It’s been about a year and a half since I found out about my mate’s past cheating. We went to counseling, we’ve tried to improve communication and I’ve worked my ass off to forgive him for his years of lying to me. Yet this morning I found myself thinking about it on my commute to work, and then when I got here I yet again looked through the emails of his old email account. I could not tell you how many times I’ve read those emails to and from other women. There’s nothing new to find, and I know that logically, but I looked anyway. Emails from women who responded to his ad on craigslist or matchmaker.com or whatever online website (there were many) he used to try to find new partners. He told many that he “hadn’t found anyone who excited him.” He wrote about his ex-wife and the girlfriend he had before me (who was married and cheating on her husband). In all those emails, there was nothing about me. And yet during the two years of his infidelity, he was texting and emailing me love poems, working with me daily, sleeping with me and promising me that I was the only one. I was a fool and he was a bastard who played mind games with me. Normally I would talk to my coworker and close friend about all this, but R had me promise not to talk to him anymore so here I am, alone and lost in my head.
He is not the same person now. We have two children together, have been together for 6 years and I have seen his growth. He has become a family man and is a truly wonderful, patient and loving father and he tries to be a good partner to me. So having seen his growth, why do I sometimes go back to that dark space in my mind and allow all the hurt and feelings of betrayal to creep back in? Will there ever be a time when it won’t feel like I’ve been stabbed in the gut? And how do you ever fully trust someone who has proven himself to be a skilled deceiver? Someone who can look you in the eyes and swear they have never been unfaithful when in fact they had from the beginning? Maybe I never will fully trust him. Maybe that’s the inevitable result of the destruction he caused. Maybe I can and have forgiven him, but that doesn’t mean letting myself be fooled ever again. I cheated on him a year ago. When he asked, I was honest about my having cheated once. Do I feel guilty about it? Nope. Quite possibly, I should but I don’t. He had it coming. He got a taste of the misery I’ve been dealing with ever since I found out, and really, long before I found out because I felt in my gut for a long time that he had been unfaithful. You reap what you sow in this life.