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It’s not easy to deal with being cheated on. I can say from experience. However, there are steps you can take to make it easier.
Those who haven’t been cheated on don’t really understand the pain we experience. I can tell you before my ex-husband had an affair that I didn’t really feel it. Sure, I was cheated on when I was a teenager in a relationship, but it’s harder when you’re in an adult relationship, especially in a marriage.
There are a lot of thoughts and feelings that you go through when you find out a significant other has had an affair. You end up doubting your own worth—what did the other person have that you didn’t? You wonder why you weren’t enough, and you look at why you were to blame. After all, doesn’t everyone love to blame the victim? Doesn’t the significant other who had the affair love to justify it as you didn’t give them what they needed?
You’ll feel a lot of anger, a lot of distrust in the future, and a lot of hatred. You can get through it. You can deal with being cheated on. You do need to give it time, and these five tips will also help. If you decide to end your marriage after finding out about your spouse’s affair, you should consult with a divorce attorney from a reputable family law firm.
Get angry to deal with being cheated on
You have a right to your anger. Get angry.
Of course, you want to do this in a healthy way. One of my favorite ways to deal with my anger is to get to a smash room. This is where you pay to literally break up plates, appliances, and much more. You release all your anger as you smash up everything that is in the room. The rooms usually include a set amount of items to break, and you can get a set amount of time in the room to really take out your frustration on the items. I recommend having a photo of the ex and his affair partner to put on the items to smash them up too!
You can also take it to a shooting range. Or you can opt to take a drive to the middle of nowhere and just scream. Get it all out. Release the anger in a healthy way.
Find a therapist trained in affairs
You need to be able to talk about it. One of the best things I found was finding a therapist who was trained in trauma and understood the pain of affairs. In fact, my therapist doesn’t help couples who are trying to work through affairs because he doesn’t agree with affairs at all.
Speak openly in your therapy sessions. You can get the pain, the anger, and the betrayal out.
Something that I found a good therapist for, though, wasn’t to deal with the initial anger. It was to deal with all the gaslighting and emotional abuse I’d been through. It was to help with the feeling of being inadequate and the self-blame I had.
I also had other trauma to work through and deal with. With a therapist who was trauma-informed, I’ve been able to work through the trauma and get rid of some of my triggers.
Don’t live in the past
It’s easy to renumerate on the past. One thing that I found to deal with being cheated on was to not live in the past.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deal with the feelings from the things that happened. You do need to grieve the loss of your relationship and the feelings of betrayal that come up. However, you don’t want to spend too much time in the past outside of dealing with the feelings.
You’re going to think about how the affair started. You’ll spend time thinking about the other person, and you’ll imagine their perfect little life. You’ll run through arguments that you had, and you’ll wonder how things could have changed.
It’s important to bring yourself into the moment. You want to live in the present when the past starts to come up. This will allow you to focus on the future. Focus on your happiness and not what’s making you sad.
I would say that joining support groups can be helpful, but I’ve only really found that at first. They’re a great way to start off the process of healing. You can find that you’re not alone, and with the right support groups, you can learn more about affairs, the feelings you have, and the steps to take next. However, I’ve found that after a while, the groups pull me back into the past and those feelings too much and make it very difficult to heal fully.
Decide what you want to deal with being cheated on
It’s time to focus on the future. While you may not have expected to find yourself where you are, it’s time to deal with the card that life dealt you. The good news is that focusing on the future is a great way to deal with what your ex did.
You want to decide what you want to gain in the future. For me, I decided that I was happy with life without someone in it. I was happy being single. I could get more done and do things for me, so that’s what I’ve focused on. My work, my friendships, and my life of travel have all improved and I’m happier for it all.
That doesn’t mean you’re wrong for wanting another relationship. If that’s something that you want in your future then go for it. You will need to work through the feelings of betrayal, and you will need to learn how to tell the difference between betrayal trauma and real red flags. But once you’ve decided that you want to move on in love, you can take steps to do that.
Avoid making decisions out of fear
Fear can rule our lives when we’ve been cheated on. There are all sorts of questions that come up, and we can start suffering from imposter syndrome. It’s important to recognize when fear is threatening to take over.
Look at why you’re making decisions. At first, I didn’t jump into dating out of fear that I would end up in another abusive relationship or be cheated on again. In the end, I also realized that I just wasn’t interested in a relationship, and that’s okay. However, if I was interested, fear could have held me back as I feared that another guy would be just like my ex.
There are also decisions in life that you can end up making due to fear. You may not go for the promotion at work because you have self-doubt, or you may decide not to share your story because you fear that people won’t believe you.
This takes time to work through. It’s important to have a good therapist to help you determine when decisions are made out of fear or because there are real concerns about them. You’ll soon find you’re happier when you stop letting fear control you.
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