A College Girl’s Guide to Relationships: Cheating Edition, Part One

Navigating a relationship in the rocky landscape of college is challenging, as temptations run wild when confronted with factors such as alcohol, sex and parties. If you hit a rough patch in your relationship, you have a multitude of vices to fall back on to escape whatever is plaguing your mood. However, too often can these scenarios lead someone to a situation they later come to regret: cheating. Whether you’ve been cheated on, cheated on your S.O. or are the other woman, we’ve compiled a guide to help you work through an emotionally draining event and hopefully help you and your S.O. feel better about whatever outcome you conclude with.

This week: What do to if you’ve been cheated on.

Finding out your S.O. has cheated on you can leave you emotionally wrecked beyond repair; you often find yourself feeling insecure and overthinking every moment you’ve spent with that person. Were they always cheating on you? Was every joyful, loving moment a lie? Was it you? What did they have that you didn’t?

The most important thing to remind yourself of when you’re confronted with a cheating S.O. is that it’s not your fault in any way, shape or form. It’s easy to blame yourself when you find out someone you love betrayed you, but you are in no way responsible for their actions. If your S.O. cheated on you, it’s not because you weren’t enough or couldn’t give them something the other person could. You may never learn why you were cheated on, but to dwell on your own role in it will only harm you further, especially when you had no part in the situation.

When you’re cheated on, it’s common to blame the “other woman” and target her as the victim of your rage, sorrow and revenge. It’s hard to acknowledge that it’s never going to be her fault, but to have the courage to acknowledge that in most situations, the other girl had no part in your relationship and wasn’t the one who broke your trust. If you’re able to find forgiveness and don’t fault her for the mistakes of your S.O., then you’re already more mature than the one who cheated on you. It’s always better to be the bigger person and treat the situation with grace, rather than reverting to childish rage and blame.

One vital step that you should take, regardless of whether or not you want to end the relationship after you’ve been cheated on, is to talk to your S.O. Airing the room and asking what happened and why may help you come to a decision. Having open communication and being honest about your feelings could help you save a relationship you find worthwhile. It could also lead you to realize this person is not for you and that continuing to work on a bond that isn’t fulfilling for either of you would be counterproductive. At the end of the day, having a conversation with your S.O. can help you with either choice you make.

Being cheated on can be a traumatic experience. It can lead you to a path of self-doubt, anger and various other negative emotions, but for some, it allows them to realize their worth and walk away from a toxic situation. The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to handle this situation. What we’ve outlined isn’t a surefire way to approach your relationship, but it does contain some helpful tips we’ve utilized in our own experiences. When it comes down to it, however, the only way to get through it is honest, open communication in order to work towards whatever outcome you and your S.O. decide is right for you both.

Photo credit: cover, 1, 2