At times, being cheated on can feel even worse than being dumped. Discovering that your partner has had an affair with someone can seriously damage your confidence levels, leaving you feeling inadequate and angry. But a new international study hopes to draw attention to the positive outcomes of such situations.
The research, which has been conducted by the Binghamton University in New York, USA, has revealed that women who are cheated on by their male partners become stronger in the end. Titled Intrasexual Mate Competition and Breakups: Who Really Wins?, the study suggests that those who get cheated on get to learn from their experiences, and eventually become better at choosing the right partners.
“They learn to look out for those ‘cheating signs’ in their next partner. Many women tend to become stronger and emotionally stable once they go through such experiences. They try to find more responsible companions. They also learn to think with their mind rather than their heart, and hence, turn out to be winners in the long run,” says psychiatrist Gittanjali Saxena.
But this is always easier said than done. Experts suggest that the only way you can really benefit from such a situation is by taking time out for yourself. You must evaluate the good and bad aspects of your relationship with great objectivity, which can only happen over time.
“Try not to get into another relationship for at least six months after you have broken up with the person who cheated on you,” says relationship expert Shyam Mithiya. He adds, “People are usually quite vulnerable in such cases, and can easily get attached to someone who offers them a shoulder to lean on.”
The other extreme, warns city-based psychiatrist Riddhish Maru, can also be damaging. “Certain women may generalise the situation (the betrayal) and may not trust any man after that,” he adds.
Dos and don’ts to get over a cheating partner:
1) Don’t stay in touch with your ex on any social media platforms till you feel you are entirely over your past relationship
2) Spend time with your family and close friends
3) Keep yourself busy with entertainment options
4) Take up a new hobby
5) Indulge in physical activities. Hit the gym, swim, do yoga, or take a short walk daily to keep a healthy mind and happy heart
6) Write down the signs you noticed before you found out about the cheating
7) Also understand where you went wrong, if at all you feel you did. This will help you learn from your own mistakes. Speak to your close friends about your feelings
8) Don’t be afraid of trusting people as well as your instincts
9) Don’t be scared of telling your future partner about your last relationship, if you want to. Be vocal about your preferences the next time you date someone.
Case study: ‘I learnt how to respect my time’
Ramya Tiwari, 26, talks about how being cheated on made her stronger, and helped her find a better partner. My ex-boyfriend used to be the theatre professor at the institution I was pursuing my post-graduate studies at. Back then, I was new to Mumbai and had no friends, so his company came as a relief. Soon, we started dating. We would meet every day, and I would wait for two-three hours for him to finish work. I thought we were a perfect couple, with so much love, understanding and trust. But, after about a year, a mutual friend — who is my husband now — helped me find out that my ex was cheating on me with one of his other students. After this incident, I was really hurt. It took me some time to come out of it, but eventually, I became less dependent on others. I realised that I wasn’t super emotional anymore. I became a better judge of people. I believe it all comes down to how much you respect yourself and your partner. I had wasted so many hours of my life waiting for someone to finish work and spend time with me. I learnt that a partner who respects you and your time will not keep you waiting. I learnt how to respect my time and myself more. My husband and I never take each other for granted either. Though I trust my husband immensely, I don’t want to repeat the mistakes I made with my last relationship. In a way, I am grateful to God and my ex [for teaching me this life lesson].
(Name changed on request)
Beyoncé cracks the whip!
Pop star Beyoncé Knowles’s latest hit, ‘Lemonade’, was in the news recently for supposedly featuring suggestive lyrics about husband Jay Z’s extra-marital affairs. Incidentally, last month, a report had revealed that Beyoncé had even got Jay Z to sign a ‘post-nup’ that included a ‘no cheating’ clause. If Jay Z is found cheating, he will have to give her more than half his fortune, say reports.
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