How to console someone who got cheated on: 12 important tips

Cheating is devastating for all parties involved.

For the person who got cheated on, the reality of infidelity is a betrayal that can feel like the world crumbled underneath them. They may not want to believe it, but the pain will sink in eventually.

So here are important tips to help them cope with this difficult situation, recover, and heal. The following 12 tips will show you how to console someone who got cheated on:

1) Don’t lecture them

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Consoling someone who got cheated on can be challenging.

They may have questions and they need you to help them find the answers. The last thing they may want to hear is your well-meaning opinion on their character, or their relationship choices.

Banish any judgmental thoughts from your mind and listen to what they have to say about the situation. Your main job is to be a listening ear and an emotional support.

You don’t need to tell them that they’re wrong, or that their partner is a bad person. They don’t want to hear it, and you shouldn’t point out flaws in them because they will just be further upset by thinking how insensitive you are being.

Instead, listen to their concerns and genuinely try to help them. Doing this will help them feel like you care about them and that there are people who understand what they are going through.

2) Try to stop the blaming

Blame can be a powerful motivator, but it’s important not to focus too much on who is at fault.

A person who got cheated on may have done things that they regretted and it can be very tempting to think that if only they had gone through with an action that all would have been well.

However, this attitude rarely brings closure and usually just makes the situation worse.

Instead, focus on the fact that they have been betrayed and the emotional toll this has taken on them. Help them to realize that they are not at fault.

You see, when they keep on blaming themselves, it can make it difficult for them to move on and heal. As a result, you should focus on the fact that they are the victim here, and that they need to be loved and supported through this time.

Now when they blame their partner, the person who cheated, try to focus on the emotional pain they have experienced, and not the actions they may have taken to get there. Acknowledge that what happened is unfair, but that their partner is at fault, not them.

3) Help them understand why cheaters do what they do

It may not seem like it at first, but understanding why cheaters cheat can be helpful. While it won’t bring the pain they are suffering any relief, it might help them to distance themselves from the situation.

Of course, this will be up to them and not you.

It may be tempting for you to want to explain why their partner cheated, but don’t do this without their consent! This can often lead to a back and forth argument where they blame their partner or them blaming themselves.

Cheaters cheat because they are unable to deal with their relationship problems. They can’t communicate, they don’t want to deal with the arguments and they find it easier to stay in an unhappy relationship rather than face the world alone.

Be careful when you broach this delicate subject though. As I mentioned, if they don’t want to hear it then talking about it could push them away and make them feel like their situation is hopeless.

This isn’t productive and is likely just going to upset them further. You can try to keep the conversation positive, and focus on the positive aspects of their relationship and its ending.

Talking about the good things they have in their lives will help them to focus on what they do have rather than what they don’t.

4) Be a source of support

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When comforting someone who got cheated on, be sure to show them that you are there for them no matter what happens.

They are likely to feel lost and alone in this situation, so try to let them know that you care about them and will provide whatever emotional support they need. While you may not be able to reach out to them often, check in with them in various ways throughout the week, or even month.

Show your compassion by giving them space and time if they ask for it, yet letting them know that you are still available to talk if they need it.

Regularly ask how they are feeling and if there is anything you can do to help. If they don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings, let them know that you understand and you would be happy to listen to them if they choose to confide in you.

Over time, this will help them learn how to open up and share their feelings with you. If they still aren’t ready, don’t pressure them or push them into it.

5) Acknowledge how they are feeling

Don’t downplay the hurt they are feeling. Instead, let them know that you understand how painful it is.

It can be helpful to focus on the physical pain they may be experiencing since it helps to quantify the situation in a way they can understand.

Explain that their body is signaling to them that something terrible has happened, and that this pain can be eased by reaching out to other people and letting them know how they are feeling.

This is why it is so important to stay in contact with them and regularly check in to see how they are. But it’s important to remember that this support doesn’t need to be in the form of advice.

Confronting them with their concerns can be a lot to take in and they should still have the choice of whether or not they want to hear what you have to say. There will be plenty of time for them to discuss all these things later when they are ready.

Just let them know that you are there for them no matter what happens, and that whatever happens, it will probably take some time for everything to sink in.

Ignoring their pain or pushing them away will only make this time more difficult for them.

6) Know when to give space

It’s important to know when to give space and let them do what they need to do alone.

If their partner has cheated on them, chances are they have been betrayed by someone they trusted deeply. This is likely to be a very emotional time for them and they might need to lessen the amount of contact they have with you so they can go through the various stages of dealing with this.

Let me remind you that it can be helpful to talk about how the body deals with stressful situations and how letting others know how you are feeling can help them heal.

It can also be helpful for them to spend time alone thinking about what happened and what their partner did – so you may want to stop trying to reach out to them all the time.

If you want to talk or touch them, do so when they are ready.

