He Cheated..Now What? Learn How To Move On After Betrayal

December 3, 2011  |  
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Being cheated on is one of the most terrifying and painful experiences you can have in a relationship.  Feelings of doubt and extremely low self-esteem can surface, along with anger, confusion, sadness, and overall depression.  Being cheated on can make a woman question themselves and look inward, when the real healing comes from realizing and accepting that it was their man’s choice that ruined the trust and has nothing to do with them.  Feeling blame can be a harmful and counterproductive feeling when trying to heal.

Take a look at these 7 steps that might help you through this tough time…

1. Acceptance

Acceptance is hard but you have to move on.  Infidelity is the leading cause of divorce in the western world.  If you can’t accept that it happened to you, it will consume your mind and eventually destroy you physically and emotionally. Being cheated on has nothing to do with your appearance, brains, athletic ability, personality, race, religion, or any other characteristic you possess.  The richest, most beautiful women who seem to “have it all” get cheated on too.  Cheating has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with your man and his issues.  It’s frustrating to not be able to “solve” these issues, but it’s your partner’s responsibility to try to mend your relationship, not you.

2. Forgive Wholeheartedly

Honestly ask yourself if you can forgive him. Cheating is never justified and puts a huge strain in a relationship. Sometimes it’s impossible to recover from but if you are willing to take the steps to forgive, you must do it wholeheartedly; there is no turning back. After you have forgiven, you must make yourself move forward and stop reminding him of what he did to you.  Studies show that it is easier to forgive because it will ultimately help you in the healing process. The key here is to love yourself and not be hard on yourself.  Yes your partner is to blame, but playing the blame game is anything but productive.  If you choose to forgive and give it another shot, you must be prepared to fully let go and avoid bringing it up and throwing it in his face down the line.  If you can’t do that, then forgive him for your own health, and move on.

3. Don’t Try To Rationalize

Don’t try to make sense out of nonsense. Rationalizing your cheating spouse’s behavior or sympathizing with him is pointless. It is never OK to go outside of your relationship to solve problems within a relationship. No matter what excuses he puts on you or what blame he tries to throw at you, stay confident that he is caught in a lie and knows he has no where to go.  He might try to manipulate you into thinking it was your fault he strayed.  In this case, if you tolerate his excuses, the rest of your relationships will only be full of more manipulation, lying, and probably cheating.  Don’t allow yourself to get caught in a tailspin relationship headed for failure.  If he’s not adding significant value and happiness to your life, you deserve better.

4. Don’t Mope

Time heals nothing. It is what you do with the time that matters. Surround yourself with happy people who support and care about you. Choose people who have positive attitudes during these times and watch movies or TV shows that make you laugh.  It’s also important to take care of yourself and your health.  Don’t use this as an excuse to pack on the pounds and eat junk food 24/7.  Don’t give the man who cheated on you that much power.  Take this time to increase endorphins and go for a walk or run in your neighborhood, or take a cooking class and learn how to whip up amazing, healthy meals.  Show yourself, and your cheating man, that you are capable of a full and happy life with or without a man.  Stick close to good girlfriends and lean on your family if possible.

5. Think Positive

Remember that it is better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else.  Don’t assume that your relationship is the only one with speed bumps. It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals, in the United States, will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. (And these numbers are probably on the conservative side, when you consider that close to half of all marriages end in divorce.)  Don’t be discouraged about finding love again, because it is out there, but don’t beat yourself up because your relationship didn’t work out.  It’s more noble to pull away from a bad relationship, than stick with it just to “save face.”  Put that ego aside and treat yourself with respect. If you don’t, who will?

6. Set Limits

If your partner wants back in, he will have to earn his way back into the relationship. Renegotiate the relationship in a way that works for both of you.  There comes a point in time where you may have to draw a line and say, “That’s it, I’m done. I’m not mad at you. I withdraw my feelings, I withdraw my emotions. You go do whatever you want to do because I’m not going to live like this anymore.” Don’t stay together for the children either. Kids would rather be from a broken home than live in one. They’re much better off with one well-adjusted, happy, thriving parent, than they are with two who are cheating, lying, fighting, and living with stress and pressure.

7. Continuous Healing

Whether you decide to forgive your man or not, you will definitely need some time to fully heal.  Counseling is a great option for some and shows that you and your man are willing to change and move forward together.  Some men have difficulty with counseling and believe it is a sign of weakness to seek help from a “stranger.”  This is a close-minded approach and should not be an issue if your man is truly committed to mending your relationship. If he raises concerns about therapy, explain that this is your requirement and you feel that a 3rd party involvement will only help by expressing your emotions in a neutral setting.  Since your partner committed an act of infidelity he/she must support you in the healing process. The objective is moving away from the experience and always emerging as a better person. Life is full of lessons, but it’s up to you on how choose to deal with them.

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