If your girlfriend has cheated on you and you don’t know how to react and what to do next, this article will guide you through the hard times.
Infidelity during a relationship is quite common and heartbreaking. It hurts very much to be cheated on. You might find it hard to trust or love again without holding back. The most challenging part of being cheated on is getting past the different stages of grief and then making very crucial decisions regarding the future of your relationship with your significant other.
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For most men, being cheated on is the peak of all embarrassment, they sometimes are unable to get past it. But whatever choice you make after the incident, depends on how well you deal with your heartbreak. If you don’t let yourself heal properly, you’ll only let emotions cloud your judgment, and that is not a good thing. Regarding what you should take after an act of infidelity, take a look at the following steps.
Deal with your Heartbreak
First things first, do not hold back from grieving. There are five stages of grief, and each stage takes you towards true healing. Denial comes first. You try to convince yourself that it didn’t happen, and your girlfriend didn’t cheat on you. You’ll find yourself recalling cherished memories and holding it as proof that the betrayal isn’t possible.
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The next step is anger. Anger induced by infidelity can be very overwhelming. You’ll get angry at your partner, angry at yourself, and angry at everyone else. It’s perfectly normal to feel such anger intensely, but you shouldn’t act on it. Anger can be quite fleeting. You have to hold on to the better part of you, the more rational part of you until the anger phase fades out. Don’t sit around, waiting for your hatred to disappear all by itself. Talk to your loved ones about it, and get engaged in activities that make you happy. Also, do not deny the fact that you’re angry, accept it.
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The bargaining phase comes after the first, and the most intense waves of anger settle. When you’re at the bargaining stage, it means you’re healing properly. You begin to contemplate various decisions regarding how you should respond to the act of cheating. Usually, all the thoughts that come up during this stage are aimed at finding a shortcut to end your heartaches. You might start to consider the “what ifs” and the “if only I could.” Realistically, emotional pain can’t simply be switched with another emotion like a song on a playlist. And the moment you acknowledge this fact, then you’re ready for the next stage: depression.
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Depression or intense sadness is an inevitable stage of grief. It sometimes lasts longer than the first three stages. But in a way, it’s a good sign. It means you’re closer to the final stage. You might become quiet, reclusive, and very vulnerable. Allow yourself to feel this stage, but while you do, keep at the back of your mind that no feeling, emotion, or state of mind is forever. Everything eventually gives way to the next thing. Once the depression phase passes, you can get to the last stage, which is acceptance.
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Acceptance is the point at which you get to see the pain for what it is. It’s the point where you let yourself feel what’s needed to be felt. You let yourself feel broken, you become cathartic, you let out your tears, you release your heart to the pain you’ve been shielding it from, and after all, is said and done, you begin to heal.
Talk to Your Girlfriend
Talking with your girlfriend about her infidelity might seem unreasonable. Well, it only feels unreasonable if you haven’t entirely accepted the truth. Talk to her, try to understand how it all happened. Do not rush it, it could take weeks or months to come in terms with all she has to say, but try not to dismiss the tiniest or the most trivial detail. There are many reasons why women cheat, they were probably drunk, and their inhibitions were lowered, they were feeling stuck in a relationship, and needed excitement or they needed attention and sought it out elsewhere.
Whatever reasons there are, it will never justify the erroneous act of cheating. Nevertheless, try to understand why your girlfriend cheated on you. Ask her if it was intentional, ask how long it’s been going on, and ask her if she’s emotionally attached to the other man. Take your time, be kind, calm, and considerate while talking with her. Your goal is to get the motive behind the infidelity. So, take it slow and listen. Don’t do all the talking, just listen. And even if you get to say a few words, be honest and avoid speaking out of anger.
Take your time
Do not make any decision in a hurry after talking with her. Get away from the situation. Hang out with friends, go to the gym, read a book, watch a movie, do as much as you can to not dwell on the situation. Get your life back on track. Staying off the situation doesn’t mean you don’t care about what happened; it doesn’t mean you’re trying to forget about the fact that she cheated. You’re only trying to make sure that your life isn’t revolving around her unfaithfulness alone.
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You need to stay in control of your life before you make a decision. Go on a trip if you can, and get away from it for a while. And when you’re back and ready to make a decision, be sure to do it only when you’re calm and rational.
Make Your Decision
Do you believe a relationship can survive after an act of infidelity? Well, a lot of things are possible. People get back to their partners who once cheated on them and still stay happy, in love, and resolved to make it last. However, not every relationship can handle the blow of infidelity. Whatever you decide, be sure that it is the best thing for you and that your partner is on board. There is no point in trying to keep a relationship in which one partner has already checked out. If you’re willing to work on your relationship, and she isn’t, then walk away.
One more thing, do not judge future relationships based on past ones. Because your previous girlfriend cheated on you doesn’t mean your next girlfriend will. Holding on to that assumption would only hurt you and your future partner, but you deserve more than that. You shouldn’t be the instigator of hurt in your new relationship.