Cheating On My Ex-Boyfriends
I’ve had four ex-boyfriends and I cheated on every single one of them.
It was always the same story—I’d fall in love quickly and commit just as fast. I figured it’s fine if I didn’t know them well, love overcomes all and problems can be worked out.
But really, I was using these boys as a crutch to deal with my personality flaws, and I wrecked my ex-boyfriends in the process.
Rationalising what cheating meant
“I’m a great friend but I’m terrible at relationships,” I’d explain to my girlfriends, whenever I ended a relationship.
They’d nod sympathetically over our glasses of wine, and their agreement made my cheating seem justifiable. If I admitted my flaws, I believed, it made it okay because I wasn’t a hypocrite.
Whenever I saw other attractive men, I’d flirt with them. Most of the time, they’d kiss me back but I’d draw the line at sleeping with them. I thought if I didn’t have sex with another, it wouldn’t count as cheating.
I rationalised: physical cheating didn’t matter because emotional cheating was the ‘only valid form of cheating’. Only if I developed feelings would it count as a betrayal.
These falsehoods I told myself helped me lie to my partners. But the truth is, I enjoyed keeping them in the dark. I wanted my cake and to eat it too.
Monogamy as a social construct
Sometime before the cheating began, I asked my partner, “Babe, have you ever thought of having a polyamorous relationship?”
Having one partner didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t see why I should only stick to one person when I felt sharing my body was no big deal.
But the real reason why I didn’t like the idea of monogamy was that I wasn’t ready to settle down. I had committed without truly understanding what commitment entailed.
In my deepest desires, I thought I deserved better.
Managing a superiority complex
I didn’t see men as people, I saw them as prizes. I’d only fall in love with the idea of them and couldn’t fall in love with their flaws because I thought myself better.
By placing myself on a pedestal, it eventually built up resentment. “They’re not good enough for me,” I told myself, “You deserve more.”
Eventually, these ideas led me to lash out my unhappiness at them and justified my verbal and emotional abuse.
Abusing my partners
Because they loved me, they’d chalk up my ‘bad behaviour’ to a bad day. By repeatedly letting it slide, it normalised the abuse.
My behaviours diminished how much I cherished, valued and respected them. I knew I was mistreating them but I couldn’t stop—I enjoyed making them feel like crap so I could make myself feel better.
All this anger stemmed from a deep resentment of myself. The negative, suppressed anger came out in spurts and I’d vent out on the easiest outlet.
Developing A Healthier Attitude Toward Relationships
And then we’d break up. I’d confess having cheated on them and we’d try to fix the relationship. Cheating became no big deal because I knew I’d always be given another chance.
But eventually, it’d fall apart and I’d move on to the next guy.
When this happened again with my last ex-boyfriend, he snapped. Unwilling to compromise on his values, he broke up with me even though we still loved each other very much.
That’s when I realised I had to break the vicious cycle. My self-destructive habits were not only affecting my romantic relationships but my family and friends too.
I realised the selfish tendencies stemmed mostly from a lack of self-love and seeking validation from an external source, so I focused on fixing myself first.
Some days I mess up but it’s alright, everything takes time. Every day, I try my best to become a better person. Hopefully, someday, I’ll become the person my partner deserves.
If you’re cheating or have cheated on your partner, know they don’t deserve this. In a relationship, trust and open communication are key. Do them and yourself a favour, stop.
Cover image: source