My boyfriend cheated on me what should I do?
If this or a similar sentence has ever crossed your mind, you know how devastating and heartbreaking this experience is.
When you first find out that someone you could have sworn would do you no harm went behind your back and deliberately wounded you emotionally, you feel lost and don’t know what to do.
Was everything you two had a big, fat lie? Did he ever love you?
Did your cheating boyfriend ever think of you while he was doing it? Why did he do it in the first place?
These and many other questions are running through your mind and you have no answers.
In this state of shock, it is expected of you to make some moves that don’t look like you. You don’t know what the right thing to do is and you need guidance. Well, that’s why we’re here.
I wish that not a single woman has to read this but if you’re in a similar situation and if your boyfriend cheated on you, we’ll help you play your cards right and make the best of it all.
Here are some things you should do and the things you shouldn’t do when you’re the victim of his infidelity.
11 Things You Should And Shouldn’t Do When He Cheats On You
1. Be certain about it
Before finding ways to deal with your partner’s infidelity, firstly, you have to be sure that it really happened.
It is one thing if he has come clean about cheating on you because in this case, everything is more than clear and you know where you stand.
However, if these are your doubts only based on your gut feeling and if the sentence ‘I think my boyfriend cheated on me’ has gone through your mind, it is time to do some more investigating.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not advising you to go all crazy and dig up all the details from his other relationships just to break your heart even more.
I’m telling you to get all the intel you can so you have all the proof you need in case your cheating boyfriend starts denying it or presenting it as much different than it actually is.
For example, if you found some incriminating text messages or suspicious activities on his social media profiles, save the evidence for later or even continue spying on him until you get to the bottom of this texting and suchlike and see whether there is something more hidden behind it.
You need to know whether he had a parallel serious relationship or this was a one-time thing.
Was this someone he was texting for some time or was the affair physical?
Yes, cheating has no excuse and is one of the worst things you can do to your significant other but there is still a difference between if he had an affair which lasted for a while and which he was consciously hiding while living a double life and if it was just a moment of weakness while he was drunk, which he regretted asap.
You see, it would be much easier for you to believe that this was just your imagination and that your boyfriend didn’t cheat on you at all.
So, if he starts lying or accusing you of overreacting, your subconscious will make you trust him, simply because you want to erase this episode and continue with your relationship.
However, if you present him with the evidence of his infidelity, he won’t have any choice but to confess everything.
2. Accept it
Sadly, the worst thing many women do after they realize they’ve been cheated on is pretend it didn’t happen and avoid entering the realm of affair recovery.
Well, if you want to do everything right, you have to escape this toxic pattern of behavior and accept the harsh truth.
There is no point in trying to dig into this as deeply as possible, no point in repressing your emotions, pretending that you’re not hurt or heartbroken or acting like the entire affair didn’t happen.
Yes, it is probably easier for you to handle it this way now but in the long run, this approach will bring you many more problems than you might think.
Don’t let your boyfriend’s moves define you and remember that you are and will always be much more than a girl who got cheated on.
Nevertheless, you need to embrace it because it is the truth you can’t run away from and which won’t magically disappear if you choose to ignore it.
You can’t expect to move on or to heal unless you face reality first.
Whether you like it or not, you have to have the strength to accept it and find the best way to deal with it.
3. Confront him
Don’t give your boyfriend the silent treatment or go all passive-aggressive on him, expecting he’ll realize you know about his infidelity.
Don’t waste your time and lose more of your patience by waiting for him to bring the subject up because that won’t happen.
This man has been able to keep a secret from you and go behind you back, so he certainly won’t start the topic by himself.
Instead, he’ll pretend to be innocent for as long as possible.
That is why you’ll be the one to put a stop to this agony and start this conversation.
Tell him about your doubts and wait for his reaction and response.
If your boyfriend tries denying the affair and starts to convince you that it was completely meaningless, hit him with all the evidence you have.
Show him that you’re not a fool he can keep on playing with!
4. Don’t take it personally
After you get cheated on, you think that you’re the only one who didn’t see what was happening right in front of your eyes.
You analyze your relationship and can’t help but wonder where things went wrong and how it was possible for the two of you to get to this stage.
