“When we seek the gaze of another it isn’t always our partner that we are turning away from, but the person we have become. It isn’t so much that we are looking for another person as much as we are looking for another self.” -Esther Perel: Rethinking infidelity… a talk for anyone who has ever loved (Ted Talks, download the app if you don’t already have it)!!
WOW! My mind has been a complete tangled up mess the past couple of months. I have a few posts saved in my drafts that I never actually published because they were very personal, and too depressing. So much has happened I just needed a place to put my thoughts so I wouldn’t go insane. Things are starting to sort themselves out, now that there are no more secrets.
All I have to say is.. infidelity is one area you never want to find yourself in. It’s like a run-down neighborhood. It just looks sketchy from the outside, but once you put yourself in that town.. it all goes downhill from there. Luckily, there is an exit sign nearby and you just have to run as fast as you can to get to it. Although it may seem like you are running as fast as you can and you are getting absolutely nowhere, soon enough you will be so far from that town, and you will never have to look back.
Infidelity is a very controversial topic. Now days, people have so much pride that they convince themselves they don’t have to be part of that relationship once the going gets tough. They don’t have to feel the emotional pain of being hurt. This is the era where we feel that we deserve to be happy, which can be a problem on both sides of that deceptive looking fence.
For the deceiver (aka the cheater), most people assume they had some evil agenda and that they don’t give a shit about hurting the other person. But, contrary to what you may believe.. that is hardly the case. At least not in this situation, and I now believe that is not the case in many situations. There are many reasons people stray- and that reason mostly comes down to desire. It could be they are seeking desire for attention, affection, to bring back a feeling that they thought was no longer there.. that they thought they’d never feel again, to feel important, desire for mystery, novelty, excitement.. the list goes on.
I’m not saying these “reasons” make it okay to cheat. I’m saying, before you go and completely cut someone out of your life, maybe you should try to understand why they did it.. and then decide whether you want to go on hating them, or perhaps turn a crisis into an opportunity.
The deceived- the truth is, no matter what your (ex) lover tells you, you will not believe a word they say. You want to think the worst, you want to hate them because they threatened your entire sense of trust, they threatened your emotional security. Nothing they say will make it better because you absolutely cannot fathom how someone could do this to someone they love. It is simply unforgivable, and often it is left at that.
But this does no good- for either party. Because the truth is, the “deceiver” may not have had the intention of cheating. They may not have even been looking. But for some reason, the predator and prey come face to face. From there, things go the way neither of them had planned. This leaves the unfaithful one with immense feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, confusion, apathy, and worst of all- fear.
On the other side of the fence is their loved one. They find out what happens and immediately they are crushed. They react with anger, hostility, hatred, and also with fear. They lash out, they think they must hurt the other person so that the other person can feel what they are feeling, so that they know the pain they have caused. But all they are doing is opening up old wounds, while inflicting more pain on themselves.
Both people suffer. It is a death by a thousand cuts. The deceiver swears they will never make this mistake again. Because they never want to feel, or for anyone else to feel this pain. This one incident will now haunt them for the rest of their lives. For the deceiver- they will feel they can never love again, because they simply don’t deserve to be loved. They deserve every bad thing that comes their way. They feel they deserve no respect or even have to right to demand respect. If they ever did love again, how would this one mistake affect their future relationship? The past will now always interfere.
On the bright side, for the one who was deceived.. they will be able to learn, and grow. They will be able to love again. It may be hard at first but it is possible. Their past won’t interfere with their future in such a negative way. Yes, they may have trust issues.. but they won’t have to feel the burden of being the one who ripped the trust away in the first place.
The unfaithful one, they were unfaithful once.. that doesn’t mean they are going to do it again. They crossed a line that they never intended to cross, and they feel completely and utterly sorry. They feel terrible all on their own without the help of outsiders making sure they feel terrible. They know what they did was wrong. They know that it was the worst mistake they could’ve ever made, but it happened.. and as much as they want to take it back, they can’t.
To the deceiver: The most important thing about it all is that you learned from it. That you make a commitment to yourself to never let it happen again. Because now you no, no matter how right it may feel at the time, it is not worth it. Not at all. Now it is time to accept that the damage has been done, and now you must do everything you possibly can to fix it.
You must realize, it’s not too late for you. You can make a change. You can remind yourself of your morals and values once more.. and tell yourself, this time you are not going to break them, you can only strengthen them. Not for your significant other, not for your family, or their family, or any of your friends.. but for yourself.
Step away from the people who are constantly trying to bring you down because you made one mistake that you know you are sorry for. You are feeling low enough, you don’t need that extra negativity to bring you down further. Surround yourself with those who continue to support you in this confusing, awful time.. those who give you unconditional love. It’s okay for them to admit what you did was wrong, and you didn’t make a good decision, but it’s important that they remember who you always have been, and always will be regardless of that rough patch in your life.
Most importantly, remember that you are capable of resiliency. You’ve gone through so much in your life, what’s one more obstacle? You’ve made achievements, you’ve been successful at some point in life. You are capable of loving again. We are all capable of love. We all deserve a fresh start.. “A world without love is a deadly place” – Helen Fisher.
One last quote:
“The hardest task one can have is to continue to love one’s fellows despite all reasons he should not. And the true sign of sanity and greatness is to so continue. For the one who can achieve this, there is abundant hope. For those who cannot, there is only sorrow, hatred and despair. And these are not the things of which greatness, or sanity or happiness are made. A primary trap is to succumb to invitations to hate…
When cruelty in the name of discipline dominates a race, that race has been taught to hate. And that race is doomed. The real lesson is to learn to love” – L. Hubbard
A note to the one who was deceived: You should know, your project hasn’t failed. You have changed the life of another without even realizing how much of an impact you hold on them. They will never forget you. The lessons you taught were a blessing. The most important one was looking past the external pressures of society and finding the beauty within each and every thing. Your drive, intelligence, and understanding are your most admirable traits, and anyone would be lucky to have you.