This piece is coming straight from the passage of my heart that I had blocked after a year of grieving and suffering. I am letting some of the important information out of that passage so you don’t feel like you’re alone in this. Life after being cheated on is never the same because it changes you. The feelings after being cheated on by husband/wife/partner/spouse will leave you stupefied and unnerved.
One of the first feelings I experienced in magnitude was numbness. It was as if my body was paralyzed. I remember being numb for days on end. If there’s anything in this world that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, it’s being at the receiving end of a partner’s infidelity.
What follows after numbness is a rush of feelings that are intense and soul-shattering. You want to accept the reality but your heart keeps telling you that your partner can do no wrong because you trusted them with everything you had and because they once claimed to love you more than anything else in this world. Everything you believed in has been a lie. Your world is topsy-turvy and you are left hanging in the air.
Feelings After Being Cheated On — What Does One Go Through?
You fall in love with someone. Your love is equally reciprocated. You’re so happy that you’ve even decided this is the person you’re going to marry and spend the rest of your life with. You imagine a home with them with an indoor plant nursery and a few kids. Then, bam! The rug is pulled from under your feet and you fall face-first on a hard, concrete floor.
You realize that your home was just a house of cards which has now collapsed due to one person’s infidelity. To put it gently, being cheated on is the worst and how to heal after being cheated on is not easy. The trauma will always sit on your lap like a needy baby who needs to be cared for 24×7. Keep reading to know more about someone’s feelings after being cheated on and how to deal with them.
1. The shock will numb you
The initial stages of feelings after being cheated on are full of shock. The truth about the person you loved will shock you. You trusted this person and you were vulnerable with them because you thought they wouldn’t hurt you. Now you found out everything was a lie. You’re shocked beyond words. You’re stuttering, sweating, and shaking. The shock will numb your body and brain. You won’t be able to think straight.
One thing I realized after I recovered from the shock is that I forgot for a moment that my former partner was just another human who had bad qualities as well. When we love someone, we have our rose-colored glasses on and we neglect their bad traits. This is where the next feeling becomes very important to address.
Related Reading: 15 Shocking Things Cheaters Say When Confronted
2. The great denial
Following from the previous point, one of the common feelings you have after being cheated on is denial. You will refuse to accept the truth because you never saw them in a bad light. You were so busy falling in love that you forgot to stop for a second and analyze their bad qualities. Denial is one of the stages of a breakup that everyone goes through.
The reason that I kept denying the truth was because I didn’t think he would do something like this to hurt me. I saw him as the nicest human on earth who could do no wrong. I put him on a pedestal next to angels. Maybe that’s why I kept denying his infidelity.
The denial stage is not long but it’s where you need to be strong. It decides whether or not you are going to take them back in your life. If you keep denying the truth and they apologize for their mistake, then there are chances you might reconcile with the cheater. Or they might even take advantage of your denial stage and make hay while the sun shines. They will completely deny the truth and they will make it look like they are innocent and haven’t done anything wrong. Don’t ever fall for this.
3. You realize you’ve been betrayed
When you’ve battled the above-mentioned feelings after being cheated on, it all finally sinks in. To put it bluntly – the love of your life played you. They played with your feelings. They have broken their promises. They have taken advantage of your trust and confidence in them. They took your world and bombed it. Now, you’re standing in between the rubbles of a broken home. Cheating is also one of the signs of lack of respect in a relationship. So, they didn’t just cheat on you but they also showed you that they have zero respect for you and the relationship.
You will start hating that person. You’ll begin to lose your feelings after being cheated on. Love will turn into hate almost instantly. Or maybe, love and hate will co-exist for you, confusing you further. The realization of their infidelity can jolt you in an astounding way. It feels like you’ve finally woken up after years of deep slumber. You realize you’ve been lied to, manipulated, and possibly gaslighted. Don’t be scared. This is normal, and there’s a way forward from here.
4. Humiliation and anger are some of the feelings after being cheated on
When I was betrayed, I felt humiliated and embarrassed. My friends, my family, and colleagues knew about my relationship. I had even told my parents this is the person I am going to marry. There are many ways being cheated on changes you. Being filled with embarrassment is one of them.
When I found out the truth, I was embarrassed to go and tell them that I chose a coward for a lover. If you are experiencing the same humiliation, then please know that it’s one of the common feelings after being cheated on, even though you’ve nothing to be embarrassed about at all. You trusting someone is not wrong, them breaking that trust is.
This humiliation and embarrassment will give rise to a lot of anger. Here’s a testament of your sincere writer – I can never show my anger. I bottle it up and it stays inside me till it’s ready to burst out. If you are angry, don’t hold it inside. Talk to your loved ones about it. Show your anger. Cry out loud and scream your lungs out. Do everything you can to keep yourself sane.
5. Immense grief
Your new life after being cheated on brings a lot of sadness. Grief is inevitable. You will go through all the stages of grief after a breakup. You won’t just grieve the end of your relationship. You will also mourn the death of a person you loved for so long. You will feel powerless and hopeless. The person you fell in love with isn’t there anymore. Your emotions will be drained, and you will be left feeling sick after being cheated on.
Take your time and wallow in your sadness if that’s what you want because nobody can pressure you into feeling better. But if that sadness turns into depression, seek professional help. Grief is, sadly and honestly, one of the stages of feelings after being cheated on, and it takes a very long time to leave to be honest.
