My ex-boyfriend cheated on me. To make a long story short, I was deeply affected by it. He was my first “love”. He took my virginity. He was my first adult relationship. The first real “I love you” that I thought was shared between us. The first person I thought I could truly trust aside from my close friends and my family.
Well, I was wrong.
It’s been a year since I left him, but I can still feel my pain in my current relationship. It’s like a thorn in my side, where it’s a dull pain reminding me that it’s there. Of course, I focus on that pain and it will grow, crumbling my relationship. I have a great relationship with my boyfriend-aside from the fact that I fear he will cheat on me like my ex-boyfriend did. Even though I accuse him of this, I know deep down he would never look twice at a woman and not even dream of cheating on me. So, why this crazy anxiety?
I have a couple of friends, like myself, who have been cheated on and emotionally abused by their ex-boyfriend. One is in a relationship and acts just like me: they love their partner, but has anxious feelings about emotional abuse and cheating. There is my other friend, who is not in a current relationship, but she faces the strains of anxiety just as I do. As I chatted with both of them, these feelings take time and effort to go away. Anybody who has been cheated on can relate to the paranoia that comes with infidelity. If you are one of those people, there is a list that will help ease your feelings and slowly heal the wound that has been inflicted upon your soul.
1. When you get these feelings, breathe and calm your mind. Meditate if you wish.
There is a large likelihood that these feelings are irrational and do not apply to your situation anymore. Calm your frantic thoughts and try to think rationally. Focus on your current partner, their morals, and their personality. Would they honestly cheat on you, or be inclined to cheat on you? Stick with your gut answer and not what your paranoia tells you. You can fight it!
Communicate with your partner. Make sure they know your background story and where these feelings come from. They don’t need to understand your situation, but as long as they give you time to heal…it means they’re willing to help you out! Also, I would suggest seeing a professional and talking about your past and how you feel, especially if your daily life is deeply affected by it. If you are against medicines, you don’t need to take any- just talking to an outside source helps gain perspective on your current situation.
3. Write it out. Keep a daily journal on your feelings.
Writing is a great way of keeping track of your feelings. Even writing why you feel paranoid, what you’re afraid of, what you can work on, and how you want to change can help you work things out. Writing is a daily outlet and I do it all the time…and trust me, it works! It is good to write down frequently, so that you may assess the change that you are going through and keeping up with your progress.
4. Enlighten yourself
What I mean by this is read articles about how you feel (like this one!) and stories, as well. There are plenty of books and people out there who have gone through what you have gone through and hearing how they are today will help you change for the better. Knowing that there is hope and having somebody guide you (whether they are a friend, an author, a parent,etc.) is one of the best things out there in overcoming any obstacle you need to tackle.
5. Be conscious of your thoughts and feelings
Being conscious of thoughts and feelings can help you a lot. I know that my mind will drift over to crazy situation and I will make up the worst case scenario; if that happens to you…STOP! It leads you down a very nasty path and you want to steer away from that. Instead, focus on what is at hand or create a happy place that will repress those thoughts. There is a saying out there in the infinite world that thoughts are your worst enemy…and it’s true.
6. Trust the other person
For me, this is the hardest part of the list to abide by. My trust for others has been destroyed and must take time to build up for me. Once again, you need to trust your instincts to know whether it is okay to trust this person. If they have good moral character, would never do you harm, care for you, and love you deeply, then there is no reason to not trust them; they’re here for you and only you.
7. Build confidence
Confidence is something I need to build up as well (I’m still working on a couple aspects of the list, too). You need to know that you are a unique individual with your own power. No matter what size, shape, race, religion, or background you come from – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Learn how to smile, love yourself, and trust in yourself; once you do that, then you will be able to trust others. Nobody ever deserves to be cheated on. Not you, not me, not my ex-boyfriend. Nobody. No matter how bad of a person…because it’s more than just lustful impulses. It’s a betrayal. It’s an insult on our character. It diminishes our very soul and importance. We become used. Broken. Tangled.
I still struggle every day with my wound, although it is slowly fading off into the distance; the scar will always remain, but it will just be a part of me. Just remember that just because your ex cheated on you, doesn’t mean your worthless…it means they’re worthless. They never deserved our fidelity, our empathy, our devotion. But remember, somebody does. And somebody would love to have that and would never mistreat you. That person IS out there. If I found my person, you will too.