I’ve changed careers over the past few weeks—I’ve become a life coach. Some love bug has been doing its rounds and it’s not even Valentines.
I usually tell my friends whenever they have problems and ask for my opinion—if I’m your voice of reason, then you must be in a very bad situation! It’s funny how I’m often asked about love problems when I can be clueless with my own. I suppose when we are detached from the situation, we can see better.
A few of my friends recently confided in me about their love problems. The only constant in the sea of variables was this—infidelity. Some of them have been cheated on, while the other half is doing the cheating. I normally don’t want to talk about this subject as it is very sensitive, but I’m hoping that when they read this, they’ll be able to make informed decisions.
The usual questions of those being cheated were:
- if they should forgive their partners
- how to trust again
- how to get past the situation
- what’s wrong with them
Meanwhile, the guilty parties were asking about:
- how to gain back their partners’ trust
- how not to cheat
- why they are cheating
Cheating has a lot of forms. Sleeping or dating someone else, yes. It can also mean texting in an inappropriate way, lying, being in dating sites/apps without your partners’ knowledge or flirting with other people among others. I mean come on, who in their right mind would want their bf or gf in some dating site/app when you are in a relationship? Some would even justify sleeping with others as “just fun, nothing more”. No way. If you find yourself deleting text messages because you are afraid your partner will read them, it is time to ask yourself why.
I usually get asked what would I do if I’m being cheated on. It’s simple—you cheat on me, lie to me about important things, we’re through. I walk away, never look back, burn every bridge down in the hopes that the light from the fire would help me choose wisely in the future. I learned this from experience because my ex-husband cheated on me. While we tried to fix the relationship, I realized it was beyond repair when I started questioning every moved he made, where he went, who he talked to—I became paranoid. I was turning into a different person, and I hated the person I was becoming. I realized that wasn’t a way to live. Long story short, we parted ways. Looking back at it, my decision was right. In my succeeding relationships, cheating has become non-negotiable for me. I could accept anything, except that. It is a deal breaker. I don’t trust easily, but when I do, I trust you won’t do anything to break my heart (and my faith in you).
People cheat when they are unhappy, unsatisfied, and have unresolved insecurities and issues in themselves. The first two reasons are self-explanatory. If you love your significant other, you don’t cheat, you don’t lie, period. I adhere to this, no ifs, no buts. It’s a no brainer—you are happy in the relationship, you are inlove, why would you ruin it? It’s like getting a rock and hitting yourself in the head. If I’m in any way unhappy, want out, I talk to my partner, because that’s the adult (and dignified) way. I would never give my bf Chris cause to doubt me. I’ve been cheated on and I know how it feels. The last one is a bit complicated, and the most difficult to resolve. They cheated because they were also cheated on from a previous relationship, they felt empty and had voids to fill, they had the need to prove to themselves how attractive they were, and the most selfish reason—because they can. If you can’t resolve your issues, then don’t be in a relationship.
Most people who were cheated choose to “forgive” but start acting like Hitler. They would ask for access to all social media accounts, constantly being updated to their partners’ whereabouts or who they’re with. They would guilt their partners into giving in, to prove that they have changed and aren’t hiding anything. This move never works as it is unhealthy. If someone decides to cheat, they would find ways to do so, and there is nothing you can do about it. If you can’t forgive, then don’t, just move on. It’s not your fault they can’t see how awesome you are.
Those who decided to forgive need to heal themselves first. You can’t fully forgive if you are still reeling from the betrayal. If you forgive, do it wholeheartedly, start a clean slate. Constantly bringing up past arguments and sins is not forgiving. It also doesn’t mean that you roll over and be a doormat. Set your boundaries clearly, have a heart to heart talk. Be ready to walk away IF after giving one last chance, they cheat on you again. Have some self respect and love yourself more!
Communication is the key. Our partners are not mind readers. Feelings and unresolved issues snowball into bigger problems. Problems never go away on their own. It is important to be able to talk and listen to each other. Respond, not react. Remember, relationships are like sand. Held loosely with an open hand, the sand remains. The minute you close tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. Treat the wayward party with respect, honor their personal space. Be possessive and resentments will foster, killing the relationship. If you choose to forgive them, stay because of all the things they have done right, and not focus on the one thing that they had done wrong.
Basically don’t be bad. There. I’m your life coach now.