It's the worst feeling in the world - the moment you discover the love of your life has been cheating on you. And it hurts no matter how you find out, whether you significant other straight up tells you or you find out by accident, it's the same gut punch. You know you'll never be the same again.
We searched Reddit for stories of how people reacted when they had their hearts broken and the results are amazing. Check out these stories and find just how different people's reactions can be! Content has been edited for clarity.
The Response Was Shift And Decisive
“I was in a five-year relationship that included two years of cancer for her, AND I was leaving for boot camp 48 hours from when I found out she was cheating on me.
I saw a text from the guy at 2 am on her phone. I tapped her to wake her up, dangled the phone over her and said, ‘You have five minutes to get out of my apartment.’ Upon leaving, still half asleep, she asked, ‘Where am I supposed to go?’
I said, ‘Good question, apparently, he’s awake, I’d start there.’ And shut the door.”
“I tracked down the guy my ex was cheating on me with and he had no clue she’s with me.
Apparently, she told him we’re no longer together. He was pretty bummed out as he thought she’s a nice girl. We sat down in the bar sharing dates when she lied to us to meet the other guy and having shots each time we got the date right. Once we were partying enough I called my ex and told her I’m leaving her as I know she’s cheating on me. When I hung up, she immediately called the other guy (the one I’m drinking with) and wanted to meet. He told her he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her because if she treated me like that after four years together, she’s not worth much in his eyes. He then hung up and she called me straight away saying she wants me back. I asked if she ever cheated on me and she said no. I then passed the phone to the guy who I’m drinking with who told her that it proves how wicked she is.
We kept drinking for the rest of the night, shook hands and went home. He thanked me for helping him to realize who she really is, and I thanked him for helping me get out of the bad relationship. He was a decent bloke and I know for a fact he never spoke to her again. She, on the other hand, lost him and me at the same time.”
“I. FLIPPED. OUT. It was getting to a stage of our relationship where he was just annoying me, we weren’t really getting on and I was planning on breaking up with him before I found out, so I wasn’t upset, just pure angry.
I returned all his stuff to him. Unfortunately, a lot of them had suffered some natural ‘wear and tear’ like being dropped down the stairs. I took the laces out of his shoes. I swapped all the discs around in his computer games. I ‘forgot’ to give him several of the PlayStation cables. I put it all in the thinnest trash bag I could find and yes, the bag split when he carried it. I told all my friends what had happened, who were all his drinking buddies, who never spoke to him again. I started texting him to spoil his favorite TV shows, knowing he streamed them the day after they were shown because he worked nights.
I told him we could meet up and talk about it. I picked the most awkward place, took him about 2.5 hours on the train to get to. I obviously didn’t go, then when he texted and said he was there, I turned my phone off.
Oh and I told his ex, who he cheated on me with, because she didn’t know I existed, and she dumped him and blocked him, too; I’m not normally a petty person, but when I am, I excel at it.”
When High School Sweethearts Don’t Last
“In high school, my sweetheart cheated on me with her ‘gay’ best friend. We were on our way back to school from an away football game, the team on one bus, cheerleaders on another. One of my buddies shows me a picture of his girlfriend took of my girlfriend with the other guy in the back of the bus, hooking up and looking pretty happy about it. Whatever, I figured. I was well liked by everyone, plenty of fish in the sea, and she was none too popular with my friends anyway. Play it cool, come out of this the bigger person.
All of that went right out of the window as soon as we got off the buses. They get off their bus one right after another, she comes running up to give me a hug and he just gives me this look… this smug look of satisfaction that I’ll never forget as long as I live. I’m messing around with this dude’s girl and he has no idea. But I did have an idea. I also had a height, weight, and strength advantage. I snapped, saw red, and put my shoulder through this punk like I was making a Super Bowl winning goal line stand.
The coaches and everyone broke it up almost immediately and I should have been kicked off the team, but the coach took me into his office and calmed me down. After I explained the situation and verified it by showing him the picture, he looks at me and says, ‘I’m sorry I pulled you off him, that was your best tackle of the night.’
Then they got kicked off the cheerleading squad for inappropriate conduct. Justice, baby.”
“We Compared Notes And…”
“Last August my wife blindsided me and told me that she wanted a divorce. I was shocked; we had been married for 13 years and have two kids. We had a happy life although it didn’t mean things were perfect. I did what I could to try and change her mind. She agreed to go to counseling and would start to suggest that things might be getting better between us, or that maybe I would have a chance. Yet she was also mean and rude to me and we did fight a lot, it was miserable. I was trying to save my family for my kids, they loved their family and didn’t want this either.
