*photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels
A few weeks ago, I sought out to learn about WHY people cheat. It was the motivation, not the action, that interested me, so I put up a poll on Facebook, and the confessions started rolling in.
We published one piece so far, from the “other woman”’s perspective. Take a read here if you haven’t already. This week, we’re getting the “cheater”’s perspective, but it’s probably not what you think. Reality shows, Jerry Springer and b-movies have taught us that people, especially men of the heterosexual persuasion, cheat out of some compulsion, that they just can’t help themselves and there’s not much else to it. But that’s an oversimplification because when it comes to something as complex as sexuality and romantic love, there’s always more to the story.
So today we’re sharing the story of cheating regret. This confession is honest and anonymous, and sheds light on the complexity that comes with relationships, and how sometimes when you’re trying to protect someone’s feelings you can end up hurting them, and yourself, more than you thought possible.
I had been in an 8 year relationship with a devoutly religious girl from a very traditional background (that doesn’t allow dating… or marrying outside of the religion). Despite trying our best to convince her parents to let us be together it never happened, and we had to meet up in secret for years. Eventually, it hit a point where, although we loved each other and didn’t want to end it, it was stagnant and hopeless for years.
When I attempted to broach the conversation of “maybe this isn’t working, maybe we should move on” she would passively threaten suicide (although I honestly don’t think she was trying to be manipulative, rather she has never been in this situation before and was being honest about how she felt)
After this, a part of me snapped and I entered a state of at once feeling as though I loved her tremendously, but also feeling this incredible, overbearing doom and depression.
Into this mix, I met a friend of a friend who, while not in the same situation, was in a similar situation of believing she loved who she was with but realizing that this dream of a life together was untenable.
We grew close, first on supporting each other through this strange place that we had found ourselves in (a place none of our friends has any experience with, and as such were unable to understand), and then into intimacy, something we had both been starved from.
This went on for some time before she moved away, I finally got the guts to officially end [my relationship], and although terrible it didn’t end in suicide. I fell out of touch with the person I’d been seeing and, realizing what I had done, fell into a deep depression and have never really escaped from it – 8 months later I’m only starting to recover and I still don’t know what to make of what I had done.
The major TL:DR I guess is that, in my case and in many cases of cheating I know of, it comes from a perception (real or imagined) of being equally trapped and unfulfilled. Some people even convince themselves that it’s ok to do or that it’s their right – I can’t speak to that experience and I guess I should at least be happy I’m not that far gone? And to reiterate, I do not feel ok at all about what I did. It was an act that I honestly believed I would never ever do – and then there I was.
Now that you’ve read what I’ve read, maybe you’re feeling a semblance of the shock I felt, because my heart went out to this person. I could feel their guilt and heartwrenching pain through their words. I’ve always had a pretty black and white mentality when it came to cheating, but stories like these are a reminder that humanity is flawed and fragile. We do our best to be strong and perfect, but life doesn’t always let us.
I wished this person well and hoped that their confession lifted some weight from their conscious. They’re currently on a path to their own healing and hope that in sharing their story that some people can learn from it, and some good can come from their painful experience.
Got a cheating confession to share? Send us a message through our Facebook page.