Coping with Infidelity: How to Heal After Being Cheated On

Figuring out how to heal after being cheated on is so hard. It’s a massive betrayal of trust, and it can leave you feeling confused, angry, and alone. You question so much about the relationship, and even question your self-worth.

No one deserves that betrayal, and we’re so sorry that you’re going through it. Whether you decide to work it out with your partner, or decide to move on, we’ve made a list of ways to help you heal and take care of yourself after being cheated on.

1. Figure Out What You Want

Infidelity really hurts. It can feel like your whole image of your relationship is shattered. So, what do you do?

Whether or not you choose to end the relationship is up to you. We’re not gonna sit here and tell you that you should stay with or leave your partner. It’ll be totally dependent on your individual situation, and whether or not you feel like your relationship could be repaired after this.

Your partner’s reaction to being found out will also be important. Did they try to gaslight or manipulate you after? Did they own up to their actions? Do they seem genuinely remorseful? 

Take as much time as you need to figure out your next step. Communicate with your partner about your needs and feelings, as long as it’s safe for you to do so. Try not to make any rash decisions in the moment. Take the time to think about and do what’s best for you.

2. Lean on Your Support System

Your loved ones are going to be huuuge for you right now. Call them, spend time with them, and let it all out. Whether you want to turn to your “righteous-fury” friend, or your “cry-it-all-out” friend, might depend on your mood. Whatever you need from them, let them know. Especially when there’s stuff to figure out, like a shared living space or a divorce, having people with you through the process will be super comforting.

3. Be Selective About Who You Tell

Your loving, caring support system will definitely have your back! As they freaking should. What are friends and/or family for, right? But be cautious about who you tell, and how much.

If you’re reeeally upset, posting the infidelity on social media might seem like a great idea. Or showing up to their work, posting a video of you confronting them, all those things that tend to go viral. But just don’t. We know, we get it, we understand that you have every right to be upset. But publicly shaming them won’t undo the hurt and won’t make you feel better. 

This can apply to your support system, too. We’re definitely not saying you should keep the infidelity a secret—just that you should choose your confidantes carefully. Maybe you have one friend that you trust with all your secrets, but another who tends to spread gossip. Or maybe you plan to stay together and work toward forgiveness, but you know your sibling would never forgive them. Just like you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, you can never un-tell someone something. 

4. Go to Therapy (or Couples Counselling)

Having someone break your trust can bring up a whole bunch of insecurities and self-doubt. While your support system will definitely help you see your amazing self again, booking a session with a mental health professional can really help the healing process.

Therapists are there for you and your concerns. Your friends or family will have all their own perspectives, even if they’re well-meaning! So if you’re feeling lost, hurt, and confused, a therapist can help you navigate those emotions to bring you back to a more secure place.

If you decide to work on your relationship, going to couples counseling is a great idea. Working out the infidelity in a safe and open environment, with a professional to guide the conversation, can help you avoid the not-so-great conflict resolution styles that will make things worse. Did you know you can also do individual therapy in addition to couples therapy? It can be really helpful to process what you’re going through in a safe space that’s all your own!

5. Get Back to Your Passions

What excites you? What makes you happy?? When you are cheated on, you can feel very unsure of yourself and your identity. By focusing on your joy, you can help build up your self-worth in a way that’s all about you and what you do, rather than your relationship to someone else. This can be super helpful when you want to get over someone cheating on you, but it’s also great to focus on your passions if you decide to stay in the relationship.

So bust out those hiking boots, oil paints, or acoustic guitar, and get back to you! Super impressive bonus points if you can do all those hobbies at once.

6. Take Your Time

If you want to get over infidelity, there can be two knee-jerk reactions: Fully ditching your partner, swearing to never speak to them again, or forgiving too fast in order to mend the relationship. Both are not great for you.

These things take time. Deciding to ghost your partner might lead you to regret it down the road, if you think the issues could have been worked through together. Or, if you forgive too fast, you could have a future of resentment, hidden feelings, and passive-aggressive remarks.

