What It Feels Like To Be Cheated On By The One You Thought Was “The One”

*His name was changed for privacy.

Let me start by saying that the situation I am currently in is one that I never thought I would have to be in.

Caleb is a guy I met over a year ago at some ~lame~ rave concert at school. He asked me to go home with him; I told him if he was truly interested he could text me sometime (perks of being rude to every boy I encountered). I was never the type of girl to have a one night stand, or even hook up with a guy I wasn’t dating. I mean, he was cute, but nothing worth changing who I was over.

…my roommate and I went home and stalked the absolute crap out of him. Found his Facebook, he was on the club baseball team… let me repeat: he was on the club baseball team. Okay, that was it. (I love baseball boys. Only dated baseball boys. Will only ever date baseball boys). I gave him a shot. Initially, I was bold with a lot of things, but I’ll spare you the boring details (ex: I put a gel stick on heart on his dorm door…fml). I didn’t go home with him that night of the concert, but he was the first boy I ever let stay over in college (a few weeks later). I was not like this. But, something about him lured me in. And no, it wasn’t only the fact he was a baseball boy.

We spent the next three months of school together, then left for summer break with the label “together” but not “boyfriend, girlfriend”. He didn’t want to rush a relationship, because I would be his first one. It was precious. On June 20, 2014, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We were walking over a bridge that connected New Jersey to Pennsylvania. He addressed me by my name, stopped me on the bridge, and looked me in the eyes. He spoke the cutest “girlfriend proposal” I could ever imagined. Obviously, I said yes.

I have never felt the way that Caleb made me feel. We knew each other on such an intimate level, and the connection we had was remarkable. We were lovers and best friends. We hung out in the kitchen at 3 am eating Wheat Thins, using British accents and messing around. I wish I could explain exactly how I felt about him, but I can’t. I know I was in love. I have been in two other serious relationships in my life, but mine with Caleb felt like the love they speak about in the movies. I had never been so unexplainably happy.

The year progressed, and finally it was January 2015. I had been dreading this time for an incredibly long time. Caleb was studying abroad in England with his best friend from home. They had these plans for years, since they both attended different schools. I hated that he was going, but I was excited for him and all of his adventures. He left, I cried, we figured it out (sort of…he began drinking every night and telling me he blacked out most nights)…

Or at least I thought we figured it out. Right past the 8 week mark (halfway), I got a text at 6am Europe time with Caleb telling me he’s not worthy of me, he messed up, and he needs to speak to me. Welp, I knew what was going on here. I called him, he told me he cheated on me with a girl (who he KNEW I was nervous about), and then made out with some random Syracuse girl at a concert. I messaged the girl I knew telling her she sucked, and she sent me a text he sent her asking to hook up again. I wanted to die. I was never truly mad at the girl, I was mad at him. But, I wanted the girl to know that she was a homewrecker. And her response, by simply sending me a screen shot of their conversation sent me over the edge.

How can someone I was so in love with just completely tear my heart to pieces? (I know this phrase is overused and abused, but this is really what happens. Think of that time you got that really bad, almost 3rd degree sunburn on the back of your legs, and tried to put your jeans on. This time, someone used a knife on that sunburn, shot a few bullets, dipped them in rubbing alcohol and gasoline, then proceeded to light them on fire. Now, try to change this physical pain into mental pain. That’s how it feels. But worse)

I wish I could tell you I knew the answer for why Caleb did what he did to me after I have been nothing but good to him. I have been searching for the answer for a few weeks now. But, he doesn’t know and I don’t know. He’s sorry and there’s not much more to say. When the person you thought was the one cheats on you, you are angry. So angry. Then you’re sad. Then you’re numb. Then you’re sarcastic about the whole ordeal. Then you’re angry again. Then she likes his Instagram and you want to die inside even though he claims they aren’t anything. And then you’re angry again.

The cycle never ends. I want to say I am proud I broke up with him after I found out, but I’m not. I want to say I hate him, but I don’t. I hate what he did. And I hate that I wasn’t important enough to be on his mind those two nights he cheated on me, and the other night he wanted to hook up and texted “why does it matter I have a girlfriend”. I hate that my relationship couldn’t withstand the extreme distance and I hate that I’m the one everyone feels sorry for. (seriously this is the worst part of it all. Pity from everyone and their mother).

It’s so sick and twisted the culture we live in. Why do we depend on people so heavily? Why am I even considering taking him back? Why do I continue to talk to him despite what he did? Why wasn’t I enough? Why is cheating so much more common nowadays? I know that my parents sure as hell never had to deal with this. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t good guys out there. I know there are. I dated an incredible guy throughout all of high school, and I haven’t a bad thing to say about him. I know there are good guys out there.

And I thought Caleb was one of them. For girls out there who have been cheated on, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have to wake up every morning feeling as if your love and you as a person aren’t enough. And I know that no matter how many times the cheater tells you he loves you and cares about you, you will never fully believe him. Because the trust is broken. And you are broken. And healing takes time. You deserve that time, just as I do.

If I have learned anything from this experience, it is that I have a say in my life. I don’t deserve to be disrespected the way that I have been, and I reserve the right to heal at my own pace. Healing takes time. You can say it’s all good and fine, but then you find that minute you’re not busy and break down. A week isn’t going to fix things, and a month isn’t going to make you fall back in love with him. It just doesn’t work that way.

I wanted Caleb to be the man I marry for the longest time, and now I’m not so sure. I love him, but I have significant trust issues. A true love can withstand a lot of things, but sometimes certain mistakes can’t be forgiven. When trust is broken, it is awfully hard to replace (especially when they are over 3,000 miles away without a way to speak face to face about it).

I have also learned that going to other people for opinions is a ridiculous move unless they are neutral. Everyone who thinks that he should go die and is an a-hole, etc etc, should learn to stop talking. Obviously people are going to think he sucks for what he did. It’s natural. You want to hate the cheater. The cheater cheated on you and didn’t think of you. It’s instinct to hate them. I have always been so adamant about being cheated on. So many of my friends have been cheated on, and one of them has cheated on their significant other and I have been very bold about how I feel. It’s funny how that all changes when the love of your life is the one that destroyed you. Just remember, no one knows your relationship better than you, and if you feel that there is some part of the relationship to save, you do what you have to do.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember to breath and vent only as needed. Journaling has been an incredible coping mechanism for me (Thank you Psych nursing for actually teaching me something I can apply to my real life … ! ) I am also truly lucky to have a best friend that can remain neutral throughout all of this and respect me in what I choose to do or not do. Exercise is always a good go to. Oh yeah- vacations are magical. My family had a planned vacation, and it just so happened to be the week after Caleb cheated on me- score! Lots of sunshine and cute frat boys on spring break to keep my mind off of the living nightmare it currently was.

Remember, if he loves you as much as he claims, he will give you your time to heal and be waiting for you when you are done. If he is inpatient and not willing to deal with you after he destroyed your heart, f*** him. You’re better than that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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