You’re not alone if you find yourself searching How to Cope with Being Cheated On. Let’s face it. Relationships are not a walk in the park. From arguing about major issues such as finances to bickering over the small stuff such as TV shows to watch or whose cooking day it is, true differences in opinion come to force. All couples go through rough patches.
Overcoming challenges and hurdles form part of a healthy relationship. That is only possible with proper communication, understanding, mutual respect, loyalty, and working as a team.
One of the biggest challenges to overcome is unfaithfulness in a relationship. Although there’s a myriad of answers as to why people cheat, most have nothing to do with the victim of the betrayal. Yet, it can take a toll on a woman’s sense of self-worth, making her feel like she is to blame.
With that being said, this guide delves into what cheating does to a woman’s self-esteem and healthy coping methods to use when dealing with a cheating spouse.
What Are the Repercussions of Cheating on a Woman’s Self-Esteem?
We’ve rounded up a few ways that cheating can take a toll on a woman’s self-confidence. If you can resonate with any of these, know that you’re not alone.
1. A Woman May Question Her Body
What cheating does to a woman’s self-esteem is that it might make her question her body image. She might feel that the other woman was more attractive to her partner because she had a ‘better body.’
When a woman who’s been cheated on starts questioning her body, it’s a downward spiral because it paves the way for adverse issues such as eating disorders and Body Dysmorphia.
Therefore, a woman must understand and believe that her body is beautiful and no amount of weight gain or loss, hairstyles, cosmetic surgery, or makeup can prevent her partner from being unfaithful. Typically, men cheat for external validation, which has more to do with their self-esteem and unresolved insecurities than a woman’s body.
2. A Woman Questions Her Power
Discovering your partner has been unfaithful can make a woman feel powerless and insignificant. Worse still, if the betrayal has been going on consistently, right under your nose, with someone you know, or under your roof can leave you feeling helpless.
You might question how you didn’t find out sooner or how you could have prevented this gut-wrenching situation. While these are raw and heavy feelings to deal with, you must remind yourself that you’re still the same vibrant and confident woman before the infidelity.
You’re still a powerful being, and you can channel your power to rebuilding your shattered self-confidence.
3. A Woman Becomes Bitter
Feelings of deep anger and resentment are common after infidelity. What cheating does to a woman’s self-esteem is that it diminishes it because of the hurt. Consequentially, the hurt turns into rage.
Therefore, a woman must have an outlet for this anger through therapy, sports, meditation, cardio, or yoga. The bitterness leads to anger outbursts and self-loathing as a replacement for self-love without a healthy outlet.
4. A Woman Becomes Insecure About Her Facial Features
Whether or not the ‘other woman’ was drop-dead gorgeous, you might take a blow to your self-esteem and start feeling insecure about your nose, cheekbones, and other facial features.
From your skin color, the thickness of your eyebrows, acne, and everything in between, you begin to compare the physical appearance of the woman he betrayed you with. It’s not surprising because comparison is in our nature as human beings.
Although it goes beyond the physical appearance, you might consider cosmetic surgery to boost your self-esteem and prevent infidelity again in the future. However, physical attraction has nothing to do with an unfaithful partner.
5. A Woman Questions Her Age
Surprisingly, most unfaithful partners are typically over the age of 60. An older woman who’s been betrayed by her partner might start harboring negative feelings towards her age. Having a spouse who was unfaithful to her with a younger woman can be gut-wrenching and leave her feeling as though her age is unattractive to her partner. However, the truth is that you’re worthy of and can find love regardless of your age.
6. A Woman Questions If She Is Worthy of Marriage
The phrase ‘wife material’ or ‘marriage material’ is thrown around like confetti. If your partner has been unfaithful during the marriage, it can have repercussions on her self-esteem. You might start questioning why you got married and if you’ll ever re-marry. You might feel your spouse was unfaithful because you’re not ‘wife material’ when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
7. A Woman Will Question Her Faith
If you’ve been a victim of infidelity due to your religious beliefs, such as choosing to abstain before marriage, you may question your morals and faith. You may believe that your partner wouldn’t have been unfaithful if you disregarded your beliefs.
However, you may not realize this thought process can harbor feelings of guilt and shame which cause low self-esteem. In reality, you should have free rein to stand by your beliefs and get a partner who respects them.
8. A Woman Might Question Her Family Dynamic
If you’re a wife or working mom who’s been cheated on, you might feel like you failed in your role. That’s what cheating does to a woman’s self-esteem. It’s one of the repercussions of adultery.
Granted, a woman who spends most of her time taking care of the household might not always be able to devote all her time to her husband. Nevertheless, infidelity that makes her question her self-worth is inexcusable.
9. A Woman Might Question Her Sexual Appeal
It’s a no-brainer that every woman wants her partner to feel as though she’s a goddess in the bedroom. However, once she discovers her partner has been unfaithful to her, she might start feeling like she wasn’t good enough in the bedroom, which led him to cheat. That can lead to anxiety, low libido, and lack of sexual interest. It’s essential for a woman who feels this way to seek therapy and get her self-esteem back on track.