Whatever you decide to do, take your time with it. Process all the emotions. Communicate with your partner. We’re not saying you need to forgive your partner, but we’re not saying you need to give up on them, either. Just do it all at a pace that gives enough space for you to feel all the things.

7. Don’t Overthink the Past

When a person is cheated on, they might go through every interaction in the past, every hint of infidelity, every sign they ignored, and wonder what went wrong. The person who was cheated on might wonder if they could have prevented the affair by being more attentive, more sexually-satisfying, or communicative.

Someone cheating on you is not your fault!! Remember that, repeat it, and write it down in your journal. Even if there are or were issues in the relationship, a partner choosing to cheat is 100% their decision. People can have affairs in happy relationships, too. 

Don’t overthink the past or what you could have done differently. Now that the affair is out in the open, your best bet is to acknowledge that it happened, work on your relationship (if you’re staying together), and move towards the future. We’re deeeefinitely not recommending that the infidelity be forgotten… just try not to ruminate on the past too much.

8. Work on Building Trust

Trust is gonna be super important from here on out, whether the relationship is over or not.

If you decide to stay together, open and honest communication will be sooo vital for building trust. Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Margaret Rutherfod stresses that trust runs in both directions after the affair. That means that the person who was cheated on needs to, with time, work, heal, and learn to trust their partner again. Any hidden resentment or suspicion will affect the relationship over time. And the person who stepped out of the relationship needs to work on showing their partner that they can be trusted and won’t cheat again.

If you choose to end the relationship, you’ll need to learn to trust future partners or romantic prospects. This will also take time, work, and healing. You may find yourself suspicious of partners who have never cheated on you and say they never would. Being honest about your past and telling your future partners your triggers will help them understand how and why you react the way you do. But getting to the bottom of those triggers and healing the trauma of infidelity will be the best way to learn to trust again.

Being cheated on is a lot of pain to deal with. Take all the time you need. Turn to your loved ones for support. And no matter what you choose to do, make sure it’s the best decision for you. You’ve got all our love and support through the screen!! 

7 Helpful Ways to Take a Social Media Break

It’s 3 A.M. You can count the hours until your alarm on one hand. Your eyes hurt. Your phone is almost dead. You know you should stop scrolling, you know you should go to sleep, but five more minutes couldn’t hurt, right? 

Does this sound familiar? If so, it might be time for a social media break. And no, we don’t want you to delete all your apps and go off the grid. Sometimes, a break is all you need to reset your habits!

Social media has a big effect on our mental health, but it’s not realistic to straight-up delete everything. Social media might be linked to your work. It might be the only way you get updates on your friends and family who live far away, or who you haven’t seen in a while thanks to the pandemic. Whatever reason you have for keeping your social media, we feel you, and we wanna help you take a break from social media without deleting it.

Enough with the preamble! Here are seven helpful ways to take a break from social media.

1. Set App Timers (and Stick with Them)

Okay, raise your hand if you’ve ever had an app timer go off, telling you that you’ve spent an hour on an app, and adjusted the time so you can keep going.

Yeeeahh, same here. That’s totally understandable! Remember, these apps are literally designed to be addictive. So if you find yourself several hours deep in a TikTok scroll, that’s done on purpose by the company. Your eyes = their money. 

Habits are formed when a behaviour gets repeated enough that it becomes unconscious. Great when it comes to brushing your teeth or getting into a flow at work. Not great when you reach for your phone every time you’re bored. The key is to interrupt that behaviour in order to interrupt your brain’s automatic urges.

Next time your app timer goes off, you gotta walk away from your phone. Literally. Put it down and do something else, even if it’s going to the kitchen for a drink, taking a lap around the block, or having a nice, long bath. Your brain might crave that dopamine kick it gets from the app at first, but over time, you’ll feel better walking away from it.

2. No Social Media Sundays

Maybe you can’t step away from social media because it’s necessary for you in some way. Totally fine! But in that case, it could be a good call to take a day or two off per week.

