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Once you’ve come to the conclusion that the person you love has cheated on you, there are no doubt tons of things running through your mind. Who was it? Why did they do it? Do they still love me? Do I still love them? Where do we go from here? Of course, every person and relationship is different — it’s up to you to decide if you want to take back someone who has hurt you — but if you decide to end it and want to know how to get over someone who cheated on you, you’re not alone. Many people find the prospect of taking back a cheater too tough a pill to swallow, and if this is the case, the only other option is to let them go.
Once you’ve made the decision to part ways, the next step is moving on. I’m not gonna lie to you: Getting over someone who cheated on you may not be easy, but it is necessary. At some points in the process, you may even be tempted to take your ex back, just to avoid the pain of confronting the end of the relationship. But with the right attitude and a lot of patience, you will come out of this difficult situation much stronger than you were before.
1. Don’t Blame Yourself
Few things have the power to undermine someone’s confidence like infidelity does. Some people who have been cheated on end up feeling like their partner’s infidelity was because of their own inadequacy. According to marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson, cheating is oftentimes a reflection of poor communication on the part of the partner who cheated. “They may not [have known] how to tell [you] that they [didn’t] feel valued, needed, or seen,” Richardson previously told Elite Daily.
It’s totally fair to feel dissatisfied with a relationship, but in the end, it’s up to the person who’s unhappy to communicate those feelings to their SO. Nobody’s a mind reader. If they did communicate and matters didn’t improve from their perspective, then they could have ended the relationship cleanly instead of cheating.
2. Get The Closure You Need
Closure looks different for everyone, but no matter what, it’s important to realize that getting closure might have to come from within. “Trying to hunt down the truth is how we try to gain back control, reassurance, sanity and even closure,” Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and podcast host of Thank You Heartbreakpreviously told Elite Daily. “A crucial part of gaining this perspective is also a part that often gets neglected, and that is demanding honesty not only from your partner but especially from yourself. Instead of investing all your investigative fury into the person who has cheated, you have to seek clarity within yourself.”
3. Cut The Cord
Once you’ve gotten the closure you needed, it may be a good idea to have no contact for a while, according to couples therapist Dr. Gary Brown. “Make a clear intention to not see your ex for a minimum of 90 days,” Dr. Brown previously told Elite Daily. “Doing this will send them the message that this really is over and will give you some time to grieve and lick your wounds.”
Unfollowing them on social media may help keep a safe amount of distance between the two of you for as long as feels necessary. This is a difficult step that many may struggle to abide by, but it can make the healing process a much smoother said Dr. Brown.
4. Allow Yourself Time To Grieve
Cutting someone out of your life is difficult. You just can’t erase some things, like the park where you had your first kiss or the way their eyes gleamed in the sunlight. This is why you owe yourself some time to mourn the loss of the person you thought you knew — but don’t expect to work through the pain overnight. “Forgiveness and grief are similar as there are stages, and you may move from denial to depression as new information or hurts arise,” warned Richardson. So, no matter how long it takes, treating yourself with patience and kindness is key.
5. Let Go When It’s Time To Let Go
The mourning period can vary drastically depending on the person, the length of the relationship, and the details of the infidelity. Ideally, over time, the pain will subside and you will be able to forgive your ex — maybe not completely, but enough for you to look back at it with some semblance of peace over how things played out. “Forgiveness does not necessarily mean staying together,” Richardson said. “If you are [still] wondering if you should stay with a partner who has cheated, your gut is telling you what to do.”
6. Don’t Look Back
Once you start to notice you’re feeling better, you may feel tempted to check in on your ex, but try to resist the urge. Remember, things happened the way they happened and no amount of shoulda, coulda, woulda can change that.
Although I can’t promise that you will ultimately be able to completely forget what they did, no matter how upset you feel in this moment, you can experience love again. Don’t let the decisions of one person stand in the way of you opening your heart to someone else in the future.