According to Statistic Brain, 41% of couples have had one or both partners admit to physical or emotional infidelity. This is a generation where it feels like an unfaithful lifestyle has become the norm. I mean, we have even seen such behavior occur in the White House. The words commitment, honesty, and loyalty do not share the same meaning that they used to back in the day. Incidents of cheating happen more than we could ever imagine. You turn on an episode of Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil and I can guarantee you that it is most likely revolved around deceitful actions.
But, cheating is not just a one time thing that happens and you are automatically over it. It sticks with you longer than the length of your actual relationship, resulting to that uneasy feeling when your heart darkens and sinks into your stomach- that same feeling where you feel so defeated, you do not want to go on. Eventually, that sadness turns into pure anger.
The cheater in your life has engendered feelings of rage that run so deep into your veins, you begin to shake and scream. The cheater then will plead forgiveness, but you are just too busy belting your words until your voice becomes hoarse. They will continue to cry and beg, but you still cannot hear anything over the ringing in your ears and the sounds of your infuriated, broken sobs.
Now what? You come to the fact that they do not love you anymore, at least not the way that they used to. They will swear it was nothing but a moment of weakness. But, it is a pathetic, wrong decision they must pay for. You can forgive, although, you can never forget. You ignore them. Every call, text, voicemail, direct message, and email you leave unnoticed. You let them attempt to contact you for weeks until they finally just decide to stop trying and give up. The silence blares where their ringtone once was, trying to desperately reach you. You’re empty.
So, you finally decide to call them. You tell them you miss them and want to rekindle your fallen relationship. You promise that you’ll try and forget, anything you have to say to get them to care for you the way they did before. You never realized how much you ‘needed them’ until they gave up on you.
You take them back of course, although you know as well as anyone else that once a cheater, always a cheater. You are only blindsided by the thought of someone caring about you. They wind up treating you better than ever before and you are left believing that your relationship is perfect and all is well in the world, until the next fight occurs and you are forced to revisit the heartbreaking feeling of being cheated on.
A year later, a potential love interest comes into your life, but you are not over the mistreatment from your previous relationship. Because of this, your trust is faulty and self-esteem is damaged. You find it easier to push them away rather than give them the opportunity to destroy you. So, that is exactly what you do. You make it impossible for anyone to get close to you due to your constant fear of taking a walk down memory lane. You remain vulnerable and alone.
What you need to understand is that trust is not an all or nothing type of thing. It is a choice and it can be built as slowly as you need. Ultimately, you need to realize that everyone is not out to hurt you or is a replica of your ex. By not sharing your struggles with others and continuing to keep everything bottled up, the pain you are carrying with you will only become stronger and more powerful. Try confiding in someone who can help you process your emotions and have a more objective light on how you view relationships.
David Rossi once said, “Scars remind us of where we have been, not where we are going.” Avoid letting your negative experience with one person ruin your chances with someone who could be absolutely incredible. Be open to starting new memories rather than holding onto the old ones. Most importantly, stop with the dwelling and self hate. Your ex was not good enough for you- no one who cheats ever is. Once you let go and are finally able knock down the walls you have built, you will be able to let someone else in. Remember, the only way you can be the best version of yourself is if you put your past behind you and treat each and every life experience as a lesson learned.