I recently had a reader reach out to me about her past relationship and how it ended. She had reached out to me when I posted about forgiveness – she had for sometime been struggling with forgiving someone that had cheated her. When I read this reader’s story, I was saddened by how people use love to manipulate and use others for their benefit without a thought of the hurt and brokenness they leave in their wake. While working on what I was going to write this week, I looked closely at the story of this dear reader and conversations I had had with friends as well as my own experiences and realised that when it came to a cheating partner, no one and nothing prepares you for what to do after the betrayal of a partner. I have a friend who is a fan of forensic shows and she always tells me how many times people murder their partners because they had found a new person or one suspects their partner of cheating. My friend always says that cheating is dangerous because it can lead to murder – she always asserts that when one is done with a relationship, they should end it before entering a new one.
My reader talked about how her ex abandoned her during a season of loss in her life – she had lost her mother and her ex disappeared from her life during that season with no explanation. She had expected that he would be at the funeral but he never showed up and when she later confronted him, he advised that his mother was ill. She decided to visit him after the funeral and it was then that she realised that he was at home with another woman and his mother was probably never ill. This guy would then proceed to drive this reader our of his house because the other woman was in his home. She requested for her things which were being kept in his home and he happily went into the house and brought her stuff out for her to take away – she expressed that she was very shocked that without any provocation, he would treat her with such hostility. She further narrates that he came back to her a couple of weeks after asking her to leave his home and this time he asked her to marry him! However, the marriage proposal came with a condition – he wanted our reader to take out a loan for the wedding because he was having financial trouble. She did not accept the proposal because she did not want to take out the loan only to hear a few months later that he had married the other woman she met in his home after her mother’s funeral.
As I read her story, the writing on the wall was clear – he was going to con her out of her money to use on the wedding between him and the other woman. She had reached out because she had struggled to forgive but forgetting what had happened was not something she could see happening any time soon – I totally understood her. I had this reader in mind when I wrote a couple of weeks ago about people starting relationships with no intention of staying faithful – to me she had found herself at the mercy of an emotionally abusive person who did not care about her well being as long as he got what he wanted. My dear reader explained that for months she was depressed and needed counselling to get through what had happened. My question was how does one move on from such a betrayal? Many people have been left with defensive ‘walls’ around their hearts and it is almost impossible for them to open themselves up because of their fear of being hurt again as a result of someone cheating on them.
I had a friend who years ago had his wife step out on him in their marriage – I was there when he broke down. I had never seen him like this and it was heartbreaking to watch. For two years his wife had used the excuse of going to work to spend time with another man – a man she had introduced to her husband as an old friend. The truth only came out when one of their children found their mother in a compromising situation on an outing with his friends. For this man he felt angry and hurt – he explained that he wanted to stay in the marriage for the sake of their children but he could not stomach to live in the same home with this woman who had betrayed him in this way. The marriage ended in divorce and a lengthy custody battle – so many heartbreaks in the process and a broken home was the end result. He was bitter for a long time and now very cautious and doesn’t want to get into a new relationship.
There are many stories of people who have been betrayed in this way and I have experienced this betrayal also. Moving on from someone who cheated on you is very difficult and takes a long time to get your confidence back and trust people again. I once dated someone who started pursuing someone I knew – he eventually got this person pregnant whiles I dated him. I was hurt and angry he would do this – I felt I was not enough and this thought would bounce around in my head for years until I saw the issue as not being my fault. I have always wanted to understand these people who cheat on their partners and why they would hurt people in this way. Why would someone start a relationship with another person when they are already in a relationship?
Many people have experienced this betrayal and I would love to hear from you if you have been in this situation and how you healed and moved on. If you have been a victim of this behaviour then I hope you found/find the healing you needed and if you have been hurting people in this way, then please think of how your actions are affecting the people involved. I would love to hear from you – please get in touch and share your story. Lets effect the change we need by sharing out experiences.