She kept switching between saying she would try to work on things to only two days later saying she wouldn’t. She would ‘dangle the carrot’ to get me to do things while being really horrible to me. She would look for houses under my nose and yet didn’t file any papers. I got tired of her shenanigans. I realized there was not going to be a marriage to save and began to resent her even if at the time I would have stayed with her if she would be willing to try.
It was almost two months later and I filed papers on her. She moved out about two weeks later. I immediately joined match.com which, looking back, I do realize it was way too soon for me. I wasn’t over anything and was very hateful about my wife. A few girls realized it and knew it wouldn’t be healthy for them to be around. They were right. Anyway, I started talking to one girl on a lonely Friday night. She told me early on that her divorce wasn’t final and I told her I was in the same situation. We compared notes about our situations and she had it much worse. Her husband had cheated on her for over four years with so many women he couldn’t keep track of. He frequented Asian massage parlors and would regularly pay for the company of working girls.
We ended up deciding to meet for dinner a few nights later. Towards the end of dinner, she asked for my last name. I told her and didn’t think anything else of it. When the waiter asked if we wanted anything else or dessert she quickly said no and just asked for the check. I paid for dinner and we walked out. She gave me a quick hug and thanked me then darted to her car. At this point, I just thought she was not interested and took off. I go home and about a half hour later she called me. I never thought I would hear from her again so it caught me by surprise. When I answered she immediately told me she had something to tell me. She did hesitate for a bit but then she said… ‘My husband is sleeping with your wife.’
What the heck? I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if I could even believe it. We live in a big metropolitan area; the main city and all of the surrounding suburbs make up about 5 million people. How the heck did this happen? She had all of her husband’s passwords including Facebook so she knew about my wife through some of their conversations. I confirmed with my wife about him but it took a bit. I had to bluff a little bit and luckily I was right. She still thinks his wife sought me out and doesn’t believe the coincidence. It doesn’t even matter to me anymore. This gave me the closure that I needed and I have moved on. I don’t even care about what she did anymore, I think it’s funny that she got caught and the story is out there for everyone.
The only thing that bothers me is this wretched person hanging out my kids–yes they are still together. Our divorce was final a few weeks ago, she was the one crying at the hearing which made me laugh. She texted me and my family later that day to tell us how sad it was for her which I found amusing. Luckily, we still get along and help each other out with things for the kids and even sometimes do favors for each other. The divorce was easy, we split things fairly and it wasn’t contentious. Our kids know that we are both there for them and that is what matters to me. It was a crazy thing that happened but it makes for a good story. I hate my kids don’t have their family together for their sake, aside from that I am much happier without her. I have a wonderful girlfriend who I am extremely happy with and hopeful about it continuing all the way, time will tell.”
“Honestly, it completely changed my life.
We started ‘dating’ in the 7th grade. You know, shared our juice boxes, always on the same team in gym, walked laps around the soccer field at recess, always talking, always together. Looking back, I’m sure our teachers thought we were adorable. We were a famous couple at that school.
High school was more of the same, but better. Still always together, but now we were doing more grown-up things. Not just in the bedroom, we had real dates and real nights of just talking and connecting more and more every day, every year.
We went to the same university, in the city we grew up in. We got to see each other a whole lot more, and we kept getting closer and closer and closer. By the time we graduated, she was the biggest part of my life, bigger than my siblings or my parents, both of whom I was still very close to.
We both found jobs in that same city. By this point, she was just a part of me. Extension of my existence. I know it sounds like some cheesy movie but what I mean is I didn’t think of her as something that would maybe not be there forever. She just was and always would be. She was a condition of my existence, something necessary for me to function, to survive. That cheesy movie love was our life, we had it. I was planning on waiting a year for us to settle into work before proposing.
Then came New Years.
I was away for business, so for the first time in many years, we would not be celebrating together. She told me about this party a bunch of our friends were going to. I said, ‘Cool, go have fun, it’ll take your mind off of me not being there.’ So she went, and then it happened.
I didn’t find out for three weeks. When I got back, I could tell something was very off. I didn’t press it, but it was uncharacteristic of her, she was never off. Then came the night I’ll never forget. We were halfway through watching E.T at her place and she seemed extra off. Then, all of a sudden, she broke down. I tried to comfort her, asked her what the problem was, but she couldn’t bring it up. It took her a few minutes to stop crying and then she told me.
She cheated on me at that New Years party. I can’t really describe what I felt. Honestly, I felt mostly nothing in the moment, but in a bad way. Like I was empty. I didn’t say a word, I just sat there on that couch staring at the movie on the TV for what felt like a long while. And then I got up, walked out, and went home, and passed out.
