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She Cheated: How To Recover From Being Cheated On For Men

Despite the trauma, you can still recover from being cheated on and even grow yourself into a stronger, more resilient person than you were before.

#1 Take A Step Back Then Discuss

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Take a deep breath. You are no doubt confused, hurt, betrayed and angry. The process of getting over the affair will take time. Try to remain as calm as possible. Eventually, find a calm way to discuss what happened with your spouse. The healing will start once the affair has stopped. It’s hard to rebuild trust after the affair if the affair is still going on.

If she is still busy with someone elsewhere, she will not be as invested in staying in the relationship. After the affair has stopped and that exit is sealed, you both need to talk about what happened. Ask whatever information you need to ask about what happened so that all doubts can be removed and you can start getting over the affair. Share your feelings of hurt and pain and have the opportunity to be validated. (This will most likely need to happen more than once. Repeat as necessary)

Once this is done, she should make amends by showing real remorse, asking for forgiveness and ensuring (sometimes silently) she does something that will help you feel loved, some type of consistent new behavior. This reassurance by her is going to have to be consistent and heartfelt, something which will need to happen over time and will require effort. After that, time is needed to work on the relationship, exploring the rupture that led to this place as well as ways to bring life and energy back into the marriage through love infusions. It may take time to repair and heal after the affair and infidelity but if you both are committed you can heal.

Contributors: Shlomo Slatkin from The Marriage Restoration Project

#2 If you plan to stay with your partner

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If you’ve been cheated on and you plan to stay with your partner and work on the relationship, give yourself permission to really express what you feel — whether its anger, grief, anguish, fear or abandonment, you get to speak up and be heard without reaction or excuses from your partner.

Tell them to step back and just listen until you decide what you need to move forward. Make a plan and include a loose timeline; there will need to be a time when you stop referring back to the incident as a weapon in upcoming fights and arguments, but you should also have permission to talk about how it makes you feel moving forward (e.g. ask for reassurance as often and for as long as you need to).

You may not need months of counselling (each person is different), but set up at least one session with a professional who can help to set you on the right track. If you don’t prioritize this then you’re really not prioritizing the relationship.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

#3 Focus on yourself first

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The fact that your ex cheated is not your fault. You can’t affair-proof a relationship and though you aren’t perfect, you are not responsible for their cheating. However, it’s important to consider the role you played in the overall relationship and its dissolution.

Consider what YOU could have done differently in the relationship. We tend to focus on what our partner (or ex) did wrong — it’s a matter of emotional and personal self-preservation — but those who are willing to acknowledge their role in the relationship dissolution are less likely to make the same mistakes moving forward.

What did you do well in the relationship and did your partner reciprocate? If not, how can you more clearly communicate to future partners what you need in order to feel loved and fulfilled? What do you want moving forward? Do you want a relationship or are you focused on another area of your life at this time? Opting to be single is a perfectly legitimate choice, so consider your options before jumping into another relationship.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

#4 Make it a clean break

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This doesn’t mean that you have to pretend that your ex has vanished off the face of the Earth, but you can’t be best buddies if you’re not over the split. After they cheat, you may be tempted hook-up casually to prove to yourself that you can still have them, but it’s usually not worth the hassle -- or the clean underwear.

With regard to texts and other digital communication, there is no sense in holding on to “evidence” once you’ve cut ties. Re-reading hurtful texts may help you to move on in the early phase after the breakup, as research suggests that admitting to and focusing on your negative emotions after a breakup can help you to get over the split; however, you’ll likely want to set a time limit for the wallowing in sadness. Pick a dump date by which you promise to delete all the evidence and recruit a friend to keep you on track — and celebrate should the mood strike you.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

#5 Do NOT check their social media daily

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You’ll likely be tempted to do so, but enlist a friend to help you to set limits. If you can’t quit on demand, start by allowing yourself to check once every other day until you can wean yourself off. Do NOT post about your breakup on social media or publicly bash your ex. Vague bookings and random references to “people” are not vague at all. We know who you’re referencing, so find some other place to vent (e.g. talk to a trusted friend, family member or professional).

