Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by Angela Vaz
You’ve been with your partner for a while.
Things weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either.
At least, that’s what you assumed.
But one day you found out and your whole world came apart.
You cannot get over it.
Your brain is going in different directions asking so many questions like:
- How long has it been happening?
- How many people did they cheat on me with?
- Was I not good enough?
- Was this my fault?
- Why couldn’t they just tell me the truth?
The reason I am writing this article is that this was me.
I was that person who was in a long-term relationship for 9 years. Out of which, 4 and a half years, I was married to my ex.
The day I found out that he’d been cheating, I became a different person.
I couldn’t stop overthinking and stressing.
I’d lie awake every night for 3 months connecting the dots and shaking in disbelief.
I found it hard to eat.
I couldn’t work.
And I slept on the floor in my parent’s bedroom with my dogs because I couldn’t sleep alone.
It felt like my whole world fell apart.
I lost over 20 pounds in 2 weeks just overthinking.
In this article, I want to talk about how you can stop overthinking if you’ve just discovered your partner was cheating.
I am writing this article because I have been in your exact shoes and I have come out of that tornado.
And there are many ways you can speed up your healing and stop overthinking, which I will cover below.
If you’re looking to heal after being cheated on, read this.
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Is it normal to overthink after being cheated on?
Yes, it is absolutely normal to overthink after being cheated on.
Understand that your identity was in some way merged with your partner’s in your relationship.
Finding out that your partner has cheated on you will bring on a surge of multiple emotions like betrayal, anger, shock, and sadness, and the only way our brains can cope is by overthinking.
Our minds will try to connect the dots to make sense of the situation and understand what has happened.
Everything that you’ve known to be true is now false. And the realization of that can cause extreme emotional turmoil.
Most people also overthink because they want answers.
They feel that the answers will repair the situation in some way.
But know, that although it will give you some comfort, it is not going to change the fact that your relationship with your partner has a permanent crack.
Know that overthinking right after finding out that your partner was cheating is normal and it’s alright.
11 Ways to Stop Overthinking after being cheated on
1. Know that you will get through this
Believe it or not, there are millions of people that have just gone through what you have.
They have believed that they were in loving and committed relationships and they too have discovered the infidelity that has turned their whole worlds upside down.
Know, that you are not alone.
And that many people have walked in your shoes before.
There will be many others that go through this in the future. I read a lot of breakup books and this really helped me with the pain.
And it’s okay to be a mess right now.
It’s alright to overthink and be emotional.
But know that you will get through this.
You will heal and come out stronger than before. This hardship will make you wiser and more patient.
2. Be kind to yourself
You’ve been through major personal trauma.
It may not be physical, but emotional and mental trauma is can take a toll on a person’s health.
At this point in time, it is important that you give yourself the love you deserve.
Understand that in no way is your relationship serving your wants and needs. So, it is time for you to start loving yourself.
You have to start paying attention to yourself. Because right now, the only person that can help you, is you.
It is the only way to heal and move on.
3. Be observant of your thoughts
When the thoughts come, let them come.
Give yourself a few moments to watch those thoughts.
We cannot control our minds from having thoughts. We cannot control how we feel.
But, watch your thoughts.
Be observant of what your thoughts are like.
And after a few moments, ask yourself if these thoughts are helping you or dragging you down.
This is the best way to catch yourself overthinking and be aware of what’s happening.
Awareness is the first step to overthinking.
4. Take a few deep breaths to bring yourself to the present
Breathing deeply does 2 things:
- It helps you calm down because it communicates to your nervous system that you are alright and your heart will slow down.
- It brings you to the present.
It is very important to realize that this cheating has already happened.
It is now in the past.
You already know about it and it’s in the past.
So, thinking about the past and ruminating is not going to help you.
5. Abstain from drugs and alcohol
Alcohol, drugs, and overeating are not going to help you.
These will numb the pain temporarily but your pain will resurface once the effects wear off.
Your mind will crave quick fixes.
But these are not permanent.
So, sit with the pain.
It’s going to be tough for a while, but it is something you need to go through in order to heal properly.
This pain will lead to enlightenment.
And you will find yourself freer and more peaceful once you sit through this pain.
6. Your past is not going to determine your future
I thought my one chance for love was gone when I discovered that my partner was cheating on me.
But this was not the case.
It was only a strong reminder that this person was definitely not meant to be my partner.
Likewise, remind yourself that your partner is not meant for you.
You had a desire to be in a loving and committed relationship, where trust, honesty, and love were the founding pillars.
Your partner didn’t share the same goals.
So, know that this person was not meant for you.
Make peace with this fact.
Also, if you still want to be in a committed relationship, you will find love someday.
