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My girlfriend cheated on me. What should I do?
I hear you. Let’s begin our session.
If you have a cheating ex, then you already know first-hand what betrayal feels like.
Let me show you how to get over it.
Getting over a cheating girlfriend requires you to carve a little alone time with yourself in order to do some self-analysis. There are no easy steps here, but there is a clear process you can follow. You will naturally feel hurt and betrayed, but you have to accept that your ex and her actions are not something you control. She made a decision, rightly or wrongly, but independently of you.
Let’s start there.
I get it: you’re broke as a broken man can be. Then you’re angry – very angry. You’ve been deceived, after all. How could she have done this to you?
But I need you to put your feelings aside, completely, and step into a quiet room in your mind so we can conduct this session.
Let’s do this.
Dealing with an unfaithful girlfriend or wife requires taking a little time out and organizing your mind. In essence, you must deal with yourself before you can start dealing with the cheater.
Many men struggle to handle this properly simply because they miss the first step in the process. Take the first step in, and everything else falls into place.
Trust me on this.
- 1 The first step in dealing with a cheating girlfriend
- 2 What should I do if my girlfriend cheated on me? Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating? If so, how do you fix it?
- 3 Introspection: the first step in the process of moving on
- 4 My girlfriend cheated on me, now what?
- 5 How do I forget my girlfriend who cheated on me?
- 6 My girlfriend cheated on me. Should I take her back? Can a relationship get back to normal after someone cheated?
- 7 My ex cheated on me and left me but I still love her
- 8 How should I react if she cheats?
- 9 My wife cheated on me. I don’t know what to do?
- 10 My ex girlfriend cheated on me after 5 years. Should I forgive her?
- 11 Conclusion
The first step in dealing with a cheating girlfriend
Decide what it is that you want to gain from this experience. As weird as this sounds, all your grieving must come to an end and there must be a conclusion.
What is the outcome you want?
Right now, clarity is the last thing on your mind. As a result of your girlfriend cheating on you, you’re probably struggling with other things, like:
- low self-esteem
- trust issues
This is where your mind’s resources are allocated right now. So I need you to first become aware of this fact, and then purposely refocus your mind to the question at hand: how do you deal with your cheating partner?
The fact is that most men get stuck here because they don’t delve deep enough in their minds to see what the real question they’re asking is.
And it’s usually something like this:
What should I do if my girlfriend cheated on me? Can a relationship go back to normal after cheating? If so, how do you fix it?
You need to face yourself and figure out what it is you’re asking.
- Do you want your cheating girlfriend back?
- Do you want to get over your cheating girlfriend?
Your success depends on you getting clear on this point, because whatever you decide will determine the process you need to follow.
If you decide that you want your ex back, or that you want to try to salvage the relationship, then dealing with her will be very different than if you decided to break up with her.
If you do decide to get your relationship back on track, despite her cheating on you, then realise that you may have some demons to battle. Realise that you may experience trust issues and you may actually never quite get over what she did.
Worse, you may start to build resentment over time.
You know yourself better than anybody else. You know whether you are emotionally mature enough to take a hit like this, or not. If you’re not, then you owe it to yourself to remove yourself from this relationship.
If, on the other hand, you decide to dump your cheating ex, then let’s move on.
Introspection: the first step in the process of moving on
Here’s where things get uncomfortable. Find a quiet spot, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I – at some level – the reason my girlfriend cheated on me?
- Did I simply make a bad choice when it came to choosing a girlfriend?
- Did I influence the course of events in any way? Why? How?
- What do I need to learn from this experience in order to prevent this from happening again?
If your relationship took a hit recently, then dealing with these questions may be the last thing you want to do. But it’s crucial that you do. Just remember: take yourself to a quiet corner in your mind and forget about everything else. Especially, forget about your ex.
Notice that the questions are not about your ex; they are about you. Moreover, they almost feel like the blame is being placed on you! Doesn’t it?
Well, now that I have you in this corner, let me ask you: could you have been doing something that, ultimately, drove her away and caused her to cheat?
This is not the type of questioning that most people like to face. They prefer to place blame on everybody but themselves. But the reality is that most times, people act or react to something. If a stranger swears at you, you may react angrily and punch him. Out of context, the story is that you punched a stranger. But when you look deeper, it turns out you were reacting to how the stranger made you feel.
Get my point?
You may have been a nightmare to live with.
That said, the point of this exercise is not to make yourself feel bad, or even to take the blame. In reality, you can only be responsible for 50% of things. Your ex made a decision, whether it was driven by you or not, and she has to take responsibility for that.
The real point of this questioning is to understand yourself better and learn from your misgivings, so that it doesn’t happen again in your next relationship.
