I cheated on my partner. We’re not in an open relationship. I wasn’t drunk. There was nothing to justify it, there rarely is. When this mange-ridden cat finally limped its pathetic way out of the bag, the person I love almost collapsed. That night, twice, he had to run to the bathroom sick with sadness and disappointment. And when we left each other that evening there wasn’t a gutter filthy enough for me to cry in.
Almost a year on and we’re still together.
‘Having an affair‘ is really too good a phrase for what I did, perhaps ‘causing an infection’ is more fitting and it’s what happens if left unchecked. It’s a gut churning guilt that creeps in whenever we watch a Rom-Com with a love triangle or being in bed and knowing he knows my body isn’t quite as special, that it’s ‘used goods’.
It was only after a few thinly veiled attempts at being friends we made the decision to give us another go. There were pitfalls, days where we stopped mid-sentence and thought: “Oh yeah. That awful thing I did.”
Nights where we’d stop kissing, when my jaw would lock up and I’d just run, to the kitchen, to the laundry or anywhere else but in front of the face I let down.
But yeah, we’re still going.
Kick starting a relationship feels kind of like microwaving yesterday’s spaghetti. The ends go a little dry, there are cold bits and the mushrooms are always gooey. Okay that last bit didn’t fit the metaphor. Questions constantly arise in your mind. Is this still the relationship you want to be in? Is it worth saving? Why did you do it anyway? And will ever as good as it was before you ruined it? Oh and you might hear this:
“I guess I was to blame a little as well.”
When you hear it your heart should break in two and you should run to the nearest megaphone and shout:
“No! Not at all! Also I love you!”
It’s odd to say, but sometimes it helps to say it out loud. If not a professional or friend, admit it to yourself. In accepting fault you take away any lingering doubts your lover has about their own actions, and they will have doubts. Sure, there is a chance they will hate you forever, but hey, you deserve it – idiot.
It wasn’t long ago I asked my man why he stayed on board. He didn’t have much of an answer, just that he loved me and knew if I loved him it wouldn’t ever happen again. Furthermore if it did happen again that I shouldn’t bother picking up my stuff, because it would be on fire. Ultimately he is the one that kept us together; in fact no matter how hard you work or how sorry you are, it always has to be them who chooses.
We don’t talk about it much, more importantly he doesn’t use it as ammo for arguments we have about unrelated topics. It is a flaw in our relationship that we will always have, the Bay Leaf in our reheated spaghetti if you will (Sorry about that). But I do love him and I am sorry, and he is sorry I did it but he loves me in return – I can only be thankful and hope he doesn’t change his mind.
At first we thought about it every day, then every few days, now I’d be surprised if we bring it up even once a month. It does pass if you both decide to let it. If you are the one cheated on, don’t be ashamed to be in that relationship if you believe someone loves you, if they do truly love you than believe they are sorry – otherwise, drop the bastard.
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