You didn’t think it could happen to you, but unfortunately, your partner has been unfaithful. So now you have to ask, “How do I get over cheating?” Being cheated on is a painful experience, but if you avoid these mistakes, you’ll be one step closer to healing.
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Don’t try to get even
You may want to trash-talk your partner on Facebook, fantasize about keying his car, or maybe have an affair of your own. In the movies when people are learning how to get over cheating, their first course of action is sometimes to get even. But in reality, this is not a good first step. Acting destructively to even the score will do no good—and may even have financial consequences. “Trying to get even keeps your anger alive, and keeps you in a state of negativity, which will prevent you from moving on and going forward in your life,” says Jane Greer, PhD, a New York-based relationship expert and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. “It will keep you stuck and won’t allow you to heal.” To recover from the infidelity, you need to try to be on the same team, not opposing ones. “Getting even will give the vengeful partner a momentary sense of satisfaction,” adds Irina Firstein, LCSW, a New York City-based marriage and couples therapist. “But ultimately it’s not going to move you toward any resolution and will only make things more complicated.” Watch out for these subtle signs that your partner is cheating on you.
Don’t fall apart
“It’s very normal to have a good cry (or two or three) after a break up,” says April Masini, a New York-based relationship and etiquette expert and author. “And when the breakup follows a long-term relationship, expect to need time to recover.” Realize that this situation won’t define you. Your life isn’t over. “Holing up in your apartment, eating ice cream with the blinds closed, watching any random show streaming on your laptop, and showing no interest in answering your phone is a bad idea,” says Masini. While dealing with this new reality and learning how to get over being cheated on may be scary, think of it as a chance for you to start over. Yes, it may be a different life, but things may turn out even better.