I’ve been cheated on a decent amount during the course of my 28 years on this earth, which is kind of crazy considering I’ve only been in three long term relationships since I was 15… but I digress. The times I experienced infidelity were some of the hardest I’ve ever endured — feeling like your trust in your partner is gone, feeling like you weren’t good enough, feeling alone. But looking back on it now, I realize it was kind of a necessary evil. It helped shape me into the woman I am today, stronger and more resilient than before. Here are some reasons I believe infidelity can actually mold you into a stronger woman, even if it’s hard to see at first.
You learn to depend on yourself first.
My first real/non-high school relationship was one that was verbally abusive, manipulative, and callous. I had become dependent on my partner’s attention and love as a means of measuring my own self-worth. That’s a dangerous place to be. Once I realized how little my feelings meant to him, I crumpled under the weight of my own insecurities. When you get cheated on, you learn very quickly that you should never depend on someone else’s opinion to validate your worth.
You master recognizing problematic behavior.
When the red flags start popping up in the future, you can more easily it and squash it. Hiding his phone from you, lying about his whereabouts, accusing YOU of cheating all the time – these are all warning signs that you learn to detect more easily.
You realize how important your friends are.
Sure, having a partner can be wonderful, but your friends are the ones who have been there for you from the beginning and will be there for you in the end. We shouldn’t put them on the back burner just to please a partner, especially a partner who’s being unfaithful.
You remember to value your own self-worth.
So maybe this jerk didn’t see just how wonderful you are; that doesn’t mean you’re not wonderful. Treasuring your own self-worth is key in recovering from infidelity. It’s really easy to feel like you’re not worthy of loyalty. Remember that you are worthy of every single thing you put into a relationship – loyalty, trust, and love. All of it.
You understand how much it hurts to be cheated on and vow never to do that to someone else.
Once you feel how crushing it can be to be lied to, you have an opportunity (maybe even an obligation) to never do that to someone else. If you find the relationship not working out and there’s something (or someone) you want to explore outside of it, end the damn thing. It’ll hurt but nearly as much as being lied to would.
You learn to never get too comfortable or dependent.
It’s imperative that you remember that people have the ability to hurt you. Opening yourself up to someone is hard because vulnerability can lead to pain. And while romantic relationships can be rewarding and euphoric at times, we shouldn’t ever get so comfortable in that pleasantness that we forget reality.
You realize that not everyone is worthy of your trust.
Not everyone is going to treat you the way you want to be treated; not everyone has the best intentions for you. There are people who don’t care if they hurt you. Once you’ve been cheated on, you realize that you should be stingy when it comes to opening your heart to people. Only truly open yourself up to people who have EARNED your trust.
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