So You Cheated. Now What?


Yes, you made a mistake. You broke a trust — got rid of too many chemical bonds — and destroyed ‘something good” along the way. Make no mistake, you’re the bad guy.

You are the villain in those shitty romance movies where no can ever find happiness in being single. You are that hate to love syndicated episode people still get in arguments over and you weren’t even on a break. You are that messy stain people are trying to erase from your former paramour’s memory with stupid jokes, delicious calories, and binge drinking. You are that awful opening scene that leads to a clumsily strung together journey of your scorned lover’s future happiness.

You are monster hiding under the, “I thought (s)he was the one” bed.

You kind of suck.

Embrace that.

Hold on to the idea that it’s almost a definite possibility that you weren’t happy and did something drastic to escape. Realize that maybe you were happy, too happy, and you went down this route because you felt like you didn’t deserve it. Or perhaps you’re just an accidental asshole trying to make your way in the world of feelings.

Honor your truth.

Look deep down into that barrel of “I still love him/her” and “I just made one mistake” bullshit you will inevitably have to feed the masses (friends, family, nosey people that have noticed a change in your Facebook habits) and pull out the real truth.

No matter how depraved, foolish, and utterly inexcusable in the court of emotional law, recognize your truth. Recognize how you brought this on yourself before that millisecond of your screen time as the villain is usurped by poor dialogue montages of some bland but sublimely attractive or deeply sensitive savior character.

Recognize that you don’t get to be a part of this happy ending. Own up to fact that it was your fault, and work through moving on.

Sleep around, go to the gym, beg for a second chance and promise not to muck it up, or drift around and sulk — hell, do it all. Do whatever it takes to admit it. Concede to fact — not the idea — that for once you know what it’s like to be villain after years of playing the undiscovered hero, and it does not feel good. Admit you did this.

You are not a monster.

You are not unworthy of love.

You are not lesser human being.

You are someone who made a mistake. Everyone can and some will openly fault you for making it. Don’t run from that.

Take the tears, jeers, and loose cuffed “maybe it was bound to happen anyway” statements with a glass of water (hold the salt) and do better. Don’t waste time searching “how to get over a breakup” or “can cheaters be forgiven” online. Take the time to go through it yourself. Going through the motions is part the reason you got into this mess.

It won’t be over soon. You will not feel “fine” about it after a few days or ill-timed hookups to keep your mind off things.

This will hurt.

Don’t skip, run, dodge, or hide from that. Take the lesson in stride, because you will inevitably be back on the other side as the undiscovered hero, only this time you’ll better at it. This time you will know what you want. This time you won’t feel trapped in the flux of it all. This time you’ll love better.

Trust me.