Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks” -Beyonce
It usually all starts with a lurk. When I found out the person I was in a relationship with was talking to other girls on Facebook, I didn’t have any burning suspicions about it. I also didn’t expect to not find anything, but you know what they say happens when you go looking for trouble. I surely did find it. It wasn’t anything horrible, but I did find it highly inappropriate. The thoughts that came with finding out your significant other has been entertaining others are typical of what most people probably think when this happens. Feelings of inadequacy; what did I do wrong or what did I not do altogether? Is it my looks, is she smarter than me? Funnier, maybe? I eventually let it go and we moved past it, but I never trusted him again. Whenever he would be on his phone laughing about something, my side eye game grew stronger. Now that Beyonce has released the masterpiece that is Lemonade, talks of infidelity have been stronger than ever. Whether the album is themed around Jay Z’s cheating or not, it has sparked some interesting conversation. Of course all relationships come with problems, but to get such an intimate view into a relationship that many thought was unbreakable put a little fear into the hearts of couples everywhere. Looks like Hov and Bey aren’t the #Goals everyone thought them to be. So where does that leave us regular folk? If someone so beautiful, ridiculously talented and famous can get cheated on, are any of us safe? Our generation already has very low levels of trust in the opposite sex. Most people expect to be deceived, so when it happens they just shrug it off. Side chicks don’t hide anymore, and popular music constantly reminds us that no one is to be trusted. Despite my bad experiences, I have not allowed myself to become jaded to the concept of love and relationships. Not everyone has bad intentions, and when a person cheats, it usually is not because of the other person’s inadequacies. This was a very important lesson I have had to learn in my early 20’s. People aren’t against you, they’re just for themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to tolerate disrespect, but it will help you from blaming yourself in case you ever end up the victim of a cheater. If you’ve ever cheated, why did you do it? Were you not feeling fulfilled in your relationship or were you just fueled by lust? Is it worse when women cheat? Many men say that women cheating is worse due to the emotional aspect of it, as opposed to men who cheat out of excitement. Of course women cheat for physical reasons at times as well, and men are capable of forming emotional bonds while sampling other appetizers. So who cheats more often? Is it that men cheat more, or is that women just hide things better? We all know men are generally terrible liars. When it comes to the little details, they leave loose ends and that is usually how they get caught up. Women are much more methodical. We forget nothing, and because of our tendencies to overthink, if we’ve plotted a lie, there are probably about 10 backup lies to cover our bases. Kind of twisted isn’t it? A woman who is a good liar has probably been cheating for months, maybe even years before she gets caught. According to this site, women cheat just as much as men do. The reasons differ, but the rate is about the same. Since each sex gets stepped out on as much as the other, why do men have such a hard time bouncing back after they’ve been betrayed? They will forever have “trust issues” and be emotionally unavailable because their high school girlfriend cheated with his next door neighbor