Men didn't hold anything back, and revealed the deep impact cheaters have had on them. They approach their romantic lives in a different way now, and unfortunately, these women have left some pretty damaging marks.
So, here are some men who were cheated on by women, and whose lives changed forever:
Note: Some stories include topics of drug abuse. Please proceed with caution.
1."I'm way less romantic now, and I am not letting my happiness be determined by my partner. I love my significant other and enjoy our time together, but I also know that if anything goes wrong, I am more than okay by myself."
2."Trust with the new girl was very tough to reach (and my paranoia unfortunately went up). For example, my new girl pointed out a house when we were driving by and was like, 'That house has an indoor pool. This guy Brian from my high school had people over one time — it was cool.' And my immediate thought was, 'She fucked him,' and I'm picturing her fucking some dude. It went on like that for a while. Any time she mentioned a guy (from school, work, her past, whatever), my instant thought was either she fucked him or wants to fuck him."
"Now most of the time you can keep those thoughts to yourself, but sometimes the anxiety is so overwhelming you slip and maybe start asking follow-up questions. You end up revealing how suspicious you are, and it can lead to arguments.
You have to actively and intentionally check your automatic negative thoughts and work through that. The good news is that if she's understanding of your situation, time can heal a lot of those things. And someday (maybe even some random day), you'll realize that you don't have those thoughts anymore."
3."It completely changed my view on humanity. I no longer believe that most people are good: I believe that most people act in their immediate or mid-term best interest. I spent years self-medicating until one day I felt good enough to stop cold turkey. It felt like I was in a haze for almost five years, but my views on humanity have not changed in my sobriety. I think it's a realistic outlook, but I try to fill my life with people who are exceptions to that rule. I'll never trust people the way I used to."
"I never really thought that most people are good, and being cheated on only strengthens this belief. Now I know that most people are capable of being utter pieces of shit and that I should not expect them to have morals."
4."It didn't affect my self-worth — it just felt like I wasted my time with that person and sharing those small bits of myself (which mattered to me). I definitely learned to love myself so much more. I'm well off financially, and I'm emotionally happy ALL by myself. I'm good living by myself."
5."I’m much better at spotting red flags — I also won’t take shit anymore from women. Being cheated on basically made me realize women are no better than men, and can also do fucked-up things while still saying, 'I love you.'"
6."Being cheated on impacted my ability to trust myself in assessing relationships. The thought of her with someone else sucked, but it wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part was recognizing how damaged and incapable of trusting I was when I fell in love again. For a long time being falsely accused of jealousy when I raised the concerns I had, I conditioned myself to doubt my own instincts and disregard my own emotional feelings of discomfort."
"It’s easy look back and say I was stupid, but I was working under the assumption that we had each other’s best interests at heart.
I took her critique of my jealous and uncomfortable feelings and kind of trained myself to ignore and dismiss them rather than listen to my discomfort and express it. Instead I would internally berate myself and assert to myself I needed to stop being insecure.
It’s the deception that does the most damage — not the act."
7."In my marriage of many years, she cheated first (but I had lost interest in her physically, and my default is always to self-blame). So, I didn’t blame her. I have always had a low libido. The cheating affected me by making me go all-in on codependency — as long as she didn’t leave me, I would stick around. I can trace my 'Nice Guy' lying back to just before her affair. I think if I had read the book No More Mr. Nice Guy years ago, my life would have been different. Instead, I would lie and make any bargain (no matter how bad it was for me) just so she would stay and 'love me.'"
"Many years later, I had an affair with my coworker, and it took me by surprise. It got toxic quickly, but I learned how hard it is to stop it once it starts.
It was very much like an addiction — I felt emotionally beat-up when I finally came out of the affair fog."
8."I went to therapy, and now I understand that her decision to cheat on me was not my fault or responsibility — only hers. Assuming that another partner would do the same and not trusting people only affects me and my relationships. I also communicate better now."
"Also, remember this: How someone treats you is NOT a reflection of your value as a person. It took me a while to learn that after being cheated on, and it's important to not let the lows and highs of how you're treated be an indicator of your worth."
9."I got depressed, so I started working out — I got massive and then decided to join the US Army. I started taking college courses and met the woman who I hope will continue to sit on my face until we’re old and gray. It gets better, boys."
10."Caught my wife cheating on me in 2007, and eventually, we divorced. I haven't been on a date or slept with anyone since. No fucking way am I ever going to open my heart and risk that kind of bullshit again from anyone."
11."I became an insomniac for nearly four years since the cheating happened when I was at home asleep, and she was at a college party."
12."After having almost four girlfriends in a row cheat on me, I realized that I was the common denominator. I started to re-evaluate the kind of women I was dating. I was able to start seeing similarities in the ones who cheated, which helped me change what I was looking for (aging and maturing helped as well). Mostly, it changed from fun and attraction first to sustainability second."
13."I have an emergency plan at all times. I don’t make myself dependent in any way, and I don’t put my happiness in their hands. Even if we agree on sharing finances, I will still deduct an amount to my OWN emergency account. I don’t care what they think — that is my own in case of an emergency (having to rent a new place if we break up is an emergency like that). I have verbal agreements with friends who can take me in for a few days if I need a place to crash."
14."I'm now very picky about dating. It doesn't matter if she has a pretty face or smoking body: I will NEVER ignore those red flags ever again."
15.And: "My ex-wife cheated on me about 10 years ago. At first I was devastated and turned to the bottle for a little while. Eventually, after the divorce I realized I was happier without her. She didn't contribute much to the relationship but had many expectations for me. I have dated since, but have found that those relationships go in a similar direction: a ton of expectations from me, and not much expected from them."
"I think this is how I changed the most today: I won't settle for a woman who doesn't put any effort into a relationship. I am more critical of the woman I date, so therefore, I have remained single.
I haven't found someone who will put in as much effort as I do, and if they aren't going to put any effort into the relationship, odds are it is a matter of time before she, too, will cheat."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.