The amount of relationships that end in infidelity is quite high and the rehabilitation is the worst part.
The Way I See It
Grappling With Forgiveness
You have an agreement when you are in a committed relationship, once you let someone else in, you have voided that agreement.
That being side, people make mistakes, and relationships can be saved post cheating but both parties have to want to make it work and want things to be different. Seeking guidance from a professional is imperative to repair the relationship.
It’s Not Your Fault
The Other Women Hasn’t Won
Things Will Get Better
Finding out about infidelity is always heart-wrenching. Everything my ex had ever told me was a lie. I remember when I initially prompted the breakup, he told me he was going to take the time to work on himself so that he didn’t do the things he used to do to me anymore. That he wanted to be better. It was all bulls*t. It was so effortless for him to lie to me directly to my face.
I think it is an important reminder for women that we invest time in someone and patiently wait for them to fully give us what we need. Knowing when it is time to walk away is something all women need to learn, especially because you will never get that time back. Do you remember that movie, He’s Just Not That Into You? I thought I was dating Ben Affleck’s character when in reality I was dating Bradley Cooper’s character.
My ex never made me a priority, he had so many excuses and he was not willing to change. Sometimes when you walk away, you are closer to getting what you want than when you stay and hope things will change. If he values and appreciates you then he will treat you the way you deserve to be treated.
What has really helped me is how accepting people are, I may have gotten a little crazy but with breakups, you get a Crazytown Hall Pass. Finding a friend to confide in and to just listen to me vent and be supportive and understanding and gentle has been instrumental in pushing past my experience. The best reminder is that you can’t dwell on other people’s behavior. I can only focus on how they have affected me and how I can cope with them and learn and grow.
Take that Energy and Direct it Elsewhere
All the women that I know that have been cheated on, are smart, independent, beautiful powerful women who were wasting all their energy on their partners. Take that energy and redirect it back into yourself. The minute I started to put myself first I felt so much better.
Reading has also been a good outlet for me, almost like a form of self-care. I really wanted to understand my emotions and work through them, so I don’t continue to make the same mistakes and let the wrong people into my life again.
Acceptance was a hard one for me. It took a while to feel real. Every time I would go on a bad date, it made me angry at my ex. I would just think about the bond we had and how comfortable our relationship was, and how I was wasting another evening smiling and nodding with Mr.Not Right For Me. I think this is just a case of the grass is always being greener. A true connection will come and I would rather wait for someone that is willing to fully commit to me than someone who has their foot halfway out the door.
Building Real Relationships
Talking about my experience has brought me closer to so many people. It is nice knowing this too will pass. Everyone has obstacles that they need to overcome and sharing vulnerable moments is a way to form meaningful connections with people. When I share a major hurt in my life, there is always someone who can relate to it, or has been through a similar hardship; I now have this yearning for only authentic relationships and I shy away from surface conversations. The connections in my life are more meaningful and fulfilling now. There are so many new people I have invited into my life that have added way more value to my life than my relationship ever did. I have grown so much as a person and I have discovered a new level of comfort with who I am.
I had a hard time understanding someone that would be capable of cheating, it just seemed so foreign to me, and since I didn’t understand it I took a lot of ownership. It wasn’t until I read some articles on infidelity, that it really helped me have a clearer line of sight into cheating, and how it had more to do with what was going on with him not me. These are the articles that I thought were very helpful for me to have a greater understanding:
Medium – Once a Cheater Always a Cheater
Huffington Post – 6 Ways to Find Love After Being Cheated On
PS-I Love You – What My Years as the Other Woman Taught Me About Cheating
I really wanted this article to be more about me processing my feelings and what I did with them, rather than bashing my ex. We all struggle with self-worth and the self-talk that goes through our heads after a breakup. I know my imagination is my own worst enemy, so I found it helpful to hear time and time again that it is not my fault. Never take responsibility for other people’s actions and never feel you need to be responsible for someone else’s happiness.
At the end of the day, just don’t get stuck and give yourself time to heal. I know as time went on, it doesn’t sting as much and I have fully embraced that everything happens for a reason and he is not the one for me.