Updated: Sep 19, 2018
***Note****Just take a look at the "Kevin Hart" video by J.Cole. Hart cheated on his wife and was used as the title for this song about cheating. He could have hid, but he owned his mistake and made the dedication to become a better man. Starring in that video was a bold move.
****Disclaimer**** These are my personal opinions. They do not reflect The LunchTable brand. This is what I've learned in my life.
12 Things I learned from Cheating
By Ashton Horne
Society has always frowned upon cheating. It's probably the worst thing you can do in a relationship, besides being emotionally or physically abusive.
As a man society has normalized for us getting our cake and eating it too. That the more a man has sex the greater and powerful he is. That it's ok for a man to sleep around because his purpose was to give a woman his seed. He is considered a dog anyway (even though dogs are loyal) and it's expected of him. As the saying goes, "Men will be men."
A question struck my mind recently. The question is, "What have I learned from cheating?" Do we ever truly ask men what they have learned from cheating? People are quick to look down on us, but if you've never cheated before how could you judge us so harshly. Bare with me and consider my points.
Cheating is a choice.
10 times out of 10 you know you're wrong. Yes, if you've ever cheated you know that it is wrong and this decision could destroy your relationship. The choice must be hidden right? He/she can never find out. No one put a gun to your head, it's a decision to send that picture, to kiss them, to undress each other and have consensual sex. Don't be in denial, you have betrayed your partner and should know better. I made the choice to cheat and I regret it every day.
Cheaters are typically scared
In my experience I was scared. I had problems that I feel would end my relationship. Those concerns coming to the surface would make my girlfriend resent me or push me away I thought. So instead of telling her that and communicating honestly, I panicked and looked to just flirt and talk to other women until I felt better. Looking back at it, it makes no sense at all. Having a problem with your partner should always be addressed respectfully and even though honesty can hurt, it's needed.
Lying is easier than telling the truth.
You remember when you had homework as a kid. Your parents might have said, "When you're finished your homework you can go to your friend's house." Did we always do our homework? No. Why? It's so much easier to lie and say it's done than to take the time to do it and show them and etc. If your partner questions you about someone else, telling the truth would change your relationship forever. Who wants to be known as a cheater anyway?! Looking someone in the eyes and telling them you cheated is not easy. Watching someone cry, yell, leave, turn from your best friend into a complete stranger is something you don't want to go through.
I not only lied to my partner, but I was lying to myself. I had to sit down and take over a month to figure out how to fix my bad habits. Honesty was the beginning. As a man, I have to be honest with myself, before anyone else. I have to be able to look in the mirror and love myself and so I can love others correctly. This takes a lot of work and isn't easy. In the end, even if the person doesn't find out about the constant lies, it turns into a stressor to yourself. Making sure your lies are covered with more lies, remembering the stories you made up, and having to be able to keep a calm composure while telling these lies.
That partner will never look at you the same
Is it possible to get back with someone after you have cheated? The answer is yes, we all have a friend we shook our head at. Does that mean it will always work? No, as someone who cheated you start to realize that resentment is strong inside of your partner. A scorned woman is terrifying. Their hesitant to do for you, they second guess your motives, and the love isn't as strong as before.
It takes a lot to rebuild with someone you don't trust. Realize that your loving partner is gone. Don't expect them to look at you the same or give the same love. Would you treat someone the same who betrayed you? You have to work slowly and prove to them that you've changed, but that takes time so you cannot rush it.
Their environment growing up was not healthy (A possibility)
It's key to remember everyone comes from a different household. What is normal for you is not to someone else. I grew up seeing people cheat and just go about their day. You want to be better, but when you get into a relationship you start to realize you're built differently. I started to see a lot of unhealthy habits in myself. It got to a point where I had to dig deep to figure out why I acted the way I did. It hit me, I was copying what I saw growing up. Never have I seen a healthy relationship or honest communication. Now its up to me to change that cycle.
