What To Do After You've Been Cheated On, Because There Are Ways To Recover — And A Dating Site Just For You

There’s no question about it, being cheated on completely sucks. Sometimes, it’s really hard to imagine ever opening yourself up to love again after such a betrayal. But just know, you’re not alone. There are ways to recover from infidelity. In fact, sometimes you might even find love with someone who’s gone through the same exact thing. As you’ve probably heard by now, popular cheating website, Ashley Madison was recently hacked, leaving its 37 million-plus users at risk for exposure. Known as being the anti-Ashley Madison dating site, FidelityDating.com was specifically made for people who have been cheated on or betrayed in a relationship, and are seeking “faithful, honest, and mature relationships.”

While Ashley Madison believes “Life is short. Have an affair,” FidelityDating.com capitalizes on meaningful and lasting relationships by standing on the platform that “Love is precious. Stay faithful.” The site claims it’s the first of its kind geared toward helping single men and women who have been cheated on find a partner that simply won’t.

The site, which launched earlier this year, consists of both straight and gay clients ranging from their mid-20s to their early 70s. Currently, about 60 percent of the site’s users are female, while 40 percent are male.

Danine Manette, infidelity expert and author of the bestselling self-help book Ultimate Betrayal: Recognizing, Uncovering, and Dealing with Infidelity, who helped bring FideltyDating.com to the masses after endorsing it on The Dr. Drew Show, says, “Fidelitydating.com is an amazing and long overdue concept … When someone wants to join there is a message which states, 'By signing up you agree you are not in a relationship. You will be honest and faithful.' This is not something you'll find on other dating sites, and it sets the tone for expectations from the very first interaction with them. With so many people being consumed with the 'hook up' culture, it is refreshing to see a site dedicated to morals, values and promoting honest dating experiences.”

So, if you’re looking for just a fun little hookup, you need to look elsewhere. After all, there’s more than enough of those sites to go around.

Manette says the worst part about getting cheated on is the reoccurring memories and feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt. “It’s difficult not to personalize an experience like this and victims of betrayal struggle with feelings of being ‘less than’ or rejected.”

But that doesn’t mean that there’s no hope. Here are six things you need to do to become an infidelity survivor, according to investigator and infidelity expert, Danine Manette:

1. Don’t Rush Into A New Relationship Right Away. Take Some Time Alone.

Giphy
Because the pain runs so deep, I always advise people to take a great deal of time before getting involved in a new relationship. Oftentimes the baggage of the old relationship and issues regarding trust will remain for a long time after an affair. Getting into a relationship with a new partner might cause unfair transference of those issues onto the new partner and result in the betrayed person not bringing their healthiest self in to the relationship. Therefore, after being the victim of infidelity, it is important to take some time alone to assess and evaluate what happened in the relationship and see if there are things within oneself which can be tweaked or strengthened.

2. Figure Out The Root Of The Problem

Giphy
Since an affair is not typically the problem in the relationship, but rather a SYMPTOM of a greater problem in the relationship, try to determine what that greater problem was, thus making a victim of betrayal more aware of signs of trouble in future relationships.

3. Don’t Sit Around And Stew Over It For Too Long

Giphy
Sitting around and crying about what someone else did to you is not productive in building a healthier self. Find things you can strengthen in yourself like discovering a new hobby, reading self-help books, visiting a therapist or support group, involving oneself in church activities, or doing whatever else it takes to move past the place of pain and in to creating a more stable, healthier, able-to-withstand-adversity self.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Support

Giphy
I am a strong advocate of therapy and support groups. Survivinginfidelity.com is a site for which I was one of the original members which offers a great deal of online support for victims of betrayal. There are also in-person support groups run all over the country and in Canada by the Beyond Affairs Network (BAN). I was a facilitator of one such group in San Francisco for many years and found that it was really helpful for people to know that they are not alone, that victims of betrayal share many of the same experiences and feelings, and that most importantly they WILL SURVIVE this experience and will be OK in the end.

5. Relationships Can Survive Infidelity …

Giphy
A relationship can survive infidelity but only if BOTH partners are willing to commit to fixing the problem and to working on the relationship. I have many tips and tools on my website Ultimatebetrayal.com to help restore trust and rebuild a relationship after infidelity.

6. But If Yours Doesn't, That's OK, Because YOU Can Survive Infidelity.

Giphy
Even if the relationship doesn't survive, since many either don't or can't, this experience can be used to build a better YOU. You will be stronger, wiser and more aware after going through this nightmare, but you cannot allow it to define who you are. Embrace this transition as an opportunity to learn and grow, and in the end you can develop a healthier person who is able to enjoy a healthier relationship, without all of the game playing. So get out of that fetal position, open the windows, and turn the page to a new chapter in your life. And most of all, always remember, ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger...’ Onward!!

If you'd like to take a trip down memory lane, watch the sex myths you believed as a child below (and subscribe to Bustle's YouTube page for more videos):

Bustle on YouTube

Want more sex? Of course you do. So download Bustle's app from iTunes for all the most recent sex and relationships news, advice, memes, and GIFs from around the Web. Guaranteed to fulfill you more than your ex.

Images: Julia Caesar/Unsplash; Giphy(7)