Why I'm Glad I Was Cheated On
There's no denying that being cheated on feels awful. You feel confused, angry, gutted, and — probably more than anything— humiliated. The idea that your partner and the person they cheated on you with both knew about you and probably laughed at or pitied you — and whatever else your imagination runs away with over what happened — can completely knock you off your feet. And then there is the recovery period. Do you stay together? Break up? Was it your fault? Did you do something wrong or are you just not good enough? There are a million things you start to worry about and, in all honesty, it can get pretty dark.
But in spite of all of that, I can honestly say I'm glad I was cheated on — and science actually backs me up on this. Research from Binghamton University and University College London found that women who were cheated on were better in the long run, because we develop "higher mating intelligence" that lets us identify partners with "low mate value"— aka we can choose better partners in the future.
Granted this is me looking back, way back, with plenty of time for recovery, many years (and sexual partners) later. I can literally say I haven't had any emotional investment in the person for years and years. Plus being incredibly happy in my serious relationship doesn't hurt. I'm not saying everyone should feel glad that they were cheated on and I'm definitely not saying you should feel glad right away. Right away, it sucks. But know that being cheated on doesn't have to ruin your life or the rest of your relationships. Personally, looking back, I'm OK with the fact that it happened. Here's why:
1. It Showed Me My Relationship Was Bad
I mean, I should of already known, but I didn't. I was young and optimistic (or as my friends would say, "blind") and had refused to admit that the relationship was bad for a long time. I needed something big, really big, to show me that something was wrong with my relationship. Even though I didn't break up with him right away — and god I should of, we were awful together— the cheating changed everything. I knew that the relationship was broken, that it had been that way before the cheating, even if it took a few months for me to admit it and break up properly.
2. It Taught Me Some Humility
Humility might not be the most natural thing to come out of cheating, but in my case it was. I had always been on my high horse about cheating. I said that I would dump anyone who did it to me immediately. And if I'm honest, my younger, (even) more judgmental self thought less of people who didn't dump their partners for it. I was so black and white about everything. Getting cheated on and not dumping my partner immediately showed me that I had been too harsh to judge others who were dealing with infidelity. Things are more shades of grey, and every relationship is different. Also, other people's relationships are none of my damn business.
3. I'll Never Do It To Anyone
Being cheated on was an awful experience for me, but seeing how awful it was, just for a couple of moments of passion for my partner, showed me how not worth it it is. Not that I was planning on cheating before, but having been on the other side, I definitely won't now. It causes so much hurt and doesn't deal with the reason the relationship is in trouble in the first place. The relationship needs to be fixed or needs to be ended, but cheating is never worth it. It was an awful lesson to learn, but I'm glad I did.
Images: Author's own