It didn’t hit me until the next day. I slept 16 hours, and I woke up feeling the worst I’ve ever felt in my life, before then and since then. She had left me many messages on my voice mail, which I didn’t check, in fact, I never listened to them. I spent most of that day in my room, in the dark, doing nothing except crying.
I showed up at her house the next day. She was a mess, I was a mess. She said she made a mistake, but she loved me just the same, and she asked me to try and make it work. I couldn’t. She was not the same person anymore. I still loved her, just as much as ever, but that she didn’t really exist anymore. After leaving her house that day, I never spoke to her again. The girl that had been my best friend for 11 years, the girl I talked to every day all day, the girl I shared everything with and who shared everything with me, the girl I loved more than anything.
I moved a couple months later and went to the other side of the country, away from it all. But I was still broken. My days were just going through the motions. Wake up, go to work, come home, wake up, go to work, come home. Every day every month. It’s been seven years. I’m doing better now, I live a healthy life, I have my friends, I am somewhat happy. But I’m different. I’m not the same guy I was before it happened, I have come to accept that and so have the people closest to me. But we all know I’ve changed, not all bad, but still changed. I still think about her every day. I still love her, I think. I haven’t had another girlfriend since. I don’t think I could ever do that again.”
It Ends Very Badly
“Our youngest was a little over two years old and we hadn’t had a date night since she was born.
I finally found a sitter for our three girls and took her to dinner and drinks. We ended up heading home around 11 pm after what I thought was a great night out. On the hour drive home, I noticed her texting someone on Messenger in the reflection if the car window. She was on a ton of parenting Facebook pages and always talking to other moms so it didn’t immediately set off any alarm bells. I ask who she’s messaging at this hour and she immediately closes messenger and opens Facebook and tells me she’s leaving a comment on a post.
That was the first time in 10 years she ever bold faced lied to me and I knew it. I got irritated and told her we don’t lie to each other and to just tell me who it was. She clammed up wouldn’t say a word except that we were both buzzy from drinking and we’d talk about it in the morning. We pulled in, I paid the babysitter and as soon as she left, I left to cool off.
I sat at a nearby park for two hours just collecting my thoughts and running every scenario through my head. We always knew each other’s passwords for everything so I tried hers and it was changed. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and email – all changed. I went home around 2 am and woke her up. I asked her to tell me the truth and she said I was overreacting and for me to stop being a psycho.
I slept one hour before waking up with that gut-punch feeling that something was up. I had her old phone, which was still logged into her email, so I sent the ‘reset password’ for Facebook to her email and got into her page. Every message was deleted, but some guy was on her ‘recently talked to’ list. I looked him up. He was a single guy, a pilot, no kids, and lives about an hour away. I walked right into the bedroom at 6:30 in the morning and started throwing armfuls of clothes on her from the closet. I calmly told her she was a liar and she can get out of my house if she’s going to continue talking to this guy.
Of course, she lied and convinced me she’d never do something like that, then told me she wasn’t happy and talking to him made her happy so she wanted a divorce. She strung me along for five weeks; she called the cops the two times I took the phone back that I had bought her. I was beginning to catch on to her lying, and her spending sprees.
I bought a GPS tracker and when she told me she was going to her girlfriend’s to ‘get some space,’ I waited until she pulled into his apartment complex before I texted her and told her I had her dead to rights. She lied again and said she just wanted to meet him.
I had my lawyer working on drawing up a postnup so I played along. I hounded her for three days about affairs and how she’s messing our kids up for life. On day three, she came into my bedroom from the couch at 1 am, bawling her eyes out and admitted everything; they had been having an affair while I was on night shift for two weeks before I caught her. I manned up, as angry as I was, and offered her full forgiveness if she’d break it off and go to counseling. She said no and that she loved him. I told her there was nothing I could do for her now and that every one of our friends would know what kind of a cheating floozy she really is. I kicked her out at 2 am, called her mom and told her she was coming over and what she had admitted to.
Then I proceeded to ‘pack’ her things up. Left-foot shoes went in the trash bag for trash, right-foot shoes went in the trash bag for her. The zippers on her pretty little dresses I bought accidentally got popped. Somehow all the button ups lost their buttons. The few hundred dollars worth of beauty products ended up in the roll off dumpster with used motor oil on top of it. I texted her the next day and told her I was secretly recording her confession of cheating, with that and the GPS data I had we would filing a fault divorce based on infidelity (my state has that).