Well, I’m here to beg you to put an effort into not taking it so personally. First of all, trust me—you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, cheating happens all the time and there are many more women around you who have been through something similar; you just don’t know it since they chose to stay quiet about it.
Secondly, your boyfriend is a cheater and that has nothing to do with you.
His cheating nature has no correlation with your looks, personality or the way you treated him; it is a problem he has and something he has to fix about himself.
I know you’ll probably start replaying your entire relationship back and forth in your mind. Were you not enough?
Could have you been prettier, smarter, more interesting? Should you have noticed sooner that something was going on?
He probably cheated on his exes and it is very likely that he’ll continue with his behavior patterns regardless of whether he remains next to you or moves on to his next victim.
And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it; you couldn’t have prevented it and nor could you have predicted it.
5. Don’t let him put the blame on you
When people cheat, they usually pull their partner into the blame game.
Instead of taking full responsibility for their awful actions, some men try to turn the tables and make you feel guilty for getting cheated on.
Sounds ridiculous, I know.
However, when your low self-esteem kicks in and when you feel humiliated and betrayed, it is way easier for you to be manipulated into believing that you’re guilty as well.
Don’t allow him to tell you that he did all of this because you weren’t giving him enough attention, because you refused to experiment under the sheets, because you don’t look the way you did at the beginning of your relationship, because you stopped giving him butterflies, because your relationship had fallen into a rut or something like that.
Don’t believe his empty excuses because there is absolutely no justification for what he did.
After all, if he wasn’t content with your committed relationship or if you weren’t making him happy anymore, he should have tried talking things through and put an effort into rebuilding and reviving your romance.
Then, if nothing worked out, he always had the option of walking away like a gentleman.
However, he chose the worst out of all the options; he chose to betray you and stab you in the back, without giving it a second thought and without giving a damn about the consequences his affair might leave on you.
Please remember—you’re the victim here and the victim is never guilty.
If he had the balls to go around and cheat, make him be man enough and take responsibility for his actions like a grown-up.
Trust me—by accusing you for his misdeeds and engaging in these blame games, he is just trying to make things easier for himself.
He is just trying to clear his conscience and deprive himself of guilt.
And you shouldn’t allow him to do that at any cost.
6. …but don’t blame the other girl either
At first glance, you will probably start cursing the day the girl your boyfriend cheated on you with was born.
You’ll aim all of your disappointment and hate toward her. This man loved you and respected you until she came along, right?
She must have seduced him into cheating and manipulated him into believing she’d give him what you couldn’t.
And these thoughts are not unusual.
After all, it is much easier for you to put all the blame on some random girl you know nothing about than to realize that you spent years next to someone who would do such a thing to you.
It is easier to come up with different scenarios in which she’s the bad guy, while he is a naive boy who did everything by accident and didn’t know better.
Easier but not true.
Nobody expects you to become best friends with this woman or feel sorry for her but has it ever crossed your mind that she is also his victim?
That she didn’t even know you existed? Or maybe she did but he kept lying to her?
Let’s be honest—your boyfriend probably didn’t tell her that he loves you very much and that he doesn’t plan on leaving you.
Even though being the third wheel to someone’s serious relationship is not something anyone should be proud of, have in mind that she is not guilty of ruining your relationship.
If your man is a cheater, he will cheat and if not with her, it would happen with someone else.
After all, she is not the one who made any commitment toward you. She didn’t make any promises and nor did she break any vows.
She is not the one who owed it to you to be faithful and not the one who had the duty to respect your love and the sacrifices you made.
She is not the one who should have thought of you—he is.
7. Talk to him honestly
Yes, this man has caused you a lot of harm. He broke your heart and betrayed your trust in the worst possible way.
I’m not justifying his actions at all but this event doesn’t nullify your entire committed relationship and everything you two shared, had and went through before the infidelity happened.
This is still the man you have a history with and someone you considered your best friend and soulmate up until recently.
Therefore, you both deserve to have an honest talk about all that has happened.
Don’t spare him anything, tell him exactly how you feel and face him with the consequences of his actions.
You don’t have to put a brave mask on and pretend that you’re completely unharmed because that couldn’t be further from the truth.
