12 Things You Do That Stroke A Cheater's Ego (And Make You Look Bad)

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deal with a cheater

Whoever said cheaters never win never saw what a hot mess a betrayed person can be.

Like many people out there, I’ve been cheated on by a high school sweetheart. In fact, it wasn’t even quite cheating. He flat-out told me that he was interested in another girl and that he wanted to date her. Then, after he said that, he told me that I should “still be there” as he decides.

Seeing as it happened in high school, I didn’t really have much of a backbone back then and I stayed until he got bored of me and kicked me to the curb. And before that moment happened, I made a fool of myself.

The truth is that cheating messes with people on a primal level, and that makes it hard for people to act rationally when they realize what their partner has been up to. If you’re doing any of these mistakes, please stop for your own sake. You’re doing nothing but boosting a liar’s self-esteem and hurting your chances at him actually ever making things work with you.

When trying to deal with a cheater, be aware of these 12 things you do that make them go crazy and gain more control over you.

1. Trying to compete with the other woman

Relationship expert Chump Lady actually has a name for this behavior that really resonated with me. She calls it the “pick me dance.” And, yes, you do want to fight for his affection and prove to him that you’re worth being with.

But, realistically, all it does is make him think about how he can play you like a fiddle. Even if you do win him over, you have to ask at what cost you got that “prize.” Is your dignity really worth it?

2. Beating the snot out of the other woman

Dude, this is never cool, no matter what the hell she did. It’s so trashy and I hate to tell you this, but guys literally get off on seeing girls fight over them. Do you really want to give him that much power over you? And is a potential assault charge worth it?

3. Bribing him

This is worse than competing because it sets a precedent that suggests that you’re OK with being his Sugar Mama and personal ATM. Money can’t buy you his love, nor will it buy you his loyalty. All it will do is make you seem desperate. (Besides, wouldn’t you want to pay for quality, anyway?)

4. Not confronting him about his cheating


If you literally catch him in the act and pretend you saw nothing, you’re secretly telling him it’s OK to cheat. This is not healthy, for you or him. If he betrayed you, then you shouldn’t act like everything is OK. Everything is not OK. Doing this teaches him that there are no consequences and you don't know how to deal with a cheater.

5. Trying to get pregnant to keep him

Girl. This does not work and, in fact, trying to do this can ruin your life. He may bail completely, but trust me when I say that he won’t stop bragging about how you tried to “trap” him. Besides, do you really think this is a responsible thing to do to your kid?

6. Threatening to hurt yourself

If you’re serious about hurting yourself, get to a professional as soon as possible. If he is legit worried about you self-harming, he might call the cops. However, if he’s a callous douchebag, he may end up just bragging to his friends about how you killed yourself later on in his life. Either way, it’s a bad look.

7. Trying to look thinner or hotter to keep his attention

Most guys who cheat think that the girl they’re official with is hotter than the other woman. Doing this strokes his ego, makes you appear desperate, and also teaches him that he’ll be rewarded for breaking your heart. Is that the lesson you want to teach him?

8. Whining to his friends


Speaking as someone who has been cheated on by guys, I can tell you that his friends usually won’t care what he does to you. They may be annoyed or uncomfortable, but they’re not going to police him over it. If anything, he may feel flattered that you try to start that kind of drama.

9. Going full melodramatic

This is just not attractive no matter who you are or what he did to deserve it. If anything, it’ll give him ammo to call you “crazy” and make him think that he really did the right thing by having sex with another girl. This will not make him want to win you over, and it will make people think twice before dating you in the future.

So, if you have to blow up, do it in private and make a point of making him look like a fool for cheating on you by keeping your head held high.

10. Bargaining with him

Some people will go so far as to actually tell the guy it’s “OK to cheat” just so he won’t leave them for the other lover. This is basically the ultimate doormat move, and it’s going to be one which will lead to him disrespecting you.

That being said, there’s no sign that he won’t leave you anyway. Have some dignity and cut him loose.

11. Stalking him

Nothing quite gives a guy the right to say, “Look, she’s obsessed with me!” in the way that stalking does. Yes, we know you want to know all the details, but if you can’t get him to spill the beans, your best option is to walk.

12. Begging him for an apology


Oh, this was me at least once. I remember shouting, “You won’t even say you’re sorry? Are you serious?!” Looking back, I know why he just smirked. He was really enjoying getting under my skin. If I really wanted to hurt him, I should have just walked.

Trust me when I say that we all have the urge to do these at one point or another, but that it's not the best route. All they do is make you into a doormat and give him the power, and neither you nor he deserves that.