The most important thing to think about, in fact, is that you are an incredible woman, fully capable of overcoming a betrayal, despite of what you decide in relation to your partner. You have all the attributes to also pursue your happiness. This is the fundamental!
A friend came to see me yesterday. She discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her. I was going out with Aaron, but I decided to stay with her, because this sort of thing is very unpleasant and difficult to overcome on my own. I bought wine and chocolate and we talked. After a while, quieter, she told me that she thought it was her fault that he had betrayed her, and listed several reasons. This, besides revolting me, made me think about this matter.
While the concept of betrayal is quite broad and can be argued, it’s only you who know what covenants and mutual agreements should have been respected. So if something has been broken, evaluate the damage and make the repairs if possible, otherwise understand: you have no fault in the attitude of another person. Although some claim that we all have participation, in the end, the final word is given by each particular person. That is, after weighing and measuring all sides of the equation, whoever decides to betray, decides it alone, based on the personal perspectives of the world around him.
Of course a thousand reasons and justifications for the act will appear in your head. Relationship weariness, fights, lack of intensity, passion or anything else. This might even make sense, but in the end the alternatives were the same for both, right? To cheat or not. And the path that each one takes is their own responsibility, independent of the motivation. It explains the attitude, but doesn’t justify it.
I won’t go into the merit that nobody belongs to anyone, or that everyone can make mistakes. I agree with that. But we always know how to hurt the person we love and her weak spot. So if your partner's involvement with another person hurt you, you have every right to feel hurt. He did it knowing the pain that would cause you.
But never, ever, be held hostage by the choices of the other person. In a world of adults you can’t appeal to third parties, seeking to answer for your mistakes and successes. He cheated on you. And you must not accept that he places you as the culprit in this situation. To forgive him or not, it's up to you, it's your decision.
The problem starts at an early age
The society in which we live is conditioned to think that a woman has her life cycle tied to a man, a sort of obscure anthropocentrism that places the male figure at the center of every woman's universe. According to this misrepresented culture, everything that a woman does, thinks or lives is in function of a man. It’s curious that we have to face this type of thinking in the century we are in, precisely because it is a cruel model of thought, but unfortunately still spreads a lot between us women.
In this model, the idea is clear: if your boyfriend/husband cheated on you, it was your fault. Because you "were a good woman at home," because "you didn’t like to do the things he wanted”, because "you didn’t take care of your body for him" and other disgusting statements that make my stomach spin.
And do you know why this happens? Because no one points a clear and direct view on the subject: if a woman was betrayed, the fault is solely and exclusively of the one who betrayed her. There is no such thing as that every man needs to feel wanted out of the relationship, that every man needs to show his masculinity to other women and to society, that a man needs to have everything at home satisfied to not search for it outside. This whole idea only places the woman in a role of dependence that doesn’t belong to her.
What betrayal really is
Truly, when a woman is betrayed, what happens is the breaking of a formal or informal compromise agreement that one expects the other to have. It’s an affective agreement of loyalty and companionship, and I don’t know how some people view betrayal, but I regard it as a crude break from one of these agreements. It’s painful, sometimes humiliating and has no reasoning. The other may try to explain to us what the line of reasoning was that motivated the action, but the truth is: whatever that line of reasoning was, it counted no consideration. And it is even more stupid if you try to lay the blame this on yourself.
We are in a culture of betrayal
Isn’t it interesting to realize how some thoughts about fidelity have changed over time? So it’s natural that the way we deal with it also changes in a certain way.
If we think about it, it has never been easier to betray and hide an infidelity than today, especially if we consider that betrayal doesn’t endanger our economic situation as it used to, but our emotional condition.
Betraying has become one of the common behaviors of the human being in an era in which the pursuit of pleasure and happiness are priorities. Everyone wants to find pleasure, the perfect person, the highest satisfaction. With this, relations lose space before the will of the individual.
Just remember that in the past people divorced only in the last case, when they were very unhappy. Today, divorce happens often because people just want to be happier.
Betrayal goes there too, since many people, by not feeling more fully happy in a relationship, instead of investing in improving it, seek escape by making room for meeting someone else. Unfortunately, they find it easier to invest time and energy by creating a new relationship than by reinforcing the foundations of an existing one.
And a betrayal doesn’t have to be only when someone committed has physical relationships with another person. Infidelity is relative and depends on the agreements between each couple. For example, anyone who lives in an open relationship feels betrayal to fall in love with another person. For other couples, however, just watching pornographic movies can already mean an act of infidelity.
