The first thing that pops into your head when asked, "How do you get over a cheater?" is to kill the motherf****r. But obviously, that's not how it goes down. Christine Hassler of The Huffington Post tells us that it's all up to how you look at it, and you can find peace and acceptance eventually.
Hassler gives two cases as examples. The first is a girl who she refers to as Kathy. Kathy's boyfriend cheated on her and she feels "betrayed and duped" even after she's broken up with him. Kathy spent hours venting about her ex and blaming him for everything that happened. When Hassler asked her gently if the experience is teaching her, and she can only learn from it, Kathy began blaming and cussing her boyfriend. Hassler then proceeded to ask her if complaining and blaming made her feel any better, and she said, "no, not really."
Even after encouraging Kathy to look at the situation from a different perspective, and what she can learn from it, Kathy's immediate response was, "That men are sex-crazed jerks and I'm never going to trust another one again." She saw this as more of a punishment rather than a learning experience.
The next day, Hassler had another session with a different client, Nikki, who was going through the same situation. The session began the same as how Kathy's went, with the venting, crying and questions. However, when asked if she was willing to look at things from a different perspective, Nikki's response was, "Well, looking at it from this perspective certainly isn't moving me out of feeling this way so why not!"
Nikki's simple willingness had already created a change inside her. Again, Hassler asked her the same question as she had asked Kathy, what she thought this experience was teachng her that she can only learn from it. Unlike Kathy, Nikki let the question seep it, and responded with a calmer and more open tone, "Well I think it was a wake up call about how I treat myself more than it was about how he treated me." Hassler writes:
Nikki went on to share that she was learning that her boyfriend
cheating on her was showing her how much she cheats herself. She
admitted to patterns of not keeping her word with herself, settling,
over-extending herself, and being extremely neglectful of her own
needs. As she was coming to these realizations, she was also stepping
into the willingness to stop these patterns. Her biggest "aha" was the
awareness that in order for her to really wake up to how much cheating
herself was costing her, it had to happen in her external world to get
her attention. Nikki admitted that she tolerated cheating herself but
couldn't tolerate another person cheating on her. But after seeing how
painful the experience was, she finally was able to look at ways to be
more faithful to herself.
What we can learn from this, is that we can control what we feel just by a change of perspective. Asking yourself the "Why did this happen to me?" question and answering it from a victim's perspective rather than a "student of life perspective" doesn't give you a chance to heal. So it's up to you to choose: stay upset and continue blaming him, or learn, forgive him and yourself, and move on. Dwelling on the negativity would only be cheating yourself.
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