The unfortunate thing about most studies done on any topic is that these studies are almost always done with COLLEGE STUDENTS.
"...most psychology research done in the U.S. is consistently done primarily on college students — specifically, undergraduate students taking a psychology course. It’s been this way for the better part of 50 years." - https://psychcentral.com
I mean, let's get real now. College is a 4 year block of time (okay, for some it's an 8 year block) where the rules pretty much go out the window. Never trust a study done on a segment of the population that ISN'T you!
It's misleading and it's given everyone the wrong idea about how people think and function.
So let's dig into the truth about this - and get to the core of what you should do if you have a boyfriend cheat on you.
Before we go into "My boyfriend cheated on me - what do I do?" - I want to start with a few things you should NOT do:
Your boyfriend cheated on you - DON'T DO THIS: Don't go for revenge...
Getting even never pays off.
Sometimes girls will even get in a bad habit of trying to slander or spread rumors about a guy.
She might paint a certain body part on his car...
She might seduce a friend of his to get some revenge...
But the truth is that getting back at someone is only going to hurt you more than him.
Now, I'm hoping that you're not that type of woman anyway, but I had to say this for the record.
Your boyfriend cheated on you - DON'T DO THIS: Don't Bounce Right Away...
There's a temptation to do two things when you go through the hurt of a partner that cheated on you:
Cheat to get some revenge. (I already advised against this above...)
Rebound into some other guy's arms to reassure yourself that you're desirable.
Let me tell you that about 95% of all men and women will jump into the next relationship possible - as fast as possible. (I'm not exaggerating.)
Find the confidence to love again...
TAKE YOUR TIME!
I know it's painful...
I know you feel like you may never have "THAT" again... (And it's probably good if you don't...)
I know that you need some reassurance...
But DO NOT go out and jump into a McRelationship. That's the McDonalds kind of relationship where it's quick, easy, and not very good for you.
Right now your hormones are in a state of PANIC and WITHDRAWAL. YES! Just like drug addiction withdrawal. That's why it seems like you can't control your actions and you act so erratic.
Don't jump into a new relationship the second you're single. It's the worst thing possible, even if it SEEMS like it's a good thing to do to calm down that inner voice of insecurity.
And I know that no matter how many times I say this, you'll still probably throw my caution to the wind and do it anyway.
If you do...
DON'T DO THIS: Don't Move So Fast In the Next Relationship...
If I can't get you to take some time off from dating, for gosh sakes, at least please go SLOWLY with the next guy. You'll be tempted to jump into a new relationship to fill the hole in your heart. But it's not going to work out for you if you do.
Chances are you're old enough to recognize the rebound pattern in your life. If so - you know what I'm talking about here.
Your guy cheated on you - DON'T DO THIS: Don't Go Back...!
Another one of those things that a lot of people do when they're cheated on is to become so lovesick and desperate that they let themselves fall right back in bed with the cheater.
I don't need to tell you why this is a bad idea. But I'm going to anyway...
Don't give your love so easily...
If you go back to this guy, you're saying that you not only don't mind being treated that way, you actually LIKE IT. And if he's a guy that is prone to infidelity, you'll just be setting yourself up for another horrible breakup in a few months.
Even worse is that you'll also be suspicious every day of your life until then. You'll be sick to your stomach over:
Where is he going?
Who is he with?
Who is he talking to on the phone?
Why do I feel queasy when he doesn't answer his calls...?
Don't put yourself through that kind of torture.
Ignore his stories, his B.S., and his justifications...
Ignore the "But it's different this time" talks...
You can decide to try again - but it has to be after you have gotten over the breakup. Only then can you make a clear headed decision as to whether it's a good idea.
Okay - so we've talked about the Don'ts of "My Boyfriend Cheated On Me..."
Now we need to talk about what you SHOULD do if this happens to you.
Let's count them down:
#5 Thing You Should Do If Your Boyfriend Cheated On You: Close that book...
And I mean that FACEbook.
Don't go on social media broadcasting how he done you wrong.
Don't use social media as a tool to gather sympathy, or to fuel your anger.
The "do's" and "don'ts"...
Remember that the #1 problem with social media is that people think it's real, and it's intimate - when it's neither. People on Facebook haven't gone through your situation, and the best they'll be able to do is to do some cheering (which could be nice, but not online) or give you some empty platitudes.
Instead of looking to social media to help you, look to your closest friends.
Take one of them out to lunch, and explain what happened.
