Sadly, I know a lot of people who have gone through this so these lessons aren’t just my own. These are lessons that I’ve learned from people that have gone through the same emotions that I have. In order to protect the identity of those involved, there are no names. My intention with this is NOT to bash this person or to harm his image in anyway shape or form. I am also no relationship expert so what’s written is from my experience and some other people’s experience as well.
My aim is to offer any comfort or relief to anyone who can connect to this story. I am a story teller and this my truth… I’ve written and rewritten this post several times but I think it would do a disservice to anyone who is listening if I didn’t tell this story that has impacted the last 6 months of my life..
Without going in too much detail, I was cheated on in November and he was not the one who told me, she did. I had no connection to this girl and for the most part him and I were on really good terms before it happened. I happened to FaceTime about 15 minutes before the cheating commenced. We were together for about 3 months. The nature of our relationship past or present doesn’t matter too much because this post is reflecting on the lessons myself and others have learned.
So let’s get personal…
Obviously, I was really affected by this and I kept asking myself and him “why”. We weren’t the perfect couple but then again who is? There wasn’t anything lacking in the relationship. I can confidently say this because we have spoken about this over and over again. I realize that with things like this there isn’t a good why. There is no valid reason, excuse, or explanation.
Its a painful experience, I remember crying over it for days and just kept asking God, why? why me? why couldn’t he call me, I was right there? why? why? why? Since I couldn’t find the why in it, I blamed myself. I told myself it was me because it had to be. After I spoke to some other people who went through this, I realized that this is a very common thing to do. You begin to blame yourself and question your worth. You think that you could have done more in the relationship or that you did something to cause this when really that’s not the case. That’s what I did and it led me down a very dark path of insecurities, anxiety, and feeling inadequate. You start to think of yourself less because they chose that person over you so naturally you’re going to wonder what they had that you didn’t. It’s perfectly normal to feel those emotions when you face something like this. I depended on my friends and family a lot. I looked to them and God for answers that I don’t think I’ll ever receive because like I said before there isn’t a good why.
After some time, I was able to recognize that cheating had nothing to do with me. It was a conscious choice this person made despite being in a committed relationship. They didn’t think about me or how it would change the dynamic of the relationship as a whole. They had several opportunities to stop, step back, and walk away. You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t drive them to cheat, it’s none of that. There are no excuses because this is a one sided, selfish choice.
I’m not saying cheaters are bad people but cheating and infidelity can affect people beyond what you may think. It betrays that barrier of trust you have with your partner and frankly, everyone around you. You start to question every move and if you choose to take that person back (I know, I know 🙄) you begin to question and speculate EVERYTHING. Even the small stuff that didn’t matter before. You also associate to every wrongdoing to that action. For example, if they do something that is a little suspicious you go crazy mentally and your reasoning is “I can’t trust this person, they cheated on me”. Something like this can make anyone go insane because you’re wondering who are they texting, are they being honest with you, do they really like you or love you.
Your mind cycles in a wheel of different thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For me, it started with: what did I do/what was he lacking to how could he to why did he and it looped over and over again. Slowing my brain down and stopping it from affecting me was the greatest problem because this action fed into every insecurity I had about myself, him, and the relationship. Also it made me wonder if this was what love was supposed to feel like when in my heart I knew it wasn’t. The person who cheated on you did not love you in that moment because if they did they would stop and think.
No, love does not feel like that. I had to accept that because your self worth is not defined by someone else’s inconsiderate actions. Something like this can destroy even the strongest of people but it doesn’t always have to.
You need to trust your gut. If you are in tune with yourself, then you need to go with your intuition. It’s probably right as bad as it is. Trusting yourself enough to walk away from something that is toxic because of their wrongdoing is not a bad thing. I learned from my mistake (no he didn’t do it again) but the infidelity caused so much additional stress, anguish, and pain that didn’t need to happen in the first place. Do I regret taking this person back? No, because the relationship itself taught me a lot about people in general. Also, no matter how much you try: you cannot be with someone who you don’t trust.
Being the type of person I am and I’m sure many of you can empathize, I ended up forgiving them but it’s normal if you don’t. Forgiveness is on your terms and shouldn’t be forced. Your partner should never force you to forgive them or “just move on from it” because things like that are scaring and they hurt for a long time. It’s okay if you don’t forgive them but choose to be with them.
I could write a series on this topic alone but healing looks differently for everyone. Just remember you will move past this, this is NOT your fault, and you didn’t do anything to deserve it. Down the road as far as it may seem, you will realize that your self worth shouldn’t be reduced to this one person. Some relationships can move past it and be perfectly okay but mine and a few others weren’t as successful.
As I continue to grow past this experience, I am redefining what love means for myself and relationships. I am stronger because of this experience and would never wish this pain upon anyone. Though it’s been three months, I sometimes find myself asking why and looking for answers. The biggest thing I’ve learned throughout all of this is that the emotions will come in waves and some will be much bigger than others but when it comes, stand strong, face it, and let it pass you. Healing and moving forward takes time and it looks so different on everyone but what do I know that is constant is that the love you have in your heart and the truth that you live and put out into this world will come back to you. Do not let this experience define you or your future relationships because of this experience. No one is worth sacrificing yourself, mental, or physical health.
This was my story and my truth 💜