Finding out you have been betrayed by a partner is one of the worst feelings in the world. In that moment when you discover your partner’s unfaithfulness, your head goes totally blank, and you get a dull yet painful ache in your chest. It can literally feel like the end of the world. Whether you decide to end the relationship or to forgive your partner, learning how to be happy again after that unforeseen betrayal can seem difficult to do. But here’s a piece of good news: it’s not only possible but also doable. Just ask many others before you who have been in the same situation before but who have managed to get over their own relationship trials and even become happier and led better lives.
Here are the three essential steps to finding happiness after being cheated on:
1. Accept the reality that it might happen again.
Being cheated on for the first time can be an extremely jarring and painful experience. But remember this: just because it has already happened to you once doesn’t mean you become immune to it. You’ll have to live with the possibility that it might happen again—if not with the same person, then with another future lover. This isn’t being negative; rather, it’s more like preparing yourself for when it does. This will enable you to see certain signs better so that if you notice it happening again, you can resolve the situation in a better way.
2. Learn to forgive yourself.
Too many times, the one who was cheated on may think that there was something lacking with them or they had a particular fault that pushed their partner to cheat on them. Don’t be like this. It is not your fault. It is never your fault. It was your partner’s decision to get involved in that affair. There might be certain reasons that led them to do what they did, but ultimately, the responsibility is theirs and theirs alone. Don’t beat yourself up too much over something you had no control and responsibility for.
3. Don’t overthink things.
When your partner cheats, you can end up overthinking certain details of your relationship. This happens even when the relationship has ended. For instance, you might be tempted to look back on your interactions with your partner before and think things like “If only I hadn’t been spoken bluntly to him that time, he wouldn’t have sought comfort from that woman.” Again, it isn’t your fault as to why they did what they did. Also, don’t attempt to play detective and look for certain past clues that you missed and could have indicated that they had a secret affair. You couldn’t have possibly known, and as the saying goes, “There’s no use crying over spilled milk.” What happened has happened, and all your overthinking cannot bring things back to what they were before. The sooner you come to terms with this, the sooner you’ll be happy.