It happens to the best of us. We fall in love, only to have our hearts crushed into a million little pieces by someone who was meant to be our biggest cheerleader. Or worse yet, they cheat on you and leave a mess of lies in their wake. Processing the concept of “my boyfriend cheated on me” is hard, and the pain can be unbearable. If this sounds like your current situation, I hear you.
Having a partner betray you in such a way hurts like nothing else. They were meant to be the one who had your back. The one who saw you through thick and thin. But they risked all of that for someone else, be it a fling or a full-blown affair. I’m so sorry this happened to you.
It can be confusing, heartbreaking, and shocking. It might make you feel sick to the core or completely numb. Whatever you’re feeling, know it’s valid, and give yourself time to process the emotions. Although it is a painful and disheartening experience, know that there is life after the story of “my boyfriend cheated on me.”
You can come out of this stronger and wiser, but it’s important to be mindful of how you handle the situation. While it will probably take some time before you fully heal from the pain inflicted upon you, there are strategies that can help you move on.
But for now, you might be wondering what to do, and you’re not alone. Many people have never had to deal with a situation like this before. So, let’s dive deep into what to consider and the steps you should take if your partner has cheated on you.
My boyfriend cheated on me: what do next
Here are the steps to take after the news that your boyfriend has cheated on you:
1. Take some time to reflect.
The first step you should take is to take a step back and give yourself space. This involves starting to process everything that happened. You might feel like you need to jump into action, but actions that come from a place of acute anger often lead to more pain. So, take a step back and reflect on the situation before doing anything that might make it worse.
It can be helpful to discuss the situation with a trusted friend or family member. They can often give you perspective and provide emotional support when you need it. When you’re in the thick of it, it can be difficult to think clearly, so having someone you trust to offer advice can be invaluable.
2. Talk to your partner about the cheating.
Once you have taken some time for yourself, you might want to get a better understanding of what happened and how it came about, which involves having an open conversation with your partner. Some people find that understanding a cheating situation on a deeper level helps them to move on and get closure. But if you don’t want to know the details, that’s ok too. If you know you’re completely done by this point, additional information might just cause more harm than good.
Don’t be afraid to let your partner know how you feel, and be mindful to communicate in a respectful way. You can tell them that you are hurt and angry. If you need some time to process it all, let them know that’s the case. A “my boyfriend cheated on me” situation often comes as a complete shock, which is why people often need space to come to terms with it.
3. Make a decision.
Now that you have all the information, it’s time to decide if you want to stay in the relationship. You might not feel like you’re in a place to do this right away, and that’s ok. It may take some time before you are able to come to a conclusion. As difficult as it might be, you need to make a decision that is best for you and your mental health in the long run.
For me personally, cheating is a dealbreaker. It’s an entirely selfish act that involves someone disregarding the feelings and interests of their partner. That’s not someone I want in my life. But every situation is unique and nuanced. Some people may be able to forgive and move on. It all depends on your own personal feelings and values. It’s not impossible for people to change when it comes to cheating, but it’s rare.
4. Give yourself time to grieve.
Whether you decide to stay together or break up, it’s important to give yourself time to grieve your loss. You might be grieving the relationship you thought you had or the trust that has been broken. Whatever you fel, give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions come up as you process the situation, and don’t rush the healing journey.
It’s okay to be sad, angry, or confused. You might even feel relieved if you decide to end it. Don’t feel like you have to put on a brave face and act like everything is ok. You are allowed to feel your feelings and experience this process in whatever way works for you. If you bottle up your feelings, they can come back to bite you in the future.
5. Take care of yourself.
During a “my boyfriend cheated on me” situation, it’s easy to neglect ourselves due to the pain and turmoil. When it’s hard to even get out of bed in the morning, you can end up forgetting about self-care. The irony is that this is one of the times when you most need to look after yourself and prioritize your well-being—it’s essential to get enough sleep and eat well, for starters.
Take some time to engage in activities that make you feel good, whether it’s exercising, spending time with friends, or just sitting in the sun. Even if it’s something small like taking a bubble bath or writing in your journal, these things can make a difference to how you feel on a daily basis. This should also help to boost your self-esteem, which might have taken a hit after dealing with such a traumatic experience.
6. Seek external help if necessary.
Having your partner cheat on you is an incredibly painful experience, and it can be hard to process everything on your own. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed therapist or the equivalent. A third party like this can provide a safe and non-judgmental space to talk about your feelings and offer bespoke advice on how to move forward.
If you stay together, you might want to seek couples counseling. Cheating majorly damages trust in a relationship, and it can take a trained professional to guide you both through the process. It can also help to have an objective, third-party opinion. However, no matter how hard a couple tries, sometimes it’s just not possible to rebuild that trust and repair the relationship.
My boyfriend cheated on me: essential points to consider
So, we’ve looked at the practical steps to take when your partner has cheated on you. Now, let’s explore some of the emotional considerations and the important points to remember.
1. Speak to your partner in a respectful way.
While you might be feeling hurt and angry, it’s important to remember that your partner is still a fellow human being. You don’t have to agree with what they did, and you can tell them exactly how you feel. But you should still treat them with respect.
At the end of the day, treating them with respect is the right thing to do. No good ever comes from attacking or belittling them. Maintaining a respectful communication style can also help you to stay centered and prevent you from sinking into a downward spiral of anger.
