How Do You Heal After Being Cheated On?

how to deal after being cheated on

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

How to heal after being cheated on is complicated, but having been there a couple of times in my life, I can offer some advice that might be helpful.

Though it was 27 years ago, I still vividly remember when my boyfriend of two years told me he had cheated on me.

I was sitting on my bed, utterly shocked. You know the feeling, the one where your jaw is on the ground and your body feels frozen while your brain tries to process what you just heard. Finding out someone cheated on you is like getting punched in the stomach. Hard. It’s a devastating experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

The relationship you thought you had is gone, instantly replaced with something that feels ruined, stained and, honestly, kind of gross.


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The emotions of finding out your spouse or partner cheated on you range from sorrow to confusion. You find yourself feeling naive, and unproductively bad about yourself.

With that in mind, here are 9 tips of advice from someone who got cheated on to others on how to heal after you’ve been cheated on.


1. Assess the cheater’s response in deciding how to move forward.

This is big. Let’s say the cheater is extremely remorseful and begs for forgiveness. That’s hopeful, right? I think a lot of couples can get past cheating when there is regret (as long as it’s for the right reasons and not because the cheater got caught) and a desire to work things out.

Some cheaters who get caught have an initial reaction of anger toward the other partner.They blame their significant other for their cheating and say spiteful things. They express built-up resentment to their partner, when they should have had that conversation INSTEAD of cheating. Big difference in the two reactions from the cheater. One reaction offers a chance to work things out. The other: forget it.

2. Honesty can be brutal, but aren’t you glad you know?

You’re not living a lie anymore. It’s liberating. You feel like you just woke up from a coma. As bad as you feel, at least you know things can’t get worse. And, if you had a gut feeling but never acted on it, you now know you aren’t paranoid, insecure and needy. Your feelings were spot on.


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3. Remember, it’s not you.

I’m not saying that the person who was cheated on is perfect, but the fact remains: At least they didn’t cheat. The cheater has to live the rest of his or her life dealing with their wrong action. Deep down, he or she will always carry it with them. Try living with that. Guess what? You don’t have to. The cheater does, though.

4. Don’t feel ashamed.

Let’s say other people in your community know that your partner cheated. Two words: Who cares? Your partner, not you, should be embarrassed.


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5. Don’t feel stupid.

People who get cheated on often feel like they should have picked up on it, like they were naive or living in a bubble. Not the case. Most people don’t want to believe that the man or woman they love would lie to them and betray them, so it’s often hard to see it. There’s nothing stupid about that.

6. Don’t go off the deep end.

In another relationship I was in, when I found out about my cheater, I went a little crazy, calling people and airing my dirty laundry. Trust me, don’t do that, because people remember how the person who was cheated on reacted. Think classy and carry yourself with grace. You’ll thank me down the road.

7. Feel happy for yourself and sorry for your ex’s future partner.

If he or she cheated, there is an 86 percent chance it will happen again in his or her next relationship. Those are Jackie Pilossoph’s estimated statistics. Though they are based upon no scientific proof or research whatsoever, I have to believe they are somewhat accurate, and might help in how to heal after being cheated on.


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8. Focus on gaining a true understanding of why the cheating happened.

Try to discover what went wrong and why the communication broke down so seriously. It’s possible the lessons you learn can help you the next time you’re in a serious relationship. You may even find you’re a better partner than you were before. Also, try to be more aware of how to spot a potential cheater. Pay attention to the signs.

9. Remember that not everyone cheats.

Have faith in people. There are many men and women out there who want to be in a healthy, monogamous relationship and who won’t cheat.

When it comes to how to heal after being cheated on, the bottom line is, it may feel like it’s hard to bounce back from an episode of cheating in your relationship, but you will. It just takes time, faith and belief, not only in others, but in yourself.

Like this article? Check out, “Confronting a Cheater: Different Reactions You Could Get”


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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

3 Responses to “How Do You Heal After Being Cheated On?”

  1. joseph

    Revenge Your Ex

    Each day hundreds of men and women seek revenge on their ex-mates for a
    variety of reasons, usually because they got dumped or where cheated on.
    Revenge comes in many ways. It typically starts by using social media to
    vent, and then escalates from there. Now sites like “Get Revenge On Your Ex”
    for a fee will help you get pay back or revenge.

