THE CHEATING EXPERIENCE: FINDING TRUST
Have you been cheated on? I have.
Here comes the backstory: I was together with my ex-boyfriend for about 1.5 years, so not too long. I loved him a lot, he lived with me as well. It was in my early twenties, so we didn’t have the biggest outlook into the future, we fought a lot, but I was still holding onto him. Knowing in the back of my mind, that he wasn’t the one. I found out that he cheated on me over my best friend, who was also friends with him. I had a feeling but it still hit me hard, and it was super dramatic. He afterwards tried to get back together and it was a lot of back and forth but eventually I ended it for good (right decision) and I wasn’t too sad anymore. But I had and have a lot of other feelings about it.
Why does it feel like a personal failure if you get cheated on? I’m a person who always tends to blame herself first. So, I asked myself: Wasn’t I enough? Why couldn’t I “keep” or (here comes the classic) “change” him? In hindsight I think these thoughts are fully wrong and dangerous, but unfortunately, I can still see it in other women. The embarrassment that the partner cheated. But why? It’s never, ever your fault if your partner cheats on you and if he blames you, he’s wrong. There is no shame in it. You are never, ever to blame if your S.O. cheats. And talking about it helps, so let it out.
Even if you’re going through a rough patch, cheating is a decision and you know what it will do to your partner. First should come problem solving and ideally you should leave your partner if you have the desire to sleep with someone else, because that’s when you know that the relationship probably won’t survive, cheating or no cheating.
With that I also have to say, that I’m not judging anyone who cheats. This is something I have learned over the years. Us, as humans, are far, far from perfect. We all make mistakes. I’ve never cheated on anyone before and I probably never will, because it affected me deeply. Did I forgive my ex? Yes, definitely. We were just not meant to be and this is how it was “solved” by the universe. I still have respect for him, I still like him as a person.
To me, forgiveness is vital, also to my own happiness.
I don’t hold grudges on people or hate them (I think it’s a way of poisoning your own system) and I frankly just think it’s wrong to be unforgiving.
I know so far this all sounds like I’m all bless with it, but there’s a deeper issue that came with it and that just doesn’t seem to go away so easily: Trust issues. I’m struggling hard with them. I’m very lucky to be with someone who has helped me a lot with it and that I can fully trust. Now. It wasn’t like that in the beginning. In the back of my head, the tiniest thing he did that was out of the ordinary made me suspicious, almost like I was thinking “it’s gonna happen to me again anyways”. It’s very hard to cut these thoughts out, at times it’s almost impossible. Every action that reminds you of the actions of the person who cheated on you, will most likely make you question what you have now. The problem is that not only you will suffer, but also the person you are with and that’s not fair on them.
Mistrust is toxic for a relationship.
So I learned (and it took me some time) to let it go. To really, honestly and truly LET IT GO. It’s not gonna happen overnight, it involved a lot of fighting with myself and my own thoughts, a lot of praying and a lot of pep talks from my friends. And talking with him of course. Always be open about these things and let your new partner know why you feel how you feel, so he can understand your (sometimes crazy af, who are we kidding) actions.
Communication is key.
Rejection is god’s protection they say, they also say that people are either a lesson or a blessing. And it’s true. If a person is meant for you, you will be with them. If they cheat on you, they are probably not the one and you should probably let them go. It doesn’t mean relationships aren’t constant work, but you will feel if it’s right and also how much effort you should put in. Trust your partner. Always start fresh, with a brand new page. Live in the present.
Go with the flow.