Advantages Can maybe make you realise your relationship needs working on
Disadvantages Hundreds, absolutely hundreds.
|Value for Money|
At high school, John* was my best friend; he helped me through so much and we got through a lot together. When I was 15, we started going out and during our relationship, we split up twice. We finally got back together for good when I was 17 and since then, we had the perfect relationship. We were open, close, had a laugh and loved each other so deeply.On Sunday, 6th December, I woke up to four texts on my phone, all from my boyfriend. I didn't have my glasses on, but I saw the word 'cheated' straight away. The four texts explained what he had done, what had happened, why it happened and that he was sorry. I was devastated, I really hadn't seen this coming. I broke down in a fit of tears and didn't stop for hours. I text my best friend and told her, she phoned me and we talked for an hour. She was as shocked as I was. I didn't stop crying for the rest of the day, I didn't eat and I just couldn't function. I tried to keep my mind off it, but I didn't seem to be able to move. John* and I texted each other all day, I was trying to find out why he did it - I couldn't take the fact that he was drunk as an excuse. Of course, I started blaming myself. I felt as though my whole life had collapsed around me, he was the man that I wanted to marry and have children with and now this didn't seem possible. He was my lobster.
The next day, on the Monday, I continued to cry. I tried to eat something as I always seem to deal with problems by not eating as a way of controlling something, but I knew it wouldn't make me feel better. I had a sandwich all day, which I suppose was better than nothing. That night, two of my friends (who were the only people I told) took me out to see the Christmas lights at George Square in Glasgow and for a drink & a chat. I couldn't keep up the happy, smiling front that I was putting on and burst into tears in the middle of the pub/restaurant. It was horrible, but it helped to have my friends round me. They started saying things like 'you'll find someone better', 'you deserve someone who won't treat you like that' but I thought that John* was the best and I didn't really believe that he had cheated on me, it was so surreal. I just couldn't take it any.On the Tuesday, I felt angry at him for the first time. Until now, I had just been really, really upset but then I found out that he had gone to a leaving party at his work and the girl he had cheated with was there. I knew that he'd been going to the party and knew that she was there, but I didn't want to turn into a jealous girlfriend who wouldn't let him do anything. I had asked him not to go near her and if she talked to him, he should ignore her. But he didn't, she came up to him and told her that she liked him when he told her that he didn't want anything to happen with them and that he was trying to make it up to me, she had the cheek to say that he was messing HER about! She knew about me all along and I was raging, at both of them. Before this, I had felt too weak and pathetic to see him, but not that I was angry I felt that I was strong enough.
I saw him that afternoon and for two hours, we talked. He cried a lot about it and I was quite cold and steely with him, I got angry a couple of times but never really shouted at him. We then started talking about how this time last week, we had been out shopping together and had a really good time and how he'd messed us up. I felt really vulnerable and nobody had hugged me yet, so I asked him to. We then went straight back into being a couple. All of the hurt and sadness melted away when he held me, I knew that I couldn't leave him over this.Wednesday, I woke up feeling confused. I felt I had gone from being so sad to ignoring what had happened and getting on with it too quickly. I don't know whether I was just denying it as it was too painful or I was actually happy. I decided that I was actually happy, but I was scared that my friends would think I'm stupid or be angry at me for going back to him. But, I knew that he wouldn't do this again and if he did, I definitely would leave him. I also knew that we would have to work at our relationship and I wouldn't trust him straight away, so I don't think I had unrealistic expectations of our relationship going back to the way it was before.
It's such a surreal experience for anyone to go through, especially if you've been with your partner for a long time. I couldn't handle the fact that he actually did it and it still hasn't hit me. Here are some things to do to help you deal with the situation;Finding Out
I was lucky enough to find out straight away, my boyfriend was overcome with guilt and text me straight away at 4am telling me what happened. I didn't get the text until I woke up at 9am.However you find out, it's always going to devastating. I think talking to your close friend(s) really helps, it kind of takes your mind off it.
I always think how you find out makes a big difference to what you should do at a later stage. Because my boyfriend told me straight away, I felt that he was being honest with me about it all and that he would be throughout this. If you find out from a friend (or even a stranger) or he doesn't tell you for a while after it happened, I can imagine it being harder to deal with. The trust will be completely gone.How He Cheated
This is entirely from what he told me; he was out at a club for a friend's birthday when a girl from his work turned up. They were chatting and supposedly, she was coming on to him, then she kissed him - and he didn't stop her. I know it's 'just a kiss', but to us that's a big thing.People have different ideas of what cheating is so this may not be included in their idea, but it definitely is in mine. It could've been worse though and I know that, but this is something that I never thought he'd do. We've always been honest and committed, this was just a huge blow in our relationship.
In my opinion, cheating can range from sending flirty texts to having a sexual relationship with the other person. I feel that it doesn't matter how the other person cheats, it's just the fact that they've betrayed you and they're not committed to the relationship.I definitely wouldn't stay with any boyfriend who had a relationship with another person, I can handle a person giving themselves away sexually (or just with a kiss) but not emotionally.
ReactionObviously I cried - a lot. I didn't stop crying all day after I found out and then the next day. I think it was just such a shock and it took ages for what he had done to actually hit me. I still can't believe it. It felt so surreal, I felt as though I was in a really bad dream. I just felt sad, I didn't feel angry for a while, which is unusual for me because I also change sadness into anger as I find it easier to deal with. I don't like feeling vulnerable.
