If your mate has cheated on you, you are probably experiencing a plethora of emotions and questions. In the back of your mind, you're wondering what happened or what you did wrong. Just underneath the surface of things, you may be feeling like your world is crashing down around you. These are the most common emotions and thoughts that occur following acts of infidelity.
Once it's been discovered or revealed that infidelity has taken place, there are a few phases that most people go through before getting over being cheated on. First, the acknowledgment of the act must take place. Once a person acknowledges that they've been cheated on, they can cope with the emotions. After the acknowledgment, you begin to think of ways to forget what has happened. Most often, forgetting that you're a victim of infidelity doesn't happen. You may get over it, but you'll never forget it.
Have you been cheated on in the past or recently? Are you trying to cope with the situation and searching for ways to heal from the pain? Are you confused and not sure what to do to experience healing and recovery? There are many paths that you may decide to take after discovering that your mate has been unfaithful. Whichever path you choose, be certain that it allows you to experience complete healing. You can only recover from betrayal by going through the process that helps you understand what has happened and know that it's not your fault.
Feelings That Surface Following Infidelity
The feelings that occur after infidelity can approach and overtake your mind and body like a plague. Individuals experience a variety of feelings and emotions. You may or may not experience at least one of the following emotions.
Steps To Healing And Recovery After Betrayal
If you're faced with the aftermath of being cheated on, the following steps may help you cope and resume life with a partner you can trust.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
After finding out that your mate was unfaithful, the emotions may seem to overtake you. You will immediately begin to feel depressed, angry, or deceived. You must acknowledge all these feelings as they occur. Remind yourself that these are all common and completely natural feelings to experience. Don't make the mistake of trying to hide or bottle your emotions up. Try to work through the pain and address your feelings openly and honestly. Don't betray yourself by thinking that you're okay because you should never be okay with someone betraying your trust. Deal with your feelings at the surface and allow the process of healing to begin.
2. Don't Accept The Blame
Many people will blame themselves for their mate being unfaithful. It's a natural response because you begin to question what you could have done differently or better. Acts of infidelity have nothing to do with others and always the person who chose to be unfaithful. You aren't responsible for your mate's decisions or actions. Regardless of what was taking place in the relationship, you aren't to blame. Do not blame yourself or allow anyone else to place the blame on you. Misplaced blame often occurs when cheating occurs and can make it difficult to move forward positively and experience healing.
3. Stop Overthinking
There will be many thoughts that roam through your mind. You'll begin to wonder about the signs that you missed and possibly question what you may have done or said to cause the infidelity. After a partner cheats, it's common for the other person to overthink things to try and rationalize or answer the "why" question. It doesn't help dwell on what you missed or what may have happened to cause a breakdown in the relationship. This isn't healthy or conducive to the healing process. Instead of overthinking, look towards your future and dwell on the positives that await you. Think of all the positive attributes that you have to offer individually and as a partner.
4. Consider Your Wants
What you want matters and should be carefully thought. You may not know what you want to happen in your relationship right after the affair. It may take time for you to decide. Consider the factors that impact either decision you make. You'll be faced with a few decisions, such as do you want to leave or remain with your mate? Is it your desire to try and work through the issues in the relationship and rekindle the romance? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, and whatever decision you make, it's okay. You must do what works best for you and not allow your decisions to be influenced by others. It's possible to love your partner still after they've cheated on you. Loving a person after infidelity doesn't mean you have to remain in the relationship. The decision is ultimately yours and should be one that you feel good about after making it.
5. Remember That Self-Care Is Important
You found out that your partner cheated, and you instantly want to crawl under a rock and stay there. It's normal to want to retreat to a quiet and secluded place, but you can't stay there. Taking care of yourself must be a priority, especially after you've been cheated on. It's common for people to start indulging in unhealthy practices after infidelity. You may begin to eat foods that aren't healthy and in excessive amounts. You fail to exercise or take daily vitamins. Many fail just to get up and get outside the house. Self-care is important, especially after infidelity. It's a major part of healing and recovery.
6. Seek Professional Help
You don't have to cope or deal with infidelity alone. Relationship therapy is a healthy go-to for professional counsel and advice whether you've cheated or been cheated on. Talking to close friends or family is okay, but they don't have the guidance or training to offer the help you need. Also, friends or family won't remain objective and will choose to interject their personal feelings into your current situation. Experienced professionals can introduce you to effective strategies to help you overcome the hurt and move towards a healthy and happy life.
