A relationship: The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
Growing up, this was not a new concept to me. I have watched marriages fail around me because someone was unfaithful. Greed, lust and money all played into the game as women and men clamored for attention to get to the top of that pyramid. In this day, nobody cares for principles, commitment,or vows. They craved for the rush of something new, a faster upbeat new model, or at least one that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Regardless the cost, or elimination of human relationships. Nothing stood in their way.
Idealism had kept me sheltered, intact with my blurred childhood. It came with the idea that cheating was often bound to mostly marriages, and with the concept that being in a cheating relationship probably didn’t hurt as much as being in a cheating marriage, which had the ties of relatives who talked, a purchased home with financial and legal obligations, children and so on. Media and movies over the years have also honed my stereotypes of men being led astray, prone to cheating because of their biological make up to procreate the earth, humanistic-ally to continue their line of genetic material.
As i grew up, i wondered where that happy ever after went to, considering all the Disney princesses always ended up in a beautiful gown with beady eyes, mesmerized at their prince charming, while the narrate went, “and they lived happily ever after“. It wasn’t till many thoughts and years later that it came to my attention that children had something in common with adults, and that is that they only see, and hear, what they want to.
Take for an instance, Grandma Willow who warned us subtly about life. Did we notice it? I sure didn’t.
She had it right, knocked hard. The right path is never the easiest one most of the time.
I guess if you were really hungry, or starving, you would eat that chocolate bar in the pantry because you knew the person should have known better than to forget to label it, right? Even if it was labelled, there were 12 other colleagues in the office at that time. Who could pinpoint you? No one would know, right? Yeah. Totally. Have a break, have a kit kat. Smeared on someone else’s wife. Or girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or husband. Whichever determined your line of what it meant to be a professional home wrecker.
But when you cheat, did you ever wonder what you’re really throwing away? The years built with that someone, the familiar feeling of that someone in your life, marking their days with yours, emotionally investing in you, selflessly. I wonder, honestly, do people ever realize the infinitely different sorts of pain and questions you put someone through when you cheat on them? If you knew me in real life, you’d know through my experiences of being a into a shell of a girl,confrontation is never my strong suit, avoidance being key in my personal relationships. But yet, when I think of cheating, I wonder- was it that hard to just break up with someone?
Was it that hard to be responsible enough to end your commitment, before you choose to take up another?
It’s like borrowing a library book. There’s a due date. You know there’s a due date. If you needed another book, you have to return the other, because there’s a limit of how many books you can borrow at the same time.
I’m sure we’re all law abiding citizens who return our library books on time, right?
We have to be realistic here. Forever only means forever when people do not change. But change is inevitable, and so are people. The only hope we can deal with in good foundations with strong relationships is if we embrace change and grow together, apart. Consistently coming back to realign the direction in which it means to be a ‘we’ than a ‘me’.
To break stereotypes and challenge them, I’ve had two male friends who had their hearts broken in the last two years by long term relationships with their ex-girlfriends. It came to me like a wave of confusion, shock and disbelief. Why are, more and more women cheating?
As I watched my friends share their horror stories, masking their pain for male pride, I pondered. As a woman, and a friend of these two- for years, I might add. I stopped to ponder how scary it would be if I in turn turned out to be just like these women. Always straying my eyes to a better future with a different man, always thinking of cheating without getting caught, and always hurting others than hurting myself, simply because I was only thinking of myself. My needs. My wants. My expectations.
I then decided, if I didn’t want any girl to do that to the people I loved so much in my life, I wouldn’t be that kind of girl.
To the people out there who blamed it on circumstance, on booze and on impulse-Cheating isn’t something that happens because of its confusion for feelings or being a spur of the moment. It is an active, conscious decision to cheat.
Cheating is a selfish act of self preservation of the human heart. Or wanting to find out what the grass was like on the seemingly greener side. Can I blame you for wanting more? No. But I then know that you have given me a green pass, to leave you behind without looking back, without the option of a second chance. My mother once said, “Once a cheater, always a cheater”.
“Do you want her back?” I ask.
Before he could answer, the other man on the adjoining table said. “If you did that man, no offense but- I’d lose all respect for you.
Because you deserve better.”
Getting hurt is part of life’s unruly way of imparting lessons.
It might suck now. But I guess only time will tell. And only time can heal.