2. Remember that it’s not your fault.
Cheating is never the “fault” of the person who has been cheated on. It’s a 100% selfish act and completely violates the trust of the relationship. If your partner has cheated, it says more about them than it does about you.
If your relationship wasn’t going well, or your partner’s needs weren’t getting met in some way, they should have communicated this with you. You then could have tried to resolve the situation together. Cheating is never the answer, and there is no excuse for cheating. When someone claims to have cheated because they didn’t want to displease their partner, this is also wrong. By doing that, they are completely disrespecting the fact that you have a right to know the trust.
3. Reflect on whether you would ever stay with someone who cheated.
Not only does cheating imply selfish traits, but it also indicates a lack of self-restraint, foresight, morals, honesty, and general integrity. Ask yourself whether you want someone like that in your life because these are all pretty major character flaws.
Essentially, when someone cheats, they are prioritizing their own gratification above risking hurting your feelings. It’s important to think about whether you would ever be able to trust this person again and if you could ever forgive their actions. Now, that’s down to the individual, and each situation can have its own set of complications. For example, there may be children involved, or you may not be financially stable.
4. Don’t punish him for the sake of it.
When you’re dealing with a “my boyfriend cheated on me” situation, it’s easy to want to do something – anything – to punish him for what he did. While this might make you feel a pang of satisfaction or relief, it won’t benefit either of you in the long run.
If you stay together, yes, he will have some making up to do. It takes time, dedication and consistency to rebuild trust, especially when it has been broken in such a brutal way. But no actions should be taken out of spite, as this won’t lead to anything but further resentment and unhappiness.
5. Avoid seeking revenge.
It’s normal to feel hurt and angry when you find out that your partner cheated. You might be someone who lives by the motto “an eye for an eye.” You might think if he cheated on you, he deserves to know what it feels like to have his heart broken, too.
However, this is never a productive way to address the situation. Instead of fuelling negative emotions and resentment, focus on your own healing. Before you take action that is motivated by intense emotions, ask yourself whether it’s truly in your best interests.
6. Don’t accept further disrespect.
If your partner tries to shift the blame to you or minimize the situation by making it out to be a minor incident, don’t accept it. Speak up and let them know in a direct way that this isn’t okay.
If they continue to try and make excuses, you need to decide whether this is someone you want to stay with. Taking accountability for one’s actions and understanding the implications of those decisions is an important part of being an emotionally mature adult. If the conversation goes down this path, it will show you more about the kind of person they are.
7. Don’t jump into another relationship straight away.
While rebound relationships can temporarily make you feel better, they rarely last because people usually don’t enter them with the right intentions. It’s like putting a band-aid on a bigger issue, which will still be there when the rebound ends. In fact, the issues can become even bigger while you’re distracted by the new person.
Ultimately, if you decide to break up, it’s important to give yourself time and space to heal. Don’t jump into a new relationship right away; you need to process this properly and make sure you’re in a solid emotional state before considering a new partner.
8. Stick to the boundaries you set.
Whatever path you go down after you’ve discussed the cheating, it’s important to stick to the boundaries you have set. If you decide to stay together, make sure that you’re both committed to rebuilding your relationship and that your partner is following through on their promises.
If you choose to break up, make sure that you’re both clear about what this means. For example, it might involve no communication, not seeing each other, and possibly even blocking each other on social media. Once you’ve decided this, stick to it for the sake of your mental health. A moment of weakness with things like this, such as an “I miss you” text, can be damaging in the long run.
9. Don’t overthink.
When your partner cheats, it can cause you to overanalyze every aspect of the relationship. You might question what you did wrong or if you could have done something differently. It’s important to remember that cheating has nothing to do with you and is a reflection of your partner’s character, not yours.
If you spend time dwelling on what happened, you’ll find yourself stuck in a constant cycle of rumination, self-doubt, and sadness. It’s healthier to accept that this has happened and to move on. If you’re in need of a distraction, engage in activities that bring you joy, like exercise, meditation, or simply spending time with friends.
10. Lean on your support network.
If you’re even in need of support, it’s at a time like this. Everyone deals with situations differently, but the vast majority of us benefit from the support of loved ones. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
Talking about your emotions can help you begin to process what has happened, and it’s even possible that the people you open up to may have experienced something similar. Knowing that you’re not alone and that other people have gone through the same thing can be incredibly comforting.
Final thoughts on “my boyfriend cheated on me”
Dealing with a “my boyfriend cheated” situation is never easy. It can take a toll on your mental and emotional health, making it difficult to think clearly, sometimes for a significant period of time.
But remember that it’s not your fault and that, with the right support and guidance, you can come out of this experience a stronger person. But first, you might need to work on rebuilding your self-confidence and your ability to trust again. That’s completely normal.
Ultimately, only you can decide what is best for your own well-being. So, take the time to process your emotions and decide on the best course of action. Take it one day at a time, and know that you’re not alone in this.
Last but not least, I’m sorry this has happened to you. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, not least by someone who was meant to protect you from harm. Don’t forget that you deserve to find peace and happiness in your life. You will get there with time — I’m rooting for you.
If you found this article helpful, you might also want to read how to let go of someone you love and how to deal with walking on eggshells in a relationship.