Being cheated on can be the worst feeling ever.
I’ve been there, cheated on more than once, and it feels terrible.
It leaves you with low self-worth; it makes you mistrustful and feel unsafe; it can leave you feeling completely lost.
In this article, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about how to get over being cheated on multiple times.
15 things you need to know
1) Allow yourself to hurt
Giving ourselves permission to grieve is one of the keystone things any of us can do to heal. Allowing ourselves to feel every negative emotion, and to feel no shame for it, allows us to process them and then learn from them.
In other words, when you’ve been cheated on multiple times, allow yourself to hurt. It will help you heal and help you move on. It’s perhaps the most necessary step and often takes the longest.
2) Talk about it with a trusted friend
Working through our pain and trauma is extremely difficult to do alone. It’s really important that we talk about our feelings and our experience.
So if you’ve been cheated on, having a trusted friend to talk to about everything can really help.
Remember, though, the point isn’t just to bemoan and hate the person who cheated on you. Your negative feelings about him or her are assuredly valid, however, gaining insight and perspective involves more.
In other words, listen to the advice your trusted friend gives you, in addition to venting. It will help you grow and get over being cheated on multiple times.
3) This is a point of growth
As terrible as it feels, and as awful as this has messed up your life, endeavor to think about it as a point of growth.
What do I mean by that? Well, it’s important to not get stuck in life, or let things hold us back. In that way, then, being cheated on, especially multiple times, is a setback, not something that will hold you back.
To put it another way, this is something you can learn from. There’s always something to learn and grow from in every experience, be it positive or negative.
So try to think about the positive side, of course not ignoring or denying the negative, but realizing that from here you can move forward and flourish.
Here are many more ways to move on from a toxic relationship.
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4) Root out harmful thoughts
Negative and hateful thoughts will get you nowhere on your journey to getting over being cheated on multiple times.
Whether you have unfettered hate for your disloyal significant other or you internalize and blame yourself for all of it, these thoughts are harmful.
These thoughts will do the opposite of heal, in fact, they will hold you back and damage you even more.
Therefore, it’s important to be wary of this kind of destructive thinking. It’s important to embrace negative emotions and allow yourself to feel honest. However, no good can come from wallowing or hating or avoiding the fact that nothing will change what’s already happened.
5) Blame will get you nowhere
The blame game: everybody does it. We all fall prey to this trap.
That’s because of our innate sense of justice. We feel it necessary for someone to carry the burden, someone to fess up. Someone needs to be punished, right?
While understanding blame is important in a lot of settings, at the end of the day, the blame will get you nowhere.
In other words, it won’t help you heal.
In a lot of ways, blame is meaningless. It doesn’t matter who did what, because it happened.
So playing the blame game might help you feel better for a while, however, it won’t help you fully get over being cheated on multiple times.
On the other hand, though, it’s important to understand the roles both parties played in what happened. It’s easy to point the finger, but what role did you play in the whole thing?
Nobody is perfect, and cheating is a complex thing.
Just remember, blame is toxic and leaves you in a negative mental state.
6) Establish your self worth
There’s a lot to be said about why this isn’t the first time you’ve been cheated on.
Circumstances are different, for some it could be having been cheated on by the same person twice, for others it might be different people.
For me, it was the same person.
After the first time, I chose to stay with my significant other, thinking that maybe I was the one who needed to change. And I tried, of course. But it wasn’t that long until I found out that person was still cheating.
What I understand now is that I didn’t have a healthy sense of self-worth. I didn’t realize it then, but the way I viewed myself was really unhealthy.
I blamed myself and my own shortcomings, overlooking my significant other’s. Once I realized I needed to establish my own self-worth, I was able to begin growing, healing, and then leave that person.
There’s no way I can tell you what to do in your situation. What I can say is that establishing your own self-worth is absolutely vital to have a healthy relationship with anyone.
There are a lot of ways you can do that, but it starts with knowing what you’re okay with and what you’re not. It begins with respecting and going out of the way for yourself in the same way you would a close friend.
7) Create personal boundaries
This point is really important in the healing and growth process. Just saying that you have self-worth isn’t enough. It takes more.
What that means is creating personal boundaries. Understand your limits, what you’re okay with, how you desire to be treated, and so on.
From there, you can start to implement those boundaries in your day-to-day life.
For instance, if you’re not okay with how someone is treating you, vocalize it. Do things that make you feel worthy and respected. Don’t let anyone step on you or violate your boundaries.
This applies especially to your cheating significant other if you’re still with them.
On the flip side, having personal boundaries going into a new relationship will help you avoid being cheated on again.
Here are some great steps for setting personal boundaries that actually work.
8) Don’t get jaded with love
This one was hard for me, especially at first and for a long time right after being cheated on for the second time.
I couldn’t get out of my own head.
“Why bother falling in love with someone? What’s the point, it only leads to pain? It’s clear that I’m not enough for people, they have to find love in someone else. True love doesn’t exist.”
These kinds of thoughts would occupy my mind for weeks on end.
I was miserable. Especially as someone who’s a romantic at heart, who has the ability to love and care intensely. It was difficult for me and has been the same for you.
However, it’s important to not get jaded. It’s hard to fix that. I felt so damaged and scarred, and for so long; I shut myself out of feeling love. I had become disillusioned.
