SIB will be posting musings, advice, and her thoughts here on a regular basis. Be warned, this IS a sex column and although there won’t be any steamy visuals (it’s not porn, ya know?) the text WILL be NSFW.
I will start by saying: I am fully against cheating. I’ve never cheated on anyone I’ve been in a relationship with. Ever. I never will. Why? Well, besides the fact that it is just against my code, I’ve seen how it affects the other people in the relationship (the cheated on and the lover) first hand and none of it is worth it. So in short, the answer is No: Cheating is never okay. No matter how much you rationalize it, make excuses, or try to explain it away, cheating hurts all involved, including the cheater.
I’ve never been the cheater and I am proud of that. However as I mentioned above, I have been cheated on (more than once) and yes (sadly) I once was the lover. The “Other Woman.” Although I learned a lot through all of those experiences that has helped me throughout my subsequent relationships, I wish every day I didn’t have to learn them in that way. So, I hope to share some of these lessons here so you don’t have to learn them the hard way as I had.
The key lessons I learned after being cheated on are:
I deserve better. Everyone deserves someone who will be respectful and loyal. He/she should have been honest and the break-up should have happened before the cheating.
Stop reading into it – This was about him – not me. More than likely, he/she cheated because of his/her own insecurities, needs, etc. Something was obviously not working in the relationship; that does NOT translate to something is wrong with YOU.
This opens me up to better opportunities. You now are free. Free to find someone who fits all of your needs and who will be committed to you. People change and so our needs change.
Being the “Other Woman”
X and I had dated for 4 years.We were doing the long-distance thing for a while due to an internship and things were strained. Rather than cheat on me, he was open and honest with me that he just felt we had grown apart and it was time to end things. We mutually agreed that we had a great run, but it was over. Being the one away, it was hard to date because everyone saw me as “the girl with the boyfriend back home” even though I insisted it was over. We remained friends and talked which made for a great band-aid. For a while.
I was fine with our new status – that is until I came home. Then I had to deal with it in person. When I came back, our friends embraced my return, but it was hard to be at the same places with him and his new woman, Y. That’s when his late night calls started. He would tell me how much he missed me and how he needed to talk to me. At first, I would talk him down as a friend. But then, I got lonely and missed him too. So, I agreed to see him. And that is when the affair began.
At first, I did what all people who know they are doing something wrong do: I rationalized my actions. He was in love with me and I had him first. We were going to get married someday. I knew she wasn’t making him happy. He will leave her for me soon. But, he never did and we all ended up in a huge mess, which even affected our friends. It was the worst feeling when it was all exposed. All my friends used to think I was the person they could all trust, but they started to doubt that after finding out that X and I had been deceiving them all. I don’t think I ever felt so disgusted with my actions and I promised myself then and there that I would never do it again.
The key lessons I learned after being the mistress:
I deserve better. Everyone deserves someone who will be respectful and loyal. you deserve to be his/her primary focus. I am a very giving and open-hearted person, and someday, I will find the person who will appreciate that without taking advantage of me.
I was being selfish. How could I only think of myself and not realize I was playing a part in causing hurt to another person? I had BEEN that hurt person – I had been cheated on. I was now the person who caused that same pain that I struggled to recover from. I vowed to never return to the position where my actions would cause another person pain like that.
He/She will not leave his current partner. He was enjoying having the relationship that was safe and the sex and love from his past. There was no motivation for him to change that for any reason. Until he was exposed and we all lost. I didn’t get him. Y didn’t get him. We all wound up alone, hurt, and confused.
So that’s my short explanation of why I believe cheating should never be okay. The excitement of the forbidden will wear off. There are exceptions to the rule in which sometimes things work out. But there are always casualties, and you will have to learn to be okay that if this is a road you want to pursue, you will have to be okay to have some blame fall back on you.
For some more in depth information on how to recover from cheating, you can find some great resources below: