How to heal from being cheated on

It will be a slow process, but you will recover.

Harper's Bazaar India

Some love each other but aren’t together and then there are people who are together but don’t love each other. And amidst all this misplaced love, you find couples who are like two peas in a pod. 

It takes a lot of heart and courage to trust someone enough to show them your most vulnerable self. It takes courage to love someone like you’ve never been hurt. You give them full emotional investment and heal yourself at the same time. And if that person cheats on you, it feels like your heart has been shattered. 

There are so many thoughts in your head. It’s natural for your self-confidence to take a temporary hit because you start feeling you’re not good enough or you start gaslighting yourself into thinking it was you. Being cheated on makes you question everything that you thought was real in the relationship. Was the love genuine? Did they feel guilty when they were lying to you? Did they feel stuck with you? 

Losing a partner is not even the worst part about being cheated on; it is losing yourself and not knowing what was real. The worst part is knowing that you will have to heal yourself again, and this time, you don’t know how much it will take for you to trust again. You know it’s not your fault and yet, it’s your loss as you’re walking out with self-doubt and trust issues. 

While any break-up can be painful, being cheated on truly shakes you up. But no matter how difficult it feels right now, you will recover. You will move on from the hurt and feel whole again and know you are a catch! Begin your healing journey now.

Allow yourself to grieve

It's normal to feel a range of emotions—shock, anger, sadness, betrayal, or even guilt. Let yourself experience these emotions and understand it's part of the healing process. Your loved ones may try to rush your recovery because they hate seeing you like that, however, you must take your time and allow yourself to grieve at your own pace. 

Seek support

Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or a therapist who can provide a listening ear and guidance. Sharing your feelings with someone who cares can help alleviate the emotional burden and provide a fresh perspective. Also, know when you're ruminating and need to start seeing the more positive side of things. 

Take care of yourself

Focus on self-care and prioritise your physical and emotional well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, hobbies, meditation, or spending time in nature. Prioritise your sleep, eat healthily, and avoid using substances as a coping mechanism.

Allow time for healing

Healing takes time, and everyone's timeline is different. Be patient with yourself and understand that it's okay to feel a range of emotions even after a considerable period. Avoid rushing the process and allow yourself the space to heal at your own pace.

Set boundaries

Consider establishing clear boundaries with the person who cheated on you. This may include taking a break, reducing contact, or even ending the relationship if necessary. Boundaries help protect your emotional well-being and provide clarity as you navigate the healing process.

Seek professional help if needed

If you find it challenging to cope with the emotional fallout of being cheated on, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor who specialises in relationships or infidelity. They can provide guidance, support, and specific strategies tailored to your situation.

Practice self-reflection

Take time to reflect on the relationship and the factors that may have contributed to the infidelity. While the responsibility for the cheating lies with the person who cheated, self-reflection can help you gain insight into any patterns or areas for personal growth.

Forgive and let go (if you choose)

Forgiveness is a personal choice and not a requirement for healing. It's important to remember that forgiveness does not mean forgetting or condoning the behaviour, but rather freeing yourself from the emotional burden and resentment. If forgiveness feels right for you, it can contribute to your healing process.

Make your choice

If you choose to give your relationship another chance, make sure you do so for the right reasons and not because you are unable to let go. Don't let the stigma stop you from doing so. But think it through and have a serious talk with your partner. Figure if both of you will be able to move on and if you will be able to trust them again. Also, see if both of you can work through your issues and renew your relationship in an honest manner.