If you do find that you could have been a better partner, then you’ll need some time to come to terms with that, and a process to deal with it.
Now let’s continue, but let’s refocus our attention on your ex partner.
How long were you together with your girlfriend?
Think about all that time, and consider this:
Every day you spent with your ex was a waste of time, since your relationship or your marriage broke down in the end. That time would have been better spent doing your own thing or being with someone else.
Now, that’s not quite how life works, but I’m leading up to this point:
Aren’t you glad that you know your girlfriend cheated? That means you can move on and stop wasting another minute of your life on that person.
I’m not oversimplifying things here, and we both know that there is work to be done to recover from this, but nonetheless, you have to agree that, once the cat is out of the bag and you knew she was a cheat, there is no point in wasting your precious time on that person.
Right now, in this moment, it no longer matters if she cheats or not, because she’s not your girlfriend anymore. So stop thinking about her because each day that you spend in sorrow is another day wasted. Arm yourself with the knowledge that you need to get over her and then start dating in search for your new relationship.
Now that you’ve come this far, let me share with you the questions I see asked around, and let me demonstrate how you now have more awareness than you did before our session:
My girlfriend cheated on me, now what?
This question shows that the person asking has (or thinks he has) zero control over his thoughts and actions. Asking somebody else to make this decision is a way to avoid taking responsibility for himself. How long do you think he’ll last in the real world?
How do I forget my girlfriend who cheated on me?
Hmm, you can’t. Unless you get a lobotomy or something goes wrong with your mind. life is not about forgetting, it’s about learning and becoming mature enough to accept things and move on.
My girlfriend cheated on me. Should I take her back? Can a relationship get back to normal after someone cheated?
Well, it’s up to you, but nope, of course it can’t get back to ‘normal’. A relationship may survive, but it will take a huge compromise, and that’s not the quite same as no longer caring, unless there is an underlying reason for this, such as a person who feels they are not good enough and they don’t deserve better, which is not emotionally healthy.
Whenever anybody asks me should I stay with my girlfriend if she cheated on me, I always say no, I wouldn’t.
My ex cheated on me and left me but I still love her
Then she did your job for you. Now you can move on. As for loving her, you may be confusing missing her company with ‘love’. If not, you need to really man up to this and stop acting like a doormat. The fact is that nobody deserves to be treated like that, so get yourself an upgrade.
How should I react if she cheats?
The fact that this person needs to ask this tells me that he is unsure of how he feels. If you feel angry about something, you don’t need somebody else to tell you how to feel.
The good news is that this can also mean there wasn’t too strong an attachment to his ex. In this case, moving on should be that much easier.
But let’s look at how others tend to react and see what we can learn…
Most men are likely to experience a myriad of feelings, at least at first, ranging from anger to denial to downright depression. Each state brings with it a set of related behaviours and tendencies or thoughts. For instance, during the anger stage you may feel drawn toward things like:
- getting revenge on your ex girlfriend
- getting even with your ex wife
- teaching your ex girlfriend or ex wife a lesson
These are all negative behaviours, of course, and they normally come second to more violent thoughts such as punching an object (or a person) or doing something that releases physical tension.
Exercise – especially weight lifting – at a time like this can go a long way to making you feel good by exerting energy. All that anger can be harnessed to push iron and, hey, you may end up with a better physique.
Now let’s see what tends to happen later down the line…
After the more intense feelings pass, what’s left is usually anger, sorrow, or feeling sorry for oneself.
Some may feel like taking some act of revenge.
If this is you, consider first, what’s in it for you. Will it make you feel better? Maybe in the short term, but highly unlikely beyond that.
Consider also this question: does it really matter? This is a hard question to accept, but seriously, does it really matter? If you get even with your ex, does it change anything? Will you feel better about what she did?
The answer is always ‘no’. If anything, by hanging on to the anger, by wanting to get even with your ex, you’re prolonging the very same feelings you’re trying to rid yourself from (it’s a great irony).
So forget revenge. It’s not mature, nor cool, and it won’t make you into a better man.
My wife cheated on me. I don’t know what to do?
Things can get more complicated with the relationship is (or was) a marriage. But still, it needs to be dealt with in the same way, because at the end of the day, it’s about you and your life.
Now, I don’t do movie reviews, but I once watched Notes on a Scandal and I thought the sub-plot of the story-line deserves a mention here, if only for the education value.
The story is about a cheating spouse. Before the woman decided to cheat on her husband, she was working as an art teacher at a school. She lead a pretty average married life and used her circumstances to justify (to herself) committing adultery.
The interesting thing to watch is how the story unfolds from the point she makes a decision to cheat. Her life becomes a mess and her family is torn apart.
When you look back, the outcome (the cost) of the temporary pleasure gained by the affair really outweighs any benefit. The mounting stress alone is not worth it.
