I got cheated on a month into dating my boyfriend. And I took him back.
Before this, I had never been cheated on or broken up with. That night, both happened to me and I found out through a phone call. There have been but a handful of times in my life where I felt emotional pain in such a physical way that it hurt to breathe. This was one of those nights. A sensation of shock and numbness overcame me to the point that the only thing I could say back was “okay, bye.”
He had cancelled plans he had with me for that day to go day drinking with a friend (who is a horrible influence when he is drunk and high). To save from the unnecessary details of how it all went down, my boyfriend had sex with a woman from a bar who was almost twenty years older than me. You can imagine the hurt and betrayal I felt, as well as being loaded with never-ending questions.
Why would he fuck someone else? Why was the sex I was having with him every day not good enough? Was alcohol and stress really a valid reason in his mind to cheat on me? Why would he tell me over the phone? Why couldn’t he face me to tell me what he had done? Didn’t I at least deserve that courtesy?
Let me back track for context.
My boyfriend and I met through a mutual friend named Chris. I met Chris through Tinder, we went on a “date” (for lack of better words), and decided we just wanted to be friends. About two weeks later, it was mid-June and Chris invited me to a friend’s birthday celebrations downtown. I would’ve known no one there except for Chris, who I still barely knew at the time. This is something I had never done before and I almost cancelled last minute. But I didn’t. This is the night I met my current boyfriend.
By no means was I looking for a relationship. I had just gotten out of a 3+ year relationship in April. My boyfriend and I hit it off at one of the bars, played arcade games there, had way too many drinks, and hooked up that same night.
I left and told him I had no desire to do it again. So we didn’t talk again (one on one) until mid-July when him, Chris, me and two friends did a weekend trip to Phoenix. Where we ended up hooking up. Again.
There was just something about him. The way I could be my raw, dark humored self with him, and we matched each other’s personalities and energies perfectly. In conversation. On the dance floor. While drinking. While sober. While shoving our faces with Taco Bell. Anything I said he would accept and validate. Not to mention the physical attraction.
By this point, my boyfriend had found out he was getting orders to move to Georgia. (The military loves to put a damper on relationships, doesn’t it??). We agreed to be friends with benefits for the next three-ish months until he had to move across the country.
Well, that lasted two weeks before we finally caved into the feelings we had for one another and began to date. Even in the two weeks where we were just sleeping together, we still spent quality time together. Getting to know one another. Opening up in extremely deep ways about anxieties, mental health struggles, our childhoods, what we want for our futures, and so much more. It just always naturally flowed. Not to mention the quality time we would spend together.
He would invite me over every day after work to spend time together, cook, watch stand-up comedies. He introduced me to all his friends. He talked to his parents about me. He would invite me anytime he went out with friends or there was a group hang out. And was openly affectionate with me in front of them. The bond we developed outside of the sex was unlike anything I had truly felt with a man before. The feelings hit hard. But because of his orders, we were suppressing the idea of trying a relationship. Even though we were basically dating. Which hurt. Like HELL.
He was the first man to every fully bring down my walls and accept me. When I hit depression spells, he would tell me to come over so he could cook me my favorite Puerto Rican meals from my childhood and just hold me. I never knew I could feel so seen, so heard, and want someone so badly.
So, we date for almost a month. Him, Chris and I all hang out. He even took me on a weekend trip to Los Angeles because I told him that I wanted to see California before I ever considered leaving Arizona.
You see where this is going?
Yup. There was already talk of him wanting me to follow him to Georgia. Wild! Especially since the relationship I just got out of was one where I followed my ex-boyfriend from Florida to Arizona (after over two years of dating).
Fast forward. Everything is great. Better than any relationship I’ve ever had. We are supposed to go to Utah for Labor Day weekend for some hiking and camping. The night before we are supposed to leave for the trip, he cheats on me.
Talk about coming outta left field! I was distraught. I thought to myself “is my radar that far off?”
The night he cheats on me, he called me almost right after to confess and to break up with me.
Chris and I decided to still do the trip to Utah, which I couldn’t be more grateful for. It was the most beautiful and therapeutic experience of my life. When I came back from Utah, I decided to meet up with my boyfriend and hear him out.
He explained the self-doubts he was having. How he felt like no woman could ever truly love him because of his past. How he figured I didn’t really love him and how I would just end up leaving him anyways. How he believed he was going to ruin things eventually. Those heavy insecurities and doubts, mixed with alcohol and a bad influence of a friend, is what pushed him over the edge to be self-destructive that night. To self-sabotage.
There’s no excuse for cheating. Ever. Let me make that clear. But understanding why you acted a certain way it the first step to rectifying behaviors.
I could relate because I have been a self-sabotager my entire life. Never to the point of cheating on someone, but I have hurt my fair share of people with self-destructive habits of pushing away those who cared about me. I could relate. Despite being hurt, I understood. Above all, he was honest with me.
A few days later, I told him I would forgive him. I let him take me out for a date. It was awkward at first. It got better, then it got worse as the night went on. I couldn’t help but bring it up and ask my questions. It was still plaguing my head every day. We stopped walking in the middle of downtown where he broke down to me again about how sorry he was. How if I give him this chance, he would be that last love I would ever need in my life. He let me vent angrily and accepted everything I had to say. Validated my feelings. Sat in the car with me afterwards, forehead to forehead, talking deeply and rawly. Getting everything off my chest helped solidify the forgiveness process.
Frankly, it still does cross my mind every day to this point, but I forgave him. I’ve come to learn that it doesn’t have to stop hurting for you to forgive. He has taken full acceptance of and responsibility for his actions. He verbalizes that he will live with this mistake for the rest of his life and that it will likely hurt me for the rest of mine. Despite that, he is willing to work every day to treat me with the love I deserve.
He has a newfound confidence that I do love him. That I won’t leave him. That I mean it when I say he is enough and the one I want. It took me putting my hurt aside to see the man struggling with the mental health that was weighing him down to the point of almost destroying a wonderful thing. And to give him a chance (with stipulations of change and self-improvement, of course).
I’ve learned many lessons from this experience. One I am most proud of is that I did not second guess my worth for even a moment because of his actions. This was a huge self-realization to see that I knew I am a badass woman and no shitty actions by a guy would change my mind about that.
I also learned that for the right person, you can truly humble yourself to hear them out and give them a chance. It’s up to them to show you they mean their apology. Every day since, he has actively meant his apology. With the newfound realizations that I do love and want him, so many of his walls have come down. He has been able to love me in a deeper and more secure way now. Our communication is better. Our love is stronger. Our devotion to a future together has intensified.
I don’t want to say the cheating brought us closer, but the way we handled a heartbreaking situation did. The patience, forgiveness, acceptance, openness, and vulnerability that have come from this have brought us closer than I’ve ever felt to a romantic partner. Despite me forgiving him, he knows he hurt me in a deep way. He welcomes conversations about the cheating and how I’m feeling anytime it is bothering me. It’s the communication that saved us. The slowness to anger.
Do I recommend cheating to bring you closer? NO! But I can say that for the right person who is honest and genuine, it’s worth giving them a shot at redemption. I don’t regret taking him back one bit.
About the Creator
As a 23 year old grad school student, I spend a lot of time writing academically. Now I’m taking time to write creatively and enjoy creating stories about whatever makes me happy.
Follow my journey on instagram too: @nani.cruz.writes
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