As I said above, my friend came to seek advice from me. As I've been through this situation in the past, I talked to her about it and gave her tips for recovering. Here are some of them:
I know it hurts, but try to rationalize the situation
Understand what you are really feeling. Are you afraid of losing him? Are you angry? Is your self-esteem shaken? Are you feeling guilty? First answer these questions so that you can understand what you are going through. That way you can resolve things as healthily as possible. Try not to look for guilty and fault only, but try to understand the situation in which you are inserted and how to solve it.
It may not be obvious, but you can feel grateful
No matter what has happened, acting gratefully will sow the ground for positive transformation. Instead of chewing on treachery, do an exercise and think about all the positive traits of your partner. After that, notice positive changes in your state of mind.
Have courage and face your feelings
The betrayal happened. There is no way to ignore the fact and pretend that nothing happened. You and your partner should talk about it and talk about how you feel about it.
Escape from possessiveness
Love relationships usually end up becoming very confused with the feeling of ownership. Gradually we forget that two people will always be different, have different stories and expectations, and the possibility of one not belonging to the other can be uncomfortable. No matter how long two people stay together, each of them has a life of their own that can never be owned by anyone and that will go on, in one way or another.
Beware of the advice of friends
Yes, this advice is also important and I talked to my friend about it. Everyone has their stories and traumas and their way of dealing with betrayals. It’s important to talk to friends for support and guidance at a time when your head doesn’t work very well. But this counseling should be well-measured so that you don’t end up being influenced in a way that can be negative.
If you decide to continue in the relationship, there is nothing worse than living in a climate of eternal mistrust, always asking where he has been or with whom. Instead, try exploring conversations that talk about feelings and meanings.
Seek professional help
Infidelity doesn’t happen by chance. It’s necessary to understand the unmet needs and how to heal the wounds of the relationship. A relationship professional can help. Because if the couple knew how to deal with their problems in the first place, they would have done so before the betrayal.
It may seem difficult but do not take the role of victim
Were you betrayed? That happens! You don’t have to be the victim forever to your family and friends, let alone to your partner. Love yourself and have confidence in your inner strength!
Regain your self-esteem
You're a wonderful woman, don’t forget that! The most that can be happening is that you need to regain your confidence and show it to the world. Look for activities to help you with this discovery.
Think about the future
If you want to continue in the relationship or not, just thinking about the betrayal that has happened doesn’t help you in anything to be happy and in your self-fulfillment in love.
If you decide to keep your relationship, you will have to overcome it. It won’t do any good for you, or it may even worsen this relationship, to keep reminding or using the subject for blackmail. Even if the relationship doesn’t continue, the best thing to do is to forgive. Everyone makes mistakes and sustaining this poison will only affect you.
As much as it hurts, you need to be able to move on, letting your sorrows fade. Don’t oppress your sadness, allow yourself to cry, be angry. Just don’t let this state of mind last for long. Life goes on, always, and the best of it all is that you can always start over.
GIVE YOURELF THE PERMISSION TO SUFFER OVER “WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN"
In some cases, the person can’t expect to "get over" something quickly if she doesn’t go through the mourning process. Mourning is not a process that we only deal with when faced with death or the loss of a loved one. There are less visible and concrete losses, such as the realization that you can’t have the life you thought would be possible, that your enthusiasm for a particular life goal didn’t lead you to any good, giving way to disappointment. In the vast majority of situations, from the most terrible suffering to a common loss, the grieving process is essential for the healing process. Sometimes we need to go through phases of anger and bitterness in order to be able to move on to acceptance.
Is a new love always the best medicine?
I don’t think love deserves to be regarded as a remedy. From my point of view it only makes sense for the person to start a new relationship if she feels ready for it. A new relationship has no healing powers, and if the betrayed person is still connected to the past, it’s most likely that problems will arise. For a love to be lived in full it’s necessary that the two people are free. Free from any ex, but also from hurts or traumas that condition them in the new relationship.
For me, a new love must be, above all, a sign that the person has already completed the process of mourning and is ready to start a new path.
Remember: you are an independent woman!
When I am asked what I think about infidelity, I always like to respond that there are two sides. One bad, which leads to pain and hurt, and another that can be seen as positive, which is the discovery of your own strength and empowerment. This holds true for relationships that continue as well as for women who decide not to tolerate betrayal and end their relationship or marriage.
So don’t be afraid to be strong!