Perhaps nothing is more heartbreaking than being betrayed by a lover, whether you’ve been with someone for a few months, years or decades. Yes, it hurts. But the real question is how to move beyond it.
“Any disappointment is likely to worsen feelings of low self-esteem that person may have to start off with. If it was a sexual betrayal, that person can become unjustifiably jealous and remain angry for a considerate amount of time,” says psychiatrist, Dr. Fredric Neuman.
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You may be hesitant to get into a new relationship, or you may crave a relationship even more, since the betrayal can leave you feeling lonely, says clinical psychologist and author Dr. Belisa Vranich. “You may look for someone who is the exact opposite to avoid ‘that type’ or unconsciously even look for someone similar so that ‘this time’ you can control the situation better.”
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Whether it was being cheated on, lied to, or manipulated, the key is learning to take control of your emotions: Instead of being the victim, take the high road, says author and dating coach, Liz Kelly. (www.greatlifegreatlove.com ) “You can get over a betrayal by deciding that you are now smarter and won’t put up with it again.”
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Trusting your gut and knowing that most people are good is the key. And it wasn’t you, it was him. “Try to learn from the situation and see if there were signs you didn’t see and should pay attention to next time,” Vranich says.
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Neuman advises heeding that old advice about time healing all wounds — and more importantly, remembering that each relationship needs to be judged for what it is without bringing baggage to the table.
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“Love implies a kind of openness; but someone who seems to be preoccupied with a previous relationship is less attractive,” says Neuman.
Revealing facts about a betrayal too soon can also bring vulnerability into the equation, says Kelly. “When the time is right, make it clear what you want and take time to get to know someone. It’s much better to be alone and wait for the right person.”