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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    How Can I Find Closure After My Boyfriend Cheated on Me?

    Dear eNotAlone: I find myself in a desperate and helpless state, one no amount of my own understanding or self-sabotage can resolve. I wrote this post as an act of last resort following a series of heart-wrenching events to solicit your advice and wisdom on the sticky subject of infidelity in relationships.

    My long-term boyfriend has been cheating on me for over three months. This fact has recently become public knowledge through a malicious person who wanted to inflict harm and cause embarrassment to both of us. The scale of his betrayal and the circumstances surrounding it have deeply hurt me and shattered my formers feelings of security and trust in him. Just when I thought no more pain and disappointment could be brought upon me, my boyfriend only compounded matters by attempting to do damage control early on in the rumor-mill stage, instead of being honest with me. This suggestion that he was treating me as if I were a fool while I was suffering so profoundly caused intensifying anger and despair. His subsequent silence and evasive behavior merely serve to cement my deep-seating feelings of abandonment, loneliness and disillusionment.

    I know at this moment I no longer wish to take him back as I completely lack any faith or desire to have our relationship restored. Besides, I am unwilling and find difficulty with the idea of continuing to see someone who had done such a cruel and inconsiderate thing to our relationship. Furthermore, the idea of forgiving him is one which I feel very uncomfortable with. I hope you can provide me with insight and perhaps strategies on how to handle the difficult situation I find myself in.

    In particular, I would appreciate assistance in forming a reasoned and fair response for my ex-boyfriend. Consider this to be a potential approach to ameliorate the situation between him and I, as well as clear the air between us. He wants answers but I want to remain calm and rational whilst conveying the extent of dehumanizing pain he has caused me. I wonder what steps do I need to personally take to recover from such a painful experience?

    * * *

    When faced with such a difficult and emotionally charged situation it is natural to feel overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, anger and hurt. Understanding how to appropriately cope with such emotions is a difficult challenge, especially when your ex-partner has chosen to react to the situation with dishonesty and silence. Before anything else, you must allow yourself to fully absorb the gravity of the situation and express your grief thoughtfully. Writing down your thoughts, speaking with a trusted confidant or engaging in a safe form of physical activity are all ways to help release your emotions. Practicing mindfulness and self-understanding can help you process the event without letting your emotions overtake you. As time passes, it will be easier to accept what happened and move forward.

    With regards to confronting your ex-boyfriend and seeking closure on the matter, it is important to reflect on how you want the conversation to end. If it is important, clearly explain to him the scope of harm inflicted upon you, and how this could have been avoided if he had chosen to be honest with you in the first place. The truth that he chose to ignore and instead build a falsified reality or trust with you, has caused immense pain, confusion and humiliation. It is expected that he may be defensive in this situation. Providing him with constructive criticism on the matter can tacitly illustrate the impact of his actions, as well as future areas for personal improvement.

    The most important thing is to find peace of mind – echoing forgiveness does not mean taking any responsibility away from him. You owe it to yourself to create a future environment where you can accept the impact of this situation and determine the other elements of your life across which you can continue to grow and develop. It is completely acceptable to take a step back and allow yourself the space required to fully heal. Pursue activities and programs which challenge you, reignite interests, and connect you with positive minded individuals, so that this experience can be reflected upon and understood. If you need guidance, talking to a trained professional who can help you develop the appropriate coping strategies may be beneficial.

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