Breakup Advice

He's cheated on you and it feels like a dull blade has slowly sliced out your heart. Finding out the man you love has betrayed you like this is the worst emotional pain imaginable. You're confused. You're wondering what made him stray. But no matter how many questions you have or how much soul searching you're doing, if your goal is to leave the damaged relationship behind and move on with your life without him, there are definitely some steps to make that transition easier.

It Wasn't You. It was him.

When you find out your boyfriend has cheated on you, you may find yourself wondering where you went wrong. Don't get dragged down by such thoughts. Whether the two of you had problems or everything was going along just fine, there is never a good reason to cheat. Part of being in a mature relationship is being able to weather any storm. If he felt he needed to go to someone else for something, he simply wasn't mature enough to be in a committed relationship. That is his issue, not yours. Keep this in mind as you plan your breakup.

You Are Beautiful and You Are Worthy.

So your ego is bruised. How could he do this to you? Getting cheated on may make you feel less than a woman. Remember, though, you are beautiful and unique. His loss will be someone else's gain. You may have friends surrounding you now telling you these things, restoring and building your confidence. Believe it because it is true. And when you break up with him, you'll have the confidence to walk away.

The Breakup

Unless you just don't feel safe with him, or you're worried he'll convince you to stay in this damaged relationship, break up with him face to face. Don't do it by e-mail or letter or text. Meeting him in person to discuss the relationship and why you feel it failed gives you the opportunity for closure. You can lay out your case for leaving or just leave it at a simple "goodbye". But be prepared for a host of reactions from him. He may be very apologetic and promise to never do it again or he might be arrogant and act like he's happy you're leaving him. Both of these are natural defensive reactions. Don't fall for them. Make your intentions clear then walk away.

After the Breakup

Once you end the relationship, you might find yourself slipping into an extended period of mourning - curling up into a proverbial fetal position with sad music playing. Fight the urge to do this. It wastes precious time and might leave you jaded when it comes to other men. The quicker you resume a normal life, the better you will be. It will show you, your friends and even him that you're a strong person and cannot be defeated so easily. Here are some tips to get back into the saddle again as a single woman:

  1. Treat yourself to new clothes, a new hairstyle or a mani-pedi. Take steps to enhance your attractiveness, whether that be physical, emotional or mental. Remember the things that used to make you happy before 'him' and rediscover them or discover some new interests.
  2. Have some much needed "girl time" with your friends. Have dinner at your favorite restaurant or go dancing and enjoy some male attention from the guys in the club. It will do wonders for your ego!
  3. Don't use the excuse "I'm not ready to date yet" when you're asked out. When men want a date, they want to spend time with you and get to know you. They're not proposing marriage! Likewise, if your friends want to set you up with someone, gladly accept! You never know when or how you're going to meet the most important man in your life. Accepting a date is not a promise for anything more, so never blow off an opportunity.

No one likes to be cheated on. But you can make the situation work in your favor. With just a little effort, you can better yourself, make him regret he ever lost someone like you and move on to a better and more fulfilling life.

(See also our pages on Moving On After A Breakup and Regaining Your Self-Esteem for more on how to move on after the breakup.)

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