Before my shameful act of cheating, I never really understood why people cheat in the first place.
I always believed in honesty, transparency, respect, and commitment, and I would always tell my best friend that I would never choose to be somewhere in between all that – to be a cheater.
I believed with all my heart that I would never decide to cheat on someone who has selflessly given me his heart to take care of it.
Multiple times I said:
I would rather be miserable and alone for the rest of my life than cheat on someone because I’m either with that person or I’m not.
If I’m not happy, I’ll break up with them, move forward, and do whatever I want, but I won’t cheat as long as I’m in a serious relationship with my significant other who trusts me.
I guess the first time I said it, I wasn’t even aware of the real difficulty of that statement and the fact that it is easier said than done.
But, “lucky me,” now I can tell with certainty that sometimes the words that come out of our mouths simply cannot be trusted.
I cheated on my boyfriend even though my whole life I was against cheating and for living by principles of trust and commitment.
But, life is unpredictable and the truth is that both men and women cheat and, in most cases, it’s not because they wanted to, but because something broke in them and they couldn’t find a way to deal with it.
Because something was missing, so they ended up in a labyrinth of infidelity.
My Cheating Experience
To help you understand my cheating experience in full, I’ll first give you an insight into my past relationship.
My boyfriend and I had been together for a year or so and from the day we met, everything was just perfect (until it wasn’t).
He was really caring, he’d always go out of his way to make me feel special (both through text messages and in real life) and we had this incredible chemistry like high school teenagers.
He was genuinely a great guy.
We’d finish each other’s sentences, laugh about stupid things, and just enjoy life as every other couple at the beginning of a relationship.
Every second spent with him was magical and I never even imagined cheating on him, let alone thought of actually doing it.
Until one day – or better said, until something happened, but I couldn’t really understand what was truly going on. I noticed that he suddenly changed.
He was no longer the same person I’d fallen in love with because he no longer cared about making an effort to keep things interesting, about affection and other romantic things related to a healthy relationship.
Texting became less frequent or non-existent and as time passed by, tons of other relationship problems emerged literally out of nowhere, and I had no idea what to do about all of it.
My self-esteem was really low, I felt miserable, and all I could think of was just: What should I do with my relationship?
I tried to talk to my partner to understand what was going on, but every time I did, he’d just pretend that everything was okay and that I was overreacting.
I guess he became too casual in our relationship and lost the sense of pursuing and valuing what we had.
It was really hard to deal with all of this and I started pulling away.
I still had feelings for him, but at the same time I cursed the day I met him and also hoped that maybe something would change.
I wasn’t ready to break up yet, but I also wasn’t happy in the relationship.
So, I just decided to pretend that I was alive and happy without really living and being happy.
Until I met him.
My former colleague introduced me to his friend one night when we were out for a drink and we instantly clicked.
We shared the same perspective on things, he was so gentlemanly caring, and he had this passion sparkling from his eyes that was slowly setting my body and mind on fire.
Even though it was really hard to resist the temptation, nothing happened that night, but we continued seeing each other.
Every time we were together, I felt more and more understood, cared, and simply alive again.
And at the same time, I was convincing myself that we were just friends and nothing more, and all this would stop soon because I couldn’t let myself lose control and do something stupid.
And then I did it. He invited me to his place, he cooked a delicious meal, treated me like a queen, and seduced me like a boss.
My attempts to resist it all were in vain, so I just surrendered and let the fiery passion lead the way.
And the next day, when I realized what had just happened, that I cheated on my boyfriend, my world collapsed.
I felt like the biggest coward in the world because I was too weak to move on from my current relationship, despite being evidently unhappy.
The only emotions that I felt were confusion and hatred toward myself, my toxic relationship, and love in general.
And in case you’re wondering whether I repeated my sinful act again: Nope, I didn’t. It was a one-off thing.
There wasn’t a second time or any time after that. The cheating act in itself was not that painful, but coping with it afterward is what breaks you.
So, here are some things that I’ve learned from my cheating experience.
