I used to believe in love, romance, and fairy tales. I believed that I would meet someone and our love would be indescribable. We would be compared to our grandparents, the love of the decade. The man I would grow old with would compliment my crazy; he would love my quirks and my family. I thought that you could be this person.
Our story didn’t grow to love or devotion, but it was on the same path. It was still new and exciting. We liked everything about each other because they were different than what we had experienced before. I was so excited to thrive in this new relationship—I was finally getting my chance. Then I found out the truth: I was not the only woman you made feel this way. I was one of two, and thankfully, I was the option that discovered the truth early.
When you are cheated on, it is easy to blame yourself. Was my weight a factor? Did I stop being desirable? Did I do something wrong? Every single insecurity that you worked through is on the forefront and screaming, “I told you so.” Your self-doubt told you it was too good to be true. The hard part is that you were expecting it to fail, because it was so good. What you weren’t expecting was that it would end with cheating. That it would end with his hands on somebody else while you held yourself and cried.
I never expected to be cheated on so dramatically, but now that it’s happened, I have been changed. Trust will be so much harder to obtain. My heart is begging me to stop trying because each break hurts more; my gut is full of doubt when it used to be full of excitement. My relationships will change, my expectations are going to be different, and my life is now one that involves being cheated on, and that is something new to navigate.
I used to trust easily, apparently to a fault. I always wanted to believe that people are good and a fairy tale was possible. I’m not so sure about this anymore, but I do know that my guard is up. That brick wall surrounds me, armed with soldiers and caution. How can I trust another man? I never want to be the woman to search a phone or question my loved ones intentions, but now that feels so necessary. I wanted to be the girlfriend and wife that had no problems with boys nights, separate trips, and time apart. My gut now questions these things. Being betrayed did this to me, and that makes me angry. He stole my innocence and my ability to trust without proof. This has changed me.
My heart is also in a weird place right now. While not broken by a relationship, being broken by cheating hurts so much more. My self-love has been reduced and my already fragile heart has been lied to, and for that I am angry. The end of the relationship is no longer a factor for me—I’m glad to be done with someone who could do this to another person. You see, cheating makes you a coward. Regardless of the relationship dynamic, to climb into bed with someone while someone else trusts your faithfulness makes you a coward. Ending a relationship can be hard, and that is understandable, but cheating is a selfish act. I had just started to open my heart to you. This was hard for me. I had been broken before, so to trust again was scary. I pushed all my self-doubt away and decided to trust you. To believe that you were all in, that you could be my person, that this could be the real thing. This has changed me.
My gut is now in question on every decision. How did it not see this coming? The signs must have been there—they always are—but my gut was distracted by the butterflies you gave me. The feelings of potential and hope masked the long pauses, the lack of communication, and the apparently free time spent with her. I wish I could have obvious clues that would make things clearer, but I don’t. You didn’t hide your phone, you didn’t keep secrets about your past, we had bare bone and honest conversations about our exes. Still, somehow you managed to cheat on me without me knowing for weeks. You managed to break me down and cause me to second guess myself. This has changed me.
I hate that you changed me for the worse. I hate that there is doubt, dismay, and confusion. I hate that you took a trusting girl who was excited for love and life and betrayed her. You have changed me into someone that second guesses intentions, doubts her own worth, and feels so alone. Being cheated on has changed me, and for that I will never forgive you.