Frankly, there’s no right way to cope with getting cheated on. It’s pretty traumatic for anyone — girl or guy — because, at the end of the day, heartbreak truly knows no gender.
While you may look for ways to cover up the pain, be it through drugs or booze, or even a phase of sexual promiscuity, deep down you know that you’re not okay. And lying to yourself really isn’t helping anyone. The thing is, I’m not really sure anything is going to help — at least not in the moment.
When you first hear that you got cheated on, you’ll probably feel three things: First, that beating thing in your chest — that was formerly coined “the heart” — will stop for a second before sinking down to your gut; second, your face will go numb, especially in the cheeks.
And lastly, you’ll feel like your brain is temporarily floating away.
After all this, you’ll snap back to reality and probably mutter something along the lines of “f*ck my life” under your breath. At that point, you’ll probably take yourself somewhere silent and deserted, so you can just marinate in it all.
And that’s where I’ll offer my first piece of advice.
Nothing is forever and nothing is indestructible.
When you assume things last forever, it’s human nature to start taking them for granted. This is why coping with death feels like one giant sucker punch. You don’t expect it.
Next to the untouched remains of your heart, your so called “life” is now in pieces on the ground. I guess you learned this the hard way, considering your relationship, self-assurance and ambition feel swept away.
Pick yourself up. Consider this the reality check you probably needed in your life anyway — not just your relationship.
When I was a kid, I never thought my grandparents would ever die. I mean, I didn’t think they were going to age like Dumbledore, either, but still. I guess I simply never considered the possibility of death or even something bad happening to someone I loved.
But when my grandpa passed away I cried like a baby — and I was almost 20. I took my grandparents for granted — not in a malicious or selfish way — just in the “ignorance is bliss” way. I learned from it, though. I understood how fragile relationships are and the importance of enjoying each day for what it is.
When you approach one day at a time, you won’t overlook the warning signs or pressure points that your relationship may have. You might’ve assumed your ex would love you forever and whatever trouble you both were caught up in would eventually blow over but remember, it might not.
Which makes my next point all the more important.
Love yourself, first.
Before ever searching for somebody else to love, make sure you love yourself first. Not in a narcissistic, egomaniacal way, but in a way where you’re not dependent on another person or just one other person.
Look, nothing lasts forever. While relationships are beautiful things, they can also be detrimental to your own independence and self-determination. When times are good, you’ll feel inclined to tell one another, “you’re my everything.” But when you discover that your “everything” has been sleeping around, you’ll find yourself with nothing. And you’ll feel worthless.
When you love yourself, though, the things you stand for and the rawest elements of what makes you, you, you’re able to see your own self-worth and not just the role of other people within your life.
Life is nothing more than a sequence of transitions. From infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood. From one love to the next — until you find the one that sticks. Like everything else, people come and go; sometimes without even a decent goodbye.
In the end, you’ll only have yourself to fall back on. In good times and bad, sickness and health. So love yourself first — before anyone else.
Don’t let your experience with one person change who you are or how you see everyone else.
After your girlfriend cheats on you it’s pretty normal to hold a temporary grudge against all women. If your boyfriend cheated on you, it’s not uncommon to assume all men are dishonest cheaters with only one intention: TO RUIN YOUR LIFE.
C’mon, breathe. The world is full of beautifully interesting people, not just clones of your cheating ex. Don’t let yourself become bitter with mankind just because of one person. Because if you don’t put yourself back out there, you’ll regret wasting the time you could’ve spent meeting someone new.
I know it’s tough, but forgive them.
Forgive, but don’t forget. Forgiveness is part of letting go. It’s no different from any argument you’ve had with your mom or spat with a best friend. Harboring a grudge or hatred can’t take away spoken words or rendered actions.
So accept them as they are; try to forgive and move on. It won’t make you a weak person. In fact, forgiveness is one of the most difficult things to do and although you won’t receive any badge of courage in return for forgiving someone who hurt you, you’ll reap the benefits of your own peace of mind.
Even after the darkest of storms, the sun still rises.
It’s a good analogy to keep somewhere close, when you feel everything start slipping. I firmly believe there are no purely “good” or “bad” experiences in life but rather pieces of a bigger puzzle.
Yesterday, you might’ve thought your ex would be your wife. Today, you don’t know f*cking anything anymore. But tomorrow, you might understand how an experience you once called “the worst of your life” led to some of your best.
I mentioned earlier how nothing will probably be able to help the way you feel in the moments after learning you’ve been cheated on — and I stand by that. Again, getting cheated on is a pretty traumatic experience. It’s one that you’ll probably wish — more than anything else — to just leave in the past. Don’t.
The pain eventually fades and by leaving experiences in the past, you won’t use them as references for the future. If you can’t see it now, keep the faith. Experience, of every nature, will only make you wiser.