Why Can't I Seem to Get Over My Ex Even Though He Cheated on Me?

It is often difficult to let go of romantic feelings for an ex, even if he cheated.
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When you have experienced the betrayal of cheating, accepting the loss of the relationship and letting go of your love for your ex-boyfriend can be challenging. Like any other loss, it will take time to heal from the betrayal and the end of the relationship. Everyone’s healing time frame is different, the shock of the betrayal might make it even more difficult to accept and move on.

1 Healing Takes Time

You might be holding onto feelings for your ex simply because healing takes time, explain therapists Jeanne Segal, Gina Kemp and Melinda Smith in HelpGuide.org's article "Coping with a Breakup or Divorce." This is particularly true if you were with your boyfriend a long time. When you feel surprised by a breakup, you may have a hard time believing it is really happening. However, until you accept that your boyfriend cheated and allow yourself to feel sad, angry or betrayed, it will be hard to get over your ex. Letting him go will not happen overnight, so be patient.

2 Feeling Guilty

When your boyfriend cheats on you, you may find yourself wondering if you could have stopped it if you were a better girlfriend. Although guys cheat for many reasons, you cannot change the past, explains psychiatrist Mark Banschick in his “Psychology Today” article “It's Over -- 6 Ways To Find Peace Again.” Until you accept that your boyfriend's behavior was not your fault and that you cannot go back and change his actions or how you treated him in the past, it will be difficult to move on.

3 Clinging to Memories

When you think about your ex, you may find yourself thinking only about the good times you had together, even if you had a difficult relationship that lead to painful hurt and betrayal. You may hold onto to happy memories simply because the relationship felt good sometimes and made you feel "comfortable," explains psychologist Phil McGraw in "Letting Go of Love," published on Dr.Phil.com, his TV show's website. You may want to overlook your boyfriend's cheating and remember only the times when he made you happy.

4 Hopeful Feelings

After you have broken up with your ex, you may be holding on to the idea that he might change, become a better person and reunite with you. Not all boyfriends who cheat will cheat again if you get back together, according to psychologist Jay Kent-Ferraro, in his "Psychology Today" article, "Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater... Maybe Not." Nonetheless, overcoming the feelings of hurt, mistrust and betrayal may not be possible for you an your boyfriend simply might not be ready to be in a committed relationship with you, even if you are ready and see yourself having a future with him.

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.