Asking people who’ve been cheated on how they moved on from it

‘I was pretty quick to forgive and forget’


Most people who have been cheated on do not talk about it or find it a sensitive subject. They tend to feel upset, angry and above all humiliated. But why? Cheating is a taboo topic, but it shouldn’t be.

It shouldn’t be embarrassing to admit to or talk about. Unfortunately, cheating is common. I’ve been cheated on and yes, it sucks. But I am not sensitive to talk about it and neither should anyone else be. For some people, they can forgive and forget quickly. For others, it can become a hidden insecurity that can be difficult to shake.

I asked some people who have been cheated on how they felt and whether it has changed their perspective on relationships.

Alex Fraser (left), 20, Australian National University, Visual Arts – Photography

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“When I was cheated on by my girlfriend she found it impossible to tell me what happened. As much as I was upset about it, I knew if she did this there was something I was doing wrong in the relationship. We managed to get through the problem but the thought was still in my head that knew she was in the wrong. Later down the track I’ve moved on and am much more aware of what I could do to be more of a sustainable boyfriend or to find someone who likes me for who I am.”

Claire Letts, 20, Pittsburgh, Marketing

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“I was dating this guy for a year and after I went on vacation with my family he told me he was hanging out with another girl. He said they hung out and cuddled but nothing more. After a week of him begging and telling me how stupid he was, it wouldn’t happen again and he loved me I forgave him.

“Then two years into our relationship we broke up for good and I got messages from girls saying they slept with him while we were dating. I should have ditched him after the first warning but I was so blinded by our relationship. Now I am so much more aware of red flags in a relationship. If I am ever lied to again like that, bye. I’ve learnt my lesson and I know now I am worth more than that.”

Phoebe, 20, Loughborough, Sociology

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“I was so shocked and confused. He burst into tears when ‘our song’ came on and he told me he kissed someone else in a club. It’s weird because I thought he still loved me at the time, but he still did it. So I guess it’s possible to love someone and cheat. Although, there were other problems in the relationship which is why he did it I guess. Now, although it hasn’t really changed my perspective on relationships but I’m definitely more likely to see the signs of things not working so they dont progress to that stage again – cheating.”

Lily Nissan, 21, Exeter, Drama

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“It was shit. I didn’t see it coming and it made me feel like I was doing something wrong and not doing enough in the relationship. But looking at it now, people who cheat, most of the time it’s them who has the problem. He didn’t do much to hide it, he was messaging other girls on Facebook and even when I snatched his phone he denied it. Being cheated on doesn’t exactly fill you with hope. I’m a pretty confident girl but it’s definitely affected my confidence with relationships. In my case, I have lost respect for both sexes as the girl knew he had a girlfriend at the time. It’s gross.”

Lucy Lyth, 20, Birmingham, Philosophy

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When I was 16 my boyfriend kissed another girl. He told me the next day.  I was naive and stupidly, decided to ‘forgive and forget’, although I never truly did. We were together for another year and broke up the following summer, which I recently found out he cheated on me again, although I wasn’t surprised. I was the happiest I’ve ever been in the relationship I had afterwards, although I was very insecure and definitely had underlying trust issues which contributed to our break up as we were not at the same university.

In the last year or so I have been single and have toughened up. I am much less trusting of people. So for me, even though it was only a kiss I was gutted and can’t imagine how people feel when it’s more than that. I feel pretty sour about relationships now and don’t think people can ever be truly loyal.

A word of wisdom, the truth always comes out eventually.

In short, just don’t do it. If you are not happy in your relationship, don’t cheat on your partner, just talk about what isn’t working or break up with them. And if you are going to break up with them anyway, I’m sure you can wait one more day to keep your tongue in your own mouth.