I CHEATED ON MY BOYFRIEND AND HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED FROM IT
1. “Just forgetting about it” is not on the table
I bet the first thought of every cheater out there is: How do I delete this and how do I get rid of this feeling of guilt and betrayal? (Or, at least, that’s how I felt.)
So, is it possible to simply delete your cheating moment from your history and continue living your life as if nothing happened? No, it’s not.
Even if the act of cheating wasn’t done to purposefully hurt someone, even if you weren’t aware of what you were doing and where things were heading, you still did it.
It’s done. It’s real. And every single action in our life has a reaction, aka consequence.
Even if you decide to destroy all the evidence, delete their number, apply some voodoo magic that will reset your consciousness (like in the movie Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), you still won’t be able to forget about it because you will still have the act of cheating stored in your memory.
Now, you have all the right in the world to act as if nothing happened and wait for the moment of obliviousness to kick in, but speaking from my personal experience, I think that’s mission impossible.
As a matter of fact, the more we try to suppress something and fight it, the more it will fight back to appear on the surface.
Our subconsciousness is a really powerful thing and we simply cannot trick our brain to believe something that’s not true.
And sometimes that’s a good thing because it just shows you that you’re only human after all.
It teaches you to deal with the consequences of your actions.
2. The guilt will impact your relationship (even if you don’t get caught)
If you’re not a serial cheater, the chances of your partner learning about your infidelity are really low.
I cheated once and didn’t get caught, and for a moment I thought that this is actually a good thing because maybe, somehow magically, I could just forget about it and continue being in a relationship as if nothing happened.
But, the feeling of guilt and turmoil was really strong within me.
So, I found myself apologizing to my partner for the most trivial things that I would never apologize for before.
I also started constantly accusing him of random things he did, regardless of the situation and whether they were really worthy of mentioning.
And then I realized that this wasn’t me but my guilty conscience.
The guilt inside me forced me to apologize for trivial things because by doing so, I was subconsciously apologizing for my infidelity without even being aware of it.
Locking eyes with your partner also feels really weird because every time you look them in the eye, you feel as if your soul starts to cry, as if you’ve done something so terribly wrong that killed your partner and the relationship you’re still in (even if your relationship died a long time ago).
And you can’t help but constantly analyze everything that happened in the hope that you’ll find a reason to justify your shameful act.
And while you’re constantly lost in your thoughts, you risk your partner noticing it and demanding to know what the hell is going on.
So, you have two options:
Continue pretending as if nothing happened – that you’re PMSing or having other female difficulties – or tell them what happened and hope for the best (if you still care about your partner and fixing your broken relationship).
But, keep in mind that even if you come clean, trust issues will remain for a long time in a relationship.
3. There’s a reason WHY you did this
Many people think that cheating just happens and the person who cheated did it on purpose for the sake of hurting their partner or fulfilling their selfish desires.
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t people like this, but in the majority of cases (and in my case), cheating is an act of trying to fill the void caused by being in an unhappy relationship.
And by saying this, I’m not trying to justify my or any other cheater’s behavior.
I’m just trying to point out that the roots of cheating are much deeper than we think.
There’s a reason why you cheated on your partner and that reason is buried deep down in your heart.
In order to understand things better, you need to think about what has changed in your relationship, what’s missing, and how you feel about all that?
Are you feeling lonely, disrespected, unnoticed, unappreciated, unworthy of love?
In my case, I felt like there was something missing in my relationship because there were no longer meaningful conversations, physical affection, surprising of each other, and all those little things that end up meaning a lot.
And even though I tried to explain this to my partner, he wouldn’t want to listen to me, or he agreed but never really did anything about it.
And that was the reason why I also withdrew and stopped making an effort in our relationship.
That was the reason I cheated. I wasn’t ready to move on, but I wasn’t happy either.
It felt like I was stuck in this awful nightmare and the only thing that woke me up from it for a second was my cheating act.
When you realize what the real reason behind your infidelity is, you can make things right by gradually changing things in your relationship, if it’s possible.
If it’s not, then you should think about going separate ways because there’s no point in staying in a relationship that has no perspective or future, that makes you feel genuinely unhappy.
( I wish someone told me that before I cheated.)
