There are only two decisions one can make upon the sickening discovery that your partner has cheated on you and each will ultimately shape the rest of your life: Should I stay or should I go?
Many declare that the right thing to do is stay and “make it work” and some would even use their own partnerships as proof that you can spring back from it. However I strongly disagree, and this is a topic I am extremely passionate about.
Cheating truly is a choice, and before you brush me off I want you to hear me out.
Whenever I hear the classic “it was a meaningless mistake” line, I must admit I find myself stifling a giggle, yet at the same time my heart truly bleeds for the poor person who may believe that.
Let’s think about the different types of cheating. Imagine someone who has an affair for instance and ask yourself this – how much time do you think they spent getting to know the individual they would eventually end up having said affair with? The time spent fantasising about them behind your back; the amount of effort spent sneaking around to ensure all of the texts are deleted; secret flirts; all those times that they “worked late” or were “visiting a friend;” saucy looks shot their way during lunch breaks…all behind your back.
How many lies do you think they told you?
Mustn’t they have known exactly what they were telling you? What they were doing? All of this has been slowly building up to the main event, the intimate moment.
Consider the effort the cheater put into pulling someone who wasn’t you close to them, the passion of how strongly they must’ve kissed them before tumbling down into bed together, the the way they salvulated all over someone else’s body, as the burning desire slowly engulfed them.
Throughout all of this, you weren’t in their mind. Not even for a second. In those moments you didn’t exist as far as they’re concerned.
Afterwards, perhaps they realize they have a missed call or text from you but they still chose to ignore it, maybe they turned their phone off to prevent you from disturbing them. As the affair carried on without your knowledge, they probably began to assure their side lover that they love them, not you. They reassured their lover that you’ll soon be completely in the past since they no longer love you, all the while they’re coming home to you and spinning you a tale of how they had to work late and reassure you that it won’t happen again because they “love” you. Yet little do you know they’re bad mouthing you behind your back.
Next, consider everything as a whole. The time, the effort, the spectacular lengths they went to so that they could keep you in the dark. They chose to do this.
“Sometimes cheating is a one time thing!” I hear you cry from the crowd, and although yes that may be the case, it wasn’t a mistake was it? If someone is drunk or otherwise under the influence, they’ll suddenly have the bravery to act out the things they think about doing sober. If someone has a one night stand and it only happens once it was still a decision, they had all the time in the world to stop themselves from crossing that line and they didn’t.
Everyone can agree that the million dollar question burning all of our lips is “Why? Why on earth do cheaters cheat?”
No one seems able to provide a definitive answer to this question, but I would bet that it’s simple, the cheater wants something you can provide for them, they want your house together and they want someone dependable who they can rely on, but they don’t respect you.
Growing up, my mother always told me that love is never enough in a relationship and I never fully understood what she meant, but now that I’m older I can grasp precisely what she meant.
Anyone can say they love you, yet very few genuinely do. Actions reflect the truth, words can be twisted to alter our reality. Respect is everything in all relationships, and if your partner has cheated on you then they obviously do not respect you at all because if they did, they wouldn’t ever have cheated in the first place.
All too often, respect is the one crucial thing that is constantly neglected, in taking back a cheating partner you are accepting disrespect. The only person on earth who sets the bar for what they deserve is yourself, and if you accept someone who clearly shows no respect at all for you then it says an awful lot about how you feel towards yourself.
Relationships aren’t supposed to be a chore, yet all too often the number one reason for staying with cheating partners is for the sake of family. I don’t think people realize how miserable you’ll be, especially if any children leave the family home during adulthood. Everyone is different, and maybe in time you’ll build up trust with your partner once more and maybe you’ll have good times together again, but isn’t it sad to stay with someone because you feel tangled in love?
Isn’t it tragic to stay with someone simply because you don’t want to be alone? Or because you feel obliged to do so?
Ultimately the decision rests with you, however all I’m asking is do you really want to be with someone who lacked so much respect for you and was clearly so discontent within your relationship that they wandered off into the embrace of another? Are you really going to be fully satisfied within this relationship if you forgive and forget… or are you simply settling for a second option?