Naively, I used to think that I would never be cheated on. After all, I was a Christian girl, marrying a Christian boy who wanted to be a pastor. We were heavily involved in church and went to premarital counseling and prayed together and went to Bible Study. Of course, it wasn’t going to happen to me.
Until it did. And again. And again.
The journey of a naive 20-year-old girl to where I am today has come with baggage and much of it. Though that life and what has happened is in the past and is over and done with, I’ve carried with me and will always carry with me the baggage and lessons these experiences have taught me. If you’re dating a woman who has been cheated on, there are things that you should understand. Things that may help make a relationship easier for both parties.
[RELATED POST: A Letter To The ‘Other Woman’]
A woman who has been cheated on will take work and effort. Is she worth the effort you’ll have to put in to get and keep her? Well, I cannot answer that for anyone. That’s up to you to figure out. In any case, if you are dating or considering dating a woman who has been betrayed, there are some things you should know and understand.
1. You’ll have to work harder earn her trust
She’s been burned, and self-preservation will make her extra cautious so she won’t get hurt again. Trusting anyone will come slowly, but it will come. So gentlemen, don’t lose hope. Or patience.
2. She’ll be suspicious of the most random things
To you, an innocent comment will seem like nothing, but to her, it could trigger an old memory or behavior of her ex. What you may think is normal, she may be suspicious of. Even plugging your phone in the wrong side of the bed may trigger a panicked reaction. She’s not crazy and please don’t make her feel that way. Talk to her and seek to understand what she’s going through.
3. You won’t have to be afraid of her cheating on you
Someone who has been cheated on knows the absolute pain and devastation of it and would never want to inflict that on another person. She knows what it’s like to be betrayed and will go to great lengths to never betray you.
4. She won’t want you to date other women no matter how early it is in your relationship
A woman who has been cheated on has probably had her self-worth trampled on. She will second guess everything, and if you are dating other women at the same time, she will stay very guarded and possibly withdraw. She is protecting herself from possible further pain, and she doesn’t have the energy to be a part of your version of the Bachelor.
5. Expect her to snoop once in a while
What can I say? It may not be right, and it may seem crazy, but she will snoop. Whether it’s going through your phone, checking in on your Facebook or emails, she is looking for proof of cheating. That may sound crazy to you, and maybe it is, but well, #sorrynotsorry. You’re paying for the sins of another man, unfortunately. It’s not fair, and we know that, but it is what it is. Trust us; we are trying not to be *that* woman.
6. She’ll tell you things her ex did, hoping you won’t do the same
All those times she talks about her ex and the specifics of certain things he did, that’s not because she’s venting, guys. She is scared that it’ll happen again and that you’ll do the same to her. Please don’t.
7. If you’ve cheated before, she probably won’t want to date you
Once a cheater, always a cheater. Sure, people can change, but a woman who has been cheated on won’t want to take the risk in case you haven’t actually changed.
8. She has a sometimes debilitating fear of being abandoned and of being rejected
The wounds will heal eventually, but it takes constant work on her part and support on yours. The scars, however, will never fade completely. But she will become stronger and better, though deep down there will always be a little bit of doubt in herself.
9. She will need constant reassurance early on in your relationship
Your gal will need you to reassure her, and she’ll be looking for constant reassurance especially early on in your relationship. Try not to get too impatient with her. She has a lot of baggage and a lot of demons to battle – everyone does. But if you have honest conversations with her, you’ll earn her trust, and she will begin to relax her guard.
10. She will be jealous and suspicious of your female friends
However innocent your friendship is with any girl that isn’t a family member, she will feel threatened. It may be because there’s an intimacy there that she doesn’t share, it may be because you and your girl friends have a past that doesn’t include her. She also may think that all your female friends are secretly in love with you.
Admittedly, being in a relationship with a woman who’s been cheated on is not an easy road. But sadly, betrayal happens more often than not these days, so it may be something you encounter. The key thing to remember is just like any other relationship, be PATIENT, SEEK TO UNDERSTAND and COMMUNICATE with each other. It’s worth it.
Best of luck!
15 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Know When Dating a Woman Who’s Been Cheated On”
You are so right! Thanks Hanssie. I love your blog! e
Thanks for reading, Elizabeth 🙂
I totally understand and can relate to your post, I’ve been on both ends of the rope, I’ve been cheated (while dating her and after I married her – she was a single parent).
Was it worth it … well, if I have the power to turn back time, I will do more less the same thing all over again, ’cause from this bad experience God gave me a beautiful daughter – love of my life).
Bottom line is, like you nicely put it ” The key thing to remember is just like any other relationship, be PATIENT, SEEK TO UNDERSTAND and COMMUNICATE with each other. It’s worth it.”
And… same applies to the men who have been cheated on…. as not all men are dogs neither all women are angels!
Very good article… I enjoy each one of your posts!
Agree 100% ~ Thanks for reading and responding 🙂
Love the blog and your amazingly accurate and compassionate advice! If I ever take the risk again, your advice would save me many painful conversations- hopefully leading to a man with a kind and VERY patient heart. Thank you!
Hi Megan! Thank you for reading. Don’t be afraid to love again; there are kind and patient men out there who will be worth the risk!
Really enjoyed you’re blog Hanssie; this October marks a year since my ex broke up with me. She was emotionally scarred due to her past marriage. Her ex-husband had cheated on her with another woman and got her pregnant. I was patient with her and eventually she pushed me away, was ready for a relationship and she realized she was taking it out on me.
Just thought I’d send you’re blog some love and thanks for the advice. Helps me better understand her mindset.
Thank you, Jose. I’m sorry that you had to go through the pain of someone who was hurt by someone else. I appreciate you sharing your side and glad to be of a little help.
I am crazy about someone who was cheated on for yrs..prostitutes terrible stuff…and she just got divorced..was hot and cold w me during separation..still hot and cold .reaches out but also vanishes..is this normal at all?
“Normal” is relative, isn’t it? It could be her norm, of course, and it does sound normal to me (not an expert, but someone who has been cheated on). She just got divorced from a very volatile relationship and I’m sure she is working through a lot of trust issues, issues of abandonment and issues of self-worth. If you care about her and want her in your life, give her time, give her the space she needs and be patient. Spend this time working on becoming someone she can trust, and bettering yourself as well. Stay strong and best of luck.
Do you offer email counseling?
Unfortunately, I do not. I am not a trained counselor by any means. I just try and share my real experiences. That being said, if you need to share your story privately, I can try to offer whatever advice I can give and help however I am able to. You are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for sharing. I will give the woman I am interested in more time and and be open and reassuring. I believe she is worth it.
You are a gem. Thank you for being one of the good ones.