Doing some thinking today about cheating and relationships. I am trying to come to terms with feelings of anger and hurt that I have surrounding a relationship that ended, essentially, a year ago after I discovered that the person I was seeing for a year and a half had been less than honest about his interactions with others. I put it that way because we had a relationship that went through some changes that included us being open/poly towards the end of our time together…and yes, you can cheat when you’re in an open relationship.
I do differentiate between someone who has a one off lapse of judgement and cheats vs. someone who knowingly and purposely has intimate interactions with persons that he hides from his partner (s). It hurts to find out that your partner has slept with someone else but it’s a special kind of hurt to discover after a year and a half that you were deceived and manipulated in your relationship.
Someone who cheats and is caught quickly (or admits to it) shows a lack of judgement, possibly could be a liar … but it could also be just “one of those things” that happen. We all make stupid decisions sometimes and everyone deserves a second chance I believe.
However, someone who cultivates a relationship based on lies, from day one, purposely hiding information and asking others to help keep secrets shows much more than bad judgement. That behaviour speaks to a person’s basic nature – to their character and to who they are in their core personality. Pathological liars will ALWAYS manipulate other people and situations to ensure that their needs and wants are satisfied – regardless of how much they hurt the people in their lives, even the people they “love”. When you find out that someone who you trusted for so long and that what they told you as truth was in fact all calculated deception it hurts on a level that is deep. The sad issue is that people like this will simply repeat the same behaviour again – with the next person.
It makes you question every aspect of your relationship. When they were going for coffee with that person, were they really? When they just went out for a movie with that person, did they really or was it more? Personally, it turned me into someone distrustful and jealous and petty as we tried to work through seeing what could be salvaged. The truth of the ensuing many months was that, for me, there is no coming back from that level of deception. I have forgiven and moved through issues of cheating in other relationships but this was different. This spoke to my very ability to trust *anything* that came out of this persons mouth. Without trust, there’s no way that a relationship can have any chance.
The mind moves on faster and easier than the heart; but eventually, the heart does catch on and let go. It hurts to lose what you thought you had but when the truth is that you never had what you thought you did… it’s no loss.