It sounds like some juicy story out of a trashy magazine, but sadly it wasn’t, it was my life.
My partner cheated on me with the local weather girl. And to add insult to injury, she was beautiful, talented, and on TV. Ouch.
How do you compete with that? You don’t, is the honest answer.
Luckily I didn’t have to. That’s what karma is for.
My world collapsed when I eventually found out what had been going on behind my back. If you have felt the pain of being cheated on, I’m sorry, I know how difficult it is.
But here’s the good news — if someone has done the dirty on you too, you can bring about karma for cheaters, although it might not be in the way you expect.
Read on to find out 8 wonderfully wicked ways to bring about karma for cheaters.
Does karma work for cheaters?
Although powerful, the concept of karma can sometimes be misunderstood.
So, before we dive deeper into how to harness the energy of karma when it comes to cheaters, it’s worth briefly explaining what exactly karma is.
A lot of the time when we say things like “Karma is a bitch”, what we usually mean is that when somebody has done something wrong they will get their comeuppance.
But karma is actually about our actions and not our fate.
It is essentially just the never-ending cycle of cause and effect. Aka — whenever you do anything in life, it has consequences.
Rather than the universe independently dishing out retribution, you have a lot more impact on karma than you might expect.
It’s not about doing “good” things so that you’ll be rewarded or avoiding doing “bad” things so that you don’t get punished.
Instead, as Lachlan Brown explains in Karma definition: Most people are wrong about the meaning:
“It means that the steps of your life, your spiritual development, and your personality are directly molded by your thoughts and actions. Present you affects future you.”
Understanding this is the key to approaching karma in the right way when it comes to dealing with a cheater in your life.
Do cheaters suffer? My ex karmically suffered after cheating on me, and chances are, yours will too.
If you’re suffering right now after being cheated on, I’m guessing there is one important question on your mind: Do cheaters feel guilty?
It’s natural to seek comfort in the knowledge that the person who has seemingly caused so much pain in your life, is at the very least, feeling the effects of their own actions just as much as you are.
Know that events always have a habit of catching up with you, no matter how long you manage to outrun them.
The person who cheated may not be going through exactly the same thing as you, but that doesn’t mean they won’t feel pain.
Karmically speaking, they must deal with the consequences of their cheating ways and how it impacts their life.
If you’re convinced these emotions are yet to catch up with a cheating ex of yours, you may have been left scratching your head wondering “Why do cheaters not get karma?”.
But remember that life is a very long game.
As frustrating as it can feel, everyone learns lessons and grows in their own time frame. But know that ultimately, nobody manages to escape the consequences of their actions for long.
When using the rules of karma towards my ex, I didn’t deliver karma into his life or dish anything out to him. I didn’t whisper voodoo spells to bring his downfall. I didn’t have to.
The consequences he created from his actions are his own karmic path.
Only he can create his own karma and I can only create mine.
So forget cutting up all of their clothes, forget publicly shaming them, forget screaming blue murder at them — focusing on your own karmic path is all the revenge you will ever need.
8 ways to use karma on a cheating ex
1) Shower yourself with love
When you’ve been cheated on, chances are you’re feeling pretty fragile (to put it mildly).
The irony is that when a relationship comes crashing down, we need all the love we can get, at just the time we can feel deprived of it.
Love, kindness, and tenderness are such important ingredients for generating positive karma in life.
Generally speaking, the more we feel these things, the more our actions also come from a good place within us — feeding this positive karma wheel.
I know it might sound totally cheesy, but now more than ever, it’s super important to remember that there is a source of this love within you already.
Go easy on yourself, and be patient as you take time to heal.
Do the things that make you feel better, whether that’s spending time with friends and family or watching your favourite comedy and binge eating pizza.
Allow yourself to feel whatever comes up for you, without judging yourself.
Remember to speak kindly to yourself too. Negative self-talk is a nasty little habit that most of us accidentally fall into.
In fact, according to the National Science Foundation, of the average 12,000 to 60,00 thoughts, we have a day, 80% are negative.
For months after I was cheated, every day I would journal reassuring things to myself. I would tell myself how proud I was of myself, how well I was doing, and how everything was going to be ok.
If it sounds a bit daft, I promise you it works. The best karmic consequence of creating this habit was long-term shifts in my mindset and self talk, which years later I still am benefiting from.
