They cheated on you and it feels like the rug is pulled out from underneath you; with no notice.
The life you thought you had with them is gone. What you thought you could believe in; now you can’t trust. You thought you knew them, you thought they were yours and they’ve proven you wrong.
What are you going to do now? You have a couple of options.
Live life as a victim and not move on
This is such an easy place to stay in. Why? Because it allows you to feel loved and to have attention. It’s so great telling others what they did to you, how they cheated, what it felt like.
You’ve seen the different look in their eyes after they’d been with the other person. Or, maybe you didn’t even notice it because they covered it up so well. For me, it was noticeable that something had gone on. He just looked different.
If you think they’re the only one for you and that you’ll never find love with someone else, then staying in the victim-space is a great place to be; because what you think, will come true. You won’t get out there and find someone else to be with. You’ve got exactly what you wanted.
It’s great to be able to shun them. To ignore them because they hurt you so much. To make their life difficult as a form of payback. This is you living in victim mode.
Or, there is another option.
Recognize that they did cheat on you and move on
Sometimes getting in touch with reality is hard. It shines a light on you and what might have happened in your relationship had this not occurred. And oftentimes, it has nothing to do with you.
Esther Perel, an expert on infidelity, will tell you that something died in your relationship and that the person seeking someone else was looking to fill that void in them, by trying to find what was missing elsewhere.
Something was going on for them and it had nothing to do with you
They felt incomplete in the relationship, so you can recognize this and look at it from the perspective of how it might be a good thing that they cheated on you.
Does it allow you to have a different sort of relationship with them? Maybe it’s time to be more open and honest and to see that you’ve just naturally grown apart. Or it’s an opportunity to go “back-to-basics” and begin to get to know each other again; really get to know each other.
Find out about what was going on for them that had them feel they needed to cheat. Have that deep and meaningful conversation. Don’t be scared of it. Be vulnerable enough to share how you felt leading up to the infidelity and afterwards when you found out.
Let yourself grieve what you thought you had in the relationship
It’s okay to feel sad and hurt by what happened. Don’t shove that down and think you need to be strong; you don’t. Permit yourself permission to experience all of your feelings. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.
Explore what you want out of life, for you
Maybe it’s worthwhile considering this a turning point in your life. What is it that you want from your life? Are you getting it? Is this relationship serving you, or is there more for you?
Think about whether you are the type of person who lives in a world of believing that when you are in a relationship, it has to be for life. What if each relationship we are in, whether a marriage or not, is simply a “learning-ground” for us to learn more about ourselves?
What if this was meant to happen to show you that you’d lost focus on yourself? What if this was here to say, “Hey, wake up! They aren’t living your life.” Have you lost focus on your life? It doesn’t mean you can’t share it with someone, but there’s a big difference in life revolving wholly and solely around someone else and no focus on your own needs.
Do some out-of-the-box things that you haven’t done for you in a long time
I don’t know about you, but when I was in relationships, I didn’t spend a lot of time doing the things I loved to do. A lot of what I did was for them. That’s the story I told myself anyway. So, if that’s been the case in your relationship, what about giving yourself some gifts of small things that you love to do.
That might be time curled up reading your favorite romance novels on a Friday night, rather than going out. It might be to go and have your nails done, or a massage, or pedicure. Maybe you love art and haven’t been to a gallery in a long time.
Whatever it is, do it. Take the time to do something nurturing for you.
Above all, don’t rush into thinking things need to change. Let things take their natural course. Begin the journey of focusing on loving and nurturing yourself first, then see where life takes you.
Remember, it’s a journey after all.