Getting over being cheated on won't come easy, but it will come, eventually. Take the time to incorporate the necessary steps and don't rush the process or the progress. Your feelings are intimate and cannot be activated or deactivated upon demand. Know that you are not alone in this and always believe that you deserve better. To overcome the hurt, believe that you deserve to be in a relationship with a person that honors and respects you. Your commitment, dedication, and passion in the relationship should be equally matched.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take to get over being cheated on?
While the healing journey from the negative emotions surrounding being cheated on varies from person to person, the consensus around affair recovery based relationship expert is that it takes a minimum of at least two years to heal from an ongoing affair, whereas in other couples where the infidelity may have occurred only once or twice might heal in less time. It is important to take the time to heal from the negative emotions surrounding being cheated on so that you can move into your new relationship, whether that’s with the partner who cheated on you or someone else, with trust and a sense of satisfaction that you are no longer hurt from the harm that was caused.
It is common to enlist the help of a mental health professional to work towards entering into a new relationship without the concern that the new relationship will lead to the same hurt and negative emotions that your prior relationship left you with. By working with a therapist, you will be able also to determine whether your prior relationship is worth saving or whether the relationship is worth moving on from because of the harm that was caused. While immediately getting back together with your partner who cheated might give you a momentary sense of satisfaction, you may end up regretting this decision if you don’t take time to work through the issues that led to the infidelity in the first place.
Regardless of whether you enter into a new relationship or work through the issues with your partner who cheated, you must take time to heal from the harm and the hurt that was caused by your partner’s actions.
Do you really love someone if you cheat on them?
Cheating doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t love the person that you cheated on. Some people may love their partner, but they struggle with their differing sex drives, which leads one of the partners to cheat. For others, one of the partners might constantly be absent, and cheating might be a distraction from their feelings of missing them. While none of these are excuses for cheating, these are examples of when a partner cheats but still loves the person they cheated on.
How do you get over trust issues after being cheated on?
Cheating is not something to take lightly. Cheating has a lasting effect that negatively impacts a person’s self-worth, their ability to trust, and their overall sense of security. Given the long-term effect of cheating on a person, individuals need to heal after being cheated on. The healing process can be long and arduous, and it will not be without its challenges; however, it is crucial to move into new relationships successfully.
The first thing that a person should do as they begin their healing journey is to acknowledge their past. Acknowledge and recognize how you feel from the cheating and why your response is the way it is. If you have a history of abandonment or trust issues, the cheating may have a bigger impact on you than someone who does not have those issues.
It is also important to process every emotion and avoid self-blame. Nothing about the cheating is your fault, even if it feels like it is. There is nothing that you could have done that would have prevented the cheating, and even if the partner who cheated says that there was something you could have done, the reality is that the blame for the act of cheating rests solely on the person who cheated.
Take time to get to know yourself and what your relationship patterns are. If you are constantly seeking out relationships where you’re feeling insecure, look into that a bit more and question why that’s the case. Use your healing journey as an opportunity to really get to know who you are.
Finally, it’s important to begin practicing trust in every relationship that you have. Whether it’s in your familial relationships or friendships, begin building a solid foundation of trust with the people you surround yourself with since it will make it feel more natural and easy when you enter into a new romantic relationship.
Why do people cheat on people they love?
There are many reasons people cheat on people they love. None of these reasons have to do with the person who is cheated on, as the blame rests with the person who cheated. While the reason people cheat is highly personal, some of the most common reasons include self-exploration, they enjoy the thrill, they aren’t getting enough from the relationship that they are currently in, or they feel they missed out on some part of their life and feel that cheating will give them the thrill they’re looking for. These reasons have everything to do with the person who decides to cheat as they are looking for answers and solutions outside of their relationship, instead of communicating their concerns or feelings to their partner. Cheating hurts, and the reason behind why someone chooses to cheat likely doesn’t matter all that much.
Do cheaters feel guilty?
When a partner has cheated on their significant other, they can feel guilty. However, if your partner has cheated on you, it is important to know the difference between whether your partner feels guilty for cheating on you. They realize they hurt you and made a terrible mistake or if they feel guilty because they got caught. A person who feels guilty because they feel responsible for the hurt they have caused you will be willing to work with you to put together a plan forward. They may be willing to speak to a relationship therapist or a relationship expert to get at the root of why they cheated to make sure it never happens again. Looking at your partner’s actions, whether they feel responsible, and seeing whether they have changed or not will allow you to get a sense of why they are feeling guilty and will help you determine whether it is worth staying in the relationship.