Thursday, January 15, 2015

What To Do If You've Been Cheated On

When I found out that the man I was going to marry had been cheating on me… I was relieved. That might seem like an odd choice of emotion, but it’s the truth. Ok, fine, for about ten seconds I was angry. I want to say that I was shocked when I uncovered the deception that spanned approximately half of our relationship but I wasn’t, the signs were all there.  I was perhaps a little surprised, only because he had always expressed contempt and disdain for people who cheated and declared it was something he could never do, especially as he had been cheated on by all of his previous girlfriends. So based on that, I believed him.

My relief was two-fold. For one, I finally felt validated about my feelings of doubt that plagued our relationship for over six months April. I am not a jealous or insecure person, but his sketchy actions made me one. I hated myself for feeling stressed, paranoid, and doubt ridden. So finding out that I my feelings were founded in truth and that he is just a manipulative lying cheat? Flooded me with peace and relief. 

The 2nd fold of relief was that we recently got back together but I was having doubts about giving the relationship another shot. I realized I couldn’t do it, and ended it. The next day, I found out about his long term infidelity made things crystal clear. I was done. Moved on, no looking back, good riddance.

It’s never easy to find out that someone we loved/cared about betrayed us but if it happens try and keep the following frame of mind/action

It’s Not Your Fault: Nothing you did or didn’t do makes someone cheating on you your fault, regardless of how they might try and spin it. It is THEIR fault. 100% And don’t forget that. Also, don’t make excuses for them. Do Not. I don’t care how stressful work is, or how hard moving in together was, or how much money they lost etc. Life happens. There are better ways of dealing with negative issues than betrayal.

Don’t Expect an Explanation or Apology: Don’t ask or want a reason. There isn’t one. At least not one that will actually justify it or make you feel remotely better. As for an apology? Are you owed one? Absolutely. Will you get one? Probably not. If you do, will it really make you feel better?

Don’t Let it Define You or Affect your Future Relationships: While our pasts are important in shaping who we are, we shouldn’t let them define or hinder our future. We have to just accept this bad experience as a one off and not go into future relationships expecting or fearing the same outcome. It’s  just one person, so don’t blame the rest of the population. Look at it this way: if you fall down the stairs, do you suddenly become terrified of stairs and refuse to take them ever again? Or grip onto the railing like it’s a life vest? No. because it’s a one off, and shouldn’t be expected.

Don’t Think About Revenge:  It is so tempting seek revenge on someone who has wronged us. To hurt them or anger them like they did us. But don’t. It’s not worth it. Not only will it solve nothing, but there is no need for you to lower yourself to that level. Let happiness and success be your revenge. Example:  My ex has a major aversion to leaving a digital footprint so I was tempted us use his name, job title, company, name of mistress etc in this post so that it would come on in a Google search on him. I knew he’d HATE that, which made me laugh to think about. But I didn’t, because really, I’m so much better than that.

Don't Blame the "Other" Woman or Man: it's easy to say snarky things about the person or people your partner cheated with but the truth is, unless they were a close friend of yours, then they have no responsibility to you. it is your partners responsibility to be faithful to you. The woman my ex was involved with, knew about me, but it's still not her fault. And as much as it's tempting to bash her the truth is that HE is the wrong one.

Don’t Be Sad: Breakups are hard. When my ex and I first ended things I was devastated, grieving this true love that I thought I was losing. When I found out the truth about him, it changed everything. I didn’t even cry. All of a sudden I realized what we had wasn’t special, and he isn’t a great guy, so I had no reason to be sad.  I still haven’t cried.

Trust Your Instincts: Unless you’re a doomsday seeker or excessively paranoid, if your instincts are telling you something, then you should probably listen. I ignored mine, against my better judgement and will never do that again. In fact, my first gut reaction to my ex when I met him four years ago was that he was a scumbag. Should’ve listened to myself :) 

Don’t Let Someone Else Control Your Feelings:  The only person in control of your feelings, your life, and your actions is you. Just like someone can choose to be faithful, you can choose to be positive vs negative, happy vs sad, productive vs lazy, to move on vs wallow. Take control of your life and don’t let someone else sooooo not worthy of your consideration waste a second more of your time.

Know Your Worth:  Everyone deserves to be in a relationship with someone who loves, values, and respects them. Someone who cheats on you,breaking your trust, hurting you, and potentially putting you in harms way (diseases etc) is not worthy of your love and commitment. Find someone who is. This also applies to people who are hooking up with someone in a relationship. You deserve to be with someone who makes you their #1. 

Move On: If someone cheats on you then end it with them and move on. It’s over anyway. It ended the minute they decided to break their commitment of fidelity to you. Are there exceptions? Yes, there are, of course. As I said in my last post, there are one off mistakes. Or more complicated situations. But my rule of thumb is, if the trust is gone, there is no room for a healthy relationship. Get out and move on. Don’t look back.

These are actually a lot simpler than they may seem. Once you decide that you won’t be sad and that you’re better off, the rest comes naturally.  I didn’t have to adjust at all, it was like I suddenly snapped into this mode.

I am not going to pretend that I am not disappointed. I am. Not because we broke up. I no longer believe that I “lost” anything.  I am disappointed that he chose to lie to me for so long.  By continuing to tell me that he  loved and wanted to marry me (a ruse kept up until January 5th and probably would’ve continued had I not told him it was over) he essentially wasted nine months of my life.  So I am disappointed about that but mostly relieved. Relieved I found out the truth. Relieved it wasn’t all in my head. Relieved, so very VERY relieved that I didn’t marry him or have children with him because then I would’ve been tied to him instead of able to walk away. Instead, I'm starting 2015 afresh. Free to do what I want, and available for someone who is worthy of me…and I couldn’t be happier.


  1. Alice,
    I know that based on the content of your recent blog posts, this is probably not the best timing. But I'll ask you anyway.
    Let me introduce myself first. My name is Huy. I am currently an editor for, an online news publication, covering political world news. Recently, I've been trying to soften my world news section a bit by incorporating stories of foreigners' perspectives on Vietnam. Not travelers, but veteran expats who have been in the country for quite some time. And you certainly fit the bill.
    So with that, I'd like to ask you if you're still in Hanoi (I couldn't tell based on the recent posts). If you are, would you mind having a little chat with me (I purposely try not to call it an "interview") about your life experience in Vietnam? If you're on board with the idea, you can contact me via email at It won't take much longer than 30 minutes.
    As an aside, I spent some time in your homeland, 4 years to be exact, at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Central PA. I've been to NYC a couple times and I'm a die-hard Mets fan as well.
    Once again, I'm sorry for your recent breakup. Hope all is well and I look forward to hearing from you.