feel.
Involve other people If you and your partner have children or are very close to each other’s families, involving them in the entire thing is a seriously bad idea. They don’t need to know what went on. It’s between you and your partner. You don’t want to have everyone in your ear about the situation while you’re trying to move on from it.
Try to ignore it completely Pushing feelings down never works. You can pretend that you’re not sad, angry, and hurt all you want, but those feelings aren’t going away. They’re just going to manifest into different things altogether. Repressed emotions are future problems. So, why not deal with it now?
Try to return to pre-cheating If you do happen to stay with your partner, trying to pretend as nothing happened and getting back to the old version of who you were as a couple is impossible. It will never be the same after something like that happens. Trying to force your relationship into the box it used to fit in will only cause problems in the end.
Forget to take care of yourself Sad people can forget to or feel unable to care of themselves, so if you get cheated on, it’s unlikely you’ll want to do all the things you used to do to make sure that you’re at your best. But that’s a huge mistake. Force yourself if you have to, but make sure that you aren’t neglecting yourself because of someone else’s horrible actions.
Rush through the bad emotions No one wants to feel bad for long periods of time, but that doesn’t mean you can force yourself out of negative emotions. Live in them, deal with them, and move on.
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