I know that it is as painful for a man to be cheated on by a woman, as it is for a woman to be cheated on by a man. While I may be referring to women on this article, let this be true too for men.
I have been on both sides: the one cheated on, and the one who cheated. The latter one was the result of the first one. This just shows how deep this issue can get, and why it can end up as a repetitive cycle.
When my ex first cheated on me, we were just boyfriend-girlfriend. At that very young age, I knew what commitment was.
The phone rang that morning and it was a friend asking me why I wasn’t at the party the night before, since my boyfriend was there. I was surprised because my unfaithful boyfriend told me that the party was for someone I barely knew and that none of our friends will be there. I gave an excuse and didn’t tell her the truth because I wanted to investigate more. I began to ask her questions, which eventually led to what my intuition was telling me: my boyfriend was with someone else that night, and it was a girl I knew. Someone saw them kissing and making out in the dark.
That was my first taste of betrayal. It hurt so bad, like a knife that pierced through my heart. What did I do wrong? I thought he loved me? Am I not good enough for him? Why did he lie to me? How long has he been doing this? These were just some of the questions that ran in my mind simultaneously.
Confronting him was the easier part. While he denied it at first, he eventually admitted and begged for my forgiveness. That was also an easier part. The most difficult thing was forgetting what he has done. Thoughts haunted me each day, as my mind tried to visualize the worst scenarios.
As if that was not enough, he did it again a year or two later. The same thing happened. It was my intuition that led me to it. This time it was more painful, like picking on a wound that has barely healed.
Those two incidents were enough to damage my self-esteem and made me feel unworthy. The fact that those women knew that “I was” the girlfriend made it even more unbearable.
That was the beginning of a long journey of dealing with my insecurity issues.
As stupid and bound to my boyfriend as I was, I found myself pregnant one day. I was 19 and definitely not prepared for marriage, yet I knew nothing better than to get married to him and start a family. I probably thought then that being married will make him truly mine, and that he will not cheat on me anymore.
I WAS WRONG!
I guess your heart gets numb after a while. This is what happened to me. When there were no tears to shed anymore, what was left inside of me was anger … a great anger that was waiting to explode.
Instead of confronting him again, which I was so tired of, I decided to take revenge.
Looking back, it was a retaliation not only against the man who cheated on me, but against all men, and also women. I felt a strong anger towards men, thinking that they were all the same. I felt a strong anger towards women who steal other women’s men.
What I thought was my revenge ended up hurting me more and burying me deeper in my issues … issues that followed me long after I was divorced from my ex and into my second marriage. I didn’t realize how deep they were until my ‘almost’ second divorce.
Only then did I truly begin to heal.
I want to share with you what I’ve learned during this healing process so you can also begin to examine yourself.
It is more than just the cheating.
It is the betrayal that makes cheating more painful. It is the act of doing something behind your back. It is the breaking of trust.
When I began to realize the deeper reasons why I was so hurt, I also began to see myself as a person who truly values commitment. I can’t be in any relationship, whether marriage, friendship, and even business, if that trust is broken. This is the reason why people have respected me for my integrity.
I hate cheating because I hate lying. I hate cheating because I value trust.
I am not the problem.
Being cheated on makes you think that you are the problem … that you are not pretty enough … that you are not good enough. It makes you want to look like and compete with the other person, who you can never be because you are you.
This lie inside my brain kept telling me: “Prove who you are and that you are the best.” I was out to prove to my ‘now’ husband that I am the best woman for him, not realizing that it was coming from a place of deep insecurity … from fear that he may find someone else better than me.
During my healing process, I felt like God sat me down, looked at me straight in my eyes, and told me: “You are who I created you to be. You are not the problem.”
This realization released me from trying to please my husband the way he wants me to be, and transitioned me to being the person I was created to be, which allowed me to love him more. It released me from the burden that I was responsible for my husband’s choices. It is his choice and will forever be. If he chooses the wrong path, it is not because of me but because of him. I have no control over that … but God has. This has made me put my full trust in God over my marriage.
I have my own life.
Being cheated on can keep you stuck in your own mind as you question yourself, and as you wonder why, where, and when. It can drive you nuts thinking where your significant other is or where he was during a certain time. Scenarios play in your mind like a video that keeps replaying itself, painting visuals that can stir up your emotions to the core. It can literally suck the life out of you.
The mind dictates to the heart what to feel, and your heart dictates to your body what to do. When your mind begins to wander, it can lead you to investigate. Since it already has a pattern to follow and old memories to base from, your thinking will surely be affected by your past experiences. This means that your perception may not even be true. However, since your mind is telling you that your significant other may be cheating, your heart will begin to beat faster, and your body will lead you to check his phone or whatever other investigation you are led to do.
This can stress you out so quickly. Is it worth it?
In my healing process, I’ve reached a point of throwing away the things that are not worthy of my time and energy. I realized that I have my own life to live. No one can live it for me. I can choose to stress myself out and suffer for it; or to let things go, live my life, and reap the peaceful benefits it brings.
So, instead of focusing on the other person and thinking when he will change or why he did this and that, focus on yourself. It is not worth suffering for another person’s fault.
My healing heals others around me.
Cheating on my ex as my way of revenge damaged me more than it damaged him. It brought about more problems that I carried with me to my ‘now’ marriage. My insecurity issues triggered my husband’s own issues as they just bounced back and forth from me to him.
When I began to heal, the peace I felt carried over to my husband. My sense of security became a stable factor that brought a lot of stability to him as well. Outside of my issues, I was able to see things more clearly, which helped me become more objective and therefore effective.
Only God won’t fail you.
There is no perfect person out there. Even the best people can end up cheating on their significant other. There are no guarantees. Only God won’t fail you.
This realization released me from all my fears of being cheated on. It made me trust God more than ever. If my earthly father will not allow anyone to hurt me, how much more will my Heavenly Father protect me? Not only will He not fail me. He will be the One to deal with whoever hurts me.
Everybody has issues.
Let’s face it. Everybody has issues. Unless resolved, these issues will get in the way of relationships, marriage, career, and life in itself. Infidelity is simply a manifestation of issues that lie within.
You can’t stop a man from cheating on you. You can try and it may work for a while, but he will be back on it again until he is healed from his issues. And, healing only begins when a person reaches a point of desperation to change.
Women come to me asking for advice about a cheating husband. I always tell them, “There’s nothing you can really do about it. Either you leave or stay. If you leave, be sure to take care of yourself and be healed from the wounds he inflicted on you. If you stay, stand strong and isolate yourself from the situation, and from being damaged more.” In both cases, I advise them to get healed from their issues, and to start trusting in God.
Time heals all wounds.
Yes, time heals all wounds, but only when you begin to surrender to the process of healing.
Being cheated on can lead to deep-seated anger and unforgiveness … a pain that can affect you for a very long time, making you lose trust in people.
Surrendering to the process of healing means that you don’t want to carry that pain with you forever. It means releasing it to God and letting Him heal you. It is a process that doesn’t instantly take the pain away, but a process that slowly uproots your issues until they are all gone. It is not a process that guarantees that you will never be cheated on again but a process that strengthens you along the way.
At the end of the day, the person who cheats will suffer the consequences of his actions. What he did will not only haunt him but will follow him around. He will never be at peace in any relationship. Only through his own healing will he be able to get out of this miserable cycle.
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