Not the kind of cheating that you do in an exam or when you’re playing scrabble, the cheating on your partner kind of cheating. Affairs. Its on my mind at the moment because this week one of my friends has found out that her husband of 10 years is on a dating website and is cheating on her. Another has admitted that she has been having an affair and cheating on her boyfriend of 3 years for the last 7 months.
I wish I could say this shocked me, but it doesn’t. There are 3 sides to every affair and I’m not really proud to say that I’ve been on 2 of them.
I’ve been the one who has been cheated on. The one who wasn’t loved enough for their partner to not have sex with someone else while living with them. This hurts just as much as you’d expect it to, and perhaps more. I’m very cynical about this now and think I’d find it hard to trust anyone again. Obviously, I understand why it happened and I’m not actually bitter about it any more. Just because I understand and can forgive the other person though doesn’t mean I don’t think about it, and that it doesn’t occupy a place in my life. It does, just not as badly as it once did.
I’ve also been the other woman. I was single at the time, he was married. This should have bothered me a lot more than it did but I was 20 and it was flattering and no, I didn’t feel bad about his wife at all. To be honest I still don’t feel really bad, I have no fairytale idea that I was the only one he cheated with. They are still together now and I have no doubt that he has cheated numerous times in the 20 years he has been together. Shame but there you go.
I’ve never been in a relationship with someone and had an affair. I’ve never been on that third side, and I am proud to say that. I’ve never even kissed someone else while I’ve been in a relationship. I don’t think I could. To me, if you’re with someone and you love them then you won’t cheat. If you want to kiss / have sex with / whatever with someone else then that should tell you that you’re current relationship is not working and you should deal with that before you do anything else. Unless you are a lovely poly person or in an open relationship, neither of which apply to me so I can’t really comment.
Honesty in a relationship is hugely important. I do feel sorry for the people in my life who are in these complicated situations in their relationships. The woman who has found out her husband is cheating is in denial, somewhere that I remember being very clearly, I couldn’t have been told it at the time and seh can’t be told it now. She’ll realise one day that there is no point in settling, but right now she is panicking and not wanting to let go of what she thought she had. I don’t know what to say to the other person who is cheating because I actually don’t understand that mindset at all. I understand being unhappy, but not making someone else unhappy as well.
I wonder how my 2 friends lives will pan out over the next few months. I’m trying not to get too involved with either of them, selfishly I can’t face looking after other people again. Mean, huh?