Simply Solo Spotlight: When He Cheats
Happy Simply Solo Spotlight Tuesday! Today’s guest post is written by Courtney from Clduncan75, the “ME” Project, which is a blog about finding ways to beat back the flames of middle age with lip gloss and, possibly, bikini wax.
Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: email@example.com.
When He Cheats
When he cheats … it doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world.
This is a mighty brave statement from a girl who, this time last year, was in the midst of one of the most painful, horrific times of her life. Yep, me. I had been suspicious for some time that my boyfriend, and father of my five-month-old daughter, had been cheating on me. As a matter of fact, I KNEW he was, with every fiber of my being. I knew in the way one intuitively knows something that they cannot prove, that is. For months, my snooping had been escalating to obsessive levels. I was so desperate to prove that I wasn’t crazy AND that he was the world’s most deviant liar that I had gotten pretty creative.
Unfortunately for me, it was that creativity that paid off and left me face-to-face with the truth. I couldn’t hack the code on his phone (and by the way, if you find yourself ever in that position, just go ahead and walk away. You are officially in an unhealthy relationship). So, I finally pulled out the memory card and loaded it into my phone. It worked. I got to see all the many, many pictures in his phone of the girl he had all but left me for. It was quite an eyeful. I wasn’t crazy … yay? There I stood, with that phone in my hand, shaking and stunned. My relationship had felt doomed for a while, yes, but this was a whole new level of bad. This was IT, man. I had to face the fact that life as I knew it, and all the hopes and dreams I’d had for the future, it was all done.
This was incredibly hard for me on so many levels, but I truly think, aside from being heartbroken, it was the loss of the life I thought we’d have together that hurt so much. I was never one of those girls who had a plan of any sort, really. I knew that I never wanted to drive a mini-van (please, God) or wear holiday sweatshirts with wreaths or turkeys on them. But other than that, you know … whatever. Then, while I was pregnant with our baby, something happened. I found myself so blissed out from all the love and devotion that man showed me, that I formed a picture in my head of what life could be like. That picture grew until it was like I had tunnel vision. All my defenses were down, my trust was absolute. That’s when he yanked the rug out from under me.
It was ugly. I’m not going to go into more detail than that (mostly because I just pictured my mom reading this and how uncomfortable Thanksgiving will be this year for him if I don’t shut up). I left as soon as I could, and not one day went by where I wasn’t just heartsick and lost. But at least I was moving forward instead of stuck in that horrible limbo of uncertainty. During that time, if you’d told me that in a year I would view what came out of that mess as a blessing … honestly, I probably would have punched you. But it really is true, and here’s why:
I learned finally and totally to trust my instincts, no matter what. That gut feeling is for real, and it’s there for a reason – we are just animals underneath all this junk, after all.
I learned that putting all your eggs in one basket, i.e. having every hope and dream you have dependent on someone else, is plain stupid. I am 100% responsible for my happiness and I owe it to myself to be okay on my own.
I learned that being cheated on is a lot more common than we think it is, but it carries a stigma of shame for us women when it happens to us. Even though it’s not (and never is) the fault of the person who is wronged, it’s feels like a clear statement of “You aren’t enough for me.” And that really sucks.
I learned that friends can judge us so harshly that you might feel like you have nowhere to turn. I made the very difficult decision to try to work through this thing with my boyfriend, for a myriad of reasons. Some of them perhaps more valid than others, but so what? I had some friends who made me feel like such crap for taking him back, and that was the last thing I needed.
Maybe, though, the most important thing of all was that I learned a lot about forgiveness. I never understood before how you could forgive someone who had hurt you so much. I could say the words, but those feelings were still there. Now I know that forgiveness is not something that just happens – it’s a decision you make every single day until you don’t have to think about it anymore.
My life is not perfect by a long shot. Sometimes I still wonder if I made the right choice, but those moments are pretty rare. Once you make up your mind about something, you need to commit to it, you know? But I think I am a far stronger woman than I was before this, and I really am grateful for the lessons learned, whatever the outcome will eventually be.
I wonder … do you know what you would really do if you found out your lover was having an affair? Would you leave? Are you sure? If you stayed, would you be ashamed to tell your friends and family what he’d done? I can’t wait to hear, and thank you so much for reading!
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.