Revenge? Nah… I’m too lazy for that. I’m gonna sit here and let Karma mess you up!

I am no stranger to wild living and one night stands… I’ve stolen towels and ashtrays from some of the finest Indian owned motels in the south… I’m talking about the classy ones with avocado green shag carpets and velvet paintings of dogs playing poker nailed to the wall. I’ve even seen a room with a framed 8”X10” of Jesus knocking on the door of a house… that one always gave me the creeps. Who decorates those places?

I’ve done a lot of crappy things…. But I never cheated on anyone I was in a committed relationship with… ever! That to me is the unpardonable sin… there is no going back and fixing that. You sleep with someone else … it’s over… have your attorney call mine!

The most insensitive words I’ve ever heard were….. “It didn’t mean anything!” Really? You just destroyed everything we’ve built for 7 ½ minutes with someone that didn’t mean anything to you? Now I’m more than hurt … I’m insulted! It should have been the orgasm to end all orgasms! A holiday should be named after it!

I’ve had my share of cheating spouses… each of them enjoyed a visit from Karma. Karma will handle situations most of us would go to jail for handling! You just have to wait… Karma always comes knocking …. (I love me some Karma!).

I understand so much more now that I’m on the other side of some of the worst relationships in recorded history… I survived and I’m still standing. Maybe I should put all the psychology courses I’ve endured to work…. Maybe I should finally realize there’s a lot to be said for moving on…

I was reading an article written by Jason Fierstein, a psychotherapist in Phoenix that specializes in “cheater” therapy… can you imagine doing that for a living? But I agree with him, so this is what we think about those that can’t keep their clothes on …. they cause damage that long outlast the actual “act” or the act of getting caught! These are fundamentally damaged people that damage others….

The unfortunate thing about being cheated on is that it’s a gift that keeps on giving. As if being cheated on is hard enough, often the negative effects of having been cheated on ripple out into other intimate relationships you may have. If you’ve ever been cheated on, you might want to know about this.

Sometimes, we convince ourselves that we’ve done our grieving or worked through the negative impact of being cheated on. We can get good at convincing ourselves or rationalizing that we’re “over it”, but are we really over it? Once we’re in new relationships, sometimes the after burn of being cheated on plays out with our new partners. Jealousy and suspicion sometimes irrationally creep in our minds, and we can’t shake the idea that will be cheated on again. No matter what our partner says or does, or how much they convince us that they’re not going to do whatever previous partner did to us, it’s still not enough to shake those irrational thoughts. We ruminate and we obsess. In our minds, we think that our new partners are going cheat on us, when they probably won’t. We harbor suspicion and doubt, and then end up acting in ways that push our partners away with that jealousy and doubt. We create what we fear.

You may have convinced yourself that you’ve dealt with being cheated on. Maybe you have, and maybe you haven’t. It’s not enough just to tell yourself that you’ve if you’ve ever been cheated on gotten over it, or that you’ve healed. If you’re still ruminating irrationally in your new relationship that tells me that the work may not be over for you. You may have some unfinished business about being cheated on, so it would behoove you to get some professional help to work on those issues. Often times, there’s a lot of pain, grief, rejection and anger associated with the partner that cheated on us, that we really never got to identify or process when it happened because we were so rattled at the time, or we didn’t want to look at those feelings within us. I know that feeling rejected by your life partner is probably one of the hardest things to deal with, because it cuts so deep personally. If they’ve cheated on you, it may translate for you to mean that you’re flawed, or that you’re not wanted by this person, and that they chose somebody better than you to be with, or at least to sleep with. It really may go to the core of your being, in terms of your confidence, feelings of security, and trust. All those issues are really major things, and if you haven’t looked at those issues in depth, it might be in your benefit so that you allow yourself to be more emotionally available for your future relationships. The past affects us in the present so long as we haven’t dealt with it.

Trust is one of the most precious things to create in a relationship, and once that’s been corrupted, it’s really hard to get it back. It affects us negatively well into our future, when we choose our future partners and when we try to create new intimate relationships. We have to localize our trust issues, and really commit to working on them. We need to clear ourselves out emotionally to be able to learn to trust again. Even if you know your new relationship partner isn’t going to cheat on you or compromise your trust, on an emotional level your heart maybe telling you something different from your head. Your head knows that they’re not going to do anything to you rationally, but irrationally, the heart probably is telling you something else. It’s telling you to watch out for danger, that you could be put in the very situation that you don’t want to be in before.

Naturally, when we’ve been hurt, we want to close up. We shut our doors to someone else, and we push people out. We don’t want to risk being open and vulnerable to someone else, when we’ve been so hurt in the past. This limits our ability to deepen and strengthen our new relationships, as we’re being held back by old ones. If time goes on and you’re continuing to be closed to your vulnerability, your new relationship partner may, in fact, be starting to react against you for that. They may withdraw, or attack, or eventually want to get their needs met from somebody else, thus fulfilling the prophecy you have inadvertently created for yourself. You don’t want that, do you?

It is possible to get past the negative effects of being cheated on. It makes sense, if you want to have another trusting, open relationship with someone else. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people never really work on the issues I just mentioned and remain single and never get into another relationship because they’re terrified of being cheated on again. It may be difficult to work through all of the pain, rejection and grief that’s associated with being cheated on, but in the long run, you’ll have invested in a happier future for yourself.

In my opinion, cheating is a selfish and cowardly act of not considering anyone or anything except your own greed, need, and sexual desires. It’s an immoral way to accomplish something. Consider it stealing or taking something that doesn’t belong to you. Perhaps you’ve been hurt and you want to pay the other person back, or the relationship is no longer what you want. The lack of compassion or respect for the other person is bad enough, but the affects that will carry over to your children, whether you see them or not, is another, which can cause the most damage.

It’s easier and selfish to think that your children will forget about the disruption and sometimes devastation to their life or that it won’t affect them if they don’t know. The fact of the matter is, they will remember and if they didn’t know at the onset, sooner or later they will find out. It may come out in forms you may never care to associate with your actions. You may never realize the destruction to their life or if you do it may be when it’s too late.

Parents repeat the same loving words, they would do anything for their children, and then they cheat without considering any of the ramifications. When you destroy a relationship, take more than a fleeting moment to consider everyone in that relationship. If you aren’t happy, get out of the relationship with your dignity intact and move on respectfully. Consider the emotional aftermath your children will suffer although they may not say a single word to you about it. Look at the statistics of young adults in therapy because a parent cheated. Now, consider those that aren’t in therapy and have to emotionally find their own way around your actions. That selfish act can damage your children for life. Is it worth taking that risk?

Cheaters are going to cheat… it’s a shame they can’t do us a favor and just leave… that’s easier to face and accept for everyone left picking up the pieces.

This is my life… this is my journey!

Rob Cantrell

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