Life After Being Cheated On
Meeting that person who gives you the attention that you’ve been longing for is very invigorating. The world seems brighter and the atmosphere seems charged with positive vibes. The air seems fresher and there’s more energy flowing through you. You even seem to have an extra pep in your step, all because this person is filling up your love tank that once was empty.
This person starts out by trying to impress you in the way they dress up for you, compliment you, and make you feel desired. They willingly go the extra mile for you, doing all the things you like and are very considerate of the things you don’t like. It’s almost magical and too good to be true. You have a positive disposition and it shows. There’s a change in the way you interact with others, and you seem to have more patience because of the impact this person has made in your life.
You start paying extra attention to your appearance, taking extra time for self-care to beautify yourself for them, and you even shave in certain areas you wouldn’t ordinarily notice. You clean up your place more and offer to cook their favorite meals. You start looking forward to those sweet, flirtatious texts throughout the day that make you blush and smile. You find yourself daydreaming about the person who has encapsulated all of your attention. You look forward to spending time with that person and find yourself wanting to be with them more and more. You are in love.
Being in love causes your self-esteem to increase because you now have a different perspective on life. You no longer feel alone and finally can stop being the third wheel with your friends and their dates. You have a special someone to refer to in your conversations now. You no longer feel like you are undesirable, and your self-confidence increases.
So now you are officially in a committed relationship. When you make love, your bodies collide into a euphoric experience of bliss. There is no better feeling than being in love, in this moment, with this person. Things are moving along smoothly in the honeymoon stage. You don’t want anything to change. But as time goes on, you sadly realize that it does.
You don’t know why or when, but one day you noticed the texts stop coming as frequently. The time spent together dwindles down to small talk over the phone. The attention you were getting is slowly becoming absent. The butterflies In your stomach seem to have disappeared. You’re slowly evolving from spontaneous dating to just hoping you will hear from them that day.
Suddenly the world isn’t so bright anymore. You’ve lost your pep in your step. You start finding yourself becoming irritable more than usual. You are constantly checking your phone, and when you don’t see a missed call or text, you get upset. You call them but consistently get their voicemail. You start feeling the sting of rejection and it hurts. You start wondering what you did wrong. You start blaming yourself for their absence. Your love tank is rapidly depleting.
This is where the mind starts to wander, trying to fill in the gaps. You start using your private investigator instincts. You call, listening more to the background noise to determine where they are. You check social media posts, and you go through pockets, their car, or whatever else you think you might find a clue to see if they have someone else. You start to doubt their loyalty, and distrust settles in. You’re searching for something you probably really don’t want to know the truth about.
Then one day, you find your clue, and the truth comes out that they have been cheating on you. Your mind will start to wonder what they see in that other person that they don’t see in you. You’ll start feeling insecure about yourself. Feelings of hurt and betrayal may lead to feelings of anger. You try relentlessly to work it out, but it doesn’t. Your relationship has ended and you are miserable. Your world shatters and you don’t quite know how to put it back together.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a relationship with a person who doesn’t see our worth and we unknowingly put all of ourselves into their basket. After all, that is what being in love makes you feel obliged to do—give your all to one person in hopes that they will give you their all in return. The problem with that is that while they have all of you in that one basket, they don’t expose that they have many baskets and it is of no consequence for them to discard the basket with you in it and pick up another one.
This is the point where the hurt may cause you to make an irrational decision based on the saying “the quickest way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” In other words, sleeping with someone else can potentially take your mind off of the cheater, but it isn’t going to put you back together. You may feel good for that moment, but deep down inside you are still shattered and unhealed. Try to avoid this quick fix and venture out to find a more permanent one that comes through healing inside.
It is imperative that you take the time to see your own worth and heal. You will have to learn how to be you without them. This is not easy, but it is necessary. You will have to work on you so that you won’t be so willing to give the next person all of you. You will have to appreciate yourself enough to be able to be happy with or without a significant other. Because you are in this shattered state, you will need to heal before you move on to another relationship.
To start the healing process, you will need to get rid of a few things:
1. The notion that they will change. If you allow them to cheat on you and still have you, then you have taught them how to treat you. They will cheat on you again.
2. The fantasy of reconciliation. You think you want this person, but you will be paranoid instead of happy. You will spend countless hours constantly wondering if they are cheating on you. That in love feeling will be replaced with distrust.
3. Replaying certain memories of them in your mind. You will have to fight the urge to remember conversations you’d had with this person. Things that would trigger a hurtful experience or things that would make you miss them. This will lead you to call them when you shouldn’t. The goal is to make new memories, not live in the past.
4. Anything that reminds you of them (i.e. pictures, gifts, clothing). Too often we hold on to things for sentimental reasons. This is the ideal time to get rid of them. It will only keep you stuck in a place of regret and hurt. Out of sight, out of mind!
5. The temptation to seek revenge. Hurt people hurt people. You have to let that desire to hurt them back go. It will keep you tied to that person. Your focus will be set on getting them back instead of moving forward. The overall goal of healing is to get rid of all ties to that person so you can create new space for the new you. Revenge is not the way to finding the new you.
Once you have gotten rid of those things, you can begin the healing process. You will need to find things in yourself that interest you—pick up a hobby, explore any hidden talents. You used to take extra care to look good for them, but now you have to start doing it for yourself. When you look good, you tend to feel good, and that has a positive impact on our attitudes and mindset. Commit to a workout regimen—take a 30-minute walk or sign up for a Yoga or Zumba class. You will need an outlet to release the frustration, so doing physical activities will help you do so and also allow you to feel better about yourself. The ultimate goal is to start shifting your attention from feeling a void to filling the void with things you can use to better yourself.
Start a journal and write down the things that you did that were productive. Celebrate yourself for every accomplishment, no matter how big or small. This will keep you motivated and help you uncover things you overlooked about yourself. This will help you be more secure in yourself and build your self-confidence.
Making sure you heal before you start another relationship is critical. When you feel ready to date again, you won’t be inclined to blame the new person for what your ex did. You will realize that you cannot let how a person treats you to affect how you view yourself and how you treat others. You will be in a place that you will not settle for less than you deserve. You will no longer find yourself in a relationship with the same type of person but a different name.
So, you’ve been cheated on. You will find love again, and because you healed and discovered how to be happy with yourself, your happiness is no longer contingent upon the presence of others or dependent upon the actions of others.