Women who get cheated on are better off in the long run, a new study revealed

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Women whose male partners leave them for another woman ultimately "win" in the long run, according to a new study.

Scientists from Binghamton University examined the effects of female-on-female competition for male mates. They found that those whose partners cheated on them are better off, since they experience personal growth.

That, in turn, leads to the scorned woman picking an even better mate in the future, the study authors wrote in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition.

For the study, 5,705 participants— both male and female in 96 countries took an online survey, with 61 percent of women identifying as exclusively heterosexual and 85 percent of all respondents reported having at least one severe breakup, lead study author Craig Morris told INSIDER in an email.

To no one's surprise, the scientists found that the dissolution of a relationship can lead to initial feelings of depression and low self-esteem, especially when coupled with infidelity. However, the scientists also found that, for women, getting cheated on can have a silver lining.

"Our thesis is that 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," Morris said. "Hence, in the long term, she 'wins.'"

In other words, dealing with betrayal and infidelity stings in the short-term, but leads to self-reflection that, in the long run, can help women "rise above" the failed relationship and find a better mate in the future. But, this doesn't happen overnight, the scientist added.

"The women who reported being 'stronger' after losing a mate to another woman reported that this realization came only after suffering through post-relationship grief," Morris said.

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