Depending on the statistics you look at, somewhere between 20-30% of all relationships involve some kind of cheating.
And I’m not talking about cheating the tax man come tax time.
I’m talking about some new banana in her split.
Even though, for the record, men are just as likely to cheat as women.
With that in mind…
Women tend to have emotional affairs while men tend to have sexual ones.
Why it’s that way is a story for another time.
That said, what do you do if your girlfriend cheats on you and then dumps you?
I got a great email yesterday from our buddy Andrew. Andrew just caught his girlfriend cheating and he has no idea what to do next.
I wish I could say this is uncommon, but I run into it all the time with guys in my coaching program.
A week ago my girlfriend told me she cheated on me with another guy. I was obviously pretty pissed off and I confronted her about it, but then she dumped me and replaced me with the guy she cheated on me with.
I can’t stop thinking about her. She was my first girlfriend and we have so many shared memories. It really hurts. I want her back, but I don’t know what to do.
What do I do now? Do you have any advice for me?
To any of you who find yourself in a situation like Andrew, I’ve got some good news for you: cheating can be a good thing if you look at it the right way.
Because you dodged a bullet when cheated on you.
And it’s not because of what you think.
The physical act or emotional act behind the cheating isn’t the problem.
In fact, more couples than ever manage non-monogamous relationships and are doing just fine. Just ask Will and Jada Smith, who are one example of many.
No, the real problem with cheating is what it says about the type of relationship you have.
The fact that your girlfriend felt the need to cheat tells me that your relationship was already on the way down.
And you either didn’t listen to her when she told you something was wrong, or she didn’t have the emotional maturity to speak up.
Either way, you needed a reality check.
Your girlfriend didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to cheat, and then leave you. That’s just not how women work.
She’s probably been planning this for weeks or even months. For her, your relationship was already over before she cheated and dumped you.
Women tend to cheat when they are dissatisfied with their relationships. Research has shown that the more unhappy a woman is in her relationship, the more likely she is to view cheating in a positive light.
Your girlfriend may have felt unappreciated. Or maybe it was the opposite, and you were too damn needy.
Something was wrong. Either she was a shitty communicator, or you were a shitty listener. Maybe it’s a bit of both.
Probably not what you want to hear, but it’s my job to help you get better.
There’s Only 1 Way To Respond To Cheating
AND THAT IS TO CHEAT RIGHT BACK FOLKS.
Although that’s kind of hard to do if she dumped you, so in this case here’s my actual advice.
It’s one thing if your girlfriend cheats on you and comes to you afterward to talk it out.
It’s another thing entirely if she cheats on you and then dumps you.
If she cheats on you and then dumps you, you immediately have to go no-contact.
That’s not going to be what you want to do, of course.
You’re going to want to get angry and yell at her. Or feel hurt and go begging her for another chance.
The problem is both of these responses will make you feel worse because at the end of the day, they won’t change what happened and they sure as hell won’t help you get her back.
The fact is, she made the choice to leave. If you want to get her back (or get over her) now is the time to give her as much space as possible.
You need to put aside the fact that she was your first girlfriend, and that you shared all those memories. Right now, you need a reality check. Read this article about why your ex-girlfriend is NOT the 1 in a million girl you think she is.
That aside, the good news is that you’re not powerless. After you’ve enacted indefinite no-contact, and you’ve followed the step-by-step process I’ve detailed in my article about how to treat your ex-girlfriend addiction, there’s plenty more you can do.
And you can start with something that’s both incredibly simple, but unbelievably powerful.
You Forgive Her For Cheating (But Not In The Way You Think)
Cheating is especially painful because it destroys your ability to trust. If you’re cheated on and you don’t let go of that pain, it can follow you into new relationships and cause all kinds of problems.
It can manifest itself as a need to be controlling, or as a fear of her leaving you that makes you act needy.
The funny thing is, both of these can lead to your new girlfriend cheating again to the point where it becomes a cycle and after each relationship, you progressively feel less trusting of others.
The only way to avoid going down that path is to do one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
And that is: Completely forgive your ex-girlfriend for cheating on you.
You forgive her completely for everything she did, and then let it go.
Mind you, when I say forgive her, I don’t mean calling her up to tell you that you forgive her.
No. Don’t do that. Remember: no-contact means no contact.
What I’m talking about is you finding internal forgiveness.
Now I know I’m going to get some objections to this advice that include:
- “That bitch cheated on me and broke my heart! F!@$ her! She doesn’t deserve forgiveness”
- “This sounds like something a woman would do!”
