Do you know what I used to want to say to the guy who cheated on me? Good riddance! But right now what I want to say to him is, “Thank you.”
Seriously. I am so thankful that I met him and that he cheated on me. I’m not being sarcastic, and I am not applauding him for what he did. I am just grateful that I got to experience something that hurtful and cruel because it helped me become stronger and smarter. Dating a cheater or a possible cheater is a mistake that I wouldn’t wish on anybody, but it is something that can give you a different perspective on life.
So, here’s to you, you cheating chump. There is a special place in the underworld for people like you, and I hope you do more good things than bad so you won’t end up there.
I don’t need to tell everyone exactly how it happened, where it happened, or who it happened with. You did it. I know it. Other people know it, too. All I need to tell anyone who’s reading this is that being cheated on is rarely on your mind while it’s happening.
I know some women are paranoid about their boyfriends having a side-chick or two, but it usually doesn’t happen until you feel safe and loved and understood. Likewise, my presumably faithful ex-boyfriend, I felt the same way.
When you cheated on me, I didn’t get a sinking feeling in my gut. My day went on as usual. I talked to you a few times that day. Your voice was even the last thing I heard before I fell asleep. Little did I know that an unnoticeable chunk of time that day was spent doing God knows what with you-know-who.
When I heard the words, I couldn’t believe it. I seriously could not wrap my head around the fact that I was being cheated on. That you were doing something awful. That you were hurting me at that very moment. That you were ruining our “perfect” relationship.
I hated you. But then I started loving you again, and then hated her. Why is that girl creeping on my man? Why is she making herself available to a guy that wasn’t? Didn’t she know the girl code? Was she insane?
I wanted to do things to her that weren’t legal in any part of the world. I wanted to ruin her the way I thought my life was being ruined. I wanted her to pay for what she did. It’s a good thing I didn’t do anything.
That’s because it wasn’t her fault. Even if she knowingly slept with you knowing you had a girlfriend, it wouldn’t have been all her fault. I broke the most sacred rule of sisterhood and womanhood. I put all the blame on someone who didn’t deserve it.
Once the rage settled and I finally shamed myself by telling everyone who would listen that I was cheated on, I finally realized that there’s nothing I can do about it. It happened. I couldn’t turn back time to keep you from doing it. Why would I? Even then, I knew that you would do it over and over and over again.
At that point, the feeling of when I first found out you cheated started coming back. But it was a different feeling. I still couldn’t believe it. This time, though, I couldn’t believe it for different reasons. I couldn’t believe that you did it. That you needed someone else. That I could not fulfill your needs. That I was not good enough.
After wallowing in self-pity for a few months, something changed. I don’t know what it was – whether it was fate, a dream I had, the love of my friends and family, or because I was finally being smart about the situation. I finally realized that it wasn’t me. I also realized that it was okay.
It was okay that you cheated on me. It was okay that my eyes were opened to the fact that you can’t put all your trust on somebody who doesn’t deserve it. I even knew that you couldn’t be trusted before I even started dating you.
That’s the thing about us girls. We try our best to find the best guy out there for us, but we can still end up falling for the same trap. I knew I was going to be cheated on because I had enough information that could help me come to that conclusion.
Most women aren’t blessed with the foresight to know that their man is capable of this type of thing. I was, and I didn’t use it to my advantage. I just wanted to be loved. I wanted affection. I wanted attention. I wanted to prove that I could turn a bad boy into a good boy. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a really bad boyfriend]
Your side of the story
I feel very lucky that I didn’t catch you in the act. Most women aren’t that lucky. Imagine my pain and shame if I did end up coming home to your place, opening the door, and seeing you – I can’t even say it. It’s too disgusting.
Sex isn’t gross. But when you started using it as a means to fill up that empty part of you that I failed to complete, it becomes the most abhorrent thing anyone can do. It wasn’t just me that you violated. You used that girl for your own selfish reasons. I dare you to tell me that you loved her, because no decent man would ever love someone whom he is willing to hide and take advantage of.
They say cheating is an inevitable occurrence once your relationship starts to deteriorate to a point where neither is happy. I was happy. Or at least I thought I was. I guess I was wrong. Maybe I wasn’t being a good girlfriend. Maybe the sex was bad. I have no freaking clue. But the one thing I do know is that you proved that you weren’t any better than I was.
My life right now
So, I would like to come back to where I started – with me thanking you. I am thanking you because I’m not with you anymore. I am grateful that I didn’t end up marrying you because I finally see that you are not the one that I want to be with.
We were young. You were hot. I was probably hotter, but that’s beside the point. I had numerous flaws when we were together. When I look back, I realized that being with you wouldn’t have helped me grow into a better person.
Even if you didn’t cheat on me, I don’t think our life together would have made much sense. I kept thinking back to the time when all we did was fool around, drink beer, and listen to music. It sounds like a beautiful scene from an indie music video, but I realized that was all that we were doing.
We didn’t connect. We weren’t even friends. We were just together. That wouldn’t have been enough. We might have grown into better individuals while we were together, but that’s not enough of a concession for me to regret no longer being with you. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons you need to learn to perfect your life]
Our past mistakes shaped who we are right now. I love the shape my life is in. I am stronger. I am smarter. I have an experience like that to use as an anchor for my flighty decisions. I have loved. I’ve been loved. It was one great adventure. From what I heard, you’re doing well, too.
I don’t know what happened to your life since then, but I’m hoping that you learned from your own experiences as well. If neither of us did, there wouldn’t be any point in what happened to us in the past. That is exactly what I’m thankful for. I am grateful to you because we are here.