Be as loving towards yourself as you can, you deserve your care and attention.
2) Stay in your own lane
“I wonder what he is doing right now.”
This sneaky little thought would always send me down a rabbit hole that I knew I didn’t want to be in.
Here’s the thing I quickly learned — focusing on them will only bring you suffering.
Thoughts about what they are doing now or what they may do next can feel compulsive at times. But they are also incredibly unhelpful distractions on your own path of healing.
It’s also pointless, because we all already know that we only have control in life over ourselves — our words, our actions, and our feelings — and nobody else’s.
It’s difficult to focus on yourself and your mind will probably persistently try to bring your attention back onto them.
But imagining what they are getting up to will not impact them whatsoever, but it is going to bring a whole world of pain down on you.
If a cheating partner has now left your life, the brutal truth is that their life is actually none of your business now.
On the other hand, your own life is 100% all of your business — so it makes sense that’s where you should try to put your energy.
A simple little Polish proverb might help serve as a reminder whenever you feel tempted to get drawn into the drama again:
“Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
Use this as your mantra to help you stay in your own lane, rather than thinking about what might be going on in their life.
3) Choose to be the hero rather than the victim of your story
Blame is an insidious thing.
It might make us feel better for a while, but we often discover that every single moment where we choose to stew in it, takes us one step further into victimhood.
The problem with being a victim in your own life is that you are forever at the mercy of how others behave.
Your whole quality of life then balances on what they say, do, and how they whimsically decide to treat you.
But when you take full responsibility for absolutely everything you feel and think — even if at first you’re convinced someone else makes you feel that way — a wonderful thing starts to happen.
You realize that you are actually in control of your own mind, your own feelings, and your actions in life.
That doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel sad, have negative thoughts, or directly react to events and the people around you.
But it does mean that whenever you do, you can start to shift your mood and your emotions all by yourself — rather than waiting for anyone else to make you happy again.
Which is pretty awesome.
The catch is, rather than blaming someone else for how we feel, we have to decide to take ownership over our own emotions.
Of course, feeling terrible after being cheated on is totally natural and normal. We can’t just gloss over how we feel with “positive thinking”, and it’s a bad idea to even try.
But for me, realizing that my ex wasn’t actually making me suffer (I was doing it to myself) — that I do have a choice and I am in control — felt pretty liberating.
4) Look forwards not backwards
Replaying painful events over and over again on a loop is probably something that most of us will relate to.
Some studies suggest that we may even recall bad memories more easily and in greater detail than good ones for evolutionary reasons.
But let’s face it, whatever the reason, staying stuck in those unpleasant images and events from the past is a place none of us want to be.
That’s why a significant part of karmically moving on after being cheated on, is to actively try to look forward.
One of my favourite quotes by Henry David Thoreau beautifully sums up the necessity of this:
“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
It’s not like you can instantly banish all thoughts of what happened, but you can make a conscious decision to minimise indulging in unpleasant memories when they arise.
Like all mindfulness, awareness is the first simple place to start from.
Personally, I found healthy distraction was really helpful in putting this into practice.
When I noticed distressing thoughts come up, as soon as I realised, I tried to make the choice to stop them in their tracks and do something else — rather than follow them further down the path of suffering.
Looking forward also meant introducing new hobbies and interests, as well as starting to think about what I wanted for the future.
Change can be super scary, but it’s also exciting.
Shifting your focus onto positive changes you want to create for your future can be a good way to start to leave the past behind.
5) Let that shit go
Maybe you’ve heard the wise quote that:
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
It beautifully highlights the damage that resentment does to our own health and happiness.
Rather than karmically punish the other person, instead, bitterness only eats away at us — stealing our joy and peace of mind.
Sadly, it’s clearly not as easy as just saying to yourself “ok, I’m over it” and as if by magic dropping all the anger, rage, or sadness you might be feeling.
But I also believe that letting go is the constantly evolving process we all should be actively working towards whenever we feel wronged by someone.
You don’t have to be a Saint to do it. Because it’s not for them, it’s actually for you.
It’s so that you don’t have to carry the weight around your neck any longer, feeling it pulling you down. There always comes a time when we have to ‘Let go or be dragged.’