However, don’t see yourself as a victim either (even though you are his victim) and don’t feel sorry for yourself.
Talk sincerely about everything that happened, all the things that brought you to this awful event.
Most importantly—talk about your plans for the future and be honest about whether it is possible to rebuild your relationship or not.
What does he want? Is he begging you to take him back or does he want to end things?
8. Allow yourself time to grieve
What you’ve been through is not the end of the world or the end of your life. However, it is not easy either.
The realization that their loved one was unfaithful is devastating for every woman out there.
So, please don’t feel the need for some heroic acts and don’t pretend like everything is in perfect order.
Instead, allow yourself time to grieve. Cry and scream if you feel the need to.
If possible, take a few days off work and cancel all of your obligations so you can have some time for yourself.
Process everything that has happened before you become ready to go back out into the world.
9. Do your best to forgive him
After the initial shock has passed and after you accept the fact that your boyfriend cheated on you, the first emotion you’ll probably have is hate.
You’ll feel repulsed by this man and you’ll curse the day he was born.
Please, don’t feel bad about it since it is completely normal and a phase all of us have gone through.
However, don’t let these negative emotions get the best of you and overwhelm your entire being either.
You see, hatred and resentment won’t do any damage to the guy who cheated you.
He won’t feel it and nor will it make him regret his decision, if he hasn’t already.
On the other hand, it will eat you alive and it will break your heart even more.
It will change the essence of the person you were and it will turn you into a bitter, negative woman without any love left in her.
Therefore, please find the strength in yourself to eventually forgive your cheating boyfriend.
Of course, your forgiveness is a process that takes time, otherwise it wouldn’t be honest.
What is important is for you to try as hard as you can, even if he doesn’t ask you to.
Remember—you’re not doing it for his sake, you’re doing it to liberate yourself of all the toxic waste he left behind.
Naturally, forgiving your boyfriend doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’ll take him back or not.
By accepting his apology (even if you didn’t get one), you’re letting go of everything bad that has happened, you’re getting rid of the emotional baggage this affair put on your shoulders and you’re minimalizing the possibility of carrying some past traumas into your future.
10. Don’t wait for closure
As a betrayed woman, it is perfectly natural that you demand an explanation from your cheater.
You want to know all the details of his affair and most importantly—you want to know why he did all of this.
Well, I have to disappoint you and tell you that it is unlikely that you’ll ever get the answers you crave.
No matter what this guy tells you, his explanation will never satisfy you enough.
On the other hand, there is also a possibility of him turning this entire situation into a fight, just so he can avoid talking things through.
Either way, you have to stop waiting for closure and you simply must move on with or without it.
Even if you don’t get an apology, if you never find out exactly what happened, if he doesn’t show signs of remorse, none of it is your concern.
Your only obligation at this moment is to get over all of this in a healthy way and to get out of it with as few consequences as possible.
After all, there is no valid explanation for cheating. He is an asshole who couldn’t keep it in his pants—simple as that.
11. Take your time to make a decision
It is crucial for you to have one significant thing in mind—this is your life and you’re the only one who has the right to make decisions regarding it.
At the end of the day, you’re the one who will suffer the consequences of your choices and the one who has to live with them.
So when you decide whether you’ll take your cheating boyfriend back or not, don’t listen to anyone.
Yes, your dearest ones only wish you the best but they are not walking in your shoes and have no say about this.
It is one thing if you choose to get back together with this guy or not but it is completely different if you do any of this because of other people.
I won’t lie to you—dumping a cheater is never a wrong choice.
Men like him rarely change and he is likely to repeat his mistake, even if you manage to get over what he did this time.
However, if you think he deserves a second chance, nobody will judge you for it.
Just be aware you’ll both have to invest a lot of time and energy before your relationship starts functioning all over again.
See also: Falling Out Of Love After Infidelity: 12 Easy Ways To Do It
5 Things To Do If You Choose To Take Him Back
For some people, their partner’s infidelity is not a deal breaker and they want to give their relationship another shot.
If you’re one of these people, here are the steps you should follow.
1. Don’t expect your relationship to ever be the same…
As much as you try doing so, be aware that you can’t magically erase the affair which happened.
