I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
The entire motivation for starting this site was to put something positive back out in to the world. It was born out of the idea for a new book I was working on that focused solely upon infidelity. But after reading all the interviews I had done, I felt legitimately bummed out. I would interview people in person and come home and just feel kind of… gross all day. Now, I am far from an angel and lord knows I have been unfaithful in the past. We have all made mistakes and hopefully we have learned from them. Whether it is to learn to communicate our desires or frustrations, or learn to respect the love and trust others bestow upon us – we should hopefully learn some kind of lesson. Because the idea is to become better people as we age, not better liars.
I was motivated by the interviews with cheaters and thought, maybe I could do something that would make people feel a little less alone. That was it. Because when someone cheats on us, no matter how tough we like to act, there is a small part of us that dies inside and makes us lose a little hope. And while the statistics for infidelity are disappointing at best, we all need to decide the best way to move forward. Because while you can’t stop someone from cheating no matter how hard you try – because a cheater will always find a way – you can control how you move forward from the betrayal.
The first thing you need to know is that while there is a myriad of reasons why people cheat, none of them are your fault. Let me say that again – none are your fault. As someone who has cheated and someone who has interviewed close to 100 people about infidelity, I can tell you that almost no one ever said it was another person’s fault. Oh sure, desperate manipulators will say whatever they have to say in the moment to attempt to cowardly justify their actions but the truth is, no matter how shitty an ex treated me in our relationship, not once did her actions ever truly warrant me cheating on her. Because if I was any kind of real motherfucker I should have ended things first. Because it is not so much the act of putting my penis into another person that was so awful as much as it was the betrayal of her faith. Her best friend did the worst thing they could possibly do and shook the foundation of her trust in people. And I did that. And some of you have done that. And in retrospect, no matter how awful our behavior, we all know that our actions were completely unnecessary and no one drove us to cheat. I mean, there will be people who make cheating a lot easier for us to go through with, but no one ever forces anyone cheat. Just know that it doesn’t take you going through their phone or emails or making them account for time to ensure they won’t cheat. I can tell you that women have done this with me in the past and I always managed to find a way. I once told a girlfriend that I was running to the corner store to grab something to drink for us and on the way, I timed it so I could get a quick blow job in a car from a woman I had just met online. I was back with chips and 7-up within 20 minutes and she never knew. I’m not proud of this, but I just want you to know that someone who is cunning enough can pull off just about anything. But that’s not what this is about. This is about how you move forward.
First and foremost you need to revaluate the relationship. All relationships will take a hit. There will be a fight or a phrase spoken or some level of dishonesty that we will all have to endure along the way and we need to ask ourselves if our love is real, if it is strong enough to get past, and if we can grow from this situation. If you don’t have the ability to forgive, your relationship is already damaged beyond repair. If you plan to hold it over your partners head for years to come, it won’t work. Because even the most truly remorseful person reaches the point where they feel they have served the appropriate amount of penance and if you’re still forcing them to eat shit sandwiches every day, they will begin to resent you. And the only successful relationships are the ones that are free of resentment and animosity.
So let’s say you choose to stay the course and attempt to repair the broken trust. The only way that has ever truly worked is by talking it back together. Meaning, you have to talk it to death. YOU have to talk and THEY have to listen. YOU have to ask questions and THEY have to be willing to answer all of them. Every last one. Until you are satisfied. You have to talk yourself out until there are no more looming questions because the confusing and unexplained is what creeps into your brain at 2am while you’re trying to sleep and that anger eventually turns to rage and you can’t repair a relationship while you’re angry. People have been trying that for centuries and not once has it ever worked for any significant amount of time. The most important component of this is for you to feel they have fulfilled every question that you have asked and everything was answered to your satisfaction. There can’t be any holes in their story.
But let’s say you feel so betrayed that you can’t possibly stomach being around them anymore because they make you physically ill. Understand that you are the victim and that before you walk away forever you get to say what you like. If you are hurt, tell them you are hurt – but more importantly, why. Make them sit and see what their betrayal did to you. Showing your emotions is valid and cathartic. It is the first step in the healing process. And it is your right to do whatever it is you have to do to get past the hurt they inflicted upon you. But if this is your choice – never go back. Because if you do, it is sending them the message that they can cheat on you and if they get caught, you will eventually be okay with it. And you’ll want to go back because you will remember how good it felt to lie next to them. The way they held you and their promises will sound so sincere. And you’ll begin to believe you can get past it, but you know deep down inside if you can trust someone. Will you be able to not look through their phone while they’re in the bathroom? If that is a no, then that is your sign to move on.
None of this is easy. And each day, each hour, each sleepless night will be a test of your character. And whatever your choice is, do what is best and healthiest for you and your future. Because it is okay to be selfish and think of your needs when someone else has damaged your trust. And no matter what, never allow anyone to make you believe you “drove” them to cheat on you. Because as someone who has been there I can tell you that is an outright lie and is the mark of a desperate and manipulative person who will only drag you down and shit all over your time and future.
A world of opportunity is out there just waiting for you to find it. Whether that is a new relationship or more time with the people you love or the freedom to move to a new city or start a new career. The ending of every relationship is really an opportunity slightly obscured by pain. You just have to sit around long enough to see it.