- “Forgive her? C’mon Jack, that’s not going to help with anything!”
- “Let it go? I can’t just let it go. She hurt me!”
Let’s briefly touch on these objections before we move on.
Your Objections Are Always Emotional, Not Logical
Guess what all the common objections have in common? They are all emotional reactions.
And reacting to things emotionally is not what healthy, proactive men do. And last I checked, you are a healthy, proactive man. Right?
And for the love of god if you aren’t, keep reading because I’m about to make you into one.
Emotional reactions don’t make you feel better. They make you lose control of the situation and spend precious time spinning your wheels because you’re too caught up in your emotions.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what you feel. By all means, there’s nothing wrong with feeling angry.
Just don’t let it influence how you act. That’s what I’m talking about.
Just in case you don’t believe me, the underlying emotional causes for each of the 4 example objections are:
- “That bitch cheated on me and broke my heart! F!@$ her! She doesn’t deserve forgiveness” – Anger
- “This sounds like something a woman would do!” – Insecurity
- “Forgive her? C’mon Jack, that’s not going to help with anything!” -Doubt
- “Let it go? I can’t just let it go. She hurt me!” – Sad
Again, there’s nothing wrong with being sad, angry, insecure or anything else.
However, you need to recognize what you are feeling emotionally if you’re going to forever her, because the first step in forgiveness is coming to an understanding with yourself about how what she did has affected you.
With that in mind, here’s how I approach forgiveness. I’ll try to keep it fairly brief because this deserves its own article.
Step 1: Understand What Hurts
The first step in forgiveness is understanding exactly what is wrong. By now, you should be journaling regularly so that you have a better idea of what you feel.
Maybe you’re angry. Maybe you’re hurt. Maybe you’re disappointed. Whatever it is, just make sure you’re focused on that emotion.
Step 2: Identify What Thoughts Hurt
Once you know what you’re feeling, you need to know what particular thoughts are causing the hurt. This will be important later.
Think about the feelings you’re experiencing. What thoughts are connected to those feelings? As I talk about in my article about Marcus Aurelius’s 10 timeless bits of wisdom, if you can be aware of your thoughts, you have the power to control them.
Try to write down the specific thoughts that are causing the hurt!
Step 3: Forgive Her Unconditionally
Yeah, maybe she lied. Cheated. Hurt you dearly. Whatever it is, once you’ve written it down, mentally forgive her for each offense against you.
How you go about this is up to you. There are multiple different ways to forgive someone.
Personally, I love going to a remote corner and practicing some good ole’ fashioned animal sacrifice just like my Irish and German pagan forefathers.
If that doesn’t work for you, you could also try reminding yourself that how she acted was really a reflection of how she felt inside. People only act in their own self-interest, not to consciously harm others.
Unless she’s a sick and twisted fuck, which she probably isn’t. Women aren’t any more evil than you or I.
Granted, my method of forgiveness probably makes me look just a bit more evil to PETA.
Step 4: Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones
Finally, once you’ve forgiven her, it’s up to you to police your thots.
Shit, I meant thoughts. Police your thoughts. Yeah. That’s the one.
With that in mind, go back to your list of triggering thoughts. Every time you have one, remind yourself that you’ve forgiven her, and replace that negative thought with a positive thought.
For example, if you get angry whenever you see her posting pictures of her with her new boo (even though you’re not supposed to be following her on social media) you could remind yourself that she’s his problem now.
Or you could consider how much more freedom you have.
The options are endless. Just make sure you’re constantly aware of your thoughts and shooting down the negative ones, just like our boys from the #thotpolice above.
Because there’s a benefit to forgiveness that you probably haven’t heard about.
A Funny Thing Happens When You Forgive Her
When you forgive her, you unconsciously give yourself permission to start getting over the relationship.
And that’s really why I urge forgiveness. Not just because she’s human like you and can make mistakes, but because it helps you move on.
And guess what? Because forgiveness will help you to emotionally detach from your relationship with her, it’ll boost your outcome independence which is vital if you want to get her back!
With that said, you know what’s funny?
Once you forgive her, you tend to realize something. You put aside your emotions and you realize that your relationship probably wasn’t all that great in the first place.
Once you realize this, the illusion of your ex-girlfriend being special ends quickly.
Then you realize there were things you did wrong.
And you see traits and behaviors of hers you don’t like.
And once you start dating new women, you understand that maybe she wasn’t the one for you after all.
And in that way, just like I said before, you dodged a bullet even though she cheated on you.