You and your partner can only team up, pick up the shattered pieces and try to glue them back together.
Nevertheless, don’t expect things to be the way they were.
Just because you forgave him, it doesn’t mean that everything is back in order and that you’ll manage to have a healthy relationship overnight.
In fact, you’re up for many more fights, grudges and arguments.
However, the worst thing you can do is keep all of your emotions bottled up and pretend like nothing happened.
So, yes, your relationship will be different in many ways.
After all, something clearly wasn’t right about how it worked before, otherwise the affair wouldn’t have happened, so don’t see this change as something necessarily bad.
However, it is completely up to you whether you’ll be able to make the best out of this painful situation or you’ll make things even worse and break your relationship to the point of no repair.
I won’t lie to you—very few couples succeed in doing this.
Not many see this as a final warning that something is off and see it as a turning point for their relationship.
Nevertheless, all couples are different and nobody can tell you what will happen with you and your boyfriend.
You can just hope for the best, since you’ve already chosen to take things in this direction.
2. … but don’t bring up the cheating constantly
Nobody expects you to ever forget what you’ve been through.
At the end of the day, you can’t order your heart to heal until it’s fully ready so don’t even try doing so.
However, there is a difference between forgetting and forgiving. And you chose to do the latter.
Be honest about yourself—are you really ready to forgive your boyfriend for cheating on you?
Do you still truly love him, despite him doing this awful thing?
Do you believe that your story deserves another sequel? Are you certain that you’re not doing this just to heal your ego?
If the answers to most of these questions are negative, then it’s time to let go of every thought of reconciliation and tell this man your final goodbye.
It is pointless to try and rebuild something if you’re sure that you’ll never be able to fully forgive him and if you don’t hope you’ll manage to work things out..
On the other hand, if you think that you have the capacity to leave his affair in the past, you’ll make no progress if you continue bringing it up every time you have the chance to.
Don’t use it as an excuse for your toxic behavior and don’t see it as permission to be a bitch to your boyfriend.
Remember—he didn’t force you to let him back into your life, it was your choice.
3. Stand behind your decision
And it is a choice you should stand behind at all costs.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should forgive him for another affair but changing your mind every few days is not acceptable and nor is it healthy for either of you.
So, please don’t listen to people telling you that you should have done things differently. Don’t second-guess your decision, now that you’ve already made it, and don’t think of all the what-ifs.
You’re a mature, grown woman who has the right to make her own choices so please don’t compare yourself with other girls either.
Remember that every couple is a story in itself and have faith that you did what was meant for you.
4. Don’t seek revenge
I’m warning you—one of the first impulses you’ll have when you find out you’ve been cheated on is to make your boyfriend pay for his affair.
Even when you choose to forgive him, the idea of revenge might occasionally come back to your mind.
Don’t feel bad about these thoughts because it is completely natural for you to have them.
You are looking for defense mechanisms and for ways to heal your broken heart and ego.
Therefore, you assume that giving this guy a taste of his own medicine would be ideal.
This way, the two of you will feel the same and will be in similar positions. Also, you think it will help you return your dignity.
You pay him back and he will get what he deserves for the humiliation he’s put you through. Well, let me tell you that none of this is true.
Even though I’m not some kind of pacifist, trust me that seeking revenge will get you nowhere and that it is one of the worst things you could do to your relationship, which you decided you wanted to try and recover.
First of all, you never know what the reasons were that your boyfriend went behind your back.
Was he really in love with this other woman for a time?
Even if he wasn’t, the fact is that she attracted him enough to forget about his loyalty and commitment.
So, no matter what you do to pay him back, you’ll always have these doubts.
On the other hand, he’ll forever be aware that you didn’t cheat because you wanted to—you only did it to hurt him. Knowing that, your affairs will never have the same echoes in your relationship.
Another argument against revenge is the fact that by doing this, you’ll be the same as your boyfriend.
He’ll have succeeded in pulling you down to his level and you’ll get the label of a cheater as well, when you both know that you’re not one in the essence of your being.
Also, it is completely unnecessary to pull yet another person into your drama. You might break some other guy’s heart in the process and you of all people know how painful that is.
5. Ask for help
The process of recovering from cheating is never easy or short-lasting.
