There are many different views on people who cheat; some think they will forever be doomed to ruin monogamy and the ability to be with one person, faithfully, while others think that cheating once may be a simple human error and may not seal your fate as a serial cheater. The debate on cheating is one I have argued for some time, having been cheated on myself and having been one of those shunned individuals who has cheated as well.
Let’s start with my first scenario: high school boyfriend, dated two years, who happened to forget to tell me that he was simultaneously having a four month relationship with another chick, sleeping with the both of us. Stellar, right? Needless to say, I was crushed; he was the first real boyfriend I sunk my teeth into (Editor’s Note: Kinky!) only to find out he was actually having his cake and eating it too. We broke up once the lovely mistress contacted me and informed me of my wonderful boyfriends’ indiscretions.
A few years later, I’ve let go of what happened back in high school (after all, it was high school, a time when we all made some hasty decisions) and we’ve maintained an actually strong bond as friends. Would I ever consider being with him again, knowing what he did to me, despite our age and immaturity level? No way. I’ll love him as my friend forever, but would never bring myself to trust him again. He may not be a cheater forever, but it’s safe to say that with me, I will see him as someone who always has that possibility.
Scenario two: My college relationship. I dated my ex for four years. Literally, from the first month of college (he was my next door neighbor, insert nauseating movie music here) to our senior year, we were together. He was the first person I ever loved; we went through a lot together in four years, giving each other very large pieces of ourselves, which created a very strong bond. However, one spring, I met someone else and did the unthinkable: I cheated.
Literally, think Carrie, Aidan, Big, and Natasha scenario from Sex and the City, only extremely less glamorous. The guy was engaged, I was with my boyfriend, and it was a complete and utter nightmare when it all unfolded. I had to tell my boyfriend; the guilt I felt and the constant pit I had in my stomach was enough to give me ulcers. I knew what I did was wrong and knew what I had to do.
The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was tell him. What some say, about not realizing what you have until you could potentially lose it, is completely and utterly true, and it took sleeping with someone else for me to realize that. Wrong? Completely. Human? Absolutely. He said he could forgive me, but he would never forget. We stayed together for a few months after, while I tried to mend both of our broken hearts, but nothing was ever the same.
He used my cheating as a crutch. I was helpless; whether he said he forgave me or not didn’t matter. I knew the damage in our relationship was done, and he’d never forgive me, not because he didn’t want to, but because he couldn’t let it go. .
It took me almost an entire year to forgive myself for what I did. I have never felt so ashamed, so broken and so alone in my entire life. Not only was cheating not worth it, but it left me feeling lower than low. What I realized, during my break-up time of self discovery, was that I could never do something like that again, not just to the person I was dating, but also to myself. I cheated because something was missing and needed the security and wanted the attention I wasn’t getting from my significant other.
I thought of how I felt when my high school boyfriend cheated on me; ashamed, embarrassed and heartbroken. I knew what I put my ex through, and knew I could never do that again to another human being.
After this experience, I truly do believe people can change. Yes, I’ve cheated, but I am not a serial cheater. I am dating someone now, who swept me off of my feet during a time when I thought I had no feet to stand on. I would never be unfaithful to him. I would never be unfaithful to myself. Mistakes are made as a way to learn in life and I learned that, if you’re with the right person, the act of cheating will never happen.
You can flirt, you can have friends, you can day dream, but never put thoughts into actions, because when you do, real feelings can be hurt.
[Photo courtesy of allposters.com]