Being cheated on is a very difficult experience to go through. It changes you in ways that you might not expect. You feel betrayed, embarrassed, and hurt. It’s hard to get over the fact that someone has been dishonest with you and it can take a while before you can trust again.
It can make you lose trust in people and it can also change your perception of love. You might also experience a sense of betrayal, anger, and sadness.
If you are experiencing these feelings, then it is important to know that these feelings are normal and that there are many things you should be expecting to go through in the coming next months or years. And, only if you know what to expect, can you make an effort to watch yourself and change it all for the better.
So, how does being cheated on changes you? And what to expect and keep an eye out for?
How does being cheated on change you?
1- You doubt everyone and everything:
Being cheated on is not easy. It changes you in a lot of ways. You start to question your own worth and the person you are. You start to doubt everything and everyone around you, including yourself.
The experience of being cheated on is not the same for everyone. It can change you in many ways, both physically and mentally. But, one thing that most people that suffered from a similar traumatizing experience have in common is the lack of trust in their surroundings, loved ones, and future partners.
The feeling of being cheated on is one of the worst feelings in the world. It will make you question every aspect of your relationship. You will doubt everything from your partner’s intentions to their fidelity, and it can lead to a very dark place. Also, the longer the relationship that you got cheated on has lasted, the more damage it will do.
It is natural to feel this way, but it is important to remember that it will not last forever. The more time that passes, the easier it will be for you to trust again and find someone who deserves your love and respect.
2- You expect disappointment:
The first time someone cheated on you, you probably didn’t expect it. You thought that your partner was loyal and committed to you. Then one day, they confessed to cheating on you, or worse: you caught them red-handed. You felt like the rug was pulled out from under your feet. You were hurt, embarrassed, and humiliated by the betrayal of your partner.
So as a coping mechanism has had to be developed by your brain to protect it from similar deep pain, next time something like this happens. And what your brain would’ve chosen to do is to expect disappointment in every relationship and from every person that you date.
This is horrible because you can never truly give your all to anyone as your always keeping your guard up. You are no longer the same person you were before. You become more guarded and suspicious. You become more insecure and distrustful. And this is not the criteria needed for love to develop between you and any other given person.
Love requires a specific amount of trust in the other person and knowing that they’d catch us if we fall and be there for us to rely on. Nobody loves and dies for someone that they think may stab them in the back if they stopped watching.
3- You start blaming yourself for what happened:
It sounds crazy, but more often than not: victims of cheating start to try and rationalize or understand how they could’ve played a part in pushing their cheating ex-partner to betray them. In any case, you should always remind yourself that it wasn’t your fault. You did nothing wrong and nothing great you would’ve done would’ve stopped the betrayal from happening.
You have to go through a process of understanding that you do not need to be perfect and that you will be able to move on from it.
You have to realize that you are not the only one who has gone through this. More beautiful women than you and more handsome men have as well been cheated on. More “perfect”, loving, nurturing, and caring people have gone through the same too. This means that the one to blame is inevitably always the cheater and only the cheater!
You can find support from friends and family, they can help you understand that it is not your fault and that you have met someone manipulative, unfaithful, and not worth your tears.
It is important to take time for yourself, as well as time for your next most loyal and serious partner, in order to heal together. It is also important not to let this experience define who you are or what your next relationship means; because it doesn’t!
4- You may develop unhealthy habits:
If you get cheated on, it can change your view on relationships and other people. You will expect disappointment and be more cautious when trusting someone new as mentioned earlier.
Also, you may become more self-conscious about your appearance as well as your personality traits, which may cause you to withdraw from others or seek attention in unhealthy ways.
This is usually done unconsciously as a way to give yourself some type of pain in moderation to distract your brain from a bigger pain. In this scenario, the bigger pain is the fact that someone you gave your all to, has betrayed you.
5- You never fully recover:
As explained earlier because you have been cheated on: you expect disappointment. You expect any given person to let you down. You expect that they will not be there for you when you need them most. You anticipate the pain and anguish of a broken heart, and it is all too familiar.
This way, even when nobody is harming you, cheating on you, or actively plotting against you and betraying you: the outcome is the same. You still expect it all to happen again with every given person at the first red flag they trigger. And, in return, you go through the same familiar feelings of pain again.
It is all a vicious and horrible cycle that keeps repeating itself. Not with every time someone cheats on you, but simply every time someone makes a mistake, be it a small or big one.
6- It changes you as a partner:
Being cheated on can change your outlook and personality. It can take a toll on your mental health and self-esteem. It is not just the person who was cheated on that gets affected by the betrayal, but also the person who did it. They may go through a period of guilt and regret, which can lead to depression or other mental disorders.
You may start to see any new partner in a different light, scrutinizing their every move and questioning their intentions. You may even find yourself blaming them for every little move they take, in an attempt to catch them in their bad intentions before they cheat this time.
This is why getting cheated on, changes the type of partner you can be to another person. If you were caring, loving, trusting and you use to give the benefit of the doubt before; then all that would be thrown out of the window.
You may feel like you are in a constant state of paranoia, always watching your partner and trying to figure out if they are cheating on you or even thinking of it. You may also find yourself checking their phone or social media accounts for any evidence of infidelity.
This is a common reaction after being cheated on. It can be extremely difficult to get out of this mindset, but it may be helpful to try and think about what made dating and being with someone you love feel so good before the cheating incident. Either way, make sure you don’t get caught up in accusing your new partner of misconduct and micro-cheating with every breath they take.
You can investigate and learn more about micro-cheating and what it is if this is the first time you find out about the term.
The bottom line:
Being cheated on is a very personal experience and will change you in different ways. It’s important to remember that everyone copes with infidelity differently but the common denominator is pain.