One thing that has come up a lot is cheating; it has played a significant role in my life as well and in a way has probably contributed to my negative self-image and weight gain.
The number of friends that I have that have been cheated on is insane, the amount of “boyfriends’ I have found on dating apps while in a committed relationship is disgusting.
And just as a public service announcement–I will call you out on it! You’ve been warned.
Now, I have been cheated on a few times in my life, it is actually how my marriage ended. Obviously when you find out that your significant other has cheated, you internalize those feelings and wonder what you did wrong. You could feel shame, embarrassment or guilt and if you are anything like me you will use food to manage those feelings. So, in my situation, weight gain just came along with that situation.
I can only speak to my perspective when it comes to cheating, I just want to clear the air that I am aware women cheat as well but obviously that’s not my experience.
Telling someone that your relationship ended due to cheating can be embarrassing. You feel like you did something wrong, you were the reason that your significant other sought out another woman. That is simply not true. One important thing to remember is that cheating is common, you would be surprised if you mention it how many people can relate.
Cheating has become so normal its crazy!
People will always have raging emotions, a need for attention, a need for belonging, a fear of intimacy or a lack of communication skills that pushes people to take the easy road and find someone else. Also, people believe the grass is greener on the other side; but the grass is always greener where you water it.
The problem is, people look for happiness in a relationship. They think that a relationship will complete them—let me tell you it will not! After the last relationship of mine ended with of course cheating, I was pissed. I knew that I should be looking for happiness within myself.
When someone cheats, it is simply because they lack something within themselves. I spent so much of my life wondering what is wrong with me and I have finally figured out the problem isn’t me. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I am without flaw, but I am an honest and loyal person. The problem is the other person, they are lacking something within themselves, they may carry an insecurity or fear that makes commitment challenging.
One thing I didn’t want to do after my relationships ended was play the victim, I did not want to live my life feeling sorry for myself. Someone once told me that I should hate my ex because he ruined my life, he didn’t ruin my life at all, he gave me the experience I needed to develop into who I am today. I was able to find myself and develop in both my professional and personal lives.
So, if you’re reading this and you’ve been cheated on and are still dealing with those emotions, talk about them with a friend. One thing that has helped me is I write my feelings down; when someone has wronged me, I typically write them a letter. I articulate my feelings on paper and then I throw it away. Obviously I do not recommend this in friendships where you intend on continuing the relationship, this is mostly when the relationship is over. There is power in getting your feelings off your chest!
Now, there was no coming back for me after cheating. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so I dealt with the situation by completely eliminating that person from my life with the exception of my children’s father. If a person is not respectful to me, they do not deserve to be a part of my journey and will be treated as such. I only have time and space in my life for positive influence. There is a fear of being alone, people will give up their own self respect and values just to say they are in a relationship. Why is there shame associated with being single, I personally think its awesome. It is important to be alone to learn about yourself, what makes you happy, what activities do you enjoy and what are your values in life. Without this information, you will never be truly happy in a relationship because you are validating your success and happiness through someone else. What if they left?
I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I am happy with my life and I no longer hold any negative feelings towards the cheating that has occurred in my life. Whoever I chose to involve in my life would have to make a positive contribution, otherwise to me it simply isn’t worth it.
As a final statement, if I could tell myself 1 thing about relationships, never ignore the red flags. If you seriously feel that your significant other is cheating on you, there is a high probability that it is happening. If you just found out that your partner has been unfaithful and you have left, know it’ll be ok. There is nothing wrong with you, you need to heal yourself and find your happiness again.