10. A Woman Might Struggle With Being Vulnerable
If you’ve been cheated on and the relationship ends, you might find it difficult to open up to future partners, which causes mistrust and miscommunication. As a result of not being unable to show vulnerability, a woman becomes reserved and has low self-esteem when entering a new relationship.
Women need to address distrust and the damage caused by past infidelity when entering a new relationship. After all, not all partners are cheaters, and an understanding person will give you the time and space you need to work on your self-esteem and trust other people.
11. Infidelity Is a Stressor
From being the cause of divorce to adversely putting a strain on a relationship, cheating can create heightened stress levels for a woman. The increased stress can make you feel like you can’t handle your day-to-day life, lowering your self-esteem and self-confidence. Seeking professional help from a therapist can help you reduce your stress after infidelity.
12. Increases a Woman’s Anxiety Levels
Just like increased stress, skyrocketing anxiety levels are part of the aftermath of being cheated on. Anxiety is a warning signal that indicates something is wrong and can cause debilitating emotional, mental, and physical symptoms. Being cheated on can trigger anxiety, making it difficult for you to focus on your self-esteem.
13. A Woman Questions Her Self-Worth
Self-worth refers to your perception of yourself as a whole. It includes what you deserve and your life goals. A woman who’s been cheated on starts questioning her self-worth and self-esteem. It’s important to keep in mind that your partner being unfaithful to you doesn’t take away from your worth and value. You’re worthy of being loved even when the relationship ends due to infidelity.
How to Cope With Being Cheated On
Discovering that your partner has cheated on you can hit you like a ton of bricks. With these tips, you can cope with the aftermath of infidelity.
1. Accept How You Feel
Rather than deny or suppress your emotions, give yourself the space to feel the sadness, shock, pain, agitation, confusion, and fear. These are normal. Furthermore, you’ll feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster for a while.
After all, it takes time to process the betrayal of someone you deeply loved and trusted. Therefore, it’s unrealistic to expect the mixture of mistrust and range of emotions to go away even if you decide to forgive your partner and rebuild the relationship.
2. Don’t Seek Revenge
Infidelity by your partner can induce rage. In your anger, your first instinct might be to speak ill of your partner on social media, to your friends, and their friends. The thought of revenge by being unfaithful as well may cross your mind.
While you might get a slight feeling of gratification from these actions, in the end, they keep you in a state of anger and shift your focus from moving on, repairing the relationship, and the healing journey.
3. Prioritize Self-Care
You might have some physical symptoms as a result of the initial shock. They from shakiness, loss of appetite, increased appetite, insomnia, sleeping too much, nausea, diarrhea, and nausea to difficulties with memory and concentration.
Although you might feel like you can prioritize self-care when you feel low, the small habits that you cultivate every day lead to enormous transformation in the long run. For instance, feel-good activities such as meditation, exercise, or listening to an inspirational podcast.
By reclaiming this time as the chance to rebuild your self-esteem, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your mental and physical health.
4. Steer Clear of the Blame Game
Self-blame or blaming your partner won’t change the betrayal from infidelity. It’s a waste of time and energy. Additionally, wallowing in self-pity will only make you feel helpless and worse about your self-worth.
5. Talk to a Professional
Despite the shame you might be feeling, coping with infidelity alone can be an uphill battle. Before you decide whether or not to end the relationship, it might be wise to seek counsel from a qualified therapist or psychologist.
A professional will be neutral about the situation and offer unbiased advice. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your partner questions about their unfaithfulness and discuss how you feel, respectfully.
6. Be Around Positive People
When you spend time with positive people, those that love and accept you for who you are, such as your family and close friends, they can boost your mood, making you feel better about yourself.
7. Spend Time With Nature
Being outside improves mental health. Even though it’s a short walk with your pup, it’ll give you a positive outlook on the day. Moreover, breathing fresh air will make you more excited.
8. Stay Busy
While it might be a no-brainer, staying busy when struggling with low-grade depression is no easy feat. However, it’ll bring a semblance of structure to your days that will make you feel like you have control over your life even though it feels like you’ve lost control of your relationship.
Coming up with and sticking to a daily schedule that’s well-balanced and allows you to do the things that spark a smile, for instance, reading a book or having coffee at your favorite café.
Although it’ll take time, setting clear boundaries is important when you’re ready to get back into the dating scene after being cheated on. Decide what’s acceptable and unacceptable for you. Your new partner should respect them, and if not, they’re not the right person for you.
10. Take a Social Media Break
You might be tempted to trawl through social media to keep up with what your partner is up to, especially if the infidelity led to a breakup. However, putting your FBI skills to the test will only make you feel worse.
Furthermore, you don’t need to prove to anyone that you’re living your best life. By taking a break from social media, you can cut out distractions and focus on your healing.
A Day at a Time
Cheating is one of the hardest challenges to overcome in a relationship. However, it doesn’t always have to mean breaking up. As you take your time to work through the aftermath, you’ll gain clarity on how to move forward to the next stage of your life, apart or together.