This isn’t because they aren’t grieving their partner or because they are being cold to you. It’s an important part of their healing process that they need in order to move on.

7) Bring their comfort food (or drinks)

The person who got cheated on would feel staying indoors like in their house or room since they don’t feel comfortable going out in public. When you bring food or drink to cheer them up, it’s a sign that you are thinking about them.

It might help to bring them their favorite meal or snack, or favorite drink.

This food or drink is may a big help for them to get through this emotionally draining time, so put some effort into planning it out and making sure you have time to do this regularly.

Coffee, tea, wine or any other type of alcohol is great for cheering people up since it reduces the feeling of sadness and helps relieve the physical pain they are experiencing.

However their partner cheated on them, it can be helpful to remind them that their feelings won’t change overnight. So it’s a must to remind them not to skip meals and to eat nutritious foods, because it’s important to take care of the body.

8) Wait until they are ready

Sometimes, we think that everyone is going to be upset by a particular thing and it will hurt them.

In reality, most people aren’t going to instantly fall apart over this type of stuff. They might worry about how things will go when their partner ends up cheating on them, but just because they are worried doesn’t mean they are always going to feel this way.

Even if you think that some people will be upset, start reminding them how it’s probably not going to be this way for most people.

Also, remind them that the first step to healing is talking about how they are feeling and coming to terms with what has happened. Being open about it and naming it helps them begin a process of accepting things as they are.

Talking about their feelings will also help them understand what this means for the future and their ability to trust other people in the future.

Let them take their time, and believe that they are strong and that they can overcome this situation.

9) Ask them what they would like you to do

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It can be hard to know how to deal with a situation like this.

For those who are sad, angry or a bit down, there will be times when they will be pretty unmotivated to do things.

There is nothing wrong with this at all, since it is completely normal for them to not feel like doing much and be in a fairly low mood at this time.

They might also worry about telling their friends that their partner cheated on them.

In cases like this, it can be helpful to ask them what they want you to do and where they feel it will help them heal.

Maybe they would rather have other people help them through this time without having to talk about it since this can be difficult.

Just ask what they feel is the best thing for them at the moment and do whatever it is that will make them feel better.

10) Help them find a new way to cope

It can help to see if there are any activities or hobbies that they enjoy.

If you have done something similar to this before, there is a chance that you may know of things that might help.

Maybe their partner cheated on them, but this doesn’t mean it’s going to make them feel worse at their job. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for the other.

They may find learning a new skill or language, going out for the weekend or even doing yoga new ways to cope with the situation – especially if they feel like something is missing in their life.

After all, there is nothing wrong with them pursuing a new hobby to help them get over their failed relationship.

Whatever it is that makes them feel better, do it regularly. This will help them to move forward with their life and start rebuilding their relationship with their partner.

11) Avoid telling them what to do

Everyone has different ways of dealing with things. While this is something that you may want to do, it’s important to remember that they are going to handle this in their own way.

While they might be sad or angry right now, they might not be ready for this step in the process.

In cases like this, it can be helpful to have them talk about what they are feeling first before making any conclusions about what you should do as a friend.

You can do something else and just let them know that you have different plans, but this might make them feel better than if you try to impose your own ideas on the situation.

But don’t lie about your feelings – when you are friends with someone for a long time, it’s normal to share a lot of secrets with them. Sometimes, the person who was the victim of their partner’s infidelity will question if they can trust their friends. This is normal and part of the grieving process.

This can make it difficult to know what to say and when to say it since you don’t want to do or say anything that might trigger more pain or hurt them. If you are a close friend, you might need to be honest with your feelings and what this means for the future.

Remember that they might ask how you feel. This helps them to understand what this means for their own relationship.

12) Don’t skip practicalities

A person who got cheated on may not want to talk, but they still need to eat, sleep and do life. It’s important to let them know that you are on their side and that you’re there for them.

Offer to help them with practical things, like grocery shopping, meals, or laundry.

They may ask you to play the role of their primary caretaker for a short time and it’s important not to decline this. Cheating is a very difficult situation for everyone involved and by affording them some time with your love and support, you’ll be doing them a favor.

It can help them feel special that you are so compassionate towards them in an otherwise messy situation. You can also help them with other practicalities like paying bills or organizing their finances, as this can help them feel more in control of their situation.

When you offer to do these things for them, it’s important that you don’t make it about you. Helping someone who got cheated on is about helping them to feel supported and cared for, not about making yourself look like a better person.

Final words

One of the most important things that you can do when you’re friends with a victim of a cheating spouse is to listen. Show that you care about them and that they are still valued in your life.

Don’t try to make them feel better in their own way, instead just offer support and encouragement.

It’s important to put aside your own opinions and help them cope with this difficult situation as gently as possible so they will heal from it as quickly as possible.

This process can take time. Make sure that they understand that you are there for them.

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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