After some time of attempting to make things right, many couples realize that, in spite of all of their desires, they aren’t capable of doing it by themselves.
And that is nothing to be ashamed of.
In fact, seeking professional help is exactly what you and your significant other should do if you want to overcome this situation in the healthiest way possible.
5 Things To Do If You Choose To Move On By Yourself
On the other hand, if you see this cheating as a serious deal breaker you can’t surpass (after all, the two of you weren’t in an open relationship) and you decide to break up with this guy for good, there are some things you should remember:
1. Don’t rush your healing
The first thing you need to do if you decide to move on by yourself is take as much time as you need to properly heal.
You’ve had a massive emotional blow and it is completely natural that you can’t get it off your shoulders in a matter of days.
So please, don’t pretend like if you’re okay when you’re not. Don’t feel embarrassed about your sadness and embrace it as a natural part of your healing process.
Most importantly—ignore everyone who is telling you that you should have gotten over this by now.
Yes, they’re right—your ex isn’t worthy of your tears but if you feel like crying, it is always better to get it out of your system than to pile it up inside of you.
Of course, you shouldn’t let your grief get the best of you but you shouldn’t rush yourself into doing something you’re not ready for just to meet other people’s expectations.
You loved this guy for a very long time and it will take you a while to forget what he’s done to you.
The point here is that you’re not only trying to fix your heartbreak, you’re also dealing with your crushed ego, low self-esteem, insecurities and doubts regarding your self-worth that arose from this situation.
So, healing under these circumstances is even harder than recovering from a ‘standard’ breakup. However, it can be done and I promise that you will do it!
2. Don’t jump into new relationships
One of the biggest mistakes you can do is jump into the arms of the first man who crosses your path asap.
Going from one rebound relationship to the next won’t make you forget your past—it will only be toxic for your present and future.
Your best friends and family may keep telling you that it’s best to fight fire with fire but trust me, in your case, this is not the way to go.
Besides involving some new boyfriend in your drama, this relationship will make you feel more miserable and it certainly won’t help you leave your traumas behind.
You see, moving on isn’t just about finding a new boyfriend. It’s about finding yourself again before you’re ready for a new relationship.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that you should remain single forever.
Just don’t do anything you don’t truly want to do and don’t put yourself back in the dating pool until you resolve all of your issues.
3. Take it as a lesson…
Instead of lamenting your past and seeing it as the worst thing that could have ever happened to you, try your best to learn from it.
I know it sounds like a cliché but trust me when I tell you that you ought to be grateful for the way things turned out.
After all, you got rid of a man who clearly didn’t love you enough, otherwise he wouldn’t have cheated on you.
As much as you might refuse to admit this, you two weren’t meant to be and this is actually God’s way of saving you from more misery that would come in the future, if you had stuck by his side.
Also, this was an opportunity for you to understand how strong and powerful you are. A chance to meet your true self and to see all of your capacities.
These events taught you that not everyone is who they pretend to be.
It showed you that there are some bad people out there who will hurt you without a second thought and that you shouldn’t trust just anyone, even if that someone is your romantic partner.
4. … but don’t punish all men out there
However, this doesn’t mean that all men are to blame for the mistake one made.
When you’re finally ready to start dating again, don’t let this one experience burden you or convince you that you’ll never have a healthy relationship.
It is perfectly fine if you’re a little bit more careful now, that you need time to open up and that you’re picky about the ones who you let into your life.
Nevertheless, please don’t become guarded.
Don’t punish every guy who crosses your path for your ex’s sins. Yes, people cheat but not all men are the same.
Not all will put you through a heartbreak and not every single one of them is a cheater.
Please, give some nice guy a chance to prove you wrong.
When he comes into your life, give him an opportunity to show you that he’s different and don’t chase him away just because of your emotional baggage.
5. Focus on yourself
The most important thing here is to put all of your energy onto yourself.
For starters, even if you go back out there, concentrate on making yourself happy.
Remember your self-worth, understand that you’re the most important person in this world and that you don’t need anyone to complete you.
Yes, it is great if you happen to find a man worthy of your time and effort but even if you don’t, I promise you that you will make it on your own.