Ways to heal after your partner has cheated

image If you or someone you care about has been cheated on, you know the pain and confusion that goes along with the experience. Although I’ve never experienced it personally, I’ve worked with and helped many who have. Feel free to use the following ideas to help yourself or someone you care about heal and recover.

If you are married or in a serious relationship and your partner has cheated on you – you are probably experiencing a great deal of pain, anger, confusion, frustration, and other negative feelings.

Whether or not you choose to stay in your relationship, it’s going to take some time and effort to heal. Remember, there’s no reason to go through this alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, or a counselor.

To get started on the healing process, try out some of these ideas.

1. Get out of the House. The worst thing you can do right now is isolate yourself. Take this opportunity to try something new, go somewhere you enjoy, and connect with people you haven’t talked to or seen in a while.

image 2. Write it Out. Expressing yourself when you’re overwhelmed with so many different emotions can be difficult. Take the pressure off yourself and write it out. Don’t edit yourself and don’t hold back. Write everything you’re feeling and thinking. You can choose to share this, or you can keep it private. The act of expressing your feeling, even if you keep it private, will provide an emotional relief.

3. New Hobby. Channel your pain into a new hobby. Find joy in an activity you’ve been meaning to do. Don’t have anything in mind? Consider some of the following:

  • Art
  • Crafts
  • Mail Postcards – go buy some fun postcards and mail them to your loved ones – let them know that you’re thinking of them
  • Volunteer – go for the Humane Society if you like animals or sign up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister (most communities have dozens of non-profit agencies looking for helpful volunteers)
  • Reading – especially if it’s been a while since you’ve picked up a book
  • Blogging – share your interests with the world
  • Music – create music (learn an instrument) or appreciate music (go to concerts, buy new music)
  • Photography
  • Movies – catch up on all those flicks you’ve been missing out on
  • Get Creative – there are hundreds of potential hobbies just waiting for you

4. Write a Song. Even if you don’t sing, write a song. It can be a happy song to cheer you up, or an angry song intended for your partner. Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to belt it out (for most people, best if done when you’re home alone).

5. Stop blaming yourself. You may not admit to people, but there may be moments when you blame yourself for your partner cheating. If you need to, make a poster that says, It’s Not Your Fault! And put it up where you will see it every day.

image 6. Two Letters to the Cheater. This is similar to writing it out. These letters don’t necessarily need to be delivered, but it can helpful to write. Why 2 letters? One letter needs to be as angry and as horrible as you can make it. Get every angry thought out of your system. The other needs to be a loving, forgiving letter. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to write such different letters. Whether you give them to your partner (or ex-partner at this point) is up to you.

7. Avoid a vengeance affair. While getting even (cheating on your partner) may make you feel better in the moment, it is not the solution to permanent healing or relationship improvement.  This is a huge choice and something you may regret for a long time so don’t go into it lightly.  Take your time deciding on whether or not this is going to be a good option for you.  Chances are it will do more harm than good.

8. Forgive. If you can start letting go of the pain and start forgiving, you will experience overall relief. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of strength. Holding onto bitterness and anger is much easier than letting it go. Forgiving doesn’t mean you have to forget. Forgiveness means accepting what happened, honoring the pain, and putting it away. Will you still feel pain? Yes. And just because you forgive the cheater doesn’t mean they get to come back into your life. Even if you never see the cheater again, it’s important to forgive. Let the pain go, and start welcoming more positive and loving energy back into your life.

9. Cry. Let it out. I mean, really, really let it out. A good cry (even for men!) can be physically exhausting, but letting it all out will relieve some of that tension and pressure that has been building up.image

10. Exercise. After you cry it out, it’s time to work it out – physically. However you like to exercise (and even if you don’t) – get active. The physical activity will help to balance adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones that your body is pumping out in this ultra-stressful time.

11. New Chapter. Despite the pain, this affair is opening a new chapter in your life. If you stay with your partner and work it out – it’s going to be an opportunity to improve your relationship. Yes, you are hurting and it may feel like the pain will never go away. But chances are that you were unhappy before this affair began. Recognize this as an opportunity to find your happiness as a couple. If you have decided to leave your partner, this is a very exciting new chapter in your life. Yes, you have financial worries and many other stressors. But guess what? You can do anything with your life now. You are not tied to your partner. If you have children, they get to have a new chapter too. A life where you are happy and you discover all your dreams you’ve been putting off.

