One of the most difficult things I struggled with when I was cheated on, was understanding the why. We had just come back from a romantic holiday throughout Europe and a friend’s wedding in Napa Valley. Our relationship was filled with happiness so I thought, and it appeared that we reached a new level of closeness and connection.
Perhaps I was blind. Perhaps he wanted to sabotage what we had. Perhaps it was the alcohol. I will never truly understand why. I’ve learned that what happened had nothing to do with me – and everything to do with him. But while he is 99% to blame for what happened, there is also the other 1% – the other woman.
In this particular case, the girl was a previous coworker of mine. When I found out, I felt anger towards her. But, through time that rage has turned into empathy. I’m pretty sure that healthy women who have a strong sense of self worth typically don’t share their body with men who don’t respect them. I don’t know her story or what happened to her in her past for her choose to do that. I can’t imagine it’s from a place of love and confidence though.
With infidelity, it is always about the person who is in the committed relationship. But the other person is by no means just an innocent bystander of the situation. It takes one person to decide that cheating is worth the thrill of the moment and the other person to decide to get involved with a taken man/woman.
Were we born monogamous creatures? No. However, we (many in society) have chosen to commit to monogamy. And the gift of being a human being is that we have the ability to make choices to give in to our animal instincts or not. The aftermath of cheating is an ugly one, and usually, never worth it.
Here is the letter I wrote to her after I found out what happened…
I have now heard the entire story of what happened that evening with you and X, and I’m not only beyond hurt, but disappointed. No, not because we have a close friendship, but because I believe there is a moral code between all women, one that we were born with. As much as we may try to silence it, make excuses to ignore it, or take substances to numb it – it’s still there.
My relationship has now come to an end. My family hurts. X has hit rock bottom. His family hurts. There have been so many tears and pain from not only us, but the people in our lives that love us. I want you to know, that your actions have had ripple effects, and has caused a lot of pain to good people.
I’m not blaming you – what happened would have occurred one day sooner or later in some form or another. But you do have a responsibility as a dignified human being. I am writing this to you not because I hate you, but because I hope, that in the future, if the moment presents itself where there is a taken man, no matter how happy or unhappy he is, how sober or intoxicated he is, you remember the power you have to be a part of destroying someones life, or not.
I know you are a good person, and never had intentions of causing harm. But your decisions define you. I hope, for the sake of other women and their families, that you make a better one next time.
Photo credit: Stacy Bauer