What to Do When You Catch Your Boyfriend Cheating On You
There are very few incidents in a relationship as unfortunate as cheating. It can actually devastate you and leave you unable to deal with your emotions. Sometimes, your negative thoughts can paralyze your mind, leaving you unable to take any step further. Not only is cheating unfortunate, but also the sudden revelation can catch you completely off guard. Although everyone deals with this situation in different ways, we can recommend some steps which you should take immediately after you have caught your boyfriend cheating. Even if dealing with life seems difficult at this moment, try to take one step at a time. Here are a few steps to consider while trying to heal yourself from the trauma.
1. Taking a break after your boyfriend has cheated on you
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The first step is to take a break and process what has happened. It can be sudden and devastating news for you. Take a break for 2-3 days before moving ahead. Be cautious about your immediate reaction after cheating, as you can take some drastic measures in either direction. Some women want to heal the relationship right away, while others just want to leave and never look back. Try to resist these urges, and give yourself the opportunity to sort your emotions so that you can make a rational decision. After you’ve heard your boyfriend out, tell him that you need some time alone to think about what you’re going to do. You can ask your boyfriend for some time and not to reach out to you until you feel ready. Go outside for some fresh air and the opportunity to move your body. Many people believe that writing a journal helps, so write down all of your thoughts in a journal. You can write whatever you want in this journal, and it will help you a lot – trust us on this.
2. Ask your boyfriend directly about cheating
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Don’t beat around the bush or try to make him confess his cheating affair. Just show him the evidence and ask him directly. There is not much point in playing games here. Don’t obsess over making him confess his mistake or catching him in the act. Also, before confronting him, please make sure that you have enough evidence of cheating to show him. If you are not sure, take some time and collect all the information before confronting your boyfriend. If the information is not true, your step can actually backfire and ruin your relationship unnecessarily. However, if you believe that the information is true, try to discuss the situation with him calmly without getting overwhelmed with anger. Although it is not easy, if you find that your anger is just out of control, try to move away from the conversation and calm down.
3. Reach out to your social support system
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Shawn Achor, bestselling author of the book "The Happiness Advantage," has stated that “In one study of 1400 students in Harvard, called very happy people, results showed that there was a 0.7 correlation between social support and happiness. This correlation is higher than the connection between smoking and cancer.” What we are trying to emphasize here is that it is tempting to remain alone in your room after a cheating incident, but reaching out to your friends or your family will actually help you in dealing with this situation. They say that nobody gets through life alone. Talk your heart out to your close friends about the cheating affair. Your emotions are going to be all over the place after finding out about the cheating, and sharing this with close friends will really help.
4. Make a relationship decision after you have been cheated on by your boyfriend
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Once you are sure about the fact that your boyfriend cheated, it is time to take a decision about whether you want to continue the relationship or not. Try to understand exactly how the cheating happened. Did you catch him or someone else? Is it emotional cheating or physical as well? How many times has the cheating happened? Is it a serious affair or a one-time thing? What is the status of your boyfriend’s relationship with the other person? If it was physical, did your boyfriend use protection? It’s important for you to know if you need to get tested for STIs (sexually transmitted infections). The decision to continue the relationship or not should be yours and made only after heavy consideration. You should consider whether you still love him or not. We understand that decision-making is not easy at this moment, but give yourself a time frame and then make a decision. Whatever your decision is, be confident about it, and work on it without looking back.
5. Seek counselling after you have been cheated on
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The extent to which you would be affected after you have caught your boyfriend cheating depends on many factors such as the length of the relationship and your own mental strength. Sometimes you can be extremely confused about whether or not you still love him. If you are feeling distraught and are not able to cope with the situation, you can seek some counseling and see a therapist. Somehow, there are still a lot of stigmas attached to counseling. However, our mind is also part of our body, and it is important to take mental health as seriously as we take our physical health. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek some counseling if you are unable to handle your emotions. Even your best, most compassionate friends might get tired of hearing you state all the same details about the cheating incidents. Not only will a therapist listen to you, but they can actually help you in restructuring your thoughts toward a positive direction. Your therapist will understand exactly what you are going through and can help you change the way you think.
