I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I knew he was sort of catching this person up on his day… a lot like he would talk to me. I picked up on the shift of his body language, almost as if he was trying to hide his ‘it’s so good to hear from you‘ posture. He hung up.
I pretended not to notice.
We picked our conversation back up where we left off and I could feel my blood seething slowly through the veins of my heart. I was starting to feel betrayed, but I wasn’t sure why. I tried to convince myself that I was just tripping, don’t be that jealous girlfriend Mac.
But despite the pep talk, jealous girlfriend Mac got the best of me and I asked him, “Sooooo, who were you talking to?”
‘Oh nobody,’ he responded. Every stereotype of an angry black woman you’ve ever seen in the movies, bust especially the Taraji P Henson in Baby Boy version, had her Oscar wining performance through me that evening.
I grabbed his phone, rolled my neck, smacked my lips and said, “Oh so let me see what nobody is showing up on your call list.” It was his ‘friend’. His female friend, to be exact.
“Why would you lie about talking to her?” I know y’all have a working relationship and how much she was there for you when your mother died, so why wouldn’t you just tell me it was her?
I could not believe what was happening. This b***h had helped me plan your surprise birthday party, and here she was calling you in the late evening to find out how your day went!
OH! (Clap) Hell! (Clap) No! You betta tell me something n***a!
He snatched his phone from me (or rather wrestled me for it) and turned the entire conversation around to make it about me going through his phone. *Classic Cheater Tactic*
I wasn’t having it. We were two months out from our intended wedding date and here he was cheating on me.
Look… I don’t care if they never had sex, kissed, hugged, held hands or whatever. He had opened the door to become emotionally invested in this woman and that was enough for me to feel betrayed.
If I can be honest with you… I knew when he started cheating, but I decided to stay anyway.
1.) When I told him his friendship with this young lady made me uncomfortable and I asked him to choose between me and her, he told me quite deliberately that she wasn’t going anywhere and that I had better learn to live with it. PS. We were engaged.
2.) His youth center had been broken into and vandalized. He was devastated, as his work with youth was the light of his life. He had managed to raise funds and refurnish the center, all without ever letting me know. His excuse, “Oh, I thought I told you.” — Clearly he was sharing life with someone else.
3.) His habits changed. His routine morning phone calls became less and less. Our conversations became superficial and one-sided, he had shut down emotionally. The myth that men don’t talk is a lie, when a man finds a woman he’s decided to let into his heart, you won’t be able to get him to shut up!
Despite the obvious signs of his betrayal, I had made up in my mind that I was going to ‘win him back.’ That I would be the last chick standing. I needed to prove to him (and myself), that I was better than her. What the hell did he see in her anyway?
His infidelity did wonders for my insecurity!!! Ladies, if you think you’re insecure now… try being cheated on!
I could not believe the depth of this pain. He knew everything about me. He knew me more intimately than anyone in my entire life. How could he do this to me?
I hated her.
I hated everything that he saw in her, that reminded me of what I lacked in myself.
Well, she definitely don’t look better than me, so it ain’t that. It must be her cooking, he did say he liked her cooking… or maybe she’s more of a home maker than me… or maybe it’s because she was there when his mom died… or maybe it’s because they went to school together… or maybe because she has a better relationship with his family… maybe because of all these years of friendship, she knows things about him that I don’t…or maybe she used some black magic on him… or maybe… or maybe…or maybe.
I stalked her facebook page for any answers to my ‘maybe’ questions… I read all of her captions, comments… I even stalked her friends. What was it about this girl that would cause this man to break his engagement promise?
I may not ever understand why he chose to act out in our relationship, but I do understand the pain of betrayal.
It really really sucks.
Despite how much it hurt, I thought it would hurt more to leave him. I was too embarrassed to deal with ‘a broken engagement.’
I could never understand why women stayed with men who cheated on them (I thought only girls with low self-esteem would do that, because they don’t like themselves enough to leave.) Ouch Mac! How rude!
But here I was, with my superficial-high-self-esteem, ready to stay in the relationship, if he would have me. If he would have me? HE cheated… and here I was asking if he would still have me?
Well, he didn’t have me.
He went on to marry her a year after he dumped me.
Well, at least something came out of his cheating! *shrugs* Ha! #I’mOverItNow #WasntLaughingThen
Oh, how I’ve grown from that experience. I’ve learned that how he acted, had everything to do with him and nothing to do with me.
“When we seek the gaze of another, we aren’t looking for another person as much as we are looking for another self.”
-Esther Perel (An interesting Ted Talk on Rethinking Infidelity)
I’ve also learned that him choosing someone else, does not mean I’m “less than”, it only means his taste was for something different.
About 15 minutes from my home, a man was murdered last Monday.
A husband caught his wife in bed with another man and in his rage, stabbed the man to death. Sigh. It appears, that this wasn’t the first time his wife had been unfaithful… deep breath… if my engaged cheating hurt as bad as it did, I can not imagine the pain of repeated marital betrayal.
His wife’s lover is dead and he’s in jail. Nobody wins.
Listen Vulnerabites, there is life after the pain of betrayal.
I know it’s disheartening, it’s embarrassing, its traumatic, its agonizing… I know.
After 7 years of marriage, my friend’s husband cheated on her, multiple times, yet here they are 17 years and 4 baby boys later.
Listen Vulnerabites, there is life after the pain of betrayal.
Being the cheat-im (victim of cheating), I was embarrassed to tell anyone. I somehow felt responsible for his behavior… like there was something I didn’t do that caused him to step out.
I sat in my pain alone.
I didn’t want anyone to judge me, or even worse, judge him. I just knew that we would get past this, and I didn’t want anyone turning there noses up at us. Besides, it was our business, no one needed to know.
I convinced myself that I was a ‘strong black women’, all men do it and I needed to learn how to live in this ‘grown woman’ reality. After all he was a ‘good man’, he had just made a mistake. I would rather have this fallen man, than no man at all.
Oh Vulnerabites… if you haven’t felt this form of violation, I pray that you never do… it hurts really really bad.
But, I promise you… there is life after the pain of betrayal.
I can tell you that although I no longer feel the pain of that betrayal, I have developed a heightened sensitivity to things that didn’t bother me before it happened. I’m learning to be intentional in my self awareness, and doing my best not to transfer the wrath of those tender places to my innocent husbae. The glove doesn’t fit him, so he is free like OJ!
So tell me Vulnerabites, have you recovered from infidelity in your own relationship? or know of anyone who has?
Whether you’ve been through it or not, how would you advise someone to handle infidelity in their relationship?
The Naked Writer