When a relationship ends, there are often residual feelings that linger. If you discover that your boyfriend starting seeing someone else before you broke up, you might experience intense, negative emotions, such as anger, hurt and a sense of betrayal . It's also likely to shatter your confidence and self-esteem. But if you can successfully gain a fresh perspective on the situation that helps you rise above the negativity, you're likely to move forward more quickly toward better relationships in the future.
Give up any hopes of getting back together with your ex. If you were spending time and energy waiting for your phone to ring, stop. Making a clean break with an ex and having no contact with him whatsoever will help your self-esteem recover faster, according to the University of Alberta Mental Health Center website.
Remind yourself of your ex's negative qualities. Don't focus on the good times you had together and what you admired about him. Instead, make a list of all the hurts, disappointments and irritations you suffered throughout your relationship.
Vent. Share your feelings of anger and sadness with a trusted friend. You need to go through a grieving process. Verbalizing your sense of betrayal makes it easier to let it go and move forward.
Don't blame yourself. It might be tempting to second-guess yourself about why you weren't aware that your ex was seeing someone else, or fall into the trap of believing you could have done something to prevent his behavior. Recognize that his cheating is a reflection of his short-comings, not a result of something you could have or should have done differently. Realize that some types of men are more predisposed to cheating than others, according to the Dr. Phil website.
Make time for yourself. Be sure to eat properly and get enough sleep. Treat yourself to something you've been wanting such as new make-up, a new hairstyle or a gym membership. Regular physical exercise is a great way to reduce stress and distract yourself.
Channel your energies in a positive direction. Think about what you can learn from the experience that can help you in the future rather than wasting time plotting how to confront your ex and how to get revenge.
Consider throwing an "I'm-so-over-him" party. Celebrate your freedom with good friends who will help you focus on the future. Destroying mementos of your relationship with your ex, such as letters and photographs can help you leave the painful past behind.
Start dating again as soon as you feel ready. Be sure to give yourself enough time to lament the past and learn what you can from it, but don't dwell on it too long. An effective way to get your ex out of your mind is by meeting someone new who treats you with the respect and loyalty you deserve.
Freddie Silver started writing newsletters for the Toronto District School Board in 1997. Her areas of expertise include staff management and professional development. She holds a master's degree in psychology from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, focusing on emotions and professional relationships.