Infidelity : The trauma caused by cheating.

When I was younger falling in love was something I dreamed of. From the many Disney movies to Saved By The Bell episodes, they made it look so simple. The chance of meeting someone who seemed “made for you”, your “soulmate” was someone easily found. Like pieces of the puzzle finding each other, being married 50 years seemed magical yet possible. I believed people when they said how they felt, more times than I should have. Unfortunately, i discovered infidelity and betrayal at a young age. When I was 15 I met my first love, a friend of the family who was much older than I was. Back then, this didn’t seem like an issue; I was flattered even that an older guy was apparently so into me. I was so gullible, I literally saw my older cousin seduce him away from me and there was nothing I could do. Some men excused for their lack of commitment simply for being men, eh he’s just being a guy. This was the beginning of my distrust for men, for people in general and their faithfulness. I did nothing wrong, yet I never felt good enough. You see it everywhere, some headline of a cheating scandal. Some shocking, some not as much. For example, let’s talk about the Khloe Kardashian scandal. Yea yea, I know you’re sick of it but here’s my take on it. It’s hard to compare infidelities with celebrities because we assume they can’t relate, but even I could relate when it came to this. Khloe, just like myself was on the search for Mr. Right. Often times we confuse lust for love, a temporary feeling that fades leaving us wanting more. We may meet someone who is involved with someone else still though they claim it’s over, maybe kids are involved but they swear they’re not in love and haven’t been for a while saying things like : “It’s just for the kids”, or “We’re just living together, we don’t sleep in the same bed”. You hope that maybe this time it’ll workout, you seem to get along great. And it seems like overnight the masquerade is over and you start to see them for who they are. You find out they’re cheating you’re heartbroken, embarrassed that you’re wrong again. In her case, in front of the whole world. Now also in her case she met Tristan when he was with or recently split from his then pregnant girlfriend. Red flag enough, karma is something I firmly believe in.

We may not have bad intentions, maybe we just want to feel that beautiful love so badly we ignore those red flags. However selfish motives always cost more in the long run. Unfortunately, we point fingers to everyone except the person who cheated on us. Trying to work things out, turning the other cheek. The worst feeling is being betrayed by a family member, I remember my cousin so shamelessly taking my boyfriend from me; and how acceptant my family was of this. Narcissistic people never say sorry, and if they do they never mean it. They’re cold and disconnected only interested in themselves. And no matter how good of a person you are, or how much you claim to love them the moment you show you love them more than yourself they seem to lose interest. It’s such a power struggle. I have mixed feelings about commitment due this, there is some odd possessive mentality of owning a person just because they’re your partner. There’s nothing wrong with wanting companionship but commitment is not something that comes naturally to everyone. We were all raised differently. I think we want things without understanding what comes with it. I understand that infidelity happens a lot, I think most times people regret it only when they’re caught. Sometimes a guilty conscience might cause them to stop for a while. However, the underlining issue is still there and until the person clearly shows attempts to get therapy and deal with those issues it’s useless to think they’ll change. I do believe someone can change if they really want to, because as humans we look to evolve. However someone cheating is 100% on them, they choose to do that instead of talking about their issues. It doesn’t matter how much you may love them, infidelity is something we can’t always avoid. We often times rush the dating process not even getting to really know our selected partner. Get to truly know someone and don’t rush a title, don’t settle for someone out of fear of being alone. Because by the time the veil of fantasy lifts were left disappointed, not to mention our communication skills as people suck. We expect people to read our minds, holding things in until we can’t take it anymore. Sooo many relationship issues could’ve been easily avoided just by talking about it. If you feel scared, or as if you can’t talk to your partner eventually a wall starts to build creating an awkward distance.

A lot of men were not raised to talk about their feelings, and yet many women expect men to just change overnight with them. Most women think a man has to change for them, instead of maybe taking more time getting to know people before putting on a label. Putting pressure on someone to complete you instead of working on ourselves. We enforce these titles as if it gives us more worth, for years I’ve heard of the wife title battles. “If he loves you then he should put a ring on it”? I do understand that mindset because I once thought that. I used to say well if he loves me…. based off what? Some fairytale idea I had of love? Love is confusing and complex as hell, it’s selfless and no ones figured it out. Despite the apparent need to be married to one person for a long time, Marriage is a lot of fucking work. It is not always feeling butterflies, oftentimes throwing the word soul mate around. Most soul mates take a lot of work and dedication. Usually the spark feels lost, lack of communication begins and the idea that this may not be your soul mate enters your mind. Leaving you with a sense of wanting more. It can be beautiful to have that sense of undying love and stability, however life can come at you fast; and things you once thought are no longer valid. Things lose or gain importance and once kids are involved forget it, you and that person are tied forever. So even if you don’t like that person guess what? You have no choice but get used to their face if they’re man enough to stick around. The fact is we’re clueless when it comes to love, or what marriage is. For so many women getting married is a sense of accomplishment, as if a merit badge is won. For better or worst? Ok worst hits then what? Re posting wedding pictures as the happiest day of your life because every other day doesn’t live up to that? Disappointing for some. Truth is, all those voids we try to fill usually run dry. It’s complex, nothing is black or white. So you continue to search for yourself who you are, because things change, people change. We evolve, sometimes it’s our karma or our lesson.

It’s hard, it takes time but you deal with it, you start to understand their faults and your faults, why things happened the way they did. It’s all life lessons. All of this is steps towards the person you always wanted to be. Be patient with yourself, and be kind to yourself. The biggest heartbreak lead us to discovering the biggest love, which is the love for ourself. A deeper understanding of who we are and what type of love we want in life. So yea, I do think faithfulness is very hard to achieve but it is possible to find that commitment. One of the ways to help keep things in harmony is constantly checking in on each other, on what you both want to achieve individually and together. Making sure the doors of communication are always open regardless of feelings being hurt, and judgement; as hard as it may be it’s for the sake of your long term commitment and respect for each other. You can’t keep things to yourself and expect the other person to be this perfect version you have in your head. At the end of the day cheating happens, it sucks, it hurts and there’s endless reasons it could happen. For some it’s forgivable for others it’s not, it’s up to you to decide what works for you. Just don’t let it define you, your self worth is not how others make you feel.

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness

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