Being cheated on is a heartbreaking experience that will make you wary of being vulnerable.
When we are in a relationship with someone, we expect them to reciprocate the same love and devotion that we give them. It's the least we can expect from a relationship that we are hoping to invest a lot of time and emotion in. Giving your heart to someone is a very brave thing to do. To entrust its care to someone you trust will not break it. But your world comes crashing down when your partner betrays this trust and is unfaithful to you. Cheating is wrong and there is no excuse good enough to overlook the fact that they broke your heart and the trust you had in them.
Most of us have been cheated on and it is a devastating feeling. You go through a lot of emotions. You're angry, sad, disappointed, and confused. There are different ways you can choose to deal with it. You may decide to go your separate ways after the infidelity comes to light. It is, after all, very hard to take your partner back and erase the image of them with someone else from your mind. Others will take them back after taking time and space to forgive them. They may even be able to move past the incident. But people who are cheated on will change forever in some ways.
When you get cheated on by a person whom you loved and trusted, you are left questioning where you went wrong and what was it that you did that led them to turn to another person to satisfy their needs. You may start to feel unattractive and blame yourself for your partner's actions. You may start thinking that you're just not good enough, which is why your partner found someone else. It will take a while for you to come to terms with the fact that your partner just did not care about your feelings enough to act on their feelings for someone else.
Once your self-esteem has been shattered, you start to think that you are unworthy of love. You tell yourself that because you are unworthy of love, your partner decided to give it to someone else. This will also seep into other aspects of your life and other relationships as well. You will start to miss out on opportunities, be afraid to try new things, and become less outgoing. You will feel like you are a burden to others and try to stay away from others which could make you feel even more depressed.
Being cheated on will leave you with trauma. You are skeptical about everyone's intentions in your life. Romantically or otherwise, you feel like people are out to get you and break your heart. You start to overthink relationships especially when you start dating again. No matter how many times you tell yourself that not everyone is the same, you just cannot stop yourself from thinking of the worst-case scenarios and protecting yourself from being hurt again.
After being cheated on, you start thinking of the world as bleak. You may shut your feelings and emotions down completely. You don't see the point of love anymore since your partner broke your trust. You try to convince yourself that love and relationships are a waste of time. You start to drown yourself in work or other activities to distract you from the pain. This attitude may seep into your future relationships where you are ready to flee at the first sign of being hurt in any small way.
Putting yourself out there again feels like a daunting task. The idea of being vulnerable enough to fall in love with someone again scares you. You try to live in denial of these feelings because you think you are setting yourself up for another broken heart. You become extra cautious or your beliefs about love change. You feel stupid for having put yourself through the previous hurtful relationship at all and decide it's not worth the heartache.
Going through the heartbreak of being cheated on changes you as a person. It leaves you with a feeling of emptiness that you don't know how to fill. You are confused and can't point out what it is that is making you feel so empty. You lose motivation to not only invest in another relationship but in day-to-day things as well. You are left with conflicted and confused emotions. The part of you that was able to give and take love feels like it was stolen when your partner broke your heart.
You are left angry and bitter after being cheated on. How you interact with others in your life also goes through a huge change. You are no longer the nice and sweet person you were before. You are now an emotional mess with no idea about how to deal with the conflicting emotions. "Your physical and mental being can take a huge hit and these feelings that come from that can inadvertently be transferred to your other relationships," Gayle Johns-Carter, professional life coach and founder of Coaching Your Life's Goals, told Insider. "It can unknowingly affect every aspect of your life including how you treat your children and other family members, friends, co-workers, and even the most casual of relationships.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Boy_Anupong