One moment I was enjoying a vacation getaway along the Mendocino County Coast with the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. The next moment I was shredding our pictures, packing my bags, and starting a new life all on my own. My ex, who had just come home from a week-long training for work, professed his love for another co-worker, and ended our seven-year long relationship. Shocked and betrayed, I had no idea what to do next. After he cheats, what should you do?broken heart
Take the High Road
After I found out he cheated on me, I yelled and threatened to tell everyone. “Wait until I tell your mamma what you did to me!” And, “I’m going on FB to let everyone know youre a cheater and a loser!” Even worse, “I’m going to tell that whore’s fiancé she cheated on him!” I was so upset that I couldn’t even control what was coming out of my mouth.
But at the end of the day, I did not tell his mamma what he did to me. I went on FB, changed my relationship status, and cryptically wrote, “No matter how much you love someone, you can’t make that person love you.” I didn’t even bother to contact the girl he cheated on me with, much less her fiancé. I wanted to look back on the experience and know that I was the bigger person, and no matter what he did to me, I wasn’t ever going to stoop down to his deceitful level.
Some friends told me I had every right to take revenge, conjuring images of Carrie Underwood’s, “Before He Cheats.” One friend suggested I take his work e-mail and register it to every porn site on the web. Another encouraged me to post what a lying cheating scum he was on websites like liarscheatersrus.com. While I understood why some women would do that, and would never judge anyone who did, I just could not get myself to do it. I was convinced that if I didn’t take the high road, Karma would somehow get back at me.
What kind of man cheats on his girlfriend and demands that she leave their home together? Well, the man that I spent seven years of my life with. At first I wanted to stay in our apartment. It was the last semblance of the life we had, and the home we had built together. I clung to it, and wasn’t ready to let it go. But everywhere I turned, every piece of furniture, and object in the apartment reminded me of the life that I lost, and the betrayal that he committed. I packed my belongings, taking as little as I could. I left most items that reminded me of him.
For most women, this option is not available or even financially sound due to shared ownership of a home or children together. But for me it just made sense to leave. It helped me to move on, taking the next step in my life. I wasn’t saddled with the objects that reminded me of him, and I was able to accumulate my own belongings that weren’t tarnished with his memory.
Talk to your Friends and Family
You think after your significant other cheats on you, you are alone in your misery, and that nobody could possibly understand the pain that you are feeling. But you are wrong. You are not alone. I reached out to my friends and loved ones, and inevitably they had their own story of being betrayed and cheated on. Hearing my friend’s stories of betrayal gave me hope because I saw that they were able to move on, and that life does go on despite the pain caused. My best friend from high school shared her own story of betrayal, and then her own story of triumph when she married her husband. Others talked about the pain caused when someone they loved cheated, and then meeting the love of their life soon thereafter. Everybody said, “Everything happens for a reason.” It became my life’s mantra. Everything does happen for a reason.
Concentrate on the Positive
After he cheated, friends and family told me that my ex was a loser, that he never was worth it, and that everybody hated him any way. Although it came from a good place, I found that these statements only hurt more than helped. After all, I chose to be with him for seven years. After awhile, I chose to concentrate on the positives of our relationship, rather than the negative. It was better to characterize the past seven years as a learning experience, rather than a seven year mistake.
Share Your Story
I scoured the internet after my ex cheated on me, trying to feel like I wasn’t alone in my pain. I am sharing my story now to let you know you are not alone. Life goes on, and I have never been happier. I have found someone who truly deserves me, and you will too. By sharing my story, I hope in the future, you can help your friends and loved ones with your own.
For tips on how to survive the first week after a break up, please read Surviving the First Week After a Break Up