Have you ever been dating someone or seeing someone you were super into, only to find out they were cheating, or secretly seeing other people? I recently found out that the man (okay, man child) I was seeing was having sex with basically the entire south side of Indianapolis. It made me feel great. NOT. How did I find out you ask? I found out when he left his phone at my house, and it blew up for HOURS. After what felt like forever, I checked to see who was messaging the man who the previous night had promised me there was no one else. Now, to note, it was locked, and I really was just trying to make sure it wasn’t his mom’s care home or work. Otherwise I would have checked it the second I was alone with it, I like to know what’s going on.
He had always been weird about his phone, so it was no surprise that something was going on. 30+ text messages, multiple Facebook Messenger notifications, emails, missed calls, and more. And yet one message stood out. The only notification that showed the whole message.
“Hi Daddy, I miss you – the weather is so cold, I bet your fine ass could use me to warm it up.”
I have known this man(child) for over five years, and after finally seeing this gut punch of a message, I was furious. Contemplating phone murder, kicking him where it counts, and cussing him out took a long time. Eventually I settled on no contact – I dropped the phone off on his front porch in a plastic bag, and left. I had to go to a party that night, where I could concentrate on nothing but that message. All night, running through my brain on repeat. We said from the moment we met cheating was not tolerated. But yet, here we are, him getting laid. Me wondering what I was thinking trusting, loving, and wanting him to stick around. I learned three things from him. Three lessons I super hate, but am glad I learned it now.
1. Trust once broken, is hard to mend.
Personally, I am a one and done on cheating. If you cheat, I am OUT. I’m sure if I was married, had kids, or had been together for years I would maybe feel differently, but I am pretty locked into the hating of cheating. Watching a few friends and family going through mean men AND women cheating makes me never want to tolerate it. A relative told his wife the only way he would divorce her was if she cheated. So she did – and called him from the bed right after to confirm it. We hate her. If you are going to be with someone, you have to be able to trust them – cheating kills that trust.
2. If you aren’t willing to share, there is a reason.
I constantly would see him on his phone, and he would laugh or even take calls and go into the other room, and I always was like hey man, take some space. Now I don’t have to pause my movie. Looking back, he was taking calls and text from other women and playing it off. Hiding something in a relationship is a red flag. Don’t ignore the flags! It all comes back to trust – you should be able to trust the one you are with to be an extension of you. Hiding and being secretive means that has been cut off from you – time to get on the same page, ya’ll.
3. There will be begging.
If someone has cheated on you and you know it’s unhealthy to stay with them, LEAVE. Don’t talk to them, don’t try and reason, don’t ask why. I was on/off with this guy for YEARS. YEAAARRSSSS. How much precious dating time did I lose while he was out having sex with anything that moved. When he finally found the balls to message me, I called him out. His response? ‘What can I say, I like pretty things!’ A-hole. Even after that, he still was begging for me to give him another chance. I have to admit, I was tempted. He is the person who makes me comfortable, who (I thought) treated me well. How could I be so wrong?? Once a cheater…. I am out.
Remember, dating is a minefield. You never know what is going to work, you date on blind faith and trust. You have to be up front and honest in your relationships, and stay true to what you as a couple hold dear. Sometimes, it’s hard, and people make mistakes. It’s up to you how you handle it.