Everyone goes through times that are trying. Things that hurt, and that make you feel like you’ll never be able to stand on your own two feet again. Those things shape you, though. No matter how insignificant they are, they change the way you think about certain things. Maybe you learn from it, and you’re better than your experiences. Maybe it makes you leery, it discourages  you from trusting. For me, being cheated on is something that struck a huge nerve, and something I don’t think I’ll soon forget. 

Let’s make one thing COMPLETELY clear: the feelings that I had for this person are long gone. I don’t keep up with him. I don’t know how he’s doing, what he’s doing, or who he’s doing it with. It’s not something I remember because of who it had to deal with. I’ve moved on, I’ve found someone new that I plan on spending the rest of my life with. It’s just the what, and the how it made me feel.

We weren’t the most serious of relationships. Not just because it was high school, but because everything was very new. We met working together in a very interesting place, and at the time it just seemed to work, despite how different we were as people. I was used to being alone, and he had a visible string of relationships, but for some reason that didn’t even occur to me when I decided it would be a good idea to be with this person.

We were goofy together. We laughed a lot, and we went through some interesting situations together like being pulled over on Halloween night. I was on the high that came with a new high school relationship, my friends loved him, and he was tall and athletic and what I thought I wanted at that time in my life.

Because all of us were working during Halloween, we decided to have an after-halloween-halloween-party as a friend group. It was a much needed break, and it started out incredibly well. We were all laughing, playing board games together, and telling stories. Suddenly, I got weirdly detached and didn’t want to play anymore and was sitting on the couch. Everyone was playing a game and super into it, and my phone was dead, so I decided to play with my at-the-time-boyfriend’s phone. And then I made the decision to open his texts…

I saw things I never expected to see. Explicit messages from his ex that was “just a friend.” Asking him to meet up for a quickie, and then later commenting how much taller he’d gotten as well as some more intimate things. My heart stopped. I was appalled, and completely shocked despite the numerous warnings I had been given to be careful. Somehow, I managed to stay calm.

I asked him to come outside with me. He put on his boots, and we went out on the front porch, barely fitting under a small awning as it started raining. All I had to say was “I read your texts with her..” and he immediately began apologizing. He held me while I cried, told me it would never happen again. I remembered how on all of those days he’d told me he was busy and couldn’t see me. I felt neglected, betrayed, hurt. Yet, somehow I stayed.

The relationship dwindled after that. Everything stopped being fun and new. We went on a few more dates, spent a little more time together. Then, the day after Black Friday, he ended it. Part of me was very relieved, because I had seen it coming and actually planned on doing the same thing. Another part of me felt even more betrayed because I had stayed and forgiven him for no reason, and he wasn’t even willing to work through small issues or make time for me.

Again, I have no harsh feelings towards that person anymore, or any feelings at all. That’s all a part of my life that I don’t miss, and something I’m so glad is over. After all of it, I took time to fall in love with myself again. I focused on doing what made me happy, and threw myself into my senior year. I dropped programs that I didn’t want to be in, and indulged in a huge amount of free time. And then I fell in love with someone who is way more suited to me and to my life.

The point I’m trying to make, though, is that cheating takes a toll on people. After that, it’s so hard for me to develop trust. I had never been betrayed like that, and every single part of me had to ask why. Was I not good enough? Could I have done something to prevent all of this from happening? It took a long time to realize it just wasn’t my fault, and that everything was for the best in the end.

It changed the way I approach things. Exs that are “just friends” became my most hated enemy. I trust my current boyfriend with every ounce of my being, but I still cringe when he even says another girl’s name. I think the worst if he doesn’t want to see me for even a day. I panic for a second every time I see his texts or Snapchat. 

I’ve never cheated on anyone personally, and I knew I never would the moment I experienced it. It hurt more than anything I have ever felt, and I’ve been through a lot in my short time on this earth. Even after I got over the person, over the relationship, and over the break up, I never shook that feeling. And I never want to feel it again. 


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