No one has ever been so keenly aware of their hearts’ ability to produce physical pain than someone who’s been cheated on.
Only someone who’s experienced true heartache and knows the pain that runs through the body, up to the head, where traces of it leak out through the eyes, bubbling over, pouring out the nose and running back into their mouths, forcing them to taste their sorrow all over again.
Real heartbreak like this, the kind that makes you feel like the air has been sucked out of you and the only position your body can muster is a ball on the floor, changes you.
Like a broken bone, it heals over time, but the scars of it never fade. We’re reminded of this pain every time we look down, every time we think of the traitors who let us bleed out on the ground in front of them. Our wounds may heal, but we will never forget.
But just because you can’t forget doesn’t mean you can’t move on. While cheating may feel like it just about killed you, it’s as Friedrich Nietzsche, then Kanye West, famously quoted, “That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.” And this isn’t some old adage to make you feel better, it’s the truth.
When the heart breaks that way, shatters into a million pieces, then reforms slowly, over time, it’s coming back stronger. You may be bedridden for months, think about it for years, but one day, you will feel better and your heart will be better for it.
Only those who have experienced deep, emotional pain can evolve into stronger, more stable people.
Because it takes real, true heartbreak to teach us. Only those who have experienced the pain of it can write about it, sing about it and understand it. It opens up an entire portal we never understood before. It creates empathy for others who will go on to feel that same pain.
It shows us another side, admits us to another group, the group of the broken-hearted. Only after being cheated on do we understand what all those songs are about.
Only after experiencing real heartache do we understand what all those sad scenes in movies finally mean. Only after the pain of loss can we understand the pain of others.
While you should never wish infidelity on yourself, you also shouldn’t bow to it. Because like any difficult trauma in life, there are lessons to be learned. Being cheated on may just be the best thing that can ever happen to you because it teaches you more than most people learn in a lifetime.
People might not always tell you how they feel, but they’ll always show you.
You can’t rely on words. Words can be as empty as the people who hold them. A brutal life lesson of being cheated on includes the realization that people lie. People deceive. People cheat. Just because people say they love you, it doesn’t mean they actually mean it.
It’s only through actions that we can gauge the true motives and feelings of others. Learning to judge others on how they act, rather than what they say, will save you years of misinterpretation and living like you’re in a continual game of Pictionary.
Sometimes, fate makes the best decisions for us.
You may have loved that person, but that doesn’t mean you were meant to be with him or her. While no one wishes to be cheated on, sometimes it’s a necessary course of action in a relationship that wouldn’t end any other way.
It was fate that you caught them or fate you found out, and sometimes, being cheated on teaches you that things happen for a reason; in the end, there’s really nothing you can do. Everything happens for a reason and because you couldn’t see the kind of people they were, fate showed you instead.
The first person you need to love in your life is yourself.
Once you’ve experienced the pain someone can inflict on you and the loss that comes with wrapping your love in someone else before your own, you understand the necessity of loving yourself before anyone else. There’s no way you can get over the pain of losing someone you love — or thought you loved — unless you have yourself to go back to.
We need our own love more than anyone else’s and being cheated on brutally teaches us that, at the end of the day, the most important relationship we should have is the one we have with ourselves.
Always be prepared for the worst — and never get too comfortable.
While you shouldn’t keep yourself guarded from experiencing the joys of a new relationship, you should always hold the reminder that people do have the power to hurt you. Love is, many times, a game. Playing smartly and making sure you’re not going in completely vulnerable is important. It’s as important to maintain your own feelings as it is to share them with someone.
You can (and will) get over pain.
That initial breakdown, the first days, weeks and months, make it seem like this pain has the power to kill you. You feel like any moment your heart will just stop all together and your tears will drown you and your sobs will choke you.
You feel like your life will never be the same again, that you will carry this pain with you forever. But slowly, over time, you begin to heal and with that healing comes the understanding that nothing is forever, not even your pain.
Trust is something that people must earn.
We grew up believing that people are inherently good until we’re forced to see the bad. It’s not until people have done us wrong that we understand not everyone is to be trusted. Trust is something the unscathed give away freely, but only those who have felt the pain of betrayal know that trust is something that must be earned.
We’re fragile; letting someone into our small, breakable worlds shouldn’t come with a free entrance.