The whole point here is to illustrate that the adulteress had the choice all along, and she chose the option that she knew was bad. She says something like: “it felt naughty, and naughty can feel erotic.”
Her reason for cheating on her husband is, I would say, a pretty common one.
But the thing to keep in mind here is that she was fully aware that she was making a bad decision, and still went ahead with it. Which points to her character more than anything. It wasn’t even a snap decision – she chewed over it and looked for the first opportunity to take – using an instance of her family life to justify leaving the home and initiating the affair.
Take that on board. If your wife cheats on you, then you really only have 2 choices: you stay in the marriage, or you don’t. I get it that there may be children, finances and assets involved, but your life is the most precious asset you have.
Think of that.
My ex girlfriend cheated on me after 5 years. Should I forgive her?
In this instance, the person asking the question added:
“I’m 25 and my girlfriend of 5 years goes and calls me today and tells me she has cheated on me and she’s leaving me. That’s it. She just hung up on me! Now she won’t answer my calls and she won’t tell me why. I need to know so I can move on”.
Here’s my answer:
In most cases, closure is good. As people, we like closure because it allows us to tie loose ends neatly in our minds, no matter how unpleasant they are. Having the facts of why your girlfriend cheated on you allows you to do several things, including:
- understand why your girlfriend cheated on you after so many years together
- blame your girlfriend for cheating on you (although this can be a denial of your own shortcomings)
- learn from previous mistakes, so that you don’t end up in the same situation again
Sadly, we don’t always get closure, and this often creates a great deal of stress and much wasted time by turning things over in your mind, trying to figure out the reason why she cheated on you in the first place. Thus, we must always be prepared to go on without knowing the real reason or the full facts about the affair.
Now here’s the good news: think of closure as a concept, nothing else. It’s just a way of doing things… but it’s not the ONLY way to do things.
Instead of focusing on not having the facts, be grateful that you know your ex girlfriend cheated on you.
Think instead if you got to find out about the cheating in a few years’ time. Wouldn’t that be worse? How much older would you be? How much time, money, effort may you have put into the relationship in all that time? Not to mention love and commitments…
And what if you had proposed? And she had accepted? All those things would have come tumbling down like a house of cards when you found out about the cheating.
Wouldn’t that be a kicker? Wouldn’t that hurt? Wouldn’t that be a complete waste of your time – of years that you can never get back?
You can see that, despite how bad things seem right now, there is a lot to be glad about. Whether you get closure or not should really become a secondary thing – it’s not as important as it may seem.
Also, the time frame is irrelevant. Would you feel differently if she cheated on you after 2 years, or after 6 years? The bottom line is that she cheated on you, so don’t make it about the years – let go of that notion.
The truth is that her cheating on you may not be related to anything that you think, it may not even have anything to do with you personally – by this I mean that your girlfriend may have cheated on you because she made a bad decision, rather than because of something you did or said.
In reality, there’s not much point asking why. Would the answer change anything for you? Probably not. If so, forget about that too.
Once you let go of wanting to know, you’ll be doing away with a lot of needless stress.
When you can make it all about you, about picking up the pieces and getting back on track – rather than about wanting her to tell you things that are now in the past – then you can start to work on yourself and move on from the past that’s holding you back.
Discovering your girlfriend cheated can turn your world upside down. You feel betrayed by your ex, understandably, and you may even feel you can never trust anybody else again.
But there is a way you can turn this event into something positive.
Imagine you’re building a bridge. This is the work of your life: every resource you have is going into it. When finished, it will be the best bridge in the land: your masterpiece.
Imagine that you already spent millions of dollars on the planning and construction of this bridge, when you suddenly receive terrible news: the bridge is flawed. Something is wrong with the bridge at a structural level, which means the bridge will never survive. If you go ahead with it, it will collapse at some point.
This story runs parallel to the cheating girlfriend situation: the bridge itself represents the relationship whilst the structural fault represents the cheating.
You have two choices when it comes to your move: you can either mope around and act like the whole world is collapsing around you, like you’ve been robbed of the project of your life, or you can decide to deal with damage control.
Think about this: discovering the bridge structure is flawed and that you have to abandon the project, after having spent all this time and money and effort on it, would be heart-wrenching. But how much worse would it be if you hadn’t discovered the flaw? If you instead spent the rest of your life building the flawed bridge, pouring more money and effort into it, only to wind up with a broken pile of rubble?
Much worse is the answer.
You get my point: how much worse would you feel if you only discovered your cheating girlfriend or wife a year from now, or even 10 years from now? After you had invested even more time and emotional energy on the doomed relationship?
You can see that the best course of action is to breakup the relationship. This is the best possible outcome you could hope for.
The choice is yours.