"How could you have done this to me, to us? Who are you and who did I marry?" With tears in his eyes, my ex-husband shouted and screamed these questions at me on the day he found out that I'd had an affair. All the while, I stood their shaking, in shock, not knowing what to say that would make what I had done right. I was a cheater.
Looking back, I realize that nothing in that moment would have given him the solace and comfort that he was looking for — or that I was looking for. His care and love had been transformed into disdain and hate for the monster I had become to him.
The question that came up repeatedly after our marriage dissolved was "Why?" Why did I cheat on him? Why would I do such a thing to a man who was caring, funny and generous? It wasn't like he beat me up or anything like that.
If you are reading this and judging me, you are within your rights. No one judged me more harshly than I did, and even now, although it all turned out for the best, I wouldn't go down that road again — even though I can completely understand why any women would.
According to the UK Adultery Survey 2012 by undercoverlovers.com, cheating women are more likely to stray as they are seeking emotional fulfillment, an improvement to their self-esteem and romance. When women cheat will depend on how fulfilled they feel in their marriages. But according to the survey, wives who cheat will do so five years into their marriages whereas men will do so seven years in.
After much soul-searching, I finally got to understand what drove me to cheat and why I had stepped into the shoes of cheating women:
1. My mindset. I was still living in the illusive notion that happiness was something that I could acquire from an external source, so I bought into a fantasy. It's a fantasy that I see a lot of my clients buy into, which is that there is a fairy tale, one-sided man that exists to bring happiness to them. This is just not true.
Back then, I bought into the notion that because I wasn't happy that someone else could dish happiness up on a silver platter. As my ex husband was not able to, someone else could surely, right? This of course wasn't true and to this day, still isn't. In fact, the whole ordeal stressed me out and exposed me to more confusion and unhappiness.
- Lesson learned: Being part of the cheating women club, I understand now that running away from myself was not the answer and that I am responsible for my own happiness and fulfilment. My happiness is, under no circumstances, anybody else's responsibility — least of all whoever I am in a relationship with.
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