Everyone handles the pain of infidelity differently, and it’s often said that the pain of infidelity never goes away.
This is open to some discussion, but in my experience and with all the people I’ve spoken with who have been cheated on, it’s true.
We can learn how to manage and minimize the pain of being cheated on, but I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who would say the pain has 100% gone away.
Here is a look at how infidelity affects people, why the pain never goes away, and some of the ways you can numb the pain of being cheated on:
Why The Pain of Infidelity Never Goes Away
Everyone is affected differently by being cheated on, but there are some common effects that most people carry forever that keep that pain alive.
The main ones are:
1. Your Trust Has Been Violated in The Worst Way Possible
It’s no secret that trust is a major part of any relationship. When someone cheats, it means they have broken that trust in the worst way possible.
This can lead to feelings of betrayal and abandonment, which are two emotions that are hard to forget or move on from and will leave a lasting effect.
2. You Feel Like You Should Have Known
Another feeling that’s hard to shake for most victims of infidelity is that they should have spotted the signs or known something was up.
It’s understandable that those feelings of guilt, regret, and self-doubt can make it harder to move on from the pain.
But you have to remember that it’s not your fault and you’re not in the wrong for not knowing that your partner was cheating.
3. Your Life as You Knew It Has Been Changed Forever
The reality that your life has been changed forever by your partner’s infidelity is something that’ll be with you forever.
The pain of that realization is one that can never fully be forgotten, even if you’re able to move on from the immediate feelings.
4. There Will Always Be Reminders of What Happened
Reminders of infidelity are something that can keep the pain alive, and it’s almost impossible to avoid reminders of some kind.
Whether it’s seeing your ex and their partner together or hearing a song that reminded you of them, it’s hard to move on when something reminds you of what happened.
5. The Future You Dreamed of Has Been Snatched Away
It’s not just the present that has changed when you find out you’ve been cheated on, your future now takes a new shape.
The dreams and plans you had with your partner have been snatched away, leaving you with a feeling of loss and sadness will stay with you for a long time.
6. You’re Grieving the Loss of Your Relationship and More
A lot of people don’t realize this but when a relationship ends you go through a period of grieving.
It’s not just the relationship that you’re grieving, but all of the dreams and plans you had with your partner too.
This is a process that can take a long time to go through and you’ll experience a lot of the same emotions as anyone grieving a loss.
7. Your Self-Esteem Has Taken a Huge Hit
Our self-esteem is key to our everyday lives and when it takes a huge hit like it does in infidelity, it can leave lasting scars.
It’s all too common to think of yourself as not being enough or feeling unworthy of love and respect, which is why the pain never really goes away.
8. You Can’t Undo the Negative Emotions You’ve Experienced
Who we are today is shaped by our experiences, emotions, and other things we go through.
When you go through a traumatic experience like infidelity, the negative emotions that come with it can be numbed or suppressed, but they’re going to change who you are.
Not necessarily for the worse I’ll add, you can always grow and become stronger from the experience.
9. You’ll Always Have Doubts Going Forward
Part of carrying those lingering emotions forward is the doubt and constant questioning that will come with any new relationship.
It can be hard to trust someone again after being cheated on, so it’s important to take your time and be sure that someone is worthy of your trust before investing in them.
How to Lessen the Pain of Being Cheated On
While you may never get over the pain of infidelity, there are a lot of things you can do to heal.
Some of the things that are known to help are:
1. Don’t Blame Yourself
First and foremost, it’s important to remind yourself that it’s not your fault for not seeing the signs or knowing something was wrong.
Neither is your fault that your partner cheated on you, no matter how your relationship was going.
They always had a choice, they could have ended the relationship and not done what they did.
2. Practice Self Care
Take the time to be gentle with yourself, practice self-care and do things that make you feel good.
This could be anything from going for a walk, taking a break away, meditating, or spending time with friends and family.
Whatever makes you happy, you should do those things.
3. Don’t Hold a Grudge
This might be easier said than done, but you shouldn’t hold a grudge or any ill feelings toward the partner who cheated on you.
Holding on to resentment will only make your pain linger longer and won’t help you move on.
4. Accept that It Happened and It’s Going to Hurt
Acceptance is a huge step in the healing process and it’s key to realizing that the pain won’t go away overnight.
However, learning to live with it and accepting it will help you to move forward and find peace in the situation.
5. Put Yourself First for A While
After being emotionally invested in a relationship it can be a freeing experience to just focus on yourself for a while.
Take some time out and put yourself first, focusing on your mental health, hobbies, and interests.
6. Lean on Your Support Network
You don’t have to go through this alone, make sure you lean on your friends and family for support.
Having someone to talk to who will listen can help you to process and release some of the pain that you’re feeling.
7. Work Through Your Feelings
Unresolved feelings are one of the main reasons the pain of infidelity never goes away.
It’s important to take the time to really process your feelings and work through them, whether that’s through therapy or just talking to a friend.
8. Look Forward Not Backward
Learn to focus on the now and the future, don’t get stuck in the past.
Looking back can be helpful to process what happened and you’ll need to confront those emotions, but it’s important to also look forward and focus on building the future you want.
This will help you move on from the betrayal and eventually find peace.
9. Take Some Positives from Your Experience
Again, this is hard to think about when you’re hurting, but trust me, you’ll be able to learn and grow from this experience.
As long as you’re committed to moving forward, you can use the pain to fuel your resilience and become stronger.
It’s true that the pain of infidelity never goes away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move on and find peace.
Take your time to properly work through your feelings, lean on your support network and focus on the future.
You’ll get through this and come out the other side stronger than ever before.
Remember that you are worthy of love, and that this experience is not a reflection on you.
It might feel like the world is crashing down around you at times, but you are stronger than you know and the pain will eventually lessen.
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-couple-problems
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.