Here's How You Win If Your Partner Cheats

woman with broken heart

So you're calling it quits with your partner because he cheated? We have some good news for you. No matter how crappy you feel now, science says you are doing the right thing.

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Every once in a while, scientists don't just restate the obvious -- Too much sugar is bad for you! BPA is some nasty s***t! -- but actually offer insight, and also some hope.

This paper, published in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition, does just that.

After surveying 5,705 people in 96 different countries, psychological researchers found that when a woman says "so long" to a partner who cheats, of course, it's a traumatic experience. There's grief, betrayal, and all those messy emotions. But the experience actually causes you to develop a "higher mating intelligence"-- which then enables you to choose a better, more trustworthy mate next time.

In other words: You win.

And all the clichés people spout when you're newly single again -- "It's for the best," "You're better off without him," "Don't worry, you'll meet someone better" -- are, lo and behold, TRUE.

Even better is what researchers think of the woman (women?) that your husband cheated on. In a nutshell, SHE'S the one losing out. The reason: Now she's stuck with someone who has a history of being deceptive and unfaithful.

So -- yay! In the long term, you truly are better off.

But in the early, prickly days of divorce, when you're mired in grief and anger and maybe sleeping in your clothes or quite possibly eating French fries dipped in a cookies-and-cream milkshake for breakfast, how do you remind yourself of that?

More from CafeMom: 'Good' Divorces Do Exist -- I'm Living Proof

"Remain mindful of how unhappy you were in the marriage and of any real attempts you've made and failed at to resolve the issues that led to your unhappiness," advises Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist and relationship coach based in McLean, Virginia.

If you stay firm in your decision that divorce is not only the BEST choice for you, but the only REAL choice, "it will help you remain confident," Coleman assures.

It's also important to focus not on the past, but on the future. Move on with your life however you can. Decorate your new apartment, for instance. Take a vacation with your kids. Join that gym you always talked about.

"Setting a new course and emphasizing new goals is a great way to maintain a positive mindset and a strong forward momentum," Coleman explains.

Will doing all this speed up the grieving process? Or cause the black clouds over your head to magically dissipate -- like ASAP?

Doubtful. 

You'll likely still feel sad and, in fact, actually NEED to grieve your marriage in order to fully heal. But "that's separate from believing you made a mistake," Coleman notes.

Because, you know, science says you didn't. And deep down, you likely know that, too.

 

Image via Pressmaster/Shutterstock

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