Waking up to the realization that the castle you had been building up in your mind has been shattered to smithereens by the one person you chose to be with is earth-shattering. I’m no stranger to the transit feelings of hopelessness, doubt, anger, and pain, I’ve experienced it and lived it. So I can tell you with all assuredness that being cheated on changes you. These changes can go all the way to the foundation of your life’s values.
No doubt, coming to terms with what your partner has done and moving on from that relationship to a more healthy one is a skill you will be forced to master if you are to retain any shred of sanity or self-worth.
However, I’m not just here as the harbinger of bad news, I’ll show you all the ways being cheated on changes you. Why? Because if you have not yet experienced it, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. And if you have already, or are in the very midst of it, you can derive comfort from the knowledge that there is nothing wrong with the feelings you’re experiencing. Knowing this early enough can prepare you to move forward.
Thoughts like "how did I not see this coming?", "can I ever trust myself again?" would flood your mind. You might even start second-guessing yourself about business or investment opportunities you have been researching for months. Getting cheated on could make you feel like you did something wrong, or your not enough, which inadvertently affects your self-esteem.
You’d start rationalizing things; if you had been so wrong about something so personal and delicate as a relationship partner, how aren’t you wrong about every other thing. Your self-confidence has been bruised; now it is your responsibility to decide if that damage is irreparable or not. Your self worth shouldn’t take a dive because of this issue if not, the damage would be more long term, and it’s really not worth it.
Self-doubt is the worst, it affects your ability to move on, you will broach every potential love interest because your self-esteem has already been bruised by this act of infidelity. When you get cheated on, it’s possible to start feeling like it was your fault; you’re not pretty, kind, spontaneous, funny, or smart enough.
I know the feeling, and it’s a gutting thing to dwell on, if your partner cheats, it says a lot about his character and integrity and less about what you may have done or not been doing. That seed of self-deprecation which was sown when you trusted the one who should not have been trusted with your heart, will rear its ugly head every time you try to forge new ties unless you deliberately and purposefully deal with it.
Can’t help but suspect every guy that smiles at you? You almost want to scream "I was cheated by you!" because every guy now looks like the guy that cheated, and for some time, all men might look the same to you. It’s perfectly normal after being cheated on, you second guess every word any guy says.
No promise of love is worth the trouble of getting your trust tossed to the wind, unfortunately, you’ll never know until you take that fortuitous dive in. It’s in your best interest, however, to inform the next person you get into a relationship with, of how things went with the previous guy so he knows not to unwittingly give you a reason to doubt him or be suspicious.
To be left standing alone all by yourself hurts like hell and so you want to do everything in your power never to be in that position again. You had vowed never to be the one left with the door slammed against their face in a relationship again. The things that have happened, from the lying, to the cheating, could make you put your guard up and start having issues trusting other people.
Hence, when you begin to get the slightest sense that you are no longer valued, you pack up and head out the door. Better to be the first to leave than to be the one left in the cold draft, it becomes impulsive. You don’t search for the fact to corroborate your doubts, instead, you take matters into your own hands and leave at the slightest suspicion, does that sound familiar?
The other thing being cheated on does to you is the irrational suspicion of anybody you sense could be a threat. If she is pretty and she as much as smiles at him, your hackles rise. If he picks up the phone to answer a call and walks away from you, the voice in your head screams "This is it! It’s happening all over again!".
I am not going to tell you to deal with your paranoia or self-esteem issues, that’s something that is only dealt with over time by being chosen every day by your partner, or seeking professional help. Things can heighten when you decide to come back to a guy that cheated on you because now you might never believe him even though he actually changes.
Sometimes it’s really deep and pitiful how being cheated on changes you, you hold back bits of yourself, choosing to reveal it on a need-to-know basis, and only after he has proven himself trustworthy in your eyes. It’s only natural to tread carefully wants you’ve been cheated on before, you’re trying not to make the same mistakes so you don’t go through the hurt all over again.
Sometimes being extra careful works, but most times, it could be the reason the next relationship doesn’t work out.
You cannot judge one based on the actions of another, just as you cannot also take responsibility for the actions of another. You were cheated on by your partner, yes, but that’s on him and not you.
If indeed he was dissatisfied with certain aspects of your personality, the onus was on him to speak with you about it or even break things off. He chose to cheat instead, your future should not suffer for your past, don’t punish your current partner for the actions of your ex.
If you choose to remain in the relationship with the partner who cheated or you even move on with another, there is a very high chance that your subconscious will be playing the matching game with you. You will be on the lookout for scenarios that look remotely similar to the time you were being cheated on and this could make you lash out incorrectly at your partner.
If you chose to stay, be sure you can work through your doubts and insecurities. You should not keep holding the past against him, particularly if he is hell-bent on changing.
Trust is not nurtured, but the moment a partner is dishonest, trust shatters. Proceeding into future relationships with the proverbial ‘one leg in’ is a poor way to begin, but that is the aftereffect of having been cheated on. Future partners will have to work double-hard to earn your faith in them.
It starts by being deliberate, makes a conscious decision that your future, which is bright and promising should not suffer because of the selfish behavior of a past partner. The question that plagues most women, "am I not enough?" should be verbally answered and reinforced by a strong "yes!". Move on and allow yourself to receive love.
Truth is, no one ever has the assurance that they will not be cheated on. You can help yourself though by conducting due diligence on your potential partner. Everyone has a value system that guides every action they take. You may not get all the answers, but it’s a great place to start so you can trust.
There are often telltale signs but not always. It’s difficult for people to be perfect and equally committed to every interest in their lives. So if his attention begins to wane while you are together and you are sure it’s neither work nor family, you may want to explore other options.
Love is not a mathematical equation, there is no hard and fast rule to it. So yes, emotional affairs can quickly become amorous, personality types also determine if this happens or not. If he is clear about wanting just an affair, don’t try to excavate love from it.
Infidelity is heartbreaking but revealing, you’re lucky if you find out early enough and still have the time to retrace your steps. As hard as dealing with being cheated is, its more important to learn how to get over being cheated on, for the sake of your future relations, amorous or not.
I’d like to hear your stories, questions or comments so feel free to open up in the comment section and share this with that person you know needs to hear this.