Why Being Cheated On By My Partner Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

A couple of years ago, I was madly in love with a man that I met in college. Things got serious quickly and I thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. Then he cheated on me and I was absolutely devastated. However, what felt at first like the end of the world was actually the beginning of the best chapter of my life so far. Here’s why I’m grateful for his betrayal.

  1. The pain of being cheated on is tough to get through. When I found out through a friend that my partner cheated on me, it felt like the ultimate betrayal, like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. The initial shock was so severe that I was just heartbroken and upset. There was no way I could imagine it turning into a positive situation, but I was wrong.
  2. When I confronted my partner, he admitted everything. Finding out the details hurt even more than the initial shock – my partner had been sneaking and lying to me while he carried on with another woman behind my back. I was full of loathing for him for cheating and myself for not being able to keep him. I previously comforted friends who’d been cheated on and never thought that it was their fault, but now that I was in the same situation, all I could think about was how I could have been better to prevent this.
  3. I discovered I had more strength than I thought and kicked him out. I knew what I had to do – there was no question about it. Looking back, breaking up with him immediately with no consideration of reconciliation was a clue as to how invested in the relationship I really was. However, it took an enormous amount of strength to stand up for myself like that and was the catalyst to me becoming happier and more secure in myself and living a better life.
  4. The first few weeks were hard, but I started to understand myself a bit better. At this point, I hadn’t been single since I was in my early teens and didn’t quite know who I was as an adult without a boyfriend. I suddenly had lots of free time so discovered hobbies I gave up in school, like playing netball and going to life drawing classes. I had the luxury of thinking about no one but myself and began a phase of self-discovery that I think many young women in relationships can miss out on.
  5. I realized that my ex and I weren’t actually compatible at all. After the initial hurt and feelings of betrayal had faded, I tried to assess what had led to the end of the relationship. I tried to think objectively and realized that rather than a perfect relationship ruined by a selfish man, what I’d left behind was a relationship that never should have lasted for as long as it did in the first place. He was emotionally distant and couldn’t verbalize what he was feeling while I was too self-involved to try and get him to open up. He was often nasty and resentful of how my career was taking off and I constantly tried to make excuses for his behavior rather than challenging him. It was a mess.
  6. If he didn’t cheat on me, we might still be together. I was so young when we got together that I didn’t completely understand what a healthy relationship could look like. Our relationship was unhealthy – we were jealous, insecure, and unhappy with each other but also very co-dependent. We needed something to sever our ties completely in one fell swoop, otherwise, we would have kept clinging onto each other.
  7. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I have spoken to many friends who knew me both as my ex’s girlfriend and the happy single woman I am now. They all comment on how much happier I seem these days, that I’m more relaxed and secure in myself. Through my three years of being single, I’ve learned what makes me happy, what makes me feel comfortable, and how to be a little bit selfish sometimes which changed my whole outlook on relationships entirely. In my new relationship, I know how I deserve to be treated and I understand that things go both ways. I want to be kind, caring, emotionally supportive and l never feel like I have to be someone I’m not.
  8. What at first seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to me turned out to be the best. If my ex had never cheated on me, I would never have found the strength to break up with him. We might possibly still be together and discussing our future, which is a really scary thought. I was semi-comfortable and terrified of being alone, and I have no doubt that I would have settled with him. My resentful entrance into the world of the single girl taught me that I can not only cope with being alone, but I can also thrive. Now I know I’ll never settle for anything less than I deserve because I’m not scared of being single and I know I can always look after myself.
  9. Don’t wait for the worst to happen if you’re not happy in your relationship. Talk to your partner and let them know how you feel. If you’re scared of being alone, be brave try to understand that there is nothing more satisfying and necessary in this life than enjoying your own company. It may take time to get there and could be a bumpy journey, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. Trust me.
Writer, reader, runner.

Marketing strategist and journalism graduate.