And if you need any more convincing, research has shown that forgiveness is linked to better mental health — with reduced anxiety and depression, fewer physical health symptoms, and even lower mortality rates.
Pretty compelling evidence for why we should all work towards forgiving, even though we may never forget.
6) Turn manure into fertilizer
Pain is valuable. Ok, admittedly pain also sucks — a lot — but it genuinely is useful to us.
Think about physical pain for example. It signals to us that something is wrong. You put your hand near the fire, it hurts, you don’t do that again.
Although that’s an oversimplification, emotional pain can serve us too. We learn, and we grow from it.
The unfortunate reality is that many of us actually learn more effectively from pain and suffering than we do from positive experiences in life.
In a strange way, pain actually helps us to feel pleasure.
I’ll admit that the heartbreak I felt after my ex cheated on me was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced.
But I can hand on heart say now, years later, it was actually the best thing that ever happened to me.
That’s because it was the catalyst for a totally new bold and adventurous life.
One that I’m not sure I would have found the courage to pursue if it weren’t for those fateful events.
Yes, what happened to you stinks, but you can use it to plant seeds that will eventually sprout and bloom…or you can just wallow in poop.
Which will you choose?
Turning inwards at times like this helps us to reflect on what we want next.
We can decide to work on our lives now, so that we can then enjoy the harvest in the better times that are to come.
This is what we mean by karma — we all reap what we sow in life.
7) Refuse to see life in black and white
The year after I split from my cheating ex, I sent him a letter thanking him for all the good times.
Now hear me out as I’m guessing you’re probably thinking “Is this girl insane? What a pushover”.
When someone you loved and trusted lets you down by cheating, you understandably start to question your entire relationship history.
Did they ever care? Was everything we had just a lie? If they really loved me, they couldn’t have done this to me, etc.
Your mind goes into overdrive and it usually isn’t long before you have destroyed every positive memory you ever had with them.
When you’re feeling sad, angry, frustrated and a whole mix of emotions, you may even relish breaking down the good times and unceremoniously throwing them away.
After all, that’s what they deserve, right?
The problem is that you are not throwing away their positive memories, you are throwing away yours, so that all you are left holding is bad.
But here’s the thing, there really is no such thing as one definitive “truth” in life.
In fact, most of what we tell ourselves is just a story based on our perception of very subjective events.
If everything in life is just a story, then surely we also get to choose the story we tell ourselves. Why wouldn’t we choose a story that serves us and helps to heal us?
If your instant response is “because it’s a lie”, without getting too philosophical, I’d argue that all of life to an extent is a bit of a fiction and a construct.
Story one: My ex is a selfish cheating rat who lies, betrays, and clearly never gave a damn about me.
Story two: My ex is a flawed human being (like all of us) who is capable of making mistakes. What happened between us is sad, but there were good times too. Even though I never wanted to experience this pain, I probably will still learn important life lessons from it.
Now, when faced with the option of these two stories, which one is more useful to you in the long run and, if you’re honest, which one is closer to the truth?
When we refuse to see life in black and white and decide to reside in the gray, the response from others can be quite surprising.
When we are fair and reasonable, it’s actually easier for others to also open their hearts and reflect more deeply within themselves.
When I wrote my letter to my ex, thanking him for the love he’d shown me over the years, despite how things ended — I got an outpouring of guilt and grief from him in return.
Isn’t that karma in action?
8) Live a fabulous life
They say that “success is the best revenge.”
That’s why when it comes to bringing about karma for cheaters, perhaps the ultimate revenge is just to move on and live your very best life.
This is far from being just a cliche, and I don’t say it flippantly.
I know that shifting from a place of heartbreak to feeling this way about your life again isn’t an easy ride and will take time.
Healing is a process, but when you consciously make the decision to start — brave new worlds are waiting for you on the other side.
Do all the things you’ve always wanted to do in life. Go to all the places you’ve always dreamt of. Be the person you’ve always wondered if you really could become.
This is the cherry on the cake, win-win karmic situation.
Because not only are you out there having a beautiful life — which is unlikely to go unnoticed by whoever did you wrong — the best part is, you probably won’t even care anymore whether they notice or not.
You’re too busy focusing on yourself and all that you have going on, to spend time thinking about him or her anymore.