You think everything is going great in your relationship: you trust your partner, you communicate well, everything appears perfect on the surface -- that is until you find out your partner has cheated. This is the worst thing a person can do in a relationship and is a huge deal breaker for the majority of people. It’s hard to get over and, in a lot of cases, nearly impossible.
It takes a toll on your self-confidence and your ego. You are plagued with endless amounts of questions: how could this happen to me? Where did it all go wrong? And so on and so forth. There’s no doubt that this will haunt your future relationships no matter how hard you try to let it go. This is just one way that baggage will transfer from one relationship to another. How can you learn to let your guard down and try to trust again when someone has wronged you so terribly?
The hardest life experiences will teach you valuable lessons and mold you into a better person. They prepare you to handle any similar situations that may arise. Let’s take a look at some of the lessons you learn from dating a cheater:
1. You deserve better
What you settle for in life is what you believe you deserve. If someone is going to disregard your feelings in such an extreme manner, chances are you are going to reach your breaking point. No one deserves to be treated like sh*t and by allowing this behavior to continue, you are allowing this person to treat you in such a manner. You have your own value and it does not need to be validated by another person.
You create your own worth, not someone else. You’re the one that makes yourself happy, no one else can do this for you. Sure, a relationship may add to your personal happiness, but it's you who gets you there. If someone is treating you in a way that prevents this, it's in your best interest to cut him or her out of your life.
2. You can learn to let go
When past endeavors leave you hurt and empty, they are difficult to ignore because no one wants to go through that pain again. How do you open up enough to trust again and risk being hurt all over? Every fling you’ve had or will have in the future will affect your others. This is all part of life, but how it affects you is your choice.
Holding onto resentment does more harm than good and does not punish the one whom committed the crime. All it does is detract from your present state of mind and your personal happiness.
3. You learn to rely on yourself
People are inherently selfish, so you always need to look out for yourself first. You finally realize that happiness isn’t contingent upon anyone but yourself. Long gone are the notions that you need to wait for someone to come along and make your life worth living. This could not be further from the truth -- you make your life worth living. At the end of the day, the only person you can without a doubt rely on is yourself. Many people will claim to have your back, but when push comes to shove, they are nowhere to be found.
4. You realize how important personal happiness is
The key to happiness is feeling comfortable in your own skin. A strong sense of self-esteem lies at this foundation. The biggest mistake people make is allowing someone else to determine their level of self-satisfaction. Why are you giving your partner this much power over your own life? You need to take control of your sh*t, first and foremost.
5. You understand when a relationship is really over
Sometimes relationships naturally fizzle out or something disastrous happens, whatever the cause may be, when someone cheats, you become aware of what your breaking point really is. Can you handle that your partner strayed or did he or she commit an unforgivable crime? Cheating puts things in perspective and allows you to gain an outside perspective on the relationship.
6. You learn your standards for a relationship
Some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned the hard way and sometimes you don’t know what you want until you realize what it is you don’t want. If you think you can tolerate this kind of behavior, then you know what your standards are and, if not, well you learn something in that regard as well.
7. If you feel like you can’t trust someone, there’s usually a reason
Trusting your gut is an important feeling you need to listen to. If you are suspicious of your partner’s behavior, there’s a reason for that. There’s a line between paranoia and valid suspicion. You know your partner’s behaviors better than anyone, so if you think they are doing something out of the ordinary, chances are you could be correct.
8. There’s no valid reason someone stays “friends” with an ex
More often than not, people cheat with their exes. Perhaps this is because they already hooked up with them before and the chances they would do it again are high. Remaining friends with an ex is a touchy subject, especially for the new girlfriend or boyfriend. If you are dating someone else, do you really need to keep in contact with someone you had a sexual past with? Don’t you have enough friends? Can things ever just be platonic between two people who used to date?
9. You learn you don’t have the power to change people
You either accept people for who they are or you do not associate with them. This is an impossible task too many people try to take on in their relationships and in their friendships. Trying to mold people into the way you wish they were is inherently disastrous. If someone wants to change, they have to do it on their own, you cannot force their hand. Implementing change within ourselves is hard enough and trying to change the way someone else behaves is even harder.