Romantic relationships always end for some reason.
It hurts even more if the split is because you caught him or her cheating, and it's much worse if it was with a friend you thought you could trust.
Some of us who have been through the unspeakable agony of dealing with a cheating partner and friend know just how difficult it is to get out of the mess whole and alive.
Losing someone you've loved and given your heart to is bad enough.
Discovering that he or she cheated on you with a close friend?
It's like being pierced with a stake right through your heart.
We know coping is never easy, so here are steps you need to take (at your own pace) to help you get out of the breakup as a stronger and better person:
1. Don't seek revenge.
It may sound counterintuitive.
Some of us would feel better if we could see the cheater who played our heart weep his or her heart out, too.
However, in the process of trying to make your former partner pay for what he or she did, you lose your kind, beautiful and intelligent self.
When you try to get even, you stoop down to his or her level and become the monster he or she is.
So refrain from taking actions you will later regret and refrain from devising plots to get even.
Your future self will thank you if you heed this advice.
2. Commit to believing it's not entirely because of you.
In order to justify his or her actions, your cheating partner will blame you for the outcome of the relationship.
In some cases, you may have a bit of responsibility as to why the relationship turned sour.
But, cheating on you isn't going to solve the problem.
Your partner should have communicated with you first. He or she should have also agreed to meet you halfway.
If none of this happened before he or she cheated, then know it's your ex's fault.
It's your ex's baggage and issues, and it's his or her personal choice to cheat on you.
Cut off all ties with your ex, and never entertain the idea it's all your fault.
3. Spend time alone.
You may have forgotten and neglected yourself while dealing with the heartless cheater who broke your heart.
So if you did, know it's never too late.
Once you've cried over it all, focus on your awesome self. Go out and spend some time relaxing.
Get a massage or go out for a quick getaway. Pamper yourself.
Focus on your passion.
Fill your schedule with things you believe can distract you from what happened.
Love yourself again, and just focus on being happy as someone who isn't dependent on anyone else.
4. Surround yourself with people who support you.
Stay away from people who are not helping you get closer to healing.
Be picky with your company, regardless of what other people say.
Focus on just protecting and taking care of yourself, however selfish that may sound.
Talk to the closest friends you have. Unload the burdens you have carried.
Let them know what your thoughts are so they can have an understanding of where your heart is.
This way, they can support and encourage you as you move on.
The sooner you do this, the sooner you'll forget about the selfish people who burned you terribly.
You will be able to feel whole again soon.
5. Learn your lessons.
Learn from your failed relationship.
Be completely honest with yourself at all times, and don't ever accept a person who displays behavior that is similar to that of your former lover.
Don't forget to trust your gut. If something feels wrong, chances are, there's something going on.
Almost five years ago, I was in this difficult situation.
I had difficulty navigating my former partner's infidelity gracefully.
So if you've been badly burned in your relationship and are having a hard time dealing with being cheated on, know that you can do it.
You will get through this.