Your Age: 21-30
Length of Relationship : 1 - 2 years
How long ago did the betrayal occur?: It's been a while - over a year ago
How did you learn about it?: A friend and teammate told me about my partner’s betrayal through text message when she was upset with me. She worded it like this... oh btw your girlfriend cheated on you. I immediately confronted my partner, basically threatening her to come clean or I would find out through my own means. Her response was to STILL try to keep information from me by saying well I don’t want to admit to anything I don’t know that they know. The incident had happened a week before she asked me to be her girlfriend, so technically it was not cheating but it was betrayal because she did it in our own home. We went on to date and live together for a full year before I found out.
Describe how you are feeling now, or how you felt when you found out.: I am now, coming to terms with my mistakes in that relationship. What actions I might have done that led to this incident and my responses after finding out. I am releasing a lot of pain I was holding onto and confusion. At the time of finding out, I was completely heartbroken, shattered. All I saw was the color of a deep deep red. I felt empty inside, I didn’t want to continue living through the pain I felt in my stomach. I wanted to escape everything especially her. I was so angry at her. I was more angry with myself, I felt stupid. I had been lied for an entire year. I had countlessly looked into the eyes of the person I loved and opened myself up to, only to find out that it was not the person I thought she was. I felt disgusted with myself for loving someone who could hurt me like that.
How have your normal habits changed (eating, sleeping, etc)?: Directly after the incident, my eating and sleeping habits changed dramatically. What felt like every night, I was haunted by nightmares of the incident playing over and over in my head. I didn’t want to put anything in my body. I wanted to feel as empty as my heart had felt. My school work and sport took a major impact because of my lack of ability to focus on anything but my pain. I began drinking and smoking excessively to try and mask my hurt.
What are you using to cope with your emotions? Is it working for you?: For a long time I didn’t want to think about it. I actively avoided thinking about, talking about it. I know I am in a better place because I am able to do that now and really observe myself in that relationship. Yes, I was hurt by a person I loved. Yes, my trust was betrayed. Yes, I was wronged and didn’t deserve to be treated that way. But I was not innocent throughout the entire relationship. I had my faults, and although in my eyes they do not/can not compare to what was done to me, that does not excuse my behavior. I want to be a better person, and I am actively trying to change my bad habits so that I can build a healthier and more honest relationship. I do not want this to ever happen to me again. But even more so, I do not want to respond to my partner’s mistakes the way I did in my past. I want to be understanding of the people I am with. I hope that with a stronger and deeper bond I can both respect my worth and help my partners understand how to treat me like I SHOULD be treated.
What are your next steps?: I kind of answered this in my last response. But at this point, look at how I can better myself. What was done to me can not weigh on me forever, I am ready to let go and forgive. That does not mean to allow that same person to continue to hurt me, but to understand them and see why they did what they did. I am actually going to speak w my ex partner about the situation soon. My intentions are to explain how my perspective has changed and hopefully hear a GENUINE apology from her. Even if I don’t, I am not relying on her apology because I have decided to be the bigger person and move on with my life. To learn from my hardest relationship and the lowest point of my life, I am proud of myself and will continue to be the light I used to.
What emotions have come up for you as you've been going through this? (select all that apply): Anger, Sadness, Alone, Afraid, Strong, Betrayed, Shame/Ashamed
What emotions are missing from the list?: Disgust, denial, toxic, enlightened, confused, stuck
What advice would you give to others in this situation?: The same advice I’ve read on here. Know what you can and can not/ will and will not handle. If the trust in the relationship is gone and you are not in a place to forgive and build on that trust again do not stay in the relationship. Give yourself time. Time to cope with your emotions and heal from the situation. Do not fight fire with fire. When you’ve decided to leave, do just that LEAVE and DON’T look back. Understand that you are worthy and capable of a genuine love that will make you feel good, safe, and ready to be vulnerable. Be gentle with yourself throughout this process.
What else would you like to share?: Do not allow this one incident to define you or restrict you from loving someone again.