If you’ve ever been cheated on, in a loving and fully committed (at least in your head) relationship, then you can probably relate with me when I say this- that horrible moment when I found out and all the horrible moments that followed it came to be one of the most difficult phases of my entire life.
And it’s sad how I’ve seen a lot of people going through the exact thing. When someone you held so dear has the audacity to cheat on you, you end up feeling extremely embarrassed, furious, and even foolish to have trusted them. You end up being angry not only with them but your own self as well.
Once this phase of my life gradually passed and became a distant memory, I realized how I could have handled that situation so much differently, how I should have stopped blaming myself for someone else’s infidelity, how I should have given myself a proper chance to heal, and how I should have been more realistic about life in general.
Here are 7 things I wish I had known before I was cheated on:
You can’t ever be sure of your own reaction
I always felt like I was extremely sure of what my response would be if someone ever cheated on me: I will just break up with them, and that will be the end of the story. I was always 100% sure about this reaction… and sadly, 100% wrong as well. After it actually happened, I started wishing to not have been so absolute about this in my mind.
Because once you actually have to go through it, you realize how different things really are. You realized how your pre-conceived notions play a big part in making you feel even more angry and confused. And you end up feeling like a hypocrite if you ever want to forgive them and start over again
Forgiving someone isn’t a sign of weakness
I didn’t dump my boyfriend immediately after it happened. I gave it time. I decided to grant a second chance to our relationship. But this made me feel really upset with myself. Because I though it was a matter of self-respect to dump someone who cheats on you the minute you find out.
I thought any action other than this, any attempts at forgiveness, and any second chances would just automatically mean that you’re weak. But I’ve realized I was wrong. My relationship wasn’t able to recover from that incident, but some still can. People end up cheating for a number of different reasons.
Only you know the circumstances of your relationship. Only you can tell if it was actually a genuine mistake. And if you decide to forgive your partner for it, then it isn’t something that should make you feel weak or pathetic.
You should talk to someone
When someone cheats on you, you usually start to blame your own self. Am I not pretty enough? Am I not capable of keeping my partner happy? Was there something I could have done to avoid this? You ask a million questions and you end up feeling like their cheating is something you should be ashamed of. This was one of the reasons why I didn’t tell anyone about my partner’s cheating for about a year, and why I kept all the hurt and pain I was feeling to myself.
But when I finally did let my friends and family know, I realized how things could have been so much better if I had just done this earlier. I felt like a burden had been lifted off my chest. And I finally got some extremely helpful and much-needed advice.
Their cheating is not a reflection of you
As I mentioned in the last point, one of the reasons I kept this secret to myself for so long was that it made me feel so humiliated. The minute he told me, I started to feel incredibly stupid for believing him, for letting the relationship get to this point, for not realizing the things that were going on behind my back. I actually started to place the entire blame on myself.
It’s true that most relationship problems, including cheating, are a result of the actions of both partners, but it’s never completely your fault. If someone cheats on you, it doesn’t automatically mean that you weren’t good enough or that you went wrong somewhere. If I had realized this one thing earlier, things would have ended up being a lot easier.
You can take as much time as you want to process this
There are some people who can get over anything, even infidelity, in no time at all. They don’t stop to grieve or waste their time on someone who isn’t even worth it. But there are also some people who can never get over an experience like this. So there’s no set pattern and no expected time for you to process everything and get over it. Don’t force yourself to get over it immediately or to pretend that it never happened at all. Everyone needs time to heal!
Stop yourself from stalking and obsessing over your partner
The minute you find out, you will feel an overpowering urge to know who the other woman/man was. You will want to look at a picture, know what they do, find out each and everything about their life! And you might even start comparing yourself to them. Don’t let this happen! This horrible news is already going to make you feel like crap and if you start to stalk that person, all that will do is make you feel even worse.
If you still want to make your relationship work, you need to get to the root cause of their cheating.
Once you find out, it will be very easy to just get caught up with when it happened, who the person was, when and how many times! But the most important thing you should be trying to understand at this point is WHY it actually happened. If you truly want to give your relationship another shot, you need to stop putting yourself through the torture of all the details and start dedicating your time towards figuring out where you both went wrong and why.
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