If you’re shocked and shattered because of his unfaithfulness, you need to take these three steps to get over being cheated on. Here’s how to move past the pain and shock, and blossom into forgiveness and healing.
“I’ve only been married for a year and a half, but we’ve been together for four years,” says Sandra on 7 Healthy Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love. “I recently found out that my husband was constantly lying to me and sneaking around to be with other women. He has private pictures and he wrote messages to lure other women, telling them that he’s their future husband. He told them not to be scared, to trust him. He’s a very dishonest man, I’ve loved him and supported his goals over the years. I’m still in love with him, yet I want to leave him but I do not know how. He’s all I have. Please help me.”
First, you need to stop thinking that he is all you have! That is not true. It is a lie that you have nothing but this man. You have much more than that – but it’s hard to see all the good you have when you’re shattered because of betrayal. Here are three steps towards getting over being cheated on…
There are many reasons it’s devastating when someone cheats on you. For instance…
- Being cheated on feels like a direct attack on your self-worth
- It’s offensive and gross to think someone you love could be intimate and romantic with someone else
- Your identity is connected with who you are as a girlfriend, wife, and lover. So, being cheated on changes how you see yourself
- You trusted and loved this man, and you never thought he’d cheat on you. You might not even be able to believe it, even when you know in your heart that it’s true
- Being cheated on and lied to makes you feel foolish, like you were duped – especially if your boyfriend or husband asked friends, family, coworkers, or others to lie for him
Take a moment to think about the pain of being cheated on. It is painful – and that’s why it’s not easy to just learn how to get over being cheated on! Infidelity is a hurtful thing to experience. It’s terrible and traumatic, and it destroys relationships.
How to Get Over Being Cheated On
Your feelings of betrayal, shock, grief, and devastation are painful and heavy, but you need to work your way through them. Don’t rush into the “I have to get over this!” stage until you allow your mind and heart to accept that he cheated on you.
And, take time to understand why it’s so difficult to accept this type of betrayal in a relationship. You might also be interested in learning why people cheat in relationships.
Understand why infidelity is so devastating to your heart and soul
Love is addictive. We need to be loved; we’re wired to be and stay in relationships. We are made to be connected in relationship, to love and be loved in return. We were created to be in unity with each other and with our Creator. We were made to be together; even thinking about the boyfriend or husband you love activates the same parts of the brain associated with addiction, motivation, and reward.
So, any type of breakup is painful! Even the breakup of an unhealthy relationship is difficult to get over. But a relationship rift caused by cheating is devastating.
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When you’re cheated on, you experience a sharp rejection that pierces your heart and soul. This rejection prompts a “neurochemical withdrawal”, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher. In ‘It’s Over: Bounce Back From a Bad Breakup’ in Psychology Today magazine, she says love is a wonderful addiction when it’s going well, but it’s a painful withdrawal when it goes poorly.
Give yourself time to grieve the end of your relationship
Even if you choose to stay with your boyfriend or husband, your relationship as you knew it is over. Your perception of him has changed – and no advice on how to get over cheating will bring you back to the day you met, fell in love, and gave him your heart.
That part of your relationship is over. Grieve it, even if you stay with him. Work through the feelings of betrayal, pain, loss, anger, and disappointment. Take time to accept what he did and how you feel about it. What is the “best” way to grieve and get over being cheated on? It depends on you. You need to try different ways to heal – such as writing about your pain, talking to a counselor, reading books on how to get over being cheated on, and changing how you see yourself.
If you believe that your boyfriend or husband is all you have, then you need to change your beliefs. If you think you’ll never be loved again, you need to challenge your thoughts. If your self-worth is tied up in your relationship, then you need to examine the source of your self-worth.
Renew your sense of self-worth
This is one of the most important tips on how to get over being cheated on: rebuild your identity and self-image. Renew your sense of self-worth. Restore your self-esteem. If you believe that your boyfriend or husband is all you have, then you will never get over his infidelity.
Your self-worth should not be tied to any relationship or any man. A relationship – whether it’s with your boyfriend, husband, parent, child, or family member – is one part of who you are. A relationship is not your identity, and it should not be the source of your self-worth.
The more you get your self-worth and identity from your role as a girlfriend or wife, the more difficult it will be to figure out how to get over being cheated on. Why? Because your boyfriend’s infidelity is a direct attack on who you are. If your self-worth is tied up in your relationship, then his actions are a direct reflection of you.
What to Do Next
Take specific steps towards renewing your self-worth. Do not let your boyfriend or husband’s actions determine how you see yourself! You were created with love and care. God made you exactly the way you are for a specific purpose. Do not override God’s wisdom by choosing to see yourself in light of a man who cheats and lies to people who love him.
Decide if you want to stay in this relationship. If you want to rebuild your relationship, read How to Forgive and Recover From Your Spouse’s Infidelity.
Share your thoughts about being cheated on. While I can’t offer specific advice on how to get over being cheated on, I do read every comment. I encourage you to write about what you’re going through, because writing often brings clarity and insight. Writing can help you figure out how you feel, and help you heal. Feel free to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led.
“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” ~ Guy Finley.
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