Her new boyfriend would be subject to a subpoena and depositions and we would both be bankrupt at the end of it. OR she could sign the postnup, keep the family van for three months and move on with her life.
Walking out of the notary’s office that day, I had a smile from ear to ear. She couldn’t help but ask what I was smiling about. I told her she just signed away a quarter of a million dollars of my money that I would’ve paid over the next decade to her. Once she got in her car, I informed her the postnup waived her rights to any claims in divorce court for anything taken or destroyed prior to the signing of the agreement. I got my wedding rings back and was able to trade them in on a fat engagement ring for my current wife.
The ex ended up completely cutting off all contact with me and the kids and hasn’t seen them for well over a year. She pays me over $500 a month in support. I know it kills her considering I make $120k a year and she makes $9.50 an hour. She chose her path.”
“The Doctor Called And…”
“I had the advantage of knowing I was cheated on without face to face confrontation, so I had a lot of time to collect my thoughts, reflect, and not angrily explode. I knew I was cheated on by my girlfriend because my doctor called me and told me I was positive for chlamydia at 9 am. I spent the entire work day just trying to collect my thoughts, and how I was going to react, what I was going to say, what I was going to do.
I got home and just told her that I was leaving. There is no working it out, there is no discussion, there are no excuses. You cheated on me. This relationship is over. I got my clothes and all my valuables. I threw them in my car and I stayed with my sister and nieces until I found a place of my own to rent. Been on my own for a while now and I’m doing better than I ever was before!”
Happy Birthday To Me
“On my birthday, she told me. I was in shock, and we just kind of sat in the same room for about 10 minutes. It was so creepy, she just sat there with no expression, then she went to bed. About 15 minutes later, I walked in, told her to get out. Suddenly she burst into tears but left. I shut the door and sat in the room for a while, not even tired. 20-30 minutes later, there are flashing lights in the driveway. I go out, there’s an ambulance loading her up and the sheriff greets me. She attempted suicide by rubbing a credit card back and forth across her wrists. They took her to the looney bin after a quick hospital trip. She called me the next day and told me how everything was ‘my fault.’ I spoke with the social services lady and requested that I never be contacted again. Even better, the social services lady called me up a day or two later and wanted to schedule someone to pick up her car that was still in my driveway. Yeah, sure, no problem, who is it? It’s the guy (and his wife) that she cheated on me with. I politely explain this to her, and she says, ‘I understand.’ A tow truck came out the next day and that was the last I ever saw of her.”
Life Lessons Learned The Hard Way
“I was cheated on by my first long-term boyfriend when I was 22. I just couldn’t understand why he did it. How someone I thought loved me and cared about my feelings could hurt me like that. We got along great, had a lot of fun together. It just didn’t make sense. It made me realize that he didn’t love me at all. I broke up with him and cut off contact. He called me six months later from a new number, apologizing again and asking if we could try to work things out. I admit I gave it a shot, trying to rationalize everything.
Two weeks in, I realized I just couldn’t do it. I could never, ever trust him again. No matter what he did, I would always be suspicious going forward and I just couldn’t put my heart through that again so I ended it for good. I don’t care what anyone says, whether you believe in monogamy or not, there is absolutely no excuse for cheating. If you want to mess around with someone else, break up with your partner first. Cheating is not an accident, it’s a conscious selfish decision and shows a great lack of self-control and respect for your partner. Cheaters have no idea how damaging their actions are to a person’s capacity to trust in the future.”
What Happens In England…
“The girl I was in a relationship with for six months decided she’s going to England for four weeks to see her friend who had just recently got engaged, and whom I was not a big fan of (she was a bad influence on my girlfriend). The friend lived there for about a year after she had fallen in love with this straight arrow in the Air Force, great guy. So like any other boyfriend, I trust her to do what’s right for our relationship without hesitation.
Within the first week, I started to see pictures on Facebook of her with two other guys. Now I had heard stories about her being too flirtatious at parties before this trip, but I believed that was her acting her age. So seeing those pictures didn’t make me nervous. Then there was one night, I knew she had been drinking because of the texts she was sending me talking about how she wanted to try different stuff in bed. Later that night, she posted more pictures of her with this one particular guy, also in the Air Force, unusually and uncomfortably close. So I started to think. The first night I met my girlfriend she was laying on the couch talking about how she needed ‘to be held.’ So doing what any other average Joe would, I accepted her invitation and one thing led to another and, well, yeah. Thinking about the first night we met was sort of an awakening for me. I began to think, if she hooked up with me the first night, what’s to say she’s not doing the same with Mr. Top in England right now?
