My ex-partner cheated on me. There, I said it. It took me so much time to be able to say this sentence out loud or to write it down, as if I was running away from it. But the undeniable fact is that it happened. And I am not the only woman in the world who has gone through the same horror. Although I thought being cheated on was the worst thing that could happen to me, I realized this experience was actually valuable for me, because it taught me a lot about life. Here are 5 life lessons I learned after I’d been cheated on.
1. It wasn’t my fault
When I found out I’d been cheated on, the first thing that crossed my mind was that everything must have been my fault. I blamed myself for allowing this to happen and for not noticing it sooner. I assumed I wasn’t beautiful, interesting or smart enough, so my partner cheated on me. I realize it was easier to blame myself than to put all the guilt on him and I know now that none of it was ever my fault. There was nothing I could’ve done which would have stopped him from cheating on me. Everything that he did was and still is exclusively his fault and it’s something he has to deal with on his own.
2. Nobody can take away my self-worth
If you’ve even been cheated on, you know that this act distorts your self-image. You start to think that you are good for nothing and that you have no value as a woman, because you couldn’t keep a man by your side. You feel defeated and worthless. And that is exactly what I was feeling throughout this entire process. But after a lot of time and introspection, I realized that nobody, and especially a man, can take away my self-worth. It took me a long time but I learned to love myself and not to think less of myself just because this guy cheated on me. Him cheating on me doesn’t show my value—it only shows his character, personality and lack of worth.
3. The truth is always best
One of the most important life lessons I learned after I’d been cheated on is that honesty is the best policy, no matter what. We all say we want the truth but deep down we are afraid of it and the way it could affect us. But the truth always comes out, sooner or later. Yes, the truth about my partner cheating on me has hurt me to the bones but it was also liberating in a way. It wasn’t the cheating that damaged me the most—it was the lying and the sneaking around behind my back. If my partner had been honest about falling in love with another woman from the start, I think everything would have been much easier for me to handle. That is what taught me to always tell the truth loud and clear, even if it’s harsh and painful.
4. No one can complete me
I loved my partner very much while we were together and even after he cheated on me. I concentrated my entire life on him, making him the center of it. I literally thought I could never function without him by my side, because he gave my life meaning and completed me. And only after he cheated on me and after we split did I realize how wrong I actually was. I realized that nobody can complete me until I feel completed by myself. Of course, there are people who can empower my life and make it a little bit better but there is no person in this world who can provide me with happiness until I become happy on my own. I realized that no man can define who I am and that I am not less of a woman just because I am single.
5. Everything happens for a reason
I know that this probably sounds like a cliché to you but everything really does happen for a reason. Although at first I thought that being cheated on was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, it was actually far from that. From this point of view, I’m even glad it happened. Although it did bring me a lot of pain, trust issues and self-questioning, it also brought me a lot of good things. When you are going through a rough phase in your life, this is your chance to see who the people are who deserve a place in your life. Also, if this hadn’t happened, I would never have known my true strength and power. And most of all, I would never love myself the way I do now.