6. You will think you weren’t good enough for them
This is one of the normal feelings you have after being cheated on. You will question if you weren’t a good enough partner. Maybe there was something missing in you, that you weren’t meeting some of their emotional or sexual expectations. Instead of focusing on the bad things your partner did, you will question and doubt yourself. It’s not a healthy reaction but it’s a very common one and you need to figure out how to get over insecurities after being cheated on.
I went a little ahead than most people and started hating myself. I saw myself as a fool who didn’t see the signs of cheating. This self-loathing was too much to handle and it caused my self-esteem to go down the drain. I realized later that there’s nothing wrong with me. I deserve a love that’s unadulterated and pure. If you are stuck at any of the stages of feelings after being cheated on, then don’t ever question or hate yourself for somebody else’s actions. That’s the most unfair thing you can do to yourself.
Related Reading: 15 Signs He Never Loved You – And How To Get Over It
7. You’ll want to find out every little thing about the affair(s)
After all the grieving and anger, the stages of feelings after being cheated on move to pained curiosity. You are left with this inquisitive need to find out everything about the affair. There are many types of affair and you will want to know everything about it. Which kind of affair was it? Where did they meet them? Where did they do it? How many times did they do it? Are they in love or just fooling around? The painstaking questions are never ending. This is one of the things I was obsessed with. I kept fixating on the details of the affair.
I wanted to know everything that happened and where it happened. I thought maybe all the details would help me navigate the situation better. I thought everything would make sense but when I found out the answers, all my emotions were amplified. Express your feelings after being cheated on, but don’t go searching for answers. Sometimes, ignorance is truly a bliss.
8. You will compare yourself with the person they cheated on you with
This kind of behavior will have a largely negative impact on your self-esteem. Is he more handsome than me? Is she prettier than me? Is that person better than me in bed? Do they have a better body than me? These are toxic thoughts and common feelings after being cheated on by husband/wife/partner/spouse. You need to know how to get out of the comparison trap as these thoughts will hurt you as much as the infidelity has.
Not only are these comparisons unhealthy, these thoughts hinder your advancement toward healing. You are letting negative energy take up space in your head. Understand that you can’t become someone else and they can’t be you. That’s the beauty of individuality. You should be loved and celebrated for being who you are.
9. You will want to be alone
Life after being cheated on won’t be the same. You will want to be alone most of the time. You will avoid hanging out with friends because you don’t know how you will handle their questions about the breakup. You will refuse to leave the comfort of your home. Deal with loneliness after a breakup the right way by finding support in friends and family.
You will feel lonely, but this is where you find yourself again. You can get back to an old hobby. You can binge-watch your favorite shows. You can start working out. Yoga, gym, Zumba, or whatever it is that helps you feel better. But if you can’t bear the loneliness, then please seek professional help.
10. You will have a difficult time learning how to trust again
Once you go through the above stages of feelings after being cheated on, you will have massive trust issues. If you have managed to get back into the dating game again, you will have difficulty in trusting the people you meet. You will question their actions, intention, behavior, and even the authenticity of their words.
For a long time, it will be difficult for you to trust anyone. You will question if you will ever have a healthy and loving relationship. Such feelings after being cheated on are very natural. If you are at this stage, then take all the time you need to repair your bond with the world. After all, you’ve had your trust broken once. Nobody should rush you, force you, or pressure you into trusting them too soon.
11. You will feel strong again
Accept and express your feelings after being cheated on in the right way and you will find light at the end of the tunnel. You will feel strong again. You will fall in love again. You will battle it out. With time, you will heal. You will stop caring about the person who put you through all this. All you have to do is believe in yourself. You will finally realize that one person can’t dictate your happiness.
When I was battling the feelings after being cheated on, I turned to Harry Potter a lot. Albus Dumbledore’s quote was the first step I took toward getting better. He said, “Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Life will keep throwing curveballs at you. It’s on you to look for the light, and eventually be hopeful, optimistic, and happy.
How Do You Deal With Feelings After Being Cheated On?
You’ve been told (or found out) a soul-crushing truth. You are experiencing a whirlwind of emotions at the moment. You are furious one moment and shattered the next. Deal with your feelings in a healthy way. Work through them. Recognize that your feelings are normal. Come to terms with the infidelity. The next significant step to healing is to not blame yourself for somebody else’s actions. Accept it.
Accept that you’ve been betrayed. Tell your best friend about it. Go to a therapist. At Bonobology, we offer professional help through our panel of licensed advisors who can help you embark on a path toward recovery. Make your mental health your topmost priority. Surround yourself with positive people and don’t ever act out of your heightened emotions.
Mentally feeling sick after being cheated on is one of the things that happens. It dents your self-esteem and makes you question your self-worth. It damages your mental health by invading your peace and sanity. The anger, frustration, and sadness can even cause anxiety in people.
Nobody can put you on a timer and expect you to heal before that time ends. You can’t instruct your brain to forget about it and move on. It takes time. Usually, it takes two years but it all depends on the effects of your trauma.
It affects you in many ways. You will doubt yourself, you will doubt other people’s intentions, and you will think twice before falling in love. Your confidence will take a hit.