    So what is the best way to get revenge besides slashing her tires, posting
    nude photos of her and so on.

    The best way according to the web site Right Choices 101 is to live your
    life well. This is true no matter who you are seeking revenge on. Coworkers,
    past bosses, bad friends or ex-lovers. Put your energy into succeeding and
    enjoying your life, not wasting your time, energy and resources on revenge
    that can end up costing you much more. Plus, when you seek revenge, you send
    them a massage that you have not gotten over the relationship. It’s much
    better to show you are indifferent and don’t care.

    According to Kenneth Agee of A Foreign Affair, a service that specializes in
    helping men find young beautiful foreign women, “The best revenge is to date
    or marry a women 10 years younger than your ex. This will piss her off to no
    end. No woman ever wants to be replaced with a younger, more attractive
    woman. Just like a man never likes to get replaced by a guy who is wealthier
    or more successful.

    I will never forget one of my first clients we took to Saint Petersburg,
    Russia.” says Agee, “The client told me that two days on our tour was better
    than two years of therapy. Having hundreds of attractive women fighting over
    you gets your ex out of your mind pretty quick.

    I personally went through break up when my ex ran off with another man. But
    a short time later, I met a new lady who was ten times better. I ran into
    that man who stole my ex and I gave him a big thanks. In fact, I could not
    thank him enough. He was stuck with an older nagging women, while I was now
    with a young, beautiful, caring women. Plus, my ex had gained about 100
    pounds. I don’t look at that fellow as any kind of enemy but as the person
    who saved me from my ex and years of suffering.” This is the best a revenge
    when you win without lowering yourself.

    Other sites like “Get Over Her Now” give practical advice and tips for
    getting over a past relationship.

    Top Tips from Get Over Her Now:

    Start making platonic relationships with as many women as possible, old,
    young, skinny, fat, cute or ugly. This greatly helps you get back in the
    game of socializing with the opposite sex. And it opens up lots
    opportunities to meet their cute attractive friends in a more relaxed
    environment. This also helps you build your game and confidence.

    Improve yourself, start working out, get up early every day and exercise.

    Buy new clothes. Dressing better makes you feel better and improves your

    Focus on work and getting a promotion or raise. Don’t let a break up effect
    your work negatively. Put that extra effort into work and it will pay off
    with a better position and more money. This will also build your confidence
    and help attract better quality women.

    Any time you are depressed, improving yourself helps greatly. When you feel
    depressed, don’t sit and watch TV and then sleep-in late. Get out and do
    something that will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Take a
    class, go hiking, fix something you’ve been putting off.

    Don’t start drinking. Drinking will always have a negative impact on your
    life. Don’t drink while depressed or when you are trying to get over some
    one. After all, drinking is for celebrating. So if you are not celebrating
    something, don’t drink. A quality women is not going to be attracted to
    someone who drinks a lot or has a drinking problem.

    Don’t sleep in; sleeping late increases depression. Get up as early as you
    can and go for a walk, take a hike, or go to the Gym. Research shows getting
    up early and exercising can eliminate depression. You will have no game be

    Don’t binge eat. If you start gaining weight, you will feel less self-worth
    and lose your confidence. Confidence is a quality that women are extremely
    attracted to.

    Conclusion, the best revenge is when you improve your life so well that she
    realizes she made a big mistake. And satisfaction comes when you meet
    someone so much better, you are glad the ex is gone. After all, if you are
    seeking revenge, how great could she really have been in the first place!

  2. Questioner

    Um, a couple things bug me here:

    1) Marry someone 10 years younger to anger to get revenge on your former spouse. Yes, that may piss her or him off, but is that a good reason to choose who you plan to spend the rest of your life with? There are plenty of people out there ten years younger than your spouse who are far worse than your spouse.

    2) The guy who gets excited and feels better about himself when he is swarmed by beautiful Russian women is kidding himself. They’re not attracted to him, they’re attracted to his ability to get them the hell out of Russia. That’s like the woman who is attracted to your wealth or power (if you are one of those people), or, and this is crass, about feeling complimented if approached by a prostitute. Only the desperate man should have to go to Russia or overseas to find a mate, who could very well divorce him after tolerating him for the five years necessary to become a permanent US resident (I know a guy who just happened to divorce his American wife after 5 years passed – I don’t think it was a coincidence, and I felt sorry for his wife).


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