Cheating is poison to your love life and getting over infidelity isn’t easy!
Finding out that your partner or wife has screwed around with someone else is a blow.
You might read shady texts on her smartphone, notice that she’s out at all hours of the night, or even—the worst possible scenario—catch her in the act of it.
However you find out that she’s cheated on you, you might not know what to do next. It’s a serious shock.
And here’s the kicker: As a man, there’s no ‘right’ way to react here. Go off the rails and you’ll be labeled the bad guy—the jealous, insecure, rage-fueled man. Act chill and talk it out, and you’ll look like a push-over. It’s a no-win situation.
To be the alpha male you are, disregard what other people think. It doesn’t matter.
You’re never going to come out of this situation smelling like roses—despite the fact that you are the victim. The sorry truth of the matter is that women naturally have the upper hand.
You know the old story… If a man cheats, it’s his fault for being a sex-obsessed maniac. If a woman cheats, it’s still the man’s fault. He must have screwed up, not paid her enough attention, upset her in some fundamental way to give her the right to find someone better.
Chances are, you’re not gonna be able to move away from that trope. So, don’t even bother trying. Focus on your own emotions and how you can overcome infidelity on your own terms.
You don’t have to skip to the last page to know that this is going to work out fine. You just need some time and—we’ve got you—some handy tips to get you started.
Why Do People Cheat?
“You didn’t just cheat on me; you cheated on us. You didn’t just break my heart; you broke our future.” — Steve Maraboli
Here’s a hard pill to swallow. Ready? Your partner chose to cheat on you. No matter what lies and excuses come out of their mouth, you need to know that’s the truth.
Cheating isn’t an accident. It isn’t a mistake. It’s not something that ‘just happens.’ It is absolutely, 100% a decision that your partner made. Whenever they decided to take that step, they disregarded and disrespected you completely. At that moment, they didn’t care.
The question you’re likely to be asking yourself is: why? That’s valid. You want to know what happened to the person you fell in love with. You want to know what went wrong and caused them to turn their back on you in the cruelest and most callous way. Research from the College of Behavioral and Social Science suggests that there are eight core reasons:
- Anger – seeking revenge on you
- Sexual desire – dissatisfaction and wanting something new
- Lack of love – falling ‘out of love’ with you
- Neglect – not getting enough attention from you
- Low commitment – being less committed to the relationship
- Situational reasons – for example, being drunk
- Esteem – looking to boost their confidence
- Variety – wanting more sexual experiences
The reason your partner cheated could be any, all, or some of the above. You may find that the love between you dwindled and that they started looking for affection elsewhere.
They might have been drunk and didn’t think about what they were doing—or what they were throwing away. It may be a combination of a lot of factors.
Whatever the reason, being cheated on sucks. You might think that figuring out where it all went wrong will help you. And it might. However, you also have to get comfortable with the idea that you may never know your partner’s (or ex-partner’s) reasoning here.
There’s nothing to say that they will tell you the truth or that they will even know the reason.
Do Men Cheat More Than Women?
Infidelity is not a gendered thing. Both men and women cheat.
We all have it in us to be unfaithful. It’s inherently sexist to suggest that only men cheat when they are in relationships.
What’s more, it’s simply not true. Studies have found that people of both genders have sex outside of their relationships. Frankly, it’s a two-way street.
Age matters when it comes to cheating. Research suggests that among married adults between the ages of 18 and 29, 10% of men have cheated on their partner, while 11% of women have done the same. However, get a little older and the narrative quickly flips the other way. From then on, it’s us men who are more likely to cheat on our wives.
Not married? The same statistics can be applied to any type of long-term relationship.
You don’t have to have put a ring on it to be committed. You might be living with your partner, have been with them for a matter of years, or be otherwise invested. The chances of them cheating on you are the same. No matter how happy you think you are, it can happen.
8 Tips to Overcome Infidelity
The deed has been done. She broke your trust the moment that she chose to get into bed with someone else.
It hurts—and that’s okay. It’s meant to hurt. But you’ve got to move forward too.
While you may feel like wallowing in a pit of shame and hiding away from the world, the only way is up. So, how can you get over being cheated on? Here’s the answer.
1. Don’t blame yourself
“‘It was a mistake,’ you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.” — David Levithan
You have done nothing wrong. When your partner screws up and cheats on you, you might be inclined to blame yourself. Don’t do it.
Sure, the relationship may not have been perfect. But the answer is never to go out there and find something new. Despite what they tell you, your partner had options.
Before they jumped into bed with someone new, they could have come to you to talk it out. They could have given your relationship a chance.
Your partner didn’t give you that respect—and that’s on them.
While you may be tempted to look inward, don’t you dare shoulder the blame. The decision they made changed your relationship forever.
How could it not? Avoid taking on their blame and, instead, continue to affirm to yourself that you are the wronged party. It’s true.
2. Take things slow
You might need to take a beat here. In a perfect world, you would move on, forget about the infidelity, and continue your life. It’s not a perfect world—not by a long shot.
Your partner’s disloyalty will hurt more than you expect. Let’s face it: it doesn’t matter how high your self-esteem is, the fact that someone you care about broke your trust stings.
As men, we’re often told to deny our emotions, but that is a real mistake. If you shove those suckers down, they will only get deeper and fester.