4. You will feel like the shittiest person in the world
Even if there’s a valid reason for you cheating on your partner, you still feel like the shittiest person in the world.
Why? Because you betrayed their trust and you did something you wouldn’t want your partner or anyone else to do to you.
Even though I was really mad at the whole situation and my ignorant partner, that didn’t help me feel indifferent about my cheating moment.
I felt really sad, confused, and bad about myself, thinking:
How could I’ve done such a thing when my whole life I was preaching the total opposite?
All this time I supported truth, commitment, and honest relationships, just to end up being a cheater.
The worst thing about it all is that even if your partner knows about it all and forgives you, you still can’t forgive yourself.
I’ve always been my own biggest critic and that’s one of the reasons why I can’t accept the fact that I let myself do something really stupid.
My biggest critic inside me made me feel like I’m the shittiest person in the world and I didn’t even want my partner to ever forgive me because I would never be able to forgive myself.
This feeling of being a loser becomes a part of your daily life.
As you’re walking down the street, you often feel like everyone is pointing fingers at you, reminding you that you’re a cheater, liar, and someone who cannot be trusted.
And it’s not that you aren’t already doing the same to yourself.
It’s not that you’re not reminding yourself of your sinful act from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you fall asleep at night.
But, over time, it gets easier.
With time, you accept the fact that you made a mistake (if it can even be called that) and you’re terribly sorry for it, but still this doesn’t change anything.
5. It doesn’t mean that you’ll cheat again
I’m pretty sure that you’re familiar with that famous phrase: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”
While there is some truth to it, it still isn’t completely valid and it demands an extensive discussion.
The fact that you cheated on someone once doesn’t mean that you’ve just earned a badge with the name “cheater” that will follow you for the rest of your life.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll cheat on your every future partner.
I can confirm this from the viewpoint of my case. I’ve cheated only once in my whole life and I doubt that I’ll ever repeat it again because:
a) I feel terribly sorry for it, and
b) I learned valuable lessons from it and am not planning on doing the same shit again.
And in my circle of friends, there are plenty of other people who cheated only once and swore that they’d never do the same thing again because now they understand what they ought to do if faced with the same situation.
So, if you’ve just cheated on your boyfriend or if you ever do in the future, know that this doesn’t mean that you’ll repeat it again and that you’ve become the ultimate cheater who’s going to ruin every single one of your future partners’ lives.
It may sound weird, but the only positive thing about my cheating experience is that I’m glad I realized the real weight of it and I’m one hundred percent sure that I won’t do it ever again.
If you realize the same, then you know you’re doing the best you can and you’re not a creep who doesn’t give a damn about how others feel.
6. Cheating impacts your behavior in future dating and relationships
Guilt is a powerful feeling that can stay present even years after the act and, in some cases, for a lifetime.
It all depends on how sensitive you are and how you’re coping with the consequences of your actions.
This guilty conscience might impact your behavior in future dating and relationships.
For example, if you feel like you should be punished for what you did to your ex, you subconsciously choose toxic and manipulative men for the sake of being hurt by them, because you feel like you deserve it.
You might have difficulties finding someone who treats you right because of feelings of being unworthy of their love, attention, and respect.
And that’s how you may find yourself ending up in another labyrinth of toxic men just because you aren’t able to forgive yourself for your past actions.
Also, you don’t have the strength to tell your potential partners that you were once involved in cheating because you’re afraid of scaring them away and ruining everything before it has even begun.
This dark shadow of “once a cheater” can greatly influence your future love life, but as with every other thing in life:
Time heals everything
When you’re feeling hopeless and like nothing will change no matter what you say or do, remember that time heals everything.
I know it probably sounds cliché (because it did to me before), but it’s true.
There are some things in life that you can’t erase, undo, or change, and the only thing that can is TIME.
Time brings us wisdom, understanding, and patience. It has the power to heal us and those we hurt.
Because time understands. Whatever happens in life, the only thing that’s always constant is time. We cannot see it. We cannot influence it.
All we can do is live and believe that it’s doing its magic and changing us into better and wiser people than we were before.