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Expert reveals the 4 worst things you can do after being cheated on

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Some reactions will only make things worse (Picture: Getty Images)

Being cheated on is one of the most painful experiences in the world; one that shakes the very foundation of trust and security you’ve built with another person.

The feeling of being deceived by someone you deeply care about cuts deep, leaving scars that linger long after the initial shock subsides and potentially leaving you to question your ability to judge others’ intentions accurately.

The immediate aftermath is a pivotal moment that can affect how you heal from infidelity in the long-term. But your vulnerable state means you might find it difficult to manage the situation

So to help you avoid making the situation worse or doing something in the heat of the moment you might later regret, certified sex therapist Marty Klein has revealed the biggest no-nos after you’ve been cheated on.

Making big decisions

After discovering a life-shattering truth like this, it’s a common reaction to make a snap decision. According to Marty in Psychology Today, though, this isn’t the best way forward.

‘No one should make a big decision when they’re really upset,’ he says. ‘And yet, every day, people in agony about infidelity make major decisions. They “know” they want a divorce. They “have to” tell the kids. They “can’t help” but contact the wife of the “other man.”’

Instead, take time to think and regulate your feelings before embarking on any major moves.

You may regret a rash decision later (Picture: Getty Images)

Using the internet to find support

In today’s world, we often flock to the internet in times of trouble to find others in a similar position. Yet many of the stories we see online are from those who chose ‘a crusade against those who hurt them’ instead of healing – and absorbing their input can pull others down a similar path.

‘Infidelity can be so destabilising that the betrayed often looks for an explanation to help them understand it (as if it were a disease),’ explains Marty.

‘Websites that appear to make sense of infidelity with long discourses on “cheaters,” “manipulators,” and “emotional abusers” are like stale emotional bread to the starving—not ideal, but seemingly better than nothing.’

Try not to look for advice from those who are struggling through pain themselves, as this can sway your emotions.

Asking for details

Understandably, after infidelity, you’ll have questions of your partner. However, Klein says one of the worst reactions is launching into an inquisition – at least when it comes to information you’re not ready to know.

‘The betrayed needs to know such things so they can start asking questions, assessing the relationship, and thinking about what they want,’ he explains. ‘The betrayed does not need to know which massage parlours, which websites, which music, restaurants, and lingerie, or exactly how many times and in which positions.’

He adds that hunting for such information is like consuming empty calories, and that full disclosure can cause more arguments rather than building trust.

Black and white thinking

‘Once infidelity is exposed, there’s a powerful instinct to demonise the betrayer – to decide they’re “a liar” (an innate quality, rather than a behaviour) and to simplistically strip any caring or authenticity from their every past behaviour,’ Marvin says.

While people may not believe it, many of those who cheat do love their partner, and those who lie about infidelity are often honest in other aspects.

According to Marvin, boiling a relationship down to one negative action ‘creates terrible, unnecessary suffering for the betrayed.’

He continues: ‘Instead of dealing with a complex situation in which someone loves you and betrays you, in which someone has participated in your life in meaningful ways and then betrays you, you decide you were never loved, you were fooled a million times on a thousand different days, and that nothing, not one single thing, is the way you thought it was.

‘This is far, far crueler than the betrayal itself.’

He finally notes that while many therapists, influencers and friends champion this simplistic frame of thinking, it just causes more damage for everyone involved.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].



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