Cheating Girlfriend - She Cheated On Me So Why Do I Still Love Her?

By Jon Jaehnig|Updated September 6, 2022

We may wish that when we find out a girlfriend cheated on her boyfriend or causes us pain, we'd automatically stop having feelings for them. But this isn't always possible. Even if our feelings seem to have turned to hatred — after cheating or being cheated on — rather than love, these feelings can feel overwhelming and difficult to manage.

cheating and love - learn more in this article

Infidelity Is A Painful And Heartbreaking Experience To Go Through

There are many ways lovers hurt one another, and infidelity can be one of the most painful. You may feel inadequate or weak for not being able to satisfy your partner and maintain the relationship after a girlfriend cheated. You may feel betrayed or confused at how your partner could hurt you like this. You may feel alone without your partner to confide in. However, you are not alone. You can always turn to someone for support, whether it be a family member, a best friend, or even a counselor or therapist.

Love And Cheating

Infidelity can feel emotionally overwhelming for a guy or girl who experiences it. The pain we experience after a breach of trust can be far more intense than that caused by a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Cheating is not angry words said in the heat of an argument. Cheating is a choice.

Upon discovery that a girlfriend cheated, we can be moved to a white-hot rage, gut-wrenching pain, a desire to exact revenge, overwhelming fear, and very uncomfortable insecurity. We can also feel sad or may not feel anything. We may feel as though we do not know what to feel. As sadness, fear, or anger simmers to a boil, it can be tempting to numb ourselves not to feel anything, even love. The range of emotions we still feel for that individual can encourage us to do things we may not normally do.

It's important to take time to process your feelings after a breach of trust has happened in your relationship. Though it may be difficult, and your feelings may change rapidly, taking care of yourself during this stressful time is crucial for you to move on. Don't hesitate to reach out for support while you understand your emotional reactions and make every effort to be kind to yourself after you have found out that a girlfriend cheated on you.

Decisions After Cheating

It may be tempting to tell ourselves that the only way to avoid being cheated on again is not to forgive and not take that person back. Yet, because we have been emotionally attached, we cannot stop loving, missing, and crying over that other person, at least not immediately. After all, your girlfriend is likely very important to you, and she’s someone you care about and trust. This is why cheating can hurt you so much.

It is quite understandable to interpret such vacillating feelings as being weak or indecisive, and it is certainly vulnerable, leaving us open to further hurt and disappointment. It is reasonable to expect a wide range of emotions as we come to terms with the reality of the betrayal when a girlfriend cheated, which can impact not only our thoughts, feelings, and understandings in our relationship, but can further cause us to question whether we can trust our judgment.

Love does not stop just because of betrayal. The more we have emotionally invested in a relationship, the more damage we may be willing to tolerate to maintain it. This is completely understandable. Genuine love may very well suffer for the good of the relationship. It is up to each of us to determine whether we want to give our partner another chance, even after a betrayal.

Everything Is Up To You With Cheating

Being cheated on can generate feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness, but you have more in your control than you may realize. It is important to permit yourself to feel whatever comes naturally. There is nothing inherently 'good' or 'bad' about emotions. They are natural and an important part of the human experience. We choose what we do with those emotions, which can be positive or negative, healthy or dysfunctional. So, take the time you need to release and process all of your feelings after a girlfriend cheated. Even if you and your partner decide to work through the infidelity together, there is still a grieving process involved in moving forward. You may find yourself missing the time before your relationship was faced with this situation and having trouble letting go of how you felt before discovering that your partner was cheating. You might feel like she’s acting differently or you are suspicious of some of the things she does or says.

Many people find that they become extremely angry in their grieving process. It can feel uncomfortable to recognize, let alone express, sadness, hurt, loneliness, humiliation, etc. Anger feels more powerful, more in control, or more aggressive as opposed to defensive. Remember that is completely understandable to be angry at being betrayed in any intimate relationship, especially after a girlfriend cheated, but also understand that you may experience a full spectrum of emotions during this time. She’s probably experiencing a full range of emotions as well.