It makes you a better human
In life, the ups and downs will always happen. The key is to learn from your mistakes and do the best you can to not repeat them. Make sure to pass on the lessons you learn as well, whether it be to your future kids, your friends, siblings, or whoever else may need guidance. Know that this doesn't define you and your not a bad person. I know I did this and hurt someone badly, but I also know how to treat someone better now and went through a lot to understand what I have to do better. I also turned to God and started praying more!
Somethings you cannot control, like the past, or how the other person views you. What is possible is applying the things you now know and to work on it every day. It's not a race, life is a journey and the teacher is our experiences. If my ex ever reads this, I bet she can tell that I have grown since she left me and I'm using my platform to help others.
Their friends won't trust you and lose respect for you
They will be looking at you sideways and definitely not in your corner. Apologize them to if possible for letting their friend down and being a bad boyfriend/girlfriend. I'm not saying it will solve everything, but in my situation, I did it because they knew what I did and I know she cried to them multiple times. It can also show them you're trying and becoming better from it.
They may be spiteful
We are human and humans act on emotions. Don't be surprised if your ex-partner hurts you because you cheated. Whether or not they realize it they may be spiteful. It will hurt and it is apart of karma. I had a few experiences with this and it made me feel terrible. Then I understood the actions and did my best to not take it personally because I've been spiteful as well. Imagine if you didn't hurt them, then this wouldn't have happened. Hurt people hurt people.
It will make you appreciate your partner more
After I cheated and she left me I was in shambles. Love is an addiction. Seriously it has been compared to withdrawing from cocaine. Google it if you don't believe me. The absence of someone who was in your life every day quickly hits you. No more calls/texts from them, sharing stories, dates, and etc. Others can be there for you, but it's not the same as bae. It will take time to get over heartbreak, so be patient. Cry, yell, complain, rest, do whatever you have to do to let it out. Once that ends to get back on your feet and continue life.
If you get the chance, treat that person by showering them with love, respect, honesty and everything else you failed in. Do not take them for granted ever again or anyone else important in your life.
Respect their boundaries and set your own
Now, this is where a lot of people can mess up. Be sure to give them space, even if they want to come to see you or talk. Emotions are high and this is not a good time to use makeup sex, or dates to fix things. Both parties can be vulnerable or irrational. One day it can be like old times and the next it can be hell. Do not stress yourself out or your partner. It's hard, but find a way to cope besides talking to them. I made a mistake in this area and pushed my ex away. Don't take it personally, your partner is hurt because of what you did! Remember hurt people hurt people.
Do not use someone as a rebound
The easiest way to get over someone is to lay under someone else right. No that isn't right. Yes, we are all adults and yes we have sexual needs, and desires. Attention is nice especially after someone leaves you, but that will only be temporary. Learn to deal with this on your own and find other methods. It isn't fair to use someone to get past another person. This shows how much power your ex has over you and that you're letting them dictate what you do next. You're doing this because of them, not because it's authentic or genuine. After the flames go out then what happens? I've seen it happen with my own eyes and most people regret it sooner than later.
I didn't love myself as much as I thought I did
I truly didn't love myself like I thought I did. Cheating was a way to escape the pain and stresses of a relationship. It was dumb and disrespectful to my ex. It made things worse and made me lose the love of my life. So I had to go back and learn how to love myself fully. Before I even think about dating again, this is the journey I'm on.
If you love yourself you will know what you want, you will not settle for less and you will leave a person before you cheat. You will also know how to love someone else better and be confident when things go downhill. Two people who love themselves and love each other can truly get through anything in life!
Hopefully, this helps open eyes. If you're thinking about cheating, it is not worth it! Talk to your partner and be honest, it will be hard but they do not deserve to be made a fool of. Communicate and see if y'all can figure out what the problem is. Relationships take work, so don't get in one unless you're ready to commit!!!!!
If you have cheated own your mistake and do not let it define you. It is just a lesson, become better and live.