7 steps to healing if you've been cheated on
Marie Berbick

ONE of the most painful things that one can experience is being cheated on and it doesn't matter how beautiful you are. At some point you might still end up getting cheated on. Just ask Halle Berry, the late Princess Diana, and Nia Long, who is now going through the trauma of public knowledge that her long-time partner has cheated on her. These are all very beautiful women, but it didn't stop their partners from stepping out on them.

You can be a beautiful person on the outside and inside, but the moment you discover that the person you love has cheated on you, you begin to feel inadequate. You begin to question where you went wrong. The truth is, sometimes it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

You're not inadequate, you didn't fail to fulfil your duties in that relationship, sometimes people choose to cheat because they want to.

After the initial shock of finding out your partner has cheated, comes the shame, humiliation, then the anger and if you do not get healed from the pain, you may find yourself becoming bitter from the trauma.

Bitterness, anger, and hatred are dangerous not only to your mental, emotional, and physical health but also to your future relationships. Some people never recover from the trauma of being cheated on because being cheated on hurts. That pain you feel upon discovering that your partner has been unfaithful can literally feel like a dagger has pierced your heart, and that pain is amplified if your partner refuses to acknowledge that they have wronged you. Although some persons may reconcile, that's not always the case and many people experience long-term trauma from being cheated on.

That is why it is essential that you heal from that pain or it may negatively impact your ability to have a healthy relationship in the future. It is crucial that any person who has been cheated on heal from that trauma so here are some things you might want to do, to help you in the healing process.

1. Seek professional help. Talking is therapy. The sad truth is that therapy does help us heal but most people do not seek professional help from a counsellor or therapist when they've been hurt in a relationship. Men, in particular, are quick to refuse counselling and will tell you that they do not see the need. It doesn't mean they are not hurting, but from my experience dealing with couples in my role as a pastor, most men feel that they can handle the pain by themselves and, of course, they will internalise all the pain and hurt to their detriment and the detriment of the next person who comes into their lives. When you enter another relationship with suppressed pain, anger, mistrust, and bitterness, you can explode on the new person the moment something that reminds you of the cheating experience presents itself. Therapy helps you to work on yourself, heal, and be ready for a wholesome relationship.

If you choose to reconcile the relationship, therapy for both people is advisable so that feelings and thoughts can be brought into the open and honest discussions held to rebuild trust. Trust has to be restored for both people to get past the trauma.

2. Get rid of the pictures and other reminders. People heal in different ways. Some cut ties completely and just erase all the sentimental reminders because that works best for them. There is nothing wrong with deleting photos, videos, text messages, and voice notes that keep you attached to the pain. The goal is to heal, free yourself from the pain, so removing everything that triggers the trauma does help. The photos may remind you of the good times, but if looking at them sends you into emotional and mental distress and stirs up feelings of anger, worthlessness, and bitterness, it is best to part ways with them. Start deleting.

3. Don't stalk them on social media.

It is tough not to want to see what your ex is up to on social media, but sometimes it is better not to know. If they have moved on, especially if it's with the person they cheated with, you don't want to punish yourself by monitoring them on social media. It's never easy to see someone who has hurt you appearing to enjoy life with the person with whom they cheated, so do yourself a favour and block them if it helps you to keep your peace.

4. Constantly remind yourself that you didn't fall short. You are not suited for everybody and some people enter a relationship for superficial reasons. Some people come to you drowning, they come to you because they see that you can save them in their drowning state, but as soon as they can swim, they will swim away from you toward the fish they really want.

If you did everything you were supposed to do for your partner and they still stepped out on you, it is essential that you do not blame yourself. Don't start looking for faults where they do not exist. Any person who has been cheated on will take a hit to their self-esteem because being cheated on will cause you to question your value. Is something wrong with me? Was I not good enough? All of these questions will plague your mind and drive you nuts, especially if the person who cheated shows no remorse and offers no apology. Sometimes ego will even cause the person who cheated to try to defend their behaviour and when there is no apology, it can take a huge toll on your self-esteem. But remind yourself that it's not your fault. Write a list of all the things you like about yourself and all the things your partner ever told you they liked about you and place it where you can easily see it each day.

5. If you've been putting off things you want to do for yourself, start doing them.

One of the best distractions from the pain of being cheated on is to do things that make you happy. So focus on yourself. If you were putting off exercising and eating healthy, start doing them. Go out with friends. Avoid being alone as much as possible until you are at a good place mentally and emotionally. Sometimes this is the right time to start putting your thoughts and feelings on paper. Don't ignore how you feel. Write. It helps the healing process.

6. Speak positive affirmations over your life and post scriptures of affirmation on your bedroom walls.

There is death and life in the power of the tongue, so learn to speak life and positive affirmations over yourself. The Bible says you can speak a thing and it shall be established (Job 22:28), so begin to speak over your life. Post the flowing scriptures on your walls and repeat them first thing in the morning and before bed to reinforce peace in your spirit. I am favoured and blessed among women (Luke 1:28). I am the head and not the tail. God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11) and no good thing will he withhold from me. I shall be above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13), for God is a sun and shield around me and no good thing will he withhold from me (Psalm 84:11).

7. Forgive the person.

I know this one is tough but forgiveness is necessary for you to heal. The longer you hold on to the anger and bitterness, the longer it will take for you to become whole in your mind, body, and spirit. Brokenness will affect your ability to have a healthy relationship with anyone because hurting people hurt other people so forgive and allow God. Therapy and time to heal you. Remember, forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you, it's for you. When you release them, you make room for the wonderful man or woman who deserves you. Healing might take time but the time becomes shorter if you start now.

Marie Berbick is a motivational speaker, empowerment coach, spiritual mentor, and pastor of Marie Berbick Ministries Intl, based in Queens, New York. Follow her on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok @Marie Berbick and on Facebook @ RevMarie Berbick. Or link at www.marieberbick.com, e-mail marieberbick@gmail.com.

MARIE BERBICK

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