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

#6 Do something to feel great about yourself

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There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of ways to boost your self-esteem and they vary from person to person. One exercise I assign to clients involves making a list of their best qualities and adding to it weekly. It may sound self-absorbed, but most of us don’t spend enough time celebrating how great we are -- especially after a break-up. For those who lose their sexual confidence after cheating (or for any other reason), I modify the exercise to focus on identifying their sexual strengths. 

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

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Written by Ben Skute

7 Comments

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  1. Hi…Thanks for the article.

    However, there’s a general “tenor” or idea that I see here, which I VERY STRONGLY AM AGAINST.
    I also have seen in a number of OTHER web based articles re” “Why women cheat”, “What to do if your woman has cheated”, etc… so it’s not just your article I am referencing
    The problem I have it’s this- Your OPENING ADVICE to men who have been BETRAYED AND STABBED IN THE BACK BY A WOMAN IS… “t’s important to consider the role you played in the overall relationship and its dissolution…..Consider what YOU could have done differently in the relationship.”

    Why, in our society, is it so TOUGH and DIFFICULT to just admit that some women are just DOGS! If you want to say “Doggettes”, that’s fine, but I’m just saying that some women are just deceptive, sneaky, cruel, twisted, and…YES…Narcissistic. I think as guys we make women such a lofty and lifted up PRIZE that we cherish that, when that woman has a CHARACTER FLAW or is just IMMORAL, we instead are trying to “consider what WE could have done differently”

    Men are being held up TOO MUCH RIGHT NOW as having to be Ultra Wealthy Social Players that have the physique of an Olympic Athlete and are constantly taking their woman on trips to Paris, and if they arent doing that, they have FAILED as a man and “CAUSED” the woman to cheat……..If you are a hard working man raising kids, working, and trying to get your degree (for example), and your “F’d in the head” woman STILL cheats on you, the advice for men who have been blindsided by a (Yes, I’ll say it) EVIL ACTING woman should not be “Hey dude, examine what YOU did wrong” Maybe the Wrong Doing that the man can examine is, “WHERE DID I GO WRONG IN SELECTING THAT WOMAN…WHY DIDNT I SEE THE CHARACTER FLAWS IN HER BEFORE THEY SURFACED”

    Telling guys to examine what they did wrong in a relationship that “caused” their women to CHEAT is like telling a person who got robbed at the ATM that it was their fault because they should have hired security guards to follow them wherever they go. NO, ITS THE FAULT OF THE IMMORAL THUG CRIMINAL WHO HAS NO RESPECT FOR OTHER HUMAN BEINGS…THE PERPATRATOR IS WHO IS TO BLAME. ANd, the perpetrator of wrong doing CAN BE A WOMAN. Women are not a monolithic, altruistic gender who only cheats when the MAN HAS FAILED SOMEHOW. When a WOMAN CHEATS, IT IS THE WOMAN WHO HAS FAILED!!! I’m not talking about a break-up, here, that is a whole different scenario….but CHEATING?? That’s a wrong, bad, SINFUL and IMMORAL CHOICE that is made BY THE CHEATER. I can’t see any other way around it. Women have to be held to the same “YOURE A CHEATING DOG” standards that men are. I know, I get it, there is the whole history of “the scarlet letter” sort of cultural shaming, I do get it, but I feel the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. To call cheating men “Dogs”, but to say of cheating women “Her MAN did something wrong that CAUSED her to cheat”? This is a cruel bashing of men that really needs to be revised.

  2. I Agree with J Kapp. I was the best I could have been. I helped cook, did all the cleaning and laundry, worked crazy hours to get as much money for all the added credit cards that she opened without my knowledge and she still cheated and broke up our family in order for her to be happy. The best part of it all? She had the balls to,call me and ask me to beat up the guy (I’ve been in martial arts most of my life) she left me for because HE CHEATED ON HER! Karmas a bitch fellas.