Before you know it, everything you’ve been trying to hide from will bubble to the surface and come out in the ugliest of ways. For example, you might have angry outbursts, rage, or even violent moments.
Don’t fall into that trap—you deserve better.
Give yourself the time and space to acknowledge what has happened.
If you’re struggling to manage it alone, reach out and get some support from a therapist. Talk it out. Having someone neutral to speak to will give you a new outlook.
There’s zero shame in getting professional support when you need it.
3. Let yourself mourn
Feeling angry, sad, or denying the cheating even happened? Sounds like you may be experiencing grief.
Yes, when you experience infidelity in a relationship, it could trigger a grief response. That’s especially true if it leads to a breakup.
You will be mourning what you had with your partner–or at least, what you believed that you had with them.
What can you expect? You might experience the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Contrary to popular belief, these don’t always come in a linear order. You can feel any of the above in any given order. You may find that you start off in denial and then move to anger and then back to denial, for example.
4. Go ahead and get angry
While we’re on the topic of anger, here’s one thing to note. You can (and should) feel it.
It’s normal to be angry that your partner broke your trust. You didn’t expect them to go ahead and shack up with someone else. Why would you?
It’s a surprise and not the kind that you wanted. Anger is a human response and ignoring it is problematic.
Allow yourself to get angry about the situation. Heck, you can get downright mad.
Of course, you don’t want this emotion to come out in a blind rage. So, figure out ways to channel your anger instead.
You might want to throw yourself into a workout, try some sport, or just go outside and smash up the best glassware. The choice is yours.
5. Focus on yourself
It’s not just about emotional pain. That’s a given.
Being cheated on can lead to an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and stress, according to ground-breaking research.
What your partner did to you is unthinkable. That act changed the way that you feel about them, of course, but it may also have changed the way you feel about yourself.
The latter is a real issue—as it can have a knock-on effect in all areas of your life.
Self-care isn’t just for women. You need to take this opportunity to look after yourself and your mental well-being. Start by eating well, getting enough sleep, and having some down time.
Level up and reclaim your power with my exclusive coaching program. Backed by a team of expert coaches, you can become the strongest version of yourself in no time.
6. Avoid trying to get even
“Don’t get even. Do better. Much better. Rise above. Become so engulfed in your own success that you forget it ever happened.” — Unknown
How good would it feel to hook up with someone right now? Picture the look on her face when she realizes that two can play that game.
While you may be tempted to get out there and get even, this move is going to be a short-lived win. Sure, you might want to cause her the same pain she caused you… but it’s not worth the aggravation at the end of the day.
You don’t need to lower yourself to your partner’s level.
Acknowledge that they have hurt you without feeling the need to do the same to them.
You don’t want to get into a game of ‘he said, she said’. A much better form of revenge is holding them accountable for their actions. They messed up. They really messed up here… make them own it.
7. Talk to your friends
Pick up the damn phone. No, really.
You need to talk to someone about things. Your friends may have been through the same thing as you in the past.
And even if they haven’t, they will have some words of wisdom for you. You might want to meet up and chat to them about what’s going on. You could send a few texts back and forth. It’s up to you.
A problem shared is a problem halved. You might not be used to talking about your feelings. Who is?
However, when you open up to your friends, you will feel as though a weight has been lifted from you. It doesn’t all have to be deep and meaningful either.
You could crack jokes about it, if it makes you feel more comfortable. Be yourself.
8. Speak to your partner
“Never argue with someone who believes their own lies” – Unknown
Let’s talk about the hardest thing of all: Speaking to your partner about the affair or fling. Ahead of sitting down around the red table, consider whether it’s worth your time.
If your partner has been shady, is still denying that they cheated, or is trying to blame you, you might want to cut them loose completely. Know your worth and don’t beg for reasons.
On the other hand, if your partner is remorseful and has shown that they still care for you, you might want to hear them out. If that’s the case, choose a neutral place to meet.
You don’t want to have this conversation at home as it could get heated quickly. Before you meet your partner for the talk, take a second to write down some questions, such as:
- Why did you cheat on me?
- Was it an affair or a one-time thing?
- Are you unhappy in the relationship?
- What role did I play here?
- Do you regret cheating on me?
- Do you want to work on things?
Of course, these are tricky questions and you might not like the answers.
You will need to prepare yourself for some uncomfortable truths before you make the decision to have the talk. Figure out whether it’s worth your time and whether you need to talk at all.
Can You Save a Relationship After Infidelity?
The short answer is yes… but it’s not easy.
Your partner has broken your trust and that will take a long time to repair. You might find it hard to get over that. The knock to your ego is real too.
You have to ask yourself whether both you and your partner are willing to put in the work. If there’s a small part of you that’s unsure, you might need to cut and run.
Want to give things a second chance? Okay.
Understand that things won’t get better overnight. However, you can work alongside your partner to get back to a place of trust and respect.
One of the biggest investments you can make is to enter into couples therapy.
Having a third party present when you’re doing the work is important. Additionally, a qualified professional will be able to give you the tools to rebuild your relationship.
Getting over infidelity isn’t easy so give yourself a break. While you might expect to quickly pick yourself up and move on, the reality of the situation is likely to be far more complex.
Get things moving by using my tips to overcome the impact of cheating. Need a push in the right direction? Sign up for my exclusive program and learn strategies to overcome this and anything else that’s holding you back.
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