6 Do’s & Don’ts When You’re Dating Someone Who’s Been Cheated On

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It can be tempting to want to make everything OK for your partner, to take on their healing, and to try to do their work for them. This doesn’t work, Abrell says. “There are people who have a savior complex, and they might take on too much of the healing process for their partner […] but really it’s the person who was cheated on who’s bringing that energy, and it’s not the new partner’s job to fix them.” When you attempt to fix, it can result in a dynamic that mirrors codependency, “where you feel like part of the relationship necessitates that you make everything OK for them,” she adds.

If the problem persists, seeking the guidance of a professional could be helpful. You could gently suggest something along the lines of, “I know this has come up a few times, and it’s clearly bothering you. I don’t know what else I can do to reassure you, so maybe you could talk to someone about it.” You could also try a session or two of couples’ therapy, Abrell adds.