Love Is Strength

Betrayal by a trusted partner is certainly one of the most painful experiences in life. However, allowing ourselves to fall prey to anger, spite, and hatred can have damaging consequences. The ability to love in the face of betrayal does not make us weak. It actually makes us strong and having survived such pain and still having the ability to feel love is evidence of strength. This love can come in the form of loving yourself, and the people around you and acknowledging that you still carry feelings of love for your ex-partner. She’s important to you, so it is okay to have feelings for her, no matter what she did.

It is not easy to overcome grief when a partner betrays us, but it is not impossible. Sometimes the pain may be overpowering once a girlfriend cheated. If we do end the relationship, the loneliness can feel overwhelming. Though it may be challenging at times, it will benefit you to continue looking forward and finding ways to let go of your resentment over time. Doing so with the help of a licensed therapist can help you process your emotions in a nonjudgmental space.

Choosing to forgive your ex-partner does not mean the relationship will continue. It is important to forgive for our health and wellbeing, regardless of what the other person chooses or whether they deserve our forgiveness. We can forgive even in the face of someone who accepts no responsibility for their actions, admits their wrongdoing, apologizes, or asks for our forgiveness. Though it may take time and effort, and you may never forget the breach of trust that happened in your relationship, finding ways to let go of the situation can help move you forward in your life.

Forgiveness is not at all the same as reconciliation. For a relationship to be reconciled after infidelity, there needs to be appropriate acceptance of responsibility from the unfaithful party and a subsequent willingness to make amends. Without such important characteristics, it would be difficult to trust that such betrayal might not happen again. Infidelity does not necessarily mean a relationship must end. This is up to the two people in that relationship.

Help With Forgiveness After Cheating

We sometimes confuse forgiveness with forgetting. This misunderstanding can lead to either choosing not to consider offering forgiveness until our memory of it fades, or we interpret that the forgiveness we chose to extend must not have worked or been legitimate.

It can take time to heal after a partner or wife cheats on a relationship, and your emotions and thoughts around the situation may fluctuate. Though you may be in a rush to move on from what happened and start a new relationship, taking the time to process the infidelity is important in your growth as you move forward. For some people, it's important to cut off contact with their ex-partner as they manage their thoughts and feelings. Remember to prioritize your own needs as you go through this challenging situation.

Sometimes, the hardest part about dealing with your feelings after being cheated on is that you may not know how to react or what actions to take moving forward. Every relationship is different, and it's important to do what's best for you.

Instead of trying to deal with everything you are feeling, try to confront your feelings individually. If you feel angry, try meditation or breathing exercises. If you feel sad, try doing something you enjoy. If you feel alone, surround yourself with supportive people, and if you feel overwhelmed, remove yourself from the person until you have time to process your feelings.

Some couples find that they can heal after cheating occurs in a relationship, but it is a process that takes effort and patience from both people in the relationship. If you and your partner decide to work through what happened together, working with a couple of counselors can offer a space to work through your feelings.

Finding Help For Being Cheated On

If a loved one or a girlfriend has betrayed you, it is often difficult to see beyond the pain. The advice above is a good place to start, but it may not be enough to help you get to where you need to be.

If you need help, consider seeking the support you need from BetterHelp. BetterHelp connects you with licensed and professional therapists and counselors over the internet for flexible and affordable help. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Megan was great in helping me talk through my anxiety and relationship problems and helped me have a clearer understanding of my mental health in a short period."

"A year ago, I was experiencing difficulties in my relationship, which highly affected my psychological state and interfered with my work. At one point, I decided to try BetterHelp.com. My counselor, Dr. Brewer, helped me see some things I couldn't get on my own and encouraged me to prioritize myself. It was a huge help for me at that point, which led to the decisions I am happy about."

Infidelity Is A Painful And Heartbreaking Experience To Go Through

Moving Forward

You may feel alone after being cheated on, but that doesn't mean you have to process your feelings alone. Reaching out to others can help you to recover and move forward. Take the first step today.

Commonly Asked Questions

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