Last Updated on August 11, 2023 @ 8:30 am
Being cheated on stinks, particularly when you are married. A spouse who is cheated on often feels like the only person in the world going through such a situation. Far from it. According to Fox News Magazine, approximately 70 percent of married men and between 50 and 60 percent of married women admit to cheating on his or her spouse. Infidelity causes approximately 17 percent of marriages to end in divorce. Sometimes, you have no choice but to call a divorce lawyer to help you move on past the bad relationship. Speaking with a divorce lawyer for a free consultation is one way many people begin to move on with their lives after being cheated on.
Getting Past a Cheater
Once the divorce is finalized, it is time to move on. You can’t waste time trying to rationalize the behavior of a cheating spouse. Don’t shed a tear for that person or sympathize with him or her. Realize the situation was not your fault and that the decision to divorce was the best way to create a healthy future for you – and you are stronger for having had the courage to move on. It is better to be alone and learn to trust and love again than remain in a relationship that is unhealthy.
Moving forward is the key to a fulfilling future but avoid the urge to move too quickly. Take small steps and realize that time all by itself is not the solution to feeling better. The key is what is done with the time in each day. Dealing with the range of feelings that follow being cheated on and becoming open to trusting and loving someone else are positive actions. This may require assistance from a counselor, therapist, or other professional that specializes in healing the trauma that comes with being cheated on.
Divorce Is Emotional
When people divorce, cheating husband or wife stories may fly around. But once the divorce is finalized, avoid the urge to rehash these tales. Neither party can undo what was done and dwelling on this is not healthy for anyone. Leave the past in the past and turn attention toward the future. In this new world, there is no place for ill will, particularly if the family includes children. Your children need you to be strong and to protect them from the ugliness that comes with divorce – resist the urge to say anything about the reasons for the divorce (even though in your mind it would feel good to call out that no good SOB for his cheating ways).
During the divorce process, it will likely be easy to become engulfed in a range of emotions – anger, resentment, and a feeling of despair. This is also normal and you shouldn’t feel as though it isn’t. Divorce is a painful process, and for those that are in the midst of a divorce because of a cheater, the emotional damage may be exponentially worse. It may seem impossible, but treating the divorce like a business transaction is the healthiest option and oftentimes, the quickest way to get the process over with. Leaving the emotions out of it, no matter how hurt you are, allows the legal aspects of the divorce to move forward. Remember – the quicker the divorce is done, the sooner you can move on to the next chapter in your life and heal.
Cheating is a Form of Abuse
When one person takes the trust that comes along with marriage and destroys it in an act (or acts) of selfishness, that person is abusing the trust and love that was given to them. Cheating on a spouse can cause similar trauma to domestic violence and is a form of mental abuse. Some spouses have convinced their spouses that it’s their fault for stepping out on the marriage. A common example of this type f abuse is saying that if only he or she lost weight, they wouldn’t have cheated. One thing (of many) that abusers do to those they abuse is the same, whether it be physical abuse or mental abuse: they make the victim of their actions into the ‘bad guy.’
Once the divorce is complete, it is essential that you prepare yourself for the future and not allow another abuser to come into your life. You may have been damaged and need significant time to heal. Take that time and work on yourself. Working with a therapist can help you to identify the signs of an abuser (mental or physical) so that you can spot the bad quickly and make yourself a stronger person. Remember, just as with all forms of abuse, your are not at fault.
Moving On – Healthy Relationships
Having a healthy relationship in the future requires recognizing what this type of relationship was and how to avoid it in the future. there is no guarantee that you will be able to, but working on yourself and improving your life move you in the right direction. Spouses who were cheated on must identify what they want from future relationships and behave in a way that attracts this – but remember – it is not your fault that this happened. Jumping into a relationship right away is usually a bad idea and doesn’t allow for the proper grieving of their loss.
A healthy relationship, when ready, is one where two people are mutually beneficial to each other. You should not have to carry the entire load yourself. Healthy relationships are a partnership and compliment each other. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be fights – that is unrealistic. But a healthy relationship allows room for disagreement without going for the jugular – a healthy relationship discusses disagreements in a respectful manner.
What Should You Do to Move Forward?
Realize that when two people are involved in anything in life, the only thing that you can 100% control is yourself. Some basics to follow that are under your exclusive control are the following:
- If the divorce isn’t done yet, get a divorce lawyer. Let them handle the divorce so you can avoid the emotional turmoil and so you can begin to heal.
- Take the time to understand that you don’t have to hate your ex forever but you also don’t have to be friends (when kids are involved, it is important to be amicable). Allowing hate and anger to fill you day after day will only affect you and will put a negative spin on all your future interactions.
- Get some help. Whether it be a friend or a family member that will be there for you or a professional – get someone to talk to. A therapist can help guide you through the range of emotions that you will be feeling during and after the divorce.
- Don’t wallow in self-pity and lose yourself. Grieve for what was lost and know that you are still strong and you will recover – millions of people have gone through this too.
- Don’t seek revenge – unless the revenge you seek is living well!
- Never talk about it with the kids – keep them out of it. No matter what. Telling them will damage them in irreparable ways and could lead you into some serious problems with the divorce judge as well.
- Maintain physical health. Exercise, eat good foods, and get yourself some sunlight.
When the heart and the mind are on the same page, the time is right to wade back into the dating world. By proceeding slowly, divorced individuals give themselves time to listen and observe. Taking time to get to know a prospective partner before jumping into a relationship can prevent problems down the road. Make yourself stronger, better, and wiser and move on from a cheating spouse with the strength and confidence you deserve.