There’s no doubt about it – being cheated on feels absolutely horrible. No gallon of ice cream or Internet shopping spree can remove the daggers in your heart (not to mention your back). Aside from abuse in a relationship, being cheated on is, for most people, the worst thing one partner can do to the other.
If you have recently found out he’s been cheating, you likely feel betrayed, lost, and alone. In these next moments and days, it is critical that you know what to do—how to handle yourself and keep yourself together.
Friends will offer hugs, gigantic chocolate bars will call out your name, not to mention he might even call out your name when he realizes what a jackass he’s been. But your goal is to keep yourself together.
Here’s what you need to do to keep yourself sane with your dignity firmly intact.
It doesn’t matter how you found out. Maybe you snooped, maybe he told you, maybe she told you. Whatever the circumstances, take at least a few days to think things through without making contact or accepting any contact from him.
You need this time to gather your thoughts because one of two things is going to happen:
If you end up going with the first option, you’ll want to take the high road. Let him be the cheater. You be the classy one, and make a clean and amiable break. You’ll want to move on to greener pastures with a clear conscience. If you go for the second option and try to work it out, you don’t want to have a belligerent fight and say things you don’t mean in the heat of the moment. So just take the time you need to cool off before you speak with him.
Try Not to Obsess
Once you allow yourself the time to calm down, it’s so important to assess your feelings when your emotions are not high. You need this time to take care of yourself, but you also have to try not to obsess because it can drive you mad. And guess what? NOTHING good ever has ever come from making assumptions and decisions from obsessive thoughts. Undoubtedly, you’ll be curious about what went down with the cheating. Who’s the girl? What did they do? How long had it been going on?
First, remember that these are perfectly natural questions to have. And if you truly want the answers, you can ask for them—later. At this point, do your utmost not to let your thoughts run away with you.
If your emotions start snowballing—and they probably will—do your best to pull yourself back to the present moment. If they wander again, don’t criticize yourself. Just return to the present.
To distract yourself, you can try to do some self-pampering things. Head to the spa, have a girls’ night at your place, or try diving into work if that’s what inspires you.
Meet With Him and Have a Conversation
The time to yourself will be well deserved, and hopefully, you’ll have more of a settled mind after you cool off. Now it’s time to talk to your significant other.
You should plan what you want to say and what route you want to take. When you talk with him, be open, and be honest! Say what you mean, and mean what you say. In other words, don’t hold back if you are angry. You deserve to be angry.
With that being said, try to project how you will feel about what you say when it is 6 months from now. You will want to avoid making drastic remarks, such as, “You were never a good boyfriend!” or “You probably cheated with so-and-so, too!”
Stick to what you know, and try to speak with an even tone. It will help you stay calm. There’s no need to be sweet or nice—what he did was bad—but you can still act with dignity.
He will likely want you to hear him out, so try to listen. Ask questions if you want, and take note of his answers.
Either Break it Off or Work it Out—No In-Betweens
If you knew going into the conversation that this was the end, that is absolutely okay. Tell him what he did was a deal-breaker, and make your way to the exit. But if after your conversation you still need time to think, for heaven’s sake, take it.
If after speaking with him you evaluate the entire situation and decide that maybe you want to work things out, have another conversation with him. During this talk, make it known that you don’t condone his behavior, but you’re willing to try again. If there are other concerns, voice them. If you have stipulations, tell him. Don’t assume he’ll know what you want. Also listen to what he has to say.
Whatever you do, make a solid choice that you feel works for YOU, and make a commitment to move forward. Because this is where many women get stuck.
Often, women say they want to work on the relationship, but they don’t recommit. They bring up the cheating time and again even when their recommitted partner is really making an effort. If you want to stay together, do it. If he is actively trying to work on your relationship, don’t dredge up the past.
Keep in mind that working with a relationship or marriage counselor will greatly facilitate the understanding and healing process in your relationship so that you and your mate can move forward in the healthiest manner possible. Your relationship is going to need help getting past a betrayal so be proactive in seeking that assistance.
Covet Your Confidence
Last but not least, no matter which way you go—if you stay together or break up—remember to take care of you. Being cheated on feels awful and it can wreak havoc with your self-esteem, but it has nothing to do with your merit as a wonderful person. Remember your strength and confidence, and cherish yourself for who you are.
How to Know if He Really Loves You
Too many times women get love confused with other words and actions from men which make women feel as though their partners love them. Only that they don’t.
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