Falling in love with the wrong person is one thing. But you know what’s worse? Getting cheated on by someone who you thought was the one.
When I was young, I used to think I could easily avoid getting cheated on. I thought that if I were sweet and loyal, that would be enough for my partner. But no matter how hard we try, for some people, we are just not enough.
When I first got cheated on, I didn’t want to believe it!
I couldn’t accept the fact that my boyfriend could and would do that to me, especially because I knew that I had done everything I could to be the perfect girlfriend for him.
And as someone who has been through hell and back just because I want to be with the person so badly, I know just how difficult it can be to navigate the aftermath.
It’s natural to feel hurt, betrayed, and unsure about the future of the relationship. But if both parties are committed to healing and working out their issues, it’s possible to move forward and rebuild. And one of the most important steps in this process is setting boundaries.
So, keep on reading if you want to learn how to do that!
1) Process what happened together
I understand how traumatic this experience can be… The moment that you discover that they’re cheating can be suffocating and can lead you down a rabbit hole of emotions if you’re not checking on yourself often.
It can leave you feeling lost and unsure of how to move forward. While every situation is unique, there are a few general steps you can take to begin the healing process.
First, it’s very important to take time to process your emotions!
You should allow yourself to feel angry, hurt, and betrayed. What you’re going through is unfair and unacceptable. So, don’t try to suppress or ignore these feelings because they’re just as natural as breathing!
Once you have had some time to process your emotions, the next thing is to have an honest conversation with your partner.
Ask them to explain what happened, why it happened, and what they plan to do to make things right. This conversation may be difficult, but it’s important to have it in order to begin moving forward together.
2) Be clear and specific with your expectations
Your boundaries should be easy for your partner to understand and follow. Be specific about what behaviors are unacceptable and what consequences will result if those boundaries are crossed.
One of the expectations that you can set is being transparent with one another. The betrayed partner may feel the need to know where their partner is at all times or may want access to their phone or social media accounts.
It’s very important to discuss these needs and find a level of transparency that feels comfortable for both partners.
Another expectation would be cutting off contact with the person they cheated with or limiting time spent with certain friends.
Don’t be afraid to give them an ultimatum if they ever cheat again so they know just how serious the consequences are! After all, there’s wisdom to the saying, “Shame on you if you fool me once. Shame on me if you fool me twice.”
3) Stick to your boundaries
When you’ve cleared the things that are acceptable or not for you, it’s important to enforce your boundaries consistently. If your partner crosses a boundary, follow through with the consequences you outlined for them.
I remember my friend’s story, let’s call her “Sarah.” She had been married to her husband, let’s call him “John,” for five years when she discovered he had cheated on her.
Sarah was devastated, as any good woman would be, but after a lot of contemplation and self-reflection, she decided to forgive him. It wasn’t the first thing I had in mind, but of course, I had to be supportive!
Sarah knew that forgiving John didn’t mean she was going to let him off the hook easily. So, she sat him down, and they had a heart-to-heart conversation.
She expressed her feelings of hurt and betrayal and made it clear that if he wanted to stay in the marriage, he had to be completely honest and transparent from that moment on.
Sarah set her boundaries and made it clear that she wouldn’t tolerate any more lies or sneaking around. Fortunately, John did his part as well and became transparent about his whereabouts and showed Sarah that he was committed to her.
Much like my friend, you can also be firm! Whatever it is you aren’t comfortable with, make sure to enforce those boundaries when you get the chance!
Another step would be practicing being upfront about any communication or interactions with others that may trigger feelings of suspicion or mistrust.
Tell them outright if you can spot red flags in their behavior before it gets worse or out of control!
4) Communicate openly
Aside from enforcing your boundaries, you also have to learn to communicate openly with your partner.
Open communication is essential in any relationship, but even more so after infidelity.
You can do this by setting aside some alone time with them to just talk and be present… It’s all about actively listening to each other without judgment!
Tell each other how much you’ve been hurting, and discuss the events that led to the incident so you can clear some air and clarify some issues between the two of you.
Through this process, you can hopefully find it in each other to forgive… But remember, it’s not a one-time event!
I did this with my boyfriend after I found out he cheated. Before I would usually be passive and let negative emotions slide, so I ended up staying silent even though I was hurting deep down.
