Emotionally cheating is far worse than physical cheating. It’s a slow, painful death of a relationship, and the worst way to go.
Maybe the most painful part is watching the person you love fall out of love with you. Their grip has loosened, and their eyes have fallen short of the vision you co-created. They no longer laugh at your jokes, ask you about your day, or hold you. They haven’t said “I love you” in so long, and haven’t meant it even longer. They’re too captivated by a silhouette of prospect with a new female friend. (A friend who has met you many times.) You catch their flirty glimpses, and confirm your suspensions with text messages and call logs. You can steadily sense that you’re being etched into a memory that they will rarely recall. They’re leaping, face forward, into another person’s embrace.
And so you try. You try and you fight because someone once told you love conquers all. Because you’re so deluded in that lucid dream you both created that you will rub your hands bare to the bone trying to recreate a spark. But she put out the fire months ago.
The soul-crushing thought isn’t the thought of them fucking, it’s the thought of him telling her intimate stories about his childhood. Telling her inside jokes. Telling her she’s beautiful, and meaning it. The bitch of it all is that it’s both unjust yet inevitable. Because whether you’re 16, 23, or 45, you will meet someone, and lose them to someone else. They mean no harm, (though they damn sure inflict it), but they must follow their heart despite bruising yours in the process. Because for better or worse, love is not logical, it’s emotional. And his affections have been redirected to someone he has more in common with, with someone who is closer to him in proximity, with someone who is relentless in her pursuit to get him.
So you surrender. Because it’s become more exquisitely painful to watch him lie to you about their relationship and to feel yourself fighting for something you know you can’t get back. (Maybe you never had it to begin with.) You let him go, but he was long gone.
You start blaming people, but who can you really blame? For a while, you blame her. Who interferes with a relationship? Who hurdles over the boundaries of an opposite-sex friendship, and convinces a guy to leave you? Then you realize you don’t “convince” people to leave really. Perhaps he was lead, but he chose to follow her. Allured or completely conscious, he left… for her. And then you blame yourself. How could I stay for so long? How could I love the wrong person so deeply?
In all, being emotional cheated on feels like you’ve lost a battle you didn’t even know you were fighting until you’ve already been defeated. It’s the worst way to go.