But he didn’t come back. Instead, his new girlfriend flaunted their relationship all over social media. And being the masochist that I am, I couldn’t stop myself from tuning in to see the show. They were making bold declarations of their love for one another, posting pictures in bed together (yes, seriously), of them making silly faces, of them making sexy faces, of them, wearing matching thick rim glasses because how adorable is that? It was never-ending.
The worst part was he became the man I always wanted him to be … with her. He wouldn’t even call me his girlfriend to other people and here he was flaunting it to the world with her. He didn’t say he loved me for six months, and he only said it when we were breaking up the first time, and here he was showering her with loud declarations of love after three weeks. He didn’t take me out on fun dates or do anything exciting with me, he just wanted to stay home, the order in, and mope. What did she have that I don’t have?
I wasn’t only obsessed with him, I was obsessed with her. I needed to know everything about her. Why wasn’t I good enough? And what makes her good enough?
When the questions got to be too much I called him for some answers. I needed closure, I needed to understand. But what a waste of time that was. It was like talking to a cold distant stranger. All the love he once felt (if it actually existed) was long gone. He just gave me short, “what do you want me to tell you?” answers, followed by sighs of annoyance. If I didn’t feel like nothing before this conversation, I certainly did after.
The pain was too much. It was unrelenting and suffocating. So I dealt with it the only way my 21-year-old self knew how. I partied like a monster. I mean, take the wildest party girl you know, multiply her by 10 and that was me.
I was on a tear like you wouldn’t believe. I was on a mission. My mission: drink to the point that I can’t feel, and also make every guy in the room ache for me. I didn’t care to hook up. I just needed them to want me more than they’ve ever wanted anything. That was my game and I played it well. But oh boy, did it come at a cost.
Soon enough, I discovered that I didn’t need the booze or the boys to feel numb. I was just numb. I was a shell of a person. No more feelings, no more emotions, just black empty darkness. There was a lot of hurt in there, and a lot of rage, but I couldn’t feel it anymore. I turned my feelings off and became almost like a vampire. I came out at night to prey, got my fix, and then retreated at dawn until the sun went down again. It was a sad and sick way to live. And almost tragic. I was punishing myself for someone else’s mistake. And why? For what?
I think that breakup was the hardest thing I have ever had to overcome in my life. Looking back, I don’t even know how I got through it. The healing came, but that was after many years of darkness and of needing to undo faulty beliefs that got deeply wired into my psyche, sabotaging me and my love life for many years after.
I was a classic case of what not to do. But I learned a lot, and have used my knowledge to help countless women heal their ravaged hearts.
And with that, here are my tips to recover from being cheated on, the healthy way:
1. Deal with it
If you want to recover from being cheated on, then don’t run away from your feelings, they will always find you. Don’t shove them to the side or bury them under drugs and alcohol. Don’t self-destruct, because what sense does that make?
My default was always self-destruction and many years later, when trying to overcome yet another heartbreak, I was heading in that direction but finally, a voice of reason kicked in!