When you look at cheating through a different lens, you start to see how much agency you have in detemining how you deal with it.

There's been a viral video circulating around on the internet this week that shows a guy walking in on his girlfriend in bed with another dude.

When he finds them, he basically unleashes on her. He's infuriated, screaming about how she's a "slut" and a "piece of shit." Then he tops it all with "I'm gonna go to my house and get my gun because I'm gonna fucking kill someone."

… Whoa. That's a pretty intense reaction, especially since his girlfriend and the man next to her basically shrug him off.

Coupla things …

First, he says the reason she's probably cheating on him right there in the video: "I work over 100 hours a week." He's clearly not around. What's his girlfriend supposed to do, sit their obediently for him to come home so he can grunt at her before he goes to bed?

… And then he posts a video of her to YouTube, where it has since gotten over two million views.

So, to sum it up, this guy is verbally abusive, threatens to kill them, and publicly shame her on the internet, who, by the way, has been ripping her apart on the YouTube comments.

That's heavy. Excessive even.

And that made us realize something: to a certain extent, your reaction to being cheated on, or to anything for that matter, is your own personal choice. Society, particularly media, loves to dramatize cheating and frame it as the ultimate scandalous betrayal, but oftentimes, it's more complicated than that.

Sure, it sucks to have your heart broken, but it's your heart and you get to chose the degree of injury it sustains. You can either melt down like the guy in the video, shouting abuses and making  threats like an asshat, or you can take a more evolved approach and realize some of the following things:

1. Almost everyone has been cheated on. You are not exempt. You are not entitled to have everything go your way. Cheating is a great equalizer; It doesn't matter how beautiful or handsome or funny or intelligent or fat or stupid you are; everyone is subject to being cheated on.

2. Cheating doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. More often than not, cheating is a projection of the cheater's psychological or personal issues or personality. But, their partners become massively insecure, understandably thinking it was something they did or said or looked like that spurred their partner to cheat. So, they become incredibly defensive and cruel because they view cheating as the ultimate insult.

But, if most people could step back and realize it's probably nothing to do with them, the level of hurt they experience could be significantly less.

3. Monogamy is not the pillar of a good relationship. Your relationship is made up of hundreds of individual facets, your partner's loyalty being just one of them. People don't start dating based solely on the fact that they think their partners won't ever be attracted to anyone else ever again. You fall for each other's sense of humor, intelligence, looks, kindness, and the dimensions of their personality. You fall for them because of unconscious chemical signals and pheromones that generate mutual attraction between both of you. You fall for them because you can't wait to see them when they come home after work, and because of the way they hold you.

Love isn't a mutual agreement that you'll never be attracted to other people again, and if you think it is, that's both reductive and regrettably narrow way of viewing relationships.

4. You can chose how much you care.  Getting cheated on sucks. It makes you feel like something's wrong with you or like your trust has been violated. And it's okay to feel like that. But it's also okay to look at the cheater empathetically and try to figure out how you can restructure your relationship so you both are getting what you need. If, that is, the relationship is worth salvaging.

Sure, the cheater is the one who violated the terms of your relationship and who conjured up the pain and hurt of the situation. But at some point, it has to stop being a question of fault and more of a question of how much your relationship matters to both of you. These are all things you can chose to focus on.

5. Being angry and lashing out hurts you more than it does them. It's infinitely more time and energy-consuming to be constantly untrusting and to work yourself into a neurotic froth worrying about whether or not your partner is telling the truth about where they are, who they're with. It's easy to erupt in anger and rage and envelop yourself in hurt. But when you do that, it only hurts yourself.

Giving in and forgiving them isn't easy, but then again, nor are most things that are worthwhile. Forgiveness is the hardest thing in the world, but it also speaks volumes about your strength as individuals and as a couple. Trust isn't something that's inherent. It's built through communication and intimacy. It can be re-learned. It can be modified to suit your individual relationship.

People make mistakes. It's up to you how much you want those mistakes to effect you. If you and your partner really love each other, your respective mistakes shouldn't stand in the way of that.

We're not saying that cheating is ever the ideal choice of action. We don't encourage or condone those who cause hurt the people they love by cheating on them. Communication, consent and compassion are far more likely to solve problems in a relationship than cheating ever will.

However, we also don't blindly condemn those who cheat. To do that would be an ignorant and one-dimensional approach. Humans and the lives we lead are not so simple that one can judge all actions based on a pre-defined set of dating rules, without consideration of context. And that's why, if you're ever cheated on, it might be useful for you to use that information to inform your reaction.

Bottom line: You're responsible for your own feelings. It doesn't have to suck as badly as you think it does.