I shrugged it off until I had a verrry unproductive looong day at work. I decided I was going to hack into her Facebook. I knew her email, just needed the password. That wasn’t a problem for someone that had talked every bit about her likes/dislikes, fantasies, past, etc. I breezed thru the first 2 security questions but was having a difficult time with the third one. Where do you want your honeymoon? Now we weren’t in that deep to be discussing that topic so I didn’t have a clue. So I text her, trying to play it cool easing into the conversation before the perfect opportunity came. Instead of asking, ‘Duh honeymoon duh?’ I play it smooth. If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be?. She answered, I plugged it in, and I was in. I immediately look at her messages, and my head collapses. Not only was she flirting with Mr. Top, she had been intimate with him on a number of occasions, and he was starting to like her. Asking her questions like, ‘Why do you want to go home to that loser?’
A loser I felt like indeed. I look at other conversations to find out that she was passing out her cell number like a business card. So I surprise her by showing up at her apartment before she gets home. Her roommate, a little skeptical of the situation, let’s me in because I told her I left my thumb drive here and need to grab it. My girlfriend, soon to be ex, as soon as she walks through that godforsaken door looks all happy to see me but notices something is wrong. I say, ‘I know what you did. I hacked your Facebook.’ Her jaw drops ‘How did y–, wh–, how?’ I respond, ‘You’re worried about how, and not why because you know why. Cabo San Lucas…?’ I left her feeling the same way I felt when I found out, betrayed.”
Beach Weekend Absolutely Ruined
“Happened once, a long time ago – in 1982. Me, my girlfriend and my best friend went to spend the weekend in a beach house. His GF was supposed to go but canceled last minute. After dinner we were chatting and I dozed off. Woke up by myself, went looking for them. I opened a bedroom door and found them spooning. Both asleep. Both fully clothed, so I couldn’t be sure what had happened or not, but still. I felt physical pain, nausea, my legs felt weak and I almost fell to the floor. It is hard to explain. It’s not that they had obviously been at least making out, if nothing else, while I slept in the other room. It’s not that she felt attracted to him. It’s not that my friend would do something like that. No, the worst part was to feel that she wanted to cause me so much pain. Why, why would someone I loved decide to torture me to the breaking point like that?
I closed the door, went to my room, got my backpack that hadn’t even been unpacked yet, and walked out of the house. She caught up with me while I was putting the backpack inside the trunk. ‘Are you just leaving me here with him?’ She said. I just looked at her. There was nothing I could say. ‘I don’t want to be here with him,’ she said. I just looked at her. ‘Can you please wait? I don’t want you to leave like that. Let me get my stuff, I came here with you and I will go back with you.’ I nodded. I felt it was the honorable thing to do, at least drive her home if she wanted/needed that.
It was the most dangerous drive of my live. This was going up from the shore to São Paulo, in Brazil. There’s a mountain range in between, and the road was dangerous to begin with. Add that it was late at night, it was raining, foggy, and I could barely see the road. I was also out of my mind. I was raging mad, I wanted to kill her, I wanted to die. The endless line of semis carrying cargo from the big Santos port presented endless opportunities to just die. So did the cliffs on the side of the mountain. I was weaving through traffic, going as fast as I could, I just wanted everything to end. She was trying to talk with me. ‘Nothing happened. We just fell asleep talking. I don’t know how we ended up in that position. Please talk to me. Please slow down.’
I did not say a word the whole trip. Somebody should have stopped me, I could have killed myself, her, and whoever else was on the road that night. I was running low on gas but did not dare to stop, at least driving gave me something to occupy my mind. Gas lasted enough to reach her place. When we parked, she still wanted to talk. I remember sitting on the hood of the car, listening to what she had to say. ‘Nothing happened, you have got to believe me.’ I was too hurt to even understand, let alone believe anything. At some point, she stormed into the house, mad at me. Somehow, she was mad at me.
Many things happened in the years since. I talked to her again not too long ago, I think it was 2010. Met online by chance. I have been happily married for years to a woman I love and who loves me. I have a wonderful son and my life is awesome. Since that night I had many relationships, and I haven’t felt anything for her in a long, long time – but what happened that night, somehow, still hurts in the rare occasions when I think about it. I think it’s trauma, I will never be able to forget that night, my brain remembers the pain. And so I asked her in 2010, casually, ‘So it’s been almost 30 years. I’m happy, married, have a child. You’re also married, you also have a child, you seem happy. Nothing that happened that night matters anymore, but I am curious. Can you finally tell me what happened?’ ‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘I really, really don’t know.'”