My boyfriend and I talked a lot after it and I think this really helped me deal with it. It would break my heart if we just stopped talking. I didn't resent him, I wanted to talk to him.I think this would change from relationship to relationship, how you react and deal with something will change. I don't think any reaction is right or wrong, but I would refrain from burning photographs, etc. You don't know how this situation will end until it has ended.
Who To BlameObviously, my first thought was 'what did I do wrong?'. I Googled things to do with cheating to see if I could find anything to make me feel better and came across a website that made a list of all the things that I may have done wrong. I was so disappointed in myself when I found that a lot of the items on the list were things I had done in the past. I started hating myself for what had happened and I talk to my boyfriend about it and he assured me that the only reason he'd done it was because he was drunk.
Nobody should ever blame themselves when a partner cheats. If your other half isn't happy with you, they should talk to you or end it with you instead of going out and finding something else to satisfy them. The cheater is always to blame. I can't stress that enough.The Other Person
I felt a lot of anger towards her, I still do. I've thought many times about getting in touch with her and telling her how I think she is a disgusting person who is a desperate wh...re. But, I don't think it would've resolved anything.In my case, she knew that John* had a girlfriend which I think is really despicable. You have to remember that the other person may not know the person they were with may have a partner, and they will be hurt as well. This is difficult to realise when you're in this situation, but it's always worth keeping this in mind. If they already knew the person had a partner, I think it's quite acceptable to beat their a$$!
Looking After YourselfFor the first two days after I found out, I didn't eat a single thing. I felt sick from the emotions and I just didn't feel hungry at all. Looking back, I know this probably didn't help how I was feeling.
There are many roads you can go down when dealing with a partner who has cheated on you; you can comfort eat, not eat at all or maybe you'll even start eating healthier in order to make yourself feel better. If you do start eating badly, I would suggest staying with a friend, going back to your parents, anything. Just let someone look after you for a while. After your partners cheats on you, you need time to deal with it and if someone else can look after you while you do this, let them. It'll do the world of good.Working Out The Situation
After I saw John*, I knew that I couldn't leave him. It would hurt me more to lose him than it would to be with him and deal with the cheating. It helped that I knew he wouldn't do it again, he also said he was going to change - he decided to stop drinking and he was quitting work.This will vary from situation to situation, it can depend on whether they've cheated before, how they cheated, how many times they cheated, who they cheated with and of course, how good or bad your relationship was. You really need to listen to yourself with this decision, if you have the slightest hint of doubt - trust it.
You don't need to decide straight away either, take a break - do whatever you want. Do whatever you can to make yourself feel better and help you in working out what to do.Self-Confidence
My self-confidence went downhill after this, I was constantly thinking 'was she prettier than me?', 'am I not enough?', 'should I have made more effort with how I looked?'. I started wearing make up around him more, but I felt as though I was encouraging his actions or making them OK. I tried so hard to be nice to him, I was really scared of losing him when it should have been the other way about.I talked to my friends a lot about how my confidence had taken a bashing and they told me that I had nothing to worry about. It really helped to moan and groan to them and I would really advise doing that.
There's nothing really anybody can say or do to make you feel better about yourself, but you just have to know that there was nothing you did that made your other half do that.I tried giving myself a little makeover, doing my hair differently but I did it for him more than myself. But if you think this would help you, definitely do it. I found that his reaction made me feel better about myself and helped me understand that I was the only one he wanted.
What You Can Get From The ExperienceOne good thing you can get from the experience is the fact that you'll be able to look at your relationship and see what needs improving and work on it. If you're willing to save your relationship after a partner's been unfaithful, you might as well give it a makeover. I think this is the only positive thing you can take away from this.
The first negative point is that you will find it really difficult to trust partners in the future, you're always going to be worried that they'll cheat on you and will want to keep tabs on them; this leads me to the next point...You may become a little controlling. I'm trying not to become like this and trying to make him make his own decisions about going out, etc. But for now, I've asked him not to go out clubbing until we're OK again or I can trust him. I don't want to be one of these girlfriends that needs to know where their boyfriends are at all times, but it can happen. If you feel that you're like that, you'll need to talk to your partner and ask him to make a little more effort so you feel more secure.
There are probably more positive and negative points, but these are the ones that have affected me. If you can think of anymore that you'd like to include, just let me know.Overall
It's such a horrible experience that I hope nobody goes through. It makes you feel so many things, but it should never make yourself feel bad about yourself. You have done nothing wrong and you can't blame yourself for what happened. Deal with it how you can, let other people help you and talk about it as much as you want. I hope this helps anyone who is going through this.Update - January 2011
A year after all this happened, John* and I broke up. He ended up not making an effort in the relationship after he cheated so we just couldn't work anymore. I know that I tried my hardest to make it work and it wasn't my fault that the relationship broke down and that's the most I could have expected from myself. I've learned that you shouldn't let anyone treat you like crap and at the end of the day, if you know you've acted the best way you could have in that situation, then you should feel proud of yourself. I've also learned to forgive and forget. There's no point in holding a grudge as the only person that's going to suffer from that is yourself. You're going to feel negative and resentful. I've decided to just forgive the people who hurt me, but just not put myself in a situation where they can hurt me again.Everyone's experiences of this are going to be different and nobody in the whole world can understand what you're going through at that moment or how you're feeling, but let yourself be supported - it helps.
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