Let me paint a picture for you.
You are in a relationship with someone you love and you assume that it’s going to last forever because you are completely enamored.
Then one day, something unimaginable happens.
Unexpectedly your trust is betrayed when your significant other cheats on you.
It’s one, if not, the worst feeling in the world. Someone cheating on you feels like a personal attack. I’ve been on both sides of the coin and I remember the overwhelming emotions after several boyfriends cheated on me.
I was furious. I was hurt, I was angry, I was confused, and I dramatically believed that my life was over. Luckily that wasn’t the case and in time I was able to forgive my former partners and move on from the situation.
However, I know quite a few people who have let infidelity determine their future relationships and how they view sexual intimacy.
Because of the pain that they experienced they have completely shut themselves off to the future possibility of letting someone back into their lives.
In order to prevent the anger from festering and taking over your life, there are some self-care steps you need to take after you have been cheated on.
Don’t try to hold it all inside
When one boyfriend cheated on me after a year of dating I was in complete shock at first.
I tried to keep it a secret but eventually, all the anger just burst out of me after a night of too much partying.
Instead of blowing up in a bar, I wish I had faced my emotions earlier in order to deal with them in a healthier way.
Although it hurt at the time, I look back and am thankful that instead of lying he immediately felt like he had to be honest with me.
Allowing yourself to feel the pain and hurt you are going through will aid in the healing process.
Take the time to reflect on your relationship
It’s funny what you realize when you look back on your relationships with a clear mind.
Although at first, I was furious and devastated right after being cheated on I am now able to look back and identify that there were already underlying issues in both relationships.
One partner and I were simply not compatible and the other wasn’t meant to be monogamous even though I tried to force him to fully commit to me.
Sometimes we hold on to things that are simply not meant to be and once you start working through the pain that may become clear.
Don’t let them place the blame on you
Most people are repentant when they cheat, or they are at least upset that they got caught… most people.
I was in a toxic relationship at one point where my partner cheated on me and he wasn’t sorry at all. In fact, he blamed me for not "meeting his needs" and forcing him to seek out the physical side elsewhere.
When you cheat you should accept that you made a mistake. If it stemmed from being unhappy, you need to leave your partner (better to do that first but we are all human.)
However, the one thing you should never do is blame someone else or let them place the blame on you.
Remember that it’s okay to move on
Personally I have never stayed in a relationship after cheating has been involved with either party.
Sometimes things are broken beyond repair.
Sometimes you may have found someone worth fighting for.
You get to decide if you want to cut ties or try to make things work but regardless you need to ensure that you are putting yourself first.
Although cheating is extremely painful it shouldn’t cause you to give up on relationships and intimacy.
By working through the hurt instead of hiding from it you will emerge stronger and smarter with a better idea of what you want.