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You’re Not “Overthinking” After Your Partner Cheated On You, But Here’s How You Can Protect Your Peace

Having a hard time coming to terms with your partner cheating on you and feeling like you’re stuck in a tangled web of emotions after this discovery? From replaying every moment you shared together to looking for the potential red flags you might have missed or even shedding some tears over your ex, post-cheating “overthinking” is all too real. Wrapping your head around what happened can bring along some dark thoughts that can be super consuming and uncomfortable overall. It’s like a relentless storm cloud looming over your thoughts, making it hard to see the silver lining — so how can you stop overthinking after being cheated on? 

While this might all seem like a heavy emotional rollercoaster, don’t worry! Feeling betrayed, insecure, or just downright overwhelmed is totally normal after being cheated on. Trust me when I say, so many other people have been there too, and it’s all part of the process.

Fortunately for you, there are many ways to stop overthinking after being cheated on and form healthy, meaningful ways to move on from your heartbreak. So, I spoke to psychologist David Tzall about how to stop overthinking after being cheated on.

Acknowledge your emotions.

First of all, understand that being cheated on is 100% not your fault. While accepting what has happened might not come easily, or you may have a hard time letting go, it’s important to think seriously about why you’re overthinking. All of your feelings are valid and deserve attention, whether you’re angry, confused, or just upset. “It’s important to allow yourself to feel the range of emotions that come with betrayal,” Tzall says. “Don’t suppress your feelings or pretend everything is okay, but instead acknowledge what you’re going through and give yourself permission to process these emotions.”

Cheating, naturally, can do some damage when it comes to your self-confidence. And that’s entirely OK. “Individuals may grapple with feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence, which can contribute to overthinking as they seek validation and reassurance from themselves and others,” Tzall explains. It might seem obvious to question why cheating happened, but understanding the specifics can help you learn and grow from the experience.

You can also set aside designated “worry time” each day to acknowledge and address your concerns. Remember, it’s okay to feel the way you do after what happened, and feel free to “practice redirecting your thoughts whenever you catch yourself ruminating,” Tzall advises.

Seek support.

Spend some time with your family or friends to help you get through this difficult time: They’re your loved ones for a reason, so lean on them to make up for that lost love. By surrounding yourself with their support, your negative thoughts will practically disappear as you create new, loving memories with them. You will definitely find comfort with “your support network of friends, family members, or trusted individuals who can offer empathy, validation, and perspective,” Tzall says.

You can also ground yourself by starting and ending each day with a brief period of reflection. “In the morning, set positive intentions for the day ahead and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals with confidence and resilience,” advises Tzall. “In the evening, reflect on your experiences and express gratitude for the opportunities and lessons learned.”

Limit triggers.

Do you find yourself tempted to break no-contact to text your ex-partner or continuously stalk their social media pages? It’s easy to fall into the mindset of wanting to “fix them,” even though that might not be the best decision. As Tzall points out, “Young adults may feel pressure to excel in various aspects of their lives which can lead to perfectionistic tendencies, where individuals excessively analyze their actions and decisions, fearing failure or criticism.” 

If specific activities, items, or places are causing you to overthink, try giving them some space for a while. While this will definitely take some time to get used to, setting these boundaries for yourself should establish new routines to help with your healing journey. Additionally, you can “establish clear boundaries for yourself in future relationships. Determine what behaviors are acceptable to you and communicate these boundaries openly with your partner.”

Practice self-care.

Moving on from a cheating ex can be challenging, but re-channeling your inner self-love is key to healing. ”Forgiveness is a personal choice and may not be feasible or necessary in every situation,” Tzall says. “However, if you’re open to it and believe it could be beneficial for your own healing, consider practicing forgiveness.” 

Plus, there are several activities you can try to help you along the way: working out, binge-watching your favorite shows, listening to music that uplifts you, journaling your thoughts and feelings, practicing mindfulness, reconnecting with nature, and taking time to meditate. “Practice simple breathing exercises to center yourself and calm your mind,” says Tzall. “One effective technique is the ‘4-7-8’ breath, where you inhale for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale for a count of eight. Repeat this cycle several times to promote relaxation and reduce stress.” 

Navigating the aftermath of being cheated on can be an overthinking rollercoaster, but by acknowledging your feelings, seeking support, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care, you can gradually reclaim your inner peace and nurture your romantic well-being. Remember, you absolutely deserve so much better, and with time and self-compassion, you’ll emerge from this experience stronger and wiser than before.

Lily Brown

Emerson '25

Lily Brown is a writer at the Her Campus National Writers Program. She writes for the Culture, Style, and Wellness verticals on the site, including beauty, decor, digital, entertainment, experiences, fashion, and mental health coverage. Beyond Her Campus, Lily is a rising senior at Emerson College in Boston, MA, majoring in Journalism with a Publishing minor. She works as the Creative Director for the on-campus lifestyle publication, Your Magazine, where she establishes and curates the conceptual design and content for the entire publication ranging from style, romance, music, pop culture, personal identity, and college experiences. She has written and photographed for Your Mag along with several other on-campus magazines. Lily was recently recognized for her work on YM and awarded two EVVYs for Outstanding Print Publication. In her free time, Lily maybe spends a little too much time keeping a close eye on captivating red carpet and runway fashion, and binge-watching her favorite shows. She also enjoys expressing her thoughts through creative writing, exploring new destinations, and blasting ABBA, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Lady Gaga on Spotify. Additionally, she actively contributes to fostering a sense of community among college residents as a dedicated Residential Assistant.