The story is too cliché. The picture perfect couple almost falls apart from the inside out. One party is blindsided, the other is guilty, but shows remorse, and swears that their love is only stronger now than before they cheated. Before they destroyed the communication, the trust, the foundation of your relationship.
But instead of walking away, one chooses to stay, much to the surprise of both hearts. And while they try to repair themselves as individuals, and the rubble of the relationship, they realize that some things have changed.
1. Certain songs, movies, places will always be tainted now.
You’ll remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you found out. You’ll remember thinking “This is what it feels like when a heart breaks.” You’ll remember the rush of feelings; of wanting to punch something while simultaneously curling up and crying. You’ll remember who you called first after the news broke. You’ll remember every word they said to you. You’ll remember the precise moment when you had to decide whether or not to stay.
You’ll remember the reason you made that decision. You’ll remember the doubt after making that decision. It’s something you will never forget, even if you’ve chosen to forgive.
2. Anyone who has ever disrespected or doubted your relationship immediately loses their right to opine about the current situation.
In reality, a relationship is solely the business of those in the relationship. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it seems as though everyone has an opinion, everyone is eager to chime in and tell you how to deal. Unless you’re in my exact spot, I just don’t care what you have to say.
3. It’s so much harder to stay and fight.
The temptation to throw in the towel is stronger than it’s ever been. And there’s always the act in the back of your mind. If they didn’t care enough about me or this relationship to stay faithful then why should I care enough to try? Why do I care to fight? I’ve been drained of my energy and my will to fight for us.
4. You both have to learn how to argue again.
You can’t use his mistakes against him in unrelated matters and he has to learn to stand up for himself. The power shifted and now you have to learn to balance again.
5. Plans get put on hold and you’re forced to take a step back.
Then you start to wonder if those plans were a cause for the infidelity. Do you even want those plans anymore? Are they fitting for both people, or just one?
6. You’ll start to think that deep down you knew it was coming.
You’ll connect dots that lead to the act. You find all the faults and doubt that you had pre-cheating and somehow manage to blame those faults for the cheating. You start to think that only a fool wouldn’t have seen it coming.
So why didn’t you? Did you?
7. Inevitably, you’ll start to blame yourself.
You’ll start to see your own flaws more clearly and you’ll convince yourself that you weren’t meeting the right needs, you weren’t good enough, you weren’t bad-ass enough. Regardless of the reason, you just weren’t enough.
8. The question of “Why?” will always haunt you.
You may have gotten a reason, but no matter what, it won’t be good enough. It won’t heal the brokenness of your soul, it won’t bring back the trust – it won’t even feel complete.
Because no answer to the question of “Why?” will ever be acceptable. And some nights you’ll lie awake next to the person, still healing, and still wondering “Why?”