Whether your man accidentally left his chat window open, got caught in a compromising position, or admitted his philandering ways himself, it doesn’t make the fact that he cheated on you any less hurtful. Getting over it will take time. And it won’t even be easy. Processing what happened, how it happened, why it happened—well, you get the picture—it will wreck you.
The good news is that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It sounds so cliché, but after putting your heart through the wringer, you’ll come out the other side with a renewed sense of self and purpose. You just have to go through these 8 stages first:
1. Switching between bouts of rage and sadness
First of all, how could he?! How dare he?! After trusting him with your heart and introducing him to your friends and family, he cheats on you with some random girl. Worse, he insults your intelligence and makes all sorts of lame excuses. Oh, she’s just a friend, the girl’s not his type, he was just lonely and it’s really your fault for ignoring him all day—the lies go on and on. Please!
“Nung naglalakad na kami pauwi,
I saw a blue pickup similar to his,
and upon checking the plate number.
Confirmed! Sa kanya nga. We waited
sa bench dun sa park for him to
get back sa pickup nya. Then my
friend pointed out yung *censored*
na may ka-holding hands na babae.”
– GIRLTalker killbill
Of course, you also listen to angsty songs and sing along to #hugot lyrics, preferably in the shower or in bed, feeling very much unwanted, unloved, and unpretty. Get-togethers with friends consequently reflect your mood swings. You either sit around the house and collectively bash him over pizza or cry on their shoulders over ice cream.
2. Needing to get away
Suddenly, the world’s not big enough for both you and your cheating ex. You want to be as far away from him and the situation as possible. You click on the first seat sale you see and book a flight ASAP. Okay, so you could have done your thinking at home, but you’d rather do it somewhere amazing, and we don’t blame you.
3. Hiding at home
After your (probably expensive) vacation—we know impromptu flights are not cheap—you’re back home, but you don’t tell anybody just yet. You need more time to think about whatever it is that you need to think about without the presence of other people. In other words, you just want to hide because even though he’s the one who should be hiding under a rock for what he did, you can’t help but feel ashamed of what happened. And so you lock yourself in your room, watch every rom-com DVD you have at home, and bide your time until you feel ready to face society again.
4. Paganda sessions
After going through an emotional roller-coaster, you’re now very determined to move on. Excited at the idea of a new beginning, you push yourself to leave the rectangular patch you’ve been occupying for days that is your bed and hit the gym. You go shopping, get your hair cut and colored, and (ahem) change your Facebook profile photo. You want him to ask you to come back, just so you can say no. You pepper your Instagram with “fun activities” to make sure he knows that you’re moving on, and you sign up for Tinder just so you can validate that you’re still worth a second glance. You are.
“How did I move on? Inayos ko
yung sarili ko. Minahal ko yung
sarili ko saka mga tao sa paligid
ko na alam ko mahal din ako.”
5. You “let it go.”
You feel enough time has passed. You decide to take the higher road and forgive him. You go so far as to email him a lengthy letter, which you even edit to remove any signs of passive aggressiveness. The past is in the past and so you tell your friends that you’re “looking forward to more good karma this year.”
6. It doesn’t work.
You feel like you’re back to square one. You’re angry and sad again, and you send him another letter, this time, full of pointed remarks and choice words in the form of special characters.
“It's been three years since I learned
about my hubby's cheating...Until now,
I'm an emotional wreck. Like most of you,
there are times na okay kami and there
are times like it just happened yesterday.”
7. Wanting to be alone
Once you’ve calmed down a bit, you find yourself appreciating your own company more than you used to. Instead of sulking around at home, you find yourself pursuing meaningful interests, seeking out old friends, and valuing yourself more. You finally begin purging your house of his things. Old love letters, gifts, and photos are either thrown out or returned by post.
8. Realizing that you’re on your way to healing
One day, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re almost there. You’re not necessarily over it, just less angry. You don’t care that your ex has a new girl or that he wants to get back with you (or not). You just know that time will come when you’ll be definitely be over it and until that moment comes, you’ll just be living each day as best as you can.
PHOTO: Mad Men/AMC; GIFS: Giphy.com