You can start small by designating one day where you don’t check any social media apps (turning off notifications will really help you out here!). If you have anyone who needs to get a hold of you through the apps, let ‘em know that you won’t be available every Sunday, or whatever day you choose. Again, it’s gonna feel weird at first, but soon enough, you’ll go the whole day without even noticing the absence.

Does a whole day feel like too much? We get that. Instead, set a time where you don’t check it. Soooo much scientific data tells you to not use your phone before bed, so make it a habit! Turn those apps off an hour (or more) before bed every night. Not a full day of disconnection, but it’s still helpful! 

3. Use Time Off to Unplug

Combining some time off work or school with a social media break could be a perfect reset for your brain!

Whether you are going to a new destination, or having a staycation, use an extended break to have no social media. The social media cleanse will feel great with the time off! Do anything and everything you wanna do, without constantly checking up on the world. By interrupting the habit, like we said above, you’ll probably realize how much less you could use it in your day-to-day.

4. Replace It with Another Habit

Sometimes, we’re just looking for something to keep us occupied and kill time. Instead of asking yourself, “Should I delete social media?”, instead ask, “Should I pick up a new hobby to spend less time on social media?” 

The answer is yes. Just in case that wasn’t clear. Yes. 

Do your Wordle for the day, crochet, cross stitch, doodle or paint, read a book, play some video games, attempt a crossword without Googling any answers… whatever floats your boat! By replacing some of your social media time with a hobby, you’re well on your way to improving your skills, PLUS those pics of your friend’s new puppy are still there to look at later. Love it.

5. Figure Yourself Out with Journaling

Getting introspective is an important step to finding out why you use social media so much in the first place. 

To do this, start by busting out your journal! Try these prompts:

What is my relationship with social media?

Why do I use it as much as I do?

Do I find social media helpful, harmful, or somewhere in between?

Why do I want to take a social media break?

Getting to know your own motivations can help solidify a change in behaviour. If you find that you’re sick of using social media so much and want to make a change, writing that down can really make it sink in. 

The next time you want to use social media as a knee-jerk reaction to boredom, journal instead! The DiveThru app has tons of prompts, and it’s right there on your phone. Or you can do a mindfulness exercise in the app, a breathing exercise, or read one of our articles. 

Think of it this way. You can either spend time on social media like you have done in the past (even though you reading this article is a big tell that you’d rather not do that). OR, you can change your habit to become more introspective, get to know yourself better, and take on those mental health challenges you’ve been facing. Up to you. We recommend the second one but, y’know, we don’t run your life.

6. Try Mindfulness

Now that you know all about your motivations with social media, it can be a good idea to take a step back and practice mindfulness!

Besides having a whooole bunch of benefits, mindfulness can help you calm down any anxious or stressed thoughts you might have. If you’re using social media as a distraction from something that’s stressing you out, mindfulness can help you confront that stress at the source and to calm your anxious responses down. Less stress and anxiety in your daily life, less turning to social media as a way to distract yourself. It’s a win-win! 

Don’t worry if mindfulness is new to you! It doesn’t come easy to everyone, and your mind might wander while you practice. That’s why we created the 14 Day Mindfulness Practice with Dr. Justin Puder. He’ll give you new methods to use to get into the habit of mindfulness in just two weeks, with video exercises, guided audios, and journal prompts to lock it all in. Check it out in the DiveThru app!

7. Get an Accountability Buddy

Do you and your friend send each other memes on every app, multiple times a day, but you’re both getting sick of the scroll? Then challenge each other to take breaks! 

Forming and breaking habits can be smoother when you have someone else doing it with you. By being accountable to each other, you have another person reminding you of why you’re doing it, which can help motivate you to put the phone down (or to not turn off that app timer for the third time that day). 

Plus, a little competition never hurts. Instead of keeping track of your snapstreak, keep track of your screen time. And if you’re feeling extra competitive, say that whoever has more screen time at the end of the week has to pay for dinner. Who doesn’t love free food??

Now that you have some ideas, go forth and be the most productive, most satisfied, and least distracted social media user, without needing a full delete!