So you found out your lover, boyfriend, or husband is cheating on you? You know it’s over, but you’re on an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes you want to kill him or her, other times you just want them back in your arms. You can’t stop thinking about them. Your whole world is suffused with pain. You go back to every single moment you spent together analyzing where it went bad. How do you get past this? How do you find closure and move on?
Image source: Chris Greevebiester on Flickr
In some cases, your relationship will be salvageable. That’s a whole different scenario and will require a lot of work, acceptance, determination and counseling. In this article, we’re taking a look at how to recover after a relationship becomes untenable.
If you are in the middle of the aftermath then, understandably, you are all over the place. Sad, angry, vengeful, despairing; strong one moment, weak the next. You check your phone constantly, just in case she’s left a message and you didn’t hear the notification. You keep her Facebook page open all the time, waiting for an update. You can’t imagine ever feeling better.
You will get past this. It will take time, but you will recover faster than you think. All you need is an emotional road map containing practical ideas for each stage of the journey. There will be dead ends and double-backs, but you will find your way through.
First Stage of Getting Over Your Ex – Despair and Shock
Give yourself time to mourn. After all, something very important to you has ended. It’s okay to cry, to get angry, to rant. If you need someone with you, then don’t hesitate to call your best friend, your sister or even your mother. It’s likely they have been through something similar and will know how you are feeling.
Maybe it was the last thing you expected to happen or perhaps you’ve had an idea something’s been going on for months. Even so, that punch in the gut is still an almighty shock. Know that every emotion you are feeling is valid. Allow them to flow through you. At some stage, take a few deep breaths and find the place within where you can observe the feelings. Acknowledge them by naming them, “Now I feel empty; now I feel angry; now I feel deep pain.” Naming your feelings will enable you to experience some detachment, and your usual rational self will be able to take control occasionally. Don’t feel bad if it’s not working for you right away. You are where you are. Take more deep breaths and try again later.
Second Stage of Dealing With a Cheating Ex – No Contact
This is hard, but it must be done. If you have children together, then it’s going to be difficult for you. However, you are entitled to insist that your ex gives you time before you have to confront them. Rope in one of your supporters to enforce this period of no contact. If you haven’t any children, then you should go cold turkey. It’s a natural thing, to want answers to your questions, to hope he has a valid excuse so you can forgive him, to simply want to hear his voice. You have a burning need to be with him, to send him a minute-by-minute commentary of how he’s hurting you. Don’t do it. If it helps, know that the cheater is wondering why you are dealing with this so calmly. Hand your phone over to your best friend if you have to. Delete your ex from your contact list. De-friend him on Facebook and all other social media accounts.
A good way to get all those memories and thoughts out is to write them down as they occur to you. Tell yourself you can always send him a great big email once a week has passed. More than likely, you won’t want to.
Third Stage of Recovering from a Cheater – Blame
This stage will probably be happening at the same time as you are trying to go through No Contact. You’ll be blaming her then blaming yourself, then blaming the person she cheated on you with. Keep using the detachment method, and understand that you are not to blame for what she did. And usually, neither is the other person. Often they don’t know you exist, so the only one worthy of blame is the ex. You should be aware that she is the one with the problem. Not you.
Fourth Stage of Getting Past Your Cheating Ex – Obsession
Obsessive thoughts have kicked in by now. You can’t sleep because of all the memories whirling around. Every waking moment is taken up with thoughts of him. Firstly ask yourself if your ex is thinking and worrying about you in the same way. If the answer is probably not, then ask yourself if he is worthy of all this mental and emotional energy? No? Then do your best to distract yourself with some activity or other. Go out with your friends, get something to eat, do something for someone else, anything to get your mind away from the ex.
Fifth Stage of Cheating Ex Recovery – Relief
Image source: Jan Smith on Flickr
This stage requires a little work on your part. This is where you practice the feeling of relief. Make a list of all the bad stuff about her. Things that irritated you, occasions when she hurt you, her bad habits, the way she snores with her mouth open. Anything you can think of. Read back over the list slowly, picturing the times when she did those things. Deliberately allow a feeling of relief to flow through as you realize you never have to put up with them again. From now on, every time thoughts of your ex surface, reach for the feeling of relief.
Final Stage of Getting Over Your Ex – Live Well
The best way to get revenge on your cheating ex is to live well. To show yourself, and him, that your life is just fine without him. Take up a new activity or sport. Surround yourself with friends. Go out, have fun. Update your social media accounts with happy photos – any mutual contacts will make sure he gets to know about them. Don’t let your guard slip, he may still have hopes of getting you back. And you know, if you get back together, he’ll cheat on you again. You can do this. You can get over a cheating ex.