  3. I also agree with J Kapp, and with Paul. The article starts by suggesting it was the man’s fault for her infidelity when believe it or not (because this feel it was written by a woman or someone with a female-centric mentality) men can really have been cheated on when they have been good and faithful and no amount of being any better would stop her from cheating.

    Not only that, doing too much for a woman can paradoxically turn you into a beta male that loses respect and encourages her to look elsewhere! What can we do to stop the women we love cheating? Be good men. But if she stil cheated on us? There’s no point trying to make excuses for her and blame ourselves. She is what she is and did what she did. For all the bad things she ever did, did we go off and sleep with someone else? This article really misses a major point and could even weaken broken self esteem even further.

  4. I agree with K Japp as well. My wife was cheating for 3 years and has explained it as an escape from her troubled marriage…referring to just about everything I did wrong for 17 years of marriage. Never once did she blame herself for being weak and turning to sex with a younger man to temporarily cope. To top it all off, she treated me like garbage the whole time. She lied to 3 different couple’s therapists during her affair which I insisted on therapy because I sensed something was going on. A narcissist at her best. I too am a man that shares duties and earns well…and it got me nothing. Yes…women can me dogs too. I never heard her admit her own flaws and weakness. Somehow there is a subtle message that not treating her like a princess every chance possible had its consequences…and that if I treated her better, this affair wouldn’t have happened. Bullshit…she’s just a cheating dog and it probably wasn’t the first time

  5. Woman don’t realize the extent that men suffer post separation from infedelity. I agree this article is utterly biased. I was in a long term relationship where I gave my all, but it was never appreciated. Today three years later I have severe anxiety, ptsd, and the trauma of the abusive relationship coupled with the dramatic breakup has left me into this person I cannot relate with. Every chance I would try to pick myself up to move, my ex would worm her way back into my life and destroy every effort I made at progress. I was cheated on and lied to so often that the mind games and the lies eventually made me see myself as not worthy. I still get up at night and ball my eyes out because I never saw this coming. I have gotten help but the pain is just unreal. The abuse I endured and went through was terrible. I did my best I could have done and I only pray that someday I find myself again. The cherry on top was last year when she called me up again and lied she was single. I was still so in love with this person that I beleived it…. Ended up in bed a few times… Only to find out she lied again and infact she was already pregnant with the other guys kid…..fast forward to this year I get text messages asking me how I am and why don’t I talk to her or why I am ignoring her. Just some added info, when I found out about the initial affairs I walked away. I never made myself to lose respect and I walked a way and let her do what she wanted. But it looks like she can never leave me to live my life. She messes up every relationship she is in and makes it my fault. If anyone wants to say what did I do wrong or could have done better….. Well If loving someone wholeheartedly and putting up with their abuse even physical abuse is not doing enough… Then I don’t know what is. God have mercy.

  6. i feel soo lost and helpless in my situation, is there any help for me?me n my partner have been together for six years and its fair to say wev had our fair share of ups n downs and by no means am i trying to paint myself as a saint in this i will admit i have put my hands on her more thn once and have also spent time in jail for it but this is not who i ever wanted to be with her in all honesty i love this woman more thn i could possibly say and the thought of losing her brings tears to my eyes and cuts me to the bone, recently i found out she slept with my brother and i just lost it i have never felt a pain like this before i was soo many emotions all in one i dodnt know what to do i tried taking my life i assaulted her i screamed at her iv never felt so betrayed and hurt and at the same time i stil want to spend my life with her i stil love her like day one shes stil the most beautiful person in my world if i had the choice id stil always choose her i know how much of a piece of sh*t i am for ever putting my hands on her violently and i am also aware of how lucky i am that she even gives me the time of day i just wish i knew how to deal with these feelings i get when we fight .this is not who i want to be ,is there hope for us and how do i fix us?

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