6. Forgive your boyfriend after cheating
Be at peace
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you", said Lewis B. Smedes. Whatever decision you make, try to forgive your boyfriend for cheating. It is highly recommended that you try to forgive because it is important for your mental peace. If you still love him and want to to give your relationship a chance, then give it with all your heart and refrain from repeatedly bringing the cheating into your interactions. Also stop the obsession to catch him again. On the other hand, if you decide to move on from the relationship, just forgive him and move on without looking back. Initially, it will be extremely painful, but with time, you will heal, and you'll be able to form new relationships.
7. Try to focus your attention on the activities you love
Do something you love
After you have caught your boyfriend cheating, give yourself some time and try to be involved in the activities that you love such as sports, music, art, traveling or something else which interests you. It could be any of your interests. If you like to paint, just paint as much as you can. If you always wanted to travel, plan a solo trip. The point is to immerse yourself in your interests and hobbies. Many people find working out, sports and exercise quite helpful. Most of us don't concern ourselves with self-care, even when things are good, so chances are strong that you’ll find this step incredibly challenging, but keep trying to do it as much as you can. Trust us on this – it is worth making the effort.
8. Take care of your health
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When you are confronted with an unfortunate situation like cheating, it is understandable if you are tempted to just cry and eat a ton of ice cream. But if you can incorporate the three aspects of living well, i.e. eating well, sleeping well, and exercising well in your daily routine, they will help you a lot. Even if it doesn't feel that easy to focus on these things at the moment, just believe that they will help you immensely in increasing your mental and physical strength to deal with this unfortunate circumstance. Even taking small steps in these directions will help you a lot.
9. Remain dignified after you have been cheated on by your boyfriend
A cheating incident can have extreme reactions from people. Sometimes, you can be tempted to beg your boyfriend to not leave you alone. Extreme emotions can sometimes make you indecisive or vulnerable, so take a break and sort out your feelings. Take your time sorting your emotions and after that, make your decisions with dignity. Keep your head high no matter if you still love him or not. Try to believe in yourself and have high self-esteem to make sensible decisions after you have caught your boyfriend cheating on you.
10. Break off all contact for a while in case of a breakup
In case you decide to end the relationship after the cheating incident, it is recommended that you break all contact, at least for a while. This includes Facebook, WhatsApp, phone contacts, emails, et al. In order to move on, it is imperative that you do this because if you don't, there is always something which can trigger your emotions and prevent your mental healing. As your boyfriend is now your ex, refrain from using him as your BFF or any type of emotional support.
11. Help someone else
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Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help someone else. After a cheating incident, you can get yourself caught up in a spiral of thoughts about yourself and your life. Reach out and give some time to volunteer in a local organization. It will shift your focus from yourself for a while and add a perspective to your thinking. Be kind to someone else; for example, tell your coworker how much you love her outfit, donate to a charity, or spend a weekend volunteering somewhere. When you do good for others, not only do you raise your self-esteem and feel valuable to the world, but you also shift your focus to the problems of others in the world.
12. Stop blaming yourself for getting cheated on
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Many women start blaming themselves with thoughts like "I'm fat", "I'm stupid" or “I am not sexy enough.” These negative thoughts lead to a more destructive mindset that makes it difficult to deal with the cheating situation. The fact that your boyfriend cheated on you is not your fault. If someone wants to cheat, they will cheat. It is absolutely wrong to beat yourself up for the cheating. Try to make some small positive goals and congratulate yourself when you complete them. The goals can be as small as changing your hairstyle. The point here is just to neutralize the negative thoughts by focusing your mind on more constructive things, to get a realistic perspective on situations, and to increase your self-esteem when you achieve the small goals you set for yourself. Don't give up. You can get past this.