You may have had a failed relationship but this is not going to dictate your future relationships.
I am currently with a very nice human being and I would never have found him had I been with my cheating ex.
Understand that everything that happens (no matter how painful) will lead you to a better tomorrow.
That is why it is very important to go through the pain and feel these feelings because this will help you understand what is important to you and you will make better decisions in the future.
7. Know that this is not your fault
Your partner cheated.
Perhaps your relationship was not perfect or far from it.
But your partner could have communicated this with you and ended the relationship peacefully.
No matter how unhappy your partner was, they should have ended the relationship than resort to cheating.
So, do not blame yourself for your partner’s cheating.
Do not even attempt to go down that line of thinking – it is not your fault.
8. Put yourself first
If at all, you want to stay in the relationship, do not let it be out of fear.
The reason most people stay in unhappy relationships is that they’re afraid they won’t find somebody else.
They’re scared to be alone so they let that fear dictate their lives.
Please know that as long as you stay in a relationship where a person cheats on you, the more freedom you’re giving to your partner to disrespect you.
I was alone for some time but I focussed on healing and eventually, after 2 years, I did find someone who was worth so much more than both my exes combined.
Being single does not mean there is something wrong with you.
It just means that you haven’t found the right person yet.
Being single doesn’t have anything to do with your self-worth.
9. Do not make hasty decisions
You may find a strong urge to tell people about your ex-cheating. You may try to seek revenge on your ex.
Don’t do it.
None of this will bring back the relationship you have lost.
Making peace with the past and letting the past go is by far one of the biggest challenges we can ever face as human beings.
It is in our nature to seek redemption and “make things right.”
But for now, you need to be your sole focus.
Stop caring about what other people think and don’t even bother with social media.
Hate, anger, and jealousy are not going to help you heal.
It will only delay your healing process.
Let it go.
10. Realize that you haven’t lost
It’s very easy for us to go down a path of self-pity and feel bad for ourselves when we find out that we’ve been cheated on.
But this is not the way to go about it.
Understand and realize that you haven’t lost a loving partner.
You’ve merely cut yourself off from a toxic and insecure person that couldn’t be honest with you.
You haven’t lost.
You’ve only rid yourself of a person that lacked communication skills and honesty.
So, as hard as it is right now, know that you will now find a lot of peace and happiness.
Understand that your partner has cheated mainly because they were insecure.
You cannot build a strong and successful relationship with someone that is insecure and dishonest.
So, let them go.
It is only for the best.
11. Your relationship has not been a waste of time
When a person discovers they’ve been cheated on, they can feel that the whole relationship has been a waste of time.
But please know that your relationship may have been painful but it was not a waste of time.
There are several lessons you can take away from this relationship.
This relationship has taught you:
- How to love yourself and put yourself first
- That being single is not the end of the world
- That peace and self-love are very important
- How to forgive yourself and move on
- To be more patient and kind to others and yourself
- That you can reset your life at any age
How do you deal with the triggers after being cheated on?
These triggers will come at any time while you’re doing almost anything.
When you first discover that your partner was cheating, your brain won’t stop overthinking.
You will have multiple questions, concoct several scenarios and be in a state of perpetual turmoil.
This is normal.
Like I said earlier, it happens to everybody when they discover they’ve been cheated on.
No amount of questioning or poking your partner for answers will give you a satisfactory answer.
Know that closure is a myth.
It doesn’t matter why they cheated, all that matters is that you now know the truth.
It’s better that it happened now, rather than later.
So, the best way to deal with the triggers is to let your brain have its way for a few minutes.
After a few minutes, remind yourself that this has happened in the past and you are now equipped with the knowledge to make better decisions.
You now have the power of the truth and you know what has been happening all along.
You can now decide what to do in your relationship which itself is a blessing.
It is better to be armed with a painful truth than to sit with sweet lies.
Remember, you only have control of the present – not the past or the future.
First of all, I’m really sorry that you’re going through this.
As a person who knows where you’re coming from first-hand, I can tell you that this is hard.
The next few months are going to be very hard.
And if at all you are trying all these methods and still can’t stop overthinking, then please consult a therapist or a counselor.
I cannot cover a whole lot in a single article, so here are a few more posts that will help you:
- What I did to get over my cheating ex
- How to recover from the aftermath of a toxic relationship
- I’m missing my ex so badly, it hurts. What do I do?
- How to recover from a painful breakup
- What do I do when I can’t handle this emotional pain?
- How to love yourself as a single person
- The single girl’s bucket list: 35 exciting things you should do
- 7 breakup books that helped me get over my heartbreak
- 13 signs you’re healing from a painful breakup
- Is it time to end the relationship? 17 signs enough is enough
- Struggling with singleness? Read this