There’s no right or wrong way to respond when someone cheats on you. It’s a painful, deeply personal experience and only you know what course of action you should take to get beyond the affair.
Still, advice from people who’ve experienced the same betrayal certainly helps. Below, our readers on Facebook and Twitter share their best advice for dealing with an affair — many of them drawing on their personal experience.
See what they had to say, then add your advice on how to move on from infidelity in the comments.
1. “It took me a while to get past it but what helped me was to remind myself that their behavior is their choice. You have no control over them. It’s very possible that they might never be happy because they’ll always be looking for something else when the problem lies with them. You, on the other hand, are awesome and can handle it. Believe me.”
2. “Let go of the anger. After I finally let go of that, I thanked my ex and his affair partner for the doors they had opened for me. I am a good person (you are too, whether you know it or not) and I deserve the best. My ex running off with another woman gave me the freedom to find what was best for me.”
3. “Cry, scream, and have a fit. You’re going to be angry, so let it out. There’s nothing worse than people telling you to stay calm and pull it together.”
4. “Take the time to think about your situation. Don’t react immediately and make a decision you’ll regret. You don’t have to make a decision right away. And once you’ve thought about what you want to do, make a plan — possibly an exit plan and get all your ducks in a row. That’s what I did. The first time I forgave, but I had a plan in case it happened again. When it inevitably did, I knew exactly what I was going to do, where I was going to live, where my kids would go to school, my work and child support situation.”
5. “Remember it was their choice, despite anything that may have happened in the past or present in the relationship. It was ultimately their willful choice that caused this. You are free from the burden of that choice, so don’t carry around the guilt they may throw at you. While you don’t have to forget you do have to forgive — openly and honestly. I’m not saying that will be easy, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. But the main thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is that it was their brokenness, not yours, that led them to the choice. It was their inability to uphold the sanctity of the marriage vows that caused this to happen.”
6. “Even if you don’t patch things up in the relationship, find forgiveness before it destroys you.”
7. “I guess it depends on whether the other person wants to work through things. Whatever you decide, I’d recommend you take on this perspective: Yesterday is history. You only have today.”
8. “As a therapist who specializes in affair recovery, my advice is to wait. You don’t have to make any decisions right away.”
9. “Remember: Their cheating is not a reflection on you but on them. Their actions show others the type of person they truly are. You, on the other hand, can hold your head up high.”