After a guy has dragged your heart through the mud by cheating on you, it can be difficult to regain your usual confidence and "joie de vivre." After all, finding out he has cheated with a bombshell might make you feel as though you are the person in the "Before" photo in a series of "Before" and "After" photos in a makeover. Keeping the proper perspective is crucial if you don't want feelings of inferiority to haunt you in future interactions.
It's Not You
When a person cheats, it is because of his own issues communicating, meeting self-esteem needs and maintaining self-control. "It is never okay to go outside a relationship to solve problems," says psychologist Dr. Phil on his website. You could be the spitting image of this month's cover model, and still, your person might have cheated on you. In fact, if you surveyed popular actors and models, chances are that the majority of them would report that their guy cheated on them, too. The fact is, an affair is about how it makes the man feel, not the other woman's appearance, notes Dr. Robi Ludwig, in her Oprah.com article, "Coping With Cheating." When you recognize that anyone can be the victim of a cheater, it is easier not to personalize the experience.
Look at the Positives
Being cheated on can be a blow to your confidence, but there are many other aspects to your life besides having been someone's romantic partner. Recognizing your positive qualities can really give your confidence a boost, says "Psychology Today" columnist Leslie Sokol, Ph.D., in her article, "Six Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem." Think about the work you do during the day as well as your interests and hobbies. The cheater may have ruined the relationship, but she didn't destroy your ability to teach math to a class of rowdy high-schoolers, dance the merengue or play a reasonable facsimile of a popular song on your viola. Focus on those things and you'll find that your confidence never actually left -- it simply took a break.
Even though cheating has nothing to do with your looks, you can give your confidence a boost with some retail therapy: Buy a couple of those killer outfits and too-high heels you've wanted for a long time. Give your nails a new look at the salon and then splurge on a professional haircut and foil highlights, and then get your car waxed. You'll feel like a million bucks and you'll radiate confidence you forgot you had. Simply knowing that you look your best can help you to hold your head up high while you go about the important task of healing from the relationship.
You may not realize it, but chances are you have a support group in place even if you never breathe a word about your latest romantic fiasco. Friends, family, colleagues and casual acquaintances can help you increase your confidence when you see the value you add to their lives. Instead of retreating to a cave in a remote mountain region, stay close to your social circle. Who you are as a person is far more than who you were in the relationship with the cheater. Concentrate on the good relationships in your life and the cheating will begin to fade into the distance as your confidence grows.