But I wasn’t doing myself any favors. Love is beautiful, encompassing, and always there. Try not to forget that as you heal.
9) Reconsider every aspect of your relationship
This point applies whether you’ve left your cheating partner or if you’re still with them.
Relationships aren’t complicated, but they’re often very complex. There are so many moving parts. Each person has such a unique story, has so many variable and ever-changing feelings, emotions, and needs.
When someone cheats, there could be any number of reasons. It could be one thing, or it could be a whole spectrum of things.
Take the time to reconsider every aspect of the relationship. Try to see it through a new lens, with a new perspective.
Endeavoring to step outside of yourself and the relationship in this regard can give you a lot of insight. In other words, it can help you grow, develop, and heal.
10) Talk to your partner about it
This point primarily applies if you’re still with your cheating partner.
The thing about communication is that it will almost always help. It will lead to a better understanding.
When the time is right, don’t be afraid to approach your cheating partner. Let them know beforehand that you want to talk about the incident but in the spirit of understanding.
You shouldn’t be looking for confession or an opportunity to let out your rage.
You want to hear their side, listen to them explain why they did what they did, what led up to the infidelity, and so on. You’ll both learn a lot, and bridge the gap.
The same can be true if you’ve already separated.
There might still be bad blood, there could be so many unanswered questions. If you haven’t made peace with what happened, talking to your partner can greatly help your journey to heal and move on.
Infidelity hinges upon a breach of trust more than it does on a specifiable type of act. This article highlights the signs of infidelity, whether it’s in a small way or big.
11) Understand why people really cheat
Why do people cheat? It’s a quandary that psychologists have wondered about for a long time.
There really is no cut and dry answer, as the reasons can vary greatly. However, there are common trends that psychologists have identified.
It could be for individual reasons: a shortcoming on the part of your significant other, a character trait.
Along a different line, it could be for relationship reasons: an unmet need, a lack of satisfaction, conflict, or a desire to “get back” at the other.
It could also be because of situational reasons: the relationship could be happy, the person loyal, but something about the environment leads to a compromising situation.
Really, though, external factors only play a part.
People cheat because there’s a disconnect with their inner self. There’s something deeper, a lack of respect. It could be that when your partner cheated on you, it had nothing to do with you at all.
No matter the reason, it’s important to try and understand why your partner cheated. It will help you come to terms with the situation and help you get over being cheated on multiple times.
12) Deploy empathy
This idea relates back to our discussion about the blame game.
When you blame someone, what you’re really doing is taking away your agency. No matter how you cut it, you’re allowing yourself to be a victim of their crime, and nothing else.
There’s no healing in thinking like that. To take back your agency and empower yourself to heal, you have to understand.
In other words, you have to deploy empathy. It can be hard, especially with hurt feelings and bad blood, but it’s worth the effort.
Anger and resentment are anchors that will hold you back and keep you from healing — from growing.
If you’re naturally an empathetic person, here’s a great article with tips to keep you from getting emotionally burnt out.
13) Try new things, meet new people
Breaking out of your regular routine and comfort zone will be instructive and a catalyst for growth. Meeting new people and trying new things will serve a twofold purpose.
Number one, it will get your mind off of the infidelity and your negative feelings. This will ease your pain and give you space from your grief, which will help you process.
Number two, it will introduce you to new people, help you make positive connections, and fill the empty space and time where your significant other used to be.
Replace that negative energy with new, positive energy.
14) Understand why this isn’t the first time
There’s a lot to be said about why this isn’t the first time you’ve been cheated on. Essentially, there are two scenarios where you fit into.
Either you’ve been cheated on twice by the same person, or you’ve been cheated on by different people. In both instances, it’s important to analyze your actions.
Now, that’s not to say you are to blame. However, here’s what it might say about you:
If it’s the same person, re-evaluate your personal boundaries. Why are you still sticking around with a person who clearly doesn’t respect your relationship?
If it’s between different people, double-check your relationship habits.
If you know the reason they cheated, was it the same between relationships? It could be that there’s a need you’re not filling consistently, no matter the relationship.
Again, not to say you’re to blame, but that doesn’t mean you don’t play a factor. Being honest with yourself will help you grow and heal.
15) Consider a counselor
At the end of the day, there’s only so much that you can do yourself. Talking with a trusted friend can help, but there’s always the possibility of using a counselor.
If you feel exceptionally damaged by your partner’s actions, or if you feel like you’re just not getting better, it might be good to talk to a professional about it. They can talk you through your emotions, and give you the tools you need to heal.
If you’re looking to keep the relationship alive, couple’s therapy can do wonders.
You’ll be able to talk about the event, your relationship, and each other’s feelings in a safe place, a place where you can meet in the middle.
Deciding if it’s time to move on
There’s no way I could tell you whether or not you should move on after your significant other has cheated on you.
Each situation, each relationship, and each person is vastly different from the next. Only you can know whether or not it’s shrewd to stay with someone who has been unfaithful to you.
But remember this: make sure to value yourself and establish your self-worth.
Put yourself and your mental health before anything else. Make sure you set your personal boundaries and stick to them. No matter your decision
Moving forward, you’ll be able to live a balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life full of growth and enriching relationships.