Your Partner’s Betrayal Doesn’t Have To Destroy You—Here’s How To Cope

Sometimes when a partner feels as if they have your complete trust, they experiment with dishonesty. If you find out that they’ve betrayed you, it often hurts even worse. Here are some of the best ways to cope.

  1. Witness if this was actually an honest mistake on his part. Sometimes things happen and white lies need to be told in order to avoid an unnecessary blow-up. Other times, it’s something huge, like he was cheating on you for three months. If it was something premeditated, that’s definitely different than something that may have just happened in the moment. Can you forgive him for this? It’s OK if you can’t—that’s entirely up to you.
  2. Take some time to yourself. If he’s trying to persuade you not to break up with him, he’s not the person you need to hang around with at the moment. You owe it to yourself to go out and have some time for self-care and reflection. Get your nails done or grab coffee with some friends. Get him out of your mind and remind yourself that no matter what, you’re able to function without him.
  3. When you’re ready, talk. It’s very easy to have a temper or raise your voice if you’ve been betrayed, but that will get you nowhere. You might feel better in the moment but you’ll add extra tension to the situation as a whole. If possible, write down the things you want to say to him and read it off. It’ll help the two of you actually discuss what happened and you can hear his side of the story without interruptions.
  4. See things from his perspective. There are certain actions that are downright wrong—like if he lied to you about money, stole from you, or kept texting his ex after telling you he deleted her contact. But if you feel like you know your partner well, you might be able to try and see things from his perspective and figure out why he made the choices he did. Maybe you’ve been bogged down from work and he was feeling a little lonely. Maybe he was saving up the money to surprise you with a fun trip. It won’t excuse the behavior, but at least you can gather more information over what happened.
  5. If you can’t get over it in a week or two, dump him. Otherwise, it’ll hang over your relationship forever. If things aren’t right in two weeks, they probably won’t be right in a month or a year. Cut your losses now before you start doubting every action and everything your current guy tells you.
  6. Don’t blame yourself. Even if your guy tries to tell you he cheated because of something you did, remember that you’re not the one who disrespected the relationship. He’s the one who met and slept with someone else, not you. There’s literally no blame you should be taking under these circumstances, especially since if he was unhappy, there were multiple other, healthier paths he could have taken to mend things with you.
  7. Consider counseling. You may face the realization that you’re still in love with this guy. If he feels the same way, you may want to give counseling a shot. When you see a counselor, they won’t tell you who’s wrong and who’s right. Instead, they’ll try to get the two of you to communicate better and better display kindness to each other. If he really wants to make your relationship last and is truly apologetic over what happens, he won’t fight you on going to see someone.
  8. Take a break from dating. If you cut this guy loose, try being single for a little bit. Why? Because you need to fully get over what happened before you date someone new. Not all guys are sneaky and conniving, and if you hook up with someone a few days after dumping the partner who betrayed you, you may funnel some of your energy and anger towards the wrong person. Not all guys are trash. Anyone new doesn’t deserve to be treated poorly just because someone else broke your heart.
  9. Block his number. When you decide that things are over, they need to really be over. That means you need to block any flirty texts you get from him at 2 a.m. and get rid of him on Facebook. Yes, people change, but usually that change happens gradually after a lot of work and self-reflection, not a few days after you’ve broken up.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.