If you've ever been cheated on by a partner, take heart. While it's absolutely devastating when it happens, you'll come out stronger and better in the end, according to a new study from Binghamton University. The other woman won't. (Good news! You'll Recover From That Broken Heart Faster Than Your Ex too.)
Researchers surveyed nearly 6,000 people in 96 countries and found some universal truths about bad breakups. (Note: They only looked at male-female couples in this study.) Basically, they hurt like crazy, but that hurt teaches the person who was cheated on how to recognize signs of cheating so they can avoid going through the same experience with future mates. And while you'd think that a cheater might be the best person to recognize another cheater, that knowledge doesn't go both ways. (Check out our infidelity survey to see what cheating looks like in America).
"The woman who 'loses' her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value. Hence, in the long-term, she 'wins,'" said Craig Morris, the lead author and a research associate at Binghamton University. "The 'other woman,' conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity. Thus, in the long-term, she 'loses.'"
It's sweet, sweet revenge—in the most scientific way possible.
Okay, so it's not good for anyone to obsess over or wish harm on the other woman (we've all seen that movie!). (Try these 5 Healthy Habits To Get You Through a Breakup instead.) But it doesn't make you a bad person to take comfort in the fact that you've learned a very important skill that she doesn't have. At least not yet—if she stays with your cheating ex, chances are good she'll have to learn it the hard way too.