What To Do If You've Been Cheated On
Cheating, for most, is unforgivable. And understanding why it happens, is just as important.
In a previous article, we have established why people tend to cheat despite being in stable relationships (In case you haven’t read it, I’d suggest you to go have a look at it in order to gain a better understanding of the whole deal).
You can view that article here.
For those who’ve already read it, I’m sure you can fathom that none of it was ever your fault. And god knows that I cannot emphasize enough on this thing.
In case you still have doubts, let me reassure you that you never were and never will be the reason they chose to cheat on you.
No, she isn’t prettier than you. No, you weren’t being too jealous/insecure. No, it wasn’t because you asked him to take the trash out.
Cheating has more to do with the persons’ own insecurities and childhood traumas than it has to do with you.
Now, whether they choose to address these issues and change their behaviour is solely their responsibility.
Like they say, you can take the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink!
For those of you who have been victims of cheating, I would like to give you some tips that might help you recover from this mess and also prevent you from falling into a similar trap in the future.
Stop Blaming Yourself!
I don’t mind repeating this a hundred times if I have to; you are not to blame. Repeat this in your mind daily before your mind can finally wrap itself around this concept.
Most of us, after being cheated on, fall into the vicious cycle of trying and finding what it is that we did wrong that triggered our partner to go and philander elsewhere.
We start blaming our looks, our habits, our likes/dislikes, work, weight, friends, and almost every other thing that makes us who we are as an individual.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we all don’t have certain traits which may come across as annoying and don't need to be changed. Certainly, this isn’t to be taken as an excuse to live with something that even you know others wouldn’t like to deal with. I’m all for self-improvement. But don’t go about berating yourself for it.
Everyone is the way they are for a reason. And when you are strong enough to acknowledge that, you can change because you want to. And if you have a partner who really loves you, cares about you, he/she will stick with you through it, no questions asked.
So, no, his/her issues aren’t yours to deal with. Anyone who’s cheating knows very well what they’re doing and they also know that it’s wrong.
It’s just that they chose to keep their insecurities instead of choosing to be faithful to you. And for someone like me, that is unacceptable.
Love Yourself Above All Else
Having said this, I don’t mean “be a snob”. Nobody likes those. If that’s who you are (you always know if you are one from expressions of people around you!), I can’t help you.
But yes, what I do mean is you have to be compassionate and patient with yourself. You have to love yourself enough to know when to walk away.
Many people, especially women, continue to stay in cheating/abusive relationships for the fear of never finding anyone ever again. “What if I die alone?” is a question that haunts many.
But I wouldn’t blame them. Since time immemorial, women have unfortunately been subordinated and made to feel like their opinion doesn’t matter. Imagine what generations of this notion has done to females.
And while the world is progressing and becoming slightly better for women to exist, there are still many idiots out there who believe that a woman only belongs in the kitchen and her only purpose in life is to bear kids.
So, this one’s especially for the wonderful ladies out there; love yourself. Care for yourself, respect yourself and nurture yourself enough to know when something isn’t good for you and have the courage to walk away.
Hurting yourself for the fear of hurting another shouldn't be something you agree to.
It may feel impossibly frightening in the beginning. But usually what scares you most is what leads to maximum growth (I’d like to put a disclaimer here saying I’m NOT encouraging you to run towards a lion if you see one. That’s not the kind of scary I’m talking about! If you see any wild animal, either play dead or runnnn!!!)
However, this advice does apply to both, men and women. Men also feel insecure in themselves at times and if you feel like a relationship stunts your growth as a person, move the hell on.
(Don’t exactly know how to love yourself? Drop me a comment at the end of this article and I shall write a new article for you telling you some ways I know that can help you feel better about yourself.)
Before You Assume, ASK
Now, this one’s just as important. Many of us are so scared of commitment or so scared that we’ll get dumped, we just start assuming that our partner is cheating. In reality, they’re probably just wondering why dogs chase their tail or how it would be if men could give birth (also, do you think that would work?).
Impulsively checking text messages on your partners phone or forbidding him/her from having friends of the opposite gender is toxic and will damage your relationship without doubt.
Instead, we need to learn to deal with such things in a more mature manner.
First, ask yourself why you feel the way you do.
Is it because you had an ex cheat on you? Did you see a parent be unfaithful when you were young? What could be the reason you’re trying to sabotage the relationship based on unfaithfulness?
If you’ve addressed these concerns and still feel like something’s off, you should take about it to your partner. Notice how I said ‘talk’ and not ‘fight’. Accusing anyone has never gotten anybody to own up, even if they really are the culprit.
Explain to your partner calmly why you feel the way you do. Anyone who’s honest and loves you will have no qualms in discussing it with you and helping you get rid of the doubt. This will sort out most misunderstandings.
However, if they get all defensive and start to blame you instead, well, you may want to talk to someone more experienced like a therapist on how to deal with such a situation if you think that the relationship can be salvaged. But, if you feel this relationship won't work, make yourself clear and simply walk out.
Your peace of mind matters over all else. Period.
Eradicate Communication Barriers
You are in this relationship for a reason. You feel safe around this person. You feel like you can learn from each other and help each other grow as individuals and also as a couple.
You know what that requires? It’s not a brain-stormer. Yes, you need to actually talk to each other. And no, texting does not count.
If anything, texting creates tons of misunderstandings because it cannot convey your emotions. You may have meant something in a casual manner which may have come across as rude. It only makes things more complicated. Try and stay away from that.
Things that seem important are always better when said in person. And spending time together will only help strengthen your bond, right? (that’s assuming you aren’t in a relationship to just show off on social media!)
If You’re The One Who Cheated…
Don’t worry, I’m not going to berate you. In fact, I’m glad you turned up on this page. Welcome! It only shows that you feel that what you’re doing is wrong and are guilty enough to want to change.
Well, it’s your first step and I’m so proud of you! *claps*
If you’ve been cheating on someone and you REALLY love him/her, come clean. It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be. You made a mistake. But you’re learning to own up to it. And that’s a step in the right direction.
Don’t expect them to understand. You know you wouldn’t. You can’t shatter someone’s trust and hope that they’ll pretend like it never happened. You have to be open to how they choose to react. You have to accept it.
If they ask for time, give it to them. If they want distance, agree. Make sure they know that you’re sorry that you hurt them and are willing to accept however they choose to deal with this.
If they agree to give you a second chance, be grateful and this time, really keep your promise. Understand that they’ve probably been through hell and back just to be able to forgive you. That takes immense courage and love, never forget that.
If they choose to walk away, let them. Sometimes, when you make an error, in order to learn from it, you have to lose something precious in life. That’s how lessons are learned. Them leaving would be a lesson for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work on yourself. Change, for whomever you chose to be with in the future.
More so, choose to change to heal the wounded you, for you.
Cheating in itself is a vast topic. Each situation requires careful consideration. People get hurt, no one walks out happy.
But if anything, through the best of my knowledge, I’ve tried to cover as much as I could to help you deal with it all.
I pray nobody has to ever go through it. But if you have, know that you are stronger and that this will not break you. You will find the one meant for you when the time is just right. Till then, hold on and love yourself.
Reminder: If you haven’t already, I shall link my previous article again over here. Do have a look. It will definitely help.
All the power to you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 poorvi