12. Self care. What makes you feel better? The best thing you can do is identify what you need to do for self care. Some of the above ideas are exactly that – self-care. Some obvious ideas? Relaxing bath with candles (even for men!), meditation, listening to music, reading, cooking, walking, dancing. Like I always say – get creative!

13. Smile and Laugh. It’s hard to believe that anything could make you happy right now. Watch a funny movie, go to a comedy club, call up your best friend who always gives you the giggles, or play with children. Remind yourself that there is happiness in this word. And go get yourself some.

14. Limit Yourself
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Your first reaction to cope and deal with this stress may be to eat too much, drink too much or do drugs. This will never help you heal. If you need distraction at times, that’s fine. Choose a positive activity to distract yourself. This is your new chapter. Make it a good one.

 

If you have any other good ideas that have helped you or someone you know recover from being cheated on, please add a comment below to share them. Thank You!

4 Comments

  1. When your partner cheats on you and you discover what he is doing and with who, you can also threaten the person he/she is cheating you with of which your partner might not find it very good coz it is embarassing and might end up in an ugly situation. This is one way that can stop one from cheating on you.

    Reply
  2. Wow… this actually does help me realize that what I’m going through isn’t something out of “normal”. For the past week, since I found out my partner of 4 years had been cheating on me for most of our relationship with his best girl-friend, I have come to notice a sudden drop of my weight having to do with me not eating. My family & friends are worried b/c they think I purposely haven’t eaten, but it’s honestly b/c I simply have not thought about food and would much rather stay in bed.

    It’s weird, I know I shouldn’t be so sad since afterall, he cheated, yet I can’t help just breaking down in tears at times. Not until today, did I begin to wonder if it had been something I had done to push him to cheat.

    Though I’m still hurting, it does bring me somewhat of a relief to know that eventually I will move on in these steps and that there will be a day in which I won’t think about him and will actually ‘move on’.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Reply
  3. Thank you for this enlighting message. I never thought, I would have to experience such great pain and dispair. Like a lot of people, not saying I felt I was smarter than others. I never imagined I would have to, I had a great job, a loving partner, and foundation I was building. This was where I was wrong.

    This experince showed me how neglectful I truly was with her. She would tell me time and time again how she longed for me to be supportive and open up. I was oblivious to her needs for companionship. It would be not until, I started to see the signs of change, from the transition for the way she started to dress, and the new hair style, I thought it was all for my enjoyment, but it was actually for the other 2 men in the mix.

    Lastly, I noticed how the way she would speak to me as if I had no value, becuase in hindsite, she let go, and with use of infedelity as means to cushion the actual act of leaving. I have my relaity check on this past Saturday morning. The previous night, she would tell me she was going to celebrate a new job oppurtunity, a night with the girls she said, me being supportive, I did’nt question her intention’s becuase for what I thought she never goes out. Yet, I was clueless, becuase she was indeed doing so. When she would tell me she errands to do, she in fact was seeing these men.

    Honestly, it wasn’t the fact she was intimate with them, what hurt the most was she betrayed my trust. Everything, I thought to be wasn’t, and that truly hurt. With numerous questions, I would start to piece together what she said to in past conversation, with what I would learn from the guy in question. Because, I did’nt have a problem with them directly, however I knew if anything the truth would surface. This would serve a means for me to heal. The irrony though is she would become angry I found the truth, her charade was up, and she didn’t like that fact, I had foiled her plans. After many hours criing, and trying to figure out why we had gotten to this place called pain, we the truth would finally come out. I would then give it all to God to fix. In the end he would do just that. everything she tried to do underhandedly would self destruct, even the new oppurtunity she was rewarded with would be taken away. I can only assume that when that happen she finally understood the severity of the betrayal. She then would break down into my arms an ask for forgiveness from me. As I consiled her, I explained how we had been shown many favors from God. And becuase she chose to step away out of his favor that was given, he then took it away.

    We have now started the forgiveness part of our relationship, and recommited to each unconditionally

    Reply
  4. IT HAS BEEN FOR A YEAR AFTER MY HUSBAND CHEATED ON ME AND WE ARE ALSO IN A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP ..IT RUINED MY LIFE AND I CAN SEE NOW THAT WE ARE LOSING EACH OTHER. I DON’T KNOW IM STILL HURTING..BUT IM LOVING HIM SO MUCH NOT TO FORGIVE HIM.

    Reply

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