After the incident, I decided to be vocal when something upset or frustrated me. Basically, I gave him a chance to address it and resolve it instead of waiting for these negative emotions to bubble up inside and draw a wedge between the two of us.
Now, I kind of wish I had become more open with my feelings sooner. But it’s okay, we learned our lesson the hard way.
It’s also important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the behavior. By continuing to communicate openly and honestly, you can work towards rebuilding your foundation.
Make sure your partner understands why you are setting certain boundaries and how they can help you feel safe and secure.
5) Get help together
Let’s be honest about infidelity…
It’s not easy. It’s enough to make you want to give up on love and walk away.
But I want to suggest a solution. You have all the tools you need to do this right now, right where you are.
I learned about this from the modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me how the lies we tell ourselves about love are part of what trap us in things like infidelity and trust issues.
As Rudá explains in this transformational free video, love is available to us if we cut through the lies that we tell ourselves.
We need to face the facts about the importance of loyalty in love.
The alternative is to end up in loveless relationships or endless dating frustration that only leaves us cold and empty.
The alternative is to be sunk in stagnant codependency and completely unable to resolve things like cheating…
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution.
If you’re done with wasting your time on love that doesn’t work, I invite you to watch this short video and open your mind to new possibilities.
Click here to watch the free video.
6) Tell these phrases to your partner
After getting professional or spiritual help, it’s time to verbalize your needs so your partner will be reminded about them.
I was very clear and direct with my boyfriend about the things that would reassure me and would make me feel secure.
And if you want to feel that too, I suggest you also say these phrases to them every once in a while whenever there’s a need:
- “I need you to be honest with me.”
- “I need you to take responsibility for your actions.”
- “I need you to be patient with me.”
- “I need you to respect me and my boundaries.”
7) Check and see if there are changes in your relationship
When you’ve done everything you can to remind your partner about what they need to do, it’s time to observe and reflect… Why? So you can check if there’s actually an improvement before you risk wasting your time!
As you work to rebuild trust and set boundaries after infidelity, there are a few key changes that you should see in the relationship. Think of it as a checklist!
Here are some signs that things are moving in the right direction:
- Your partner is taking responsibility for their actions and making an effort to make things right.
- You feel safe and respected in the relationship.
- Your partner is respecting your boundaries and working to earn your trust back.
- You are both communicating openly and honestly with each other.
Both of you should evolve after the incident so you can become better and stronger versions of yourselves, but this doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no magic spell, either. It takes a lot of attention, time, and effort!
Yes, I really believe that you can be happy once more with your partner, as long as you’re willing to put in the work!
8) Practice self-love
And after doing all these things, and it gets a little overwhelming, remind yourself that it’s an act of self-love. Don’t be afraid to prioritize your own needs and feelings in the relationship.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that in this world full of lies, judgments and pretensions, truly loving yourself is not easy.
For some reason, nowadays, society has a say in who you are as a person and how you should be loved and treated, and because of it, people strive to attain perfection – which can never be possible!
And it hurts a little more when you’ve been cheated on because it can spotlight all your insecurities. I remember when it happened to me, all I could think about was how worthless I felt and how flawed I must have been for my boyfriend to try and replace me…
It really took a toll on my mental health, and then I started to question my standards. I became so angry with him and, most especially, with how I handled the situation…
There were a lot of times when I asked myself, “How could I let this happen? What did I do wrong? Am I not enough?”
For many of us, we find it easier to love other people more than we love ourselves. Self-love is not easy, but it is crucial in your healing journey.
Start paying attention and caring for yourself as you do to and for others, and see the wonders it will bring into your life.
Reflect on what makes you happy outside of the relationship, and prioritize those activities.
It could be anything from going for a walk in nature, practicing yoga, or reading a book. It could also mean going to a therapist and talking it out with them!
And finally, for top-tier self-love, don’t forget to say these words in front of a mirror:
“You are worthy. You are loved. You are enough.”
When I first found out that my boyfriend cheated on me, I got so mad. So mad that I didn’t even know what to say. So mad that I can feel my heart break.
But after years of healing and a lot of patience, it was through grace and faith that we were able to work on our issues and try again. Setting boundaries after infidelity is not an easy task, but it’s necessary if you want to rebuild trust and create a healthy, happy relationship.
Not only is it an act of self-love, but prioritizing your own needs and feelings is also essential in any healthy relationship. With time and effort, you and your partner can move forward and create a brighter future together.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
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