I’m not going to lie to you – being cheated on sucks. Whether you saw this relationship as long-term or not, discovering your significant other was unfaithful is always going to hurt. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control your own reaction. Don’t let them know how much they hurt you. Instead, put on a brave face and focus on how you’re going to overcome this.
- Don’t go back to your ex. Not everyone immediately believes a relationship should come to an end if there’s infidelity. Everyone’s situation is different, but at the very least, take some time apart from the relationship to re-evaluate – and to make your significant other see how close they are to losing you. There will be days when you miss your ex, despite what they’ve done. But don’t seek comfort in them. Find support in your family and friends, or else you could become love blinded and sucked back into a toxic relationship.
- Think about revenge, but don’t act. You’ll feel vindictive after being cheated on. You’ll want to get even in some way. You’ll wish your significant other could know the exact type of pain they’ve inflicted on you. It’s okay to feel all of these things – but acting on them is another. Your feelings of anger and frustration are temporary. You may never forgive your ex for cheating, but you’ll move on eventually. Don’t do something you’ll regret or be embarrassed about in the future. That means no social media rants, sleeping with their best friend, or ruining their property. Take the higher road, and we promise you’ll be grateful for it later.
- Have a fling or two. There’s no reason to sulk at home after you discover you’ve been cheated on. When you feel up to it, consider going out and having some fun of your own. Dating a new person (or two) can remind you that there are other, better possibilities out there. Plus, it’s just a fun distraction. But don’t be in a rush to commit to anything. You want to make sure that you’re totally over your ex before you get into another relationship. Instead, consider keeping things casual so you can make sure you’re totally moved on before settling down.
- Sweat it out. Sometimes the best way to get over something is with a distraction. It’s easy for your mind to wander when you’re doing something calm, like reading or journaling. That’s why you should work out instead. Get all the anger and frustration you feel out at the gym. Tons of research has emphasized the benefits of exercise on mental health, so it’s a healthy way to keep your mood up when going through a tough time. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of a revenge body?
- Focus on your passions. We sacrifice a lot when we’re in relationships, including our time. You may not even realize that some of the things you love have fallen to the wayside when you prioritized your significant other. The best thing you can do after you discover your lover was cheating is to focus on yourself. Do things that make you happy and start pursuing hobbies or that you’ve postponed. Your ex wasn’t thinking about you when they cheated, they were thinking about themselves. That’s why you have more than every right to focus only on yourself after the fact.
- Don’t become a social media stalker. Social media can be a toxic place, especially after a break-up. Even if you’ve cut off contact with your unfaithful significant other, it’s all too easy to pull out your phone and look at their online profile. If you know the person they cheated with, you’ll be tempted to look them up. All of this will only drive you to make comparisons and wonder if you could’ve done anything differently. But don’t blame yourself – blame the cheater. That’s why you should steer clear of social media for a while, or at least make sure you avoid stalking the parties involved.
- Reach out if you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re feeling lonely, surround yourself with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to open up to your loved ones, but also don’t feel obligated to share all of the details with them simply because they’re supporting you. It’s okay to not share everything. Also, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Speaking to a counsellor, even once or twice, can help you process your feelings after being cheated on. Plus, there may be deeper issues from the relationship that you’ll want to talk through in order to successfully move on.
- Never blame yourself. It’s easy to blame ourselves after we’ve been cheated on, especially if the unfaithful partner is being manipulative and deliberately trying to place the blame on you. Regardless of what your ex may say or how you may feel, remember that it’s not your fault. There are many reasons people cheat, but the important thing to emphasize is that they’re the ones who made the decision. They’re responsible for their actions and consequences, including the pain you’re feeling. You’re already going through enough; don’t add to your pain by blaming yourself.
Remember your worth – and the fact that no one deserves to be cheated on. If you do want to get back together, be sure to really think it over. It may be painful right now, but you don’t want to stay with someone who has a history of being unfaithful. You’ll constantly be worried they’re doing something behind your back. But with the aforementioned steps in mind, you can move on to bigger and better things like you deserve.