Being cheated on sucks. What also sucks, is being the person someone cheats on their girlfriend with. What sucks the most, is being the person a guy cheats on their girlfriend with, when you didn’t know the guy had a girlfriend.
I’m about a year out of my love triangle similar to Jen v. Brad v. Angelina. Except my guy didn’t end up leaving his girlfriend for me, and I’m pretty sure his girlfriend never found out that he cheated (multiple times). Lose-lose situation for all parties involved.
The thing about getting caught up in a relationship you know you’re not supposed to be in is just that: you get caught up. I know the typical responses to cheating. “If you’re so unhappy, why not just leave?” “What a total skank, do you have no respect for others?” But I realized in my situation that it’s often a lot more complicated than that.
For privacy concerns, I will refer to my cheater boy as “Mark.” Please do not try to internet stalk and kill Mark. Deep down he’s a good guy, I think?
I met Mark through work. We got drunk together one night. And we were mid-hookup when he stopped me and said, “You should know. I’m technically in a relationship. I haven’t talked to her in a couple of days, but I’m sorry, we shouldn’t do this.”
Douchey, but semi-commendable. Sort of. Everyone knows it’s a lot easier for things to escalate when alcohol is involved and there is a half naked girl in a guy’s bed. But you see, it didn’t matter that he told me that because I was already hooked. It was so weird to me. We had a great connection, so I followed my extremely selfish impulses and thought, “he has to feel this way about me too.”
This went on for a couple of months. Nothing would ever happen when Mark and I were sober because we do have some moral sense of standards, but every time we got drunk together, I would end up cussing him out or making out with him. Then we wouldn’t talk for three days. Then we would write novels about how “we can’t do this anymore,” and “it’s not fair to you,” and everything else that makes me want to bash my head against a brick wall while simultaneously having my eyes scratched out by newborn kittens.
What I found from indulging in this relationship is that it did far more damage to me than it did good. I was looking at things from a positive perspective, but now that I look back, I realize how truly awful it was. While I was in the midst, I thought to myself, “it’s so nice to finally have such a great connection with someone. He can’t run away from his feelings for me forever, I know he has them. They fight all the time, it won’t last and then it will all come together.” I thought I was incapable of having strong feelings for someone because I’ve dated one too many mean, assholes in my day. Not an ideal fit for an overly sensitive girl. What is also not an ideal fit for an overly sensitive girl? Having someone string you along, always telling you how great you are, only to always come up second best, and to be straight up ignored every time his girlfriend was in the same state.
So how do you recover from that kind of emotional damage? Don’t worry, internet trolls, I am fully aware that I am the only one to blame for this, and I should have to live with the repercussions. Burn me at the stakes. But I was having an extremely difficult time finding my way around this one. I was conflicted because apart from our sexual history, we were great friends. We ran around in the same friend group. He was there for me (most times) when I needed someone to talk to. So should I cut myself off from everyone I hang out with because of a stupid, selfish mistake?
I somehow, some way, found a way to forgive him because I do believe deep down he has a good heart, he just has a fucking stupid penis. And I forgave myself. I realized that it was normal for someone to feel lonely and to cling to things that didn’t make them feel so alone, even if they knew it was wrong. I learned to right my wrongs by holding myself accountable for things I did sober or drunk. I stopped having the impulse to hook up with this kid because once I forgave myself, I remembered what I had to offer someone. Despite some bad decisions, I have a big heart, and I’m a lot of fucking fun, so why would I put myself in a box for someone else who won’t appreciate me to my full capacity?
I also realized once I stopped worrying about him so much, how many hot guys lived in my city that were ready to chase me around. Meanwhile, he still fights with his girlfriend every other week. I hope it works out..
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