Most of your ability to rebound in a healthy way and get back to your happiness will be in the friends you choose to tell about this situation. Try to choose the girlfriends - and guy friends - with the most level heads. You also want the friends that you know will not just serve up empty sympathy for you.
I hate to say this, but one of my previous mentors used to say: You never want to share your misery with others - because half are happy it happened to you instead of them, and the other half just don't care.
Now I'm not that much of a negative person to say that what he said is true, but there's some Truthy-ness in there.
#4 Thing You Should Do If Your Boyfriend Cheated On You: Get To Forgiveness...
One of the worst side effects of this kind of betrayal is the lasting damage it causes to your trust. You have to be willing to let go of the pain - when the time is right.
In the early stages - go ahead, be angry! It's part of the process.
Don't try to shortcut it.
Move on and prepare for the next relationship...
But later on, you need to work through all the stages:
You may recognize these as the stages of grief - which are essentially the stages of dealing with a deep loss.
And I consider the last one - #5. Acceptance - to also include Forgiveness.
That's your ability to let go and move on to the rest of your life. It's the willingness to not let the painful events of our history define the future.
It's the ability to let go and move on to the next wonderful thing waiting for you.
Mind you - I said FORGIVE. I didn't say you should forget. Forget should not be a part of the equation. And that's your way of staying on alert for your next relationship and not miss any warning signs.
#3 Thing You Should Do If Your Boyfriend Cheated On You: Remember Who Did It...
There are many women who fall into self-blame over a boyfriend who cheated on them. They feel that it must have been something about HER that made him do it.
She wasn't smart enough... Or pretty enough... or good enough...
The voice of the inner "shamer" jumps right in there to make you feel as if you're the cause of it all.
Why do we do this? Why do we fall on self-blaming?
Especially when we know it's coming from such a negative place?
Well, it's mostly because we humans can't stand the uncertainty of not having a reason WHY.
So we have to go somewhere for that reason. And there is a built-in voice of inadequacy in many women's thoughts that is eager to jump in and tell you it was because of YOU.
It's not you but him...
Even if it wasn't.
Which it really wasn't.
You see, if this guy was any kind of man, he'd have simply left the relationship if he wasn't getting what he needed. Or he should have had more communication with you.
No matter what his reasons are, you can't shoulder the blame for it.
Remember that scene in Good Will Hunting? Robin Williams keeps telling Matt Damon that it's not his fault, until he breaks down and loses it.
We pretend it's not our fault, but we all harbor a suspicion that it just might be.
Let go of that and forgive yourself before you even start to blame yourself.
It was him. Not you.
#2 Thing You Should Do If Your Boyfriend Cheated On You: Close The Book...
When you're ready - you need to be willing to get to closure with this guy. When you're ready, and this is going to be a ways out - you need to be willing to sit down with him and get the closure you need on what happened.
Now I'll be the first to tell you that if this guy's a jerk, you might never get the kind of closure you want.
You might not get an apology...
You might not get a good reason...
You might not get any understanding at all...
In fact, he may even go so far as to continue blaming you for as long as he lives. Don't take that jive from him, Sister.
But if he's a reasonable sort, you'll probably get some closure for your heart when you're ready. You may be able to get that apology, just don't expect it.
And when you are ready, you need to re-open the book of love once again.
#1 Thing You Should Do If Your Boyfriend Cheated On You: Open A New Book...
When you're over and done with this guy, after you've closed that book, you'll be ready to get on with your life.
I call this "opening a new book." It has that same feel of starting a new novel - that freshness and excitement of a new adventure.
We humans have a great ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. And we also have a huge capacity to forget pain. (Otherwise, how many women would have more than one child?)
You have this same capacity built into you. You can handle far more than you might believe you can.
When you're over a guy that cheated on you, it's time to re-open your heart to the world. Love doesn't grow if it isn't allowed to flourish in openness.
And I want to tell you - there's another book you should open...
You also want to open the book of understanding what men are thinking.
It's nearly impossible to have a relationship with a man if you don't understand how he thinks about love and relationships.
You can feel like you're completely out of sync with your man if you don't know what his experience is.
To help you, I've spent years pulling together information from my clients (the guys) who told me - over and over - why they chose to marry and commit their hearts to one woman above all others.
Would you like to know why a man will choose you as his one and only?
Would you like to know why a man will choose you as his soulmate?
Would you like to know why a man decides YOU are THE ONE?
If there's one thing you have to know to have a successful relationship, it's THIS:
Men choose you to devote their heart to for ONE simple reason: He sees something in you that he knows will make him happy forever.
Do you know what that ONE thing is that he needs to see in you?
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