It’s hard to imagine how someone you love can betray you in any way, let alone by cheating on you. And when you’ve been cheated on, there are times when it seems like you’re never move past it. No two relationships are alike, and every situation is different. For some, cheating means breaking up the relationship, or even a marriage. For others, cheating is a hardship that can be worked through and overcome together. No matter your situation, learning to forgive the person who cheated on you is an important step in moving on.
But that doesn’t make it easy.
Learning to forgive a cheater, whether you stay with that person or break things off, is possible and you can do it. Start by giving yourself time, you are not required to forgive and forget right off the bat. There is no perfect way to forgive, but there are some things you can do that will help you move on.
Know the difference between forgiving and forgetting.
Forgiving is the key to moving on with your life, but don’t stress over trying to forget what happened. Use this experience as a way to learn and grow as a person and in your future relationship(s). Forgetting what happened may seem like the easiest option, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best one. Chances are, you won’t ever forget it and you will just be bottling up resentment. Harboring the anger and hurt will only do you so good for so long, and admitting that you are feeling heartbroken, hurt, angry, etc. is okay. Admitting really is the first step, it paves the path to acceptance, which leads to somewhere so much better. Use this experience as an opportunity to learn.
Don’t let your emotions control you.
One of the biggest things to avoid on the path to forgiveness is knowing when to take a step back from the anger and frustration. Of course it’s normal to feel this way and there’s nothing wrong with it, but try to avoid outbursts that will only cause fights. Let your emotions out, but find a sense of calm before having any kind of confrontation.
Let others help you.
Your loved ones are of the ones who know you best and the people who generally have your best interest at heart. If they offer you comfort and wisdom, soak it in. Having someone who cares about you and sees the relationship from an outside perspective can be beneficial when it comes to seeing the truths that will move you forward.
Seek out a therapist or a counselor.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, be it your loved ones or a third party like a therapist or counselor. Speaking with a professional can help you learn how to understand and articulate your feelings, which can help you effective communicate with others about them. This is important because it will give you tools to cope with extreme emotions now and in the future.
Being patient with yourself is huge, in many ways. Being cheated on turns your world upside down, often when you least expect it. Be patient with yourself and give yourself the time you need to heal.
Whether you and your partner are deciding to maintain the relationship or have chosen to go your separate ways, forgiveness is going to be the foundation you need. Forgiveness is hard work and can feel painful when you’re in the middle of the process, but consider what’s best for you for the long term. Consider the kind of genuine relationship you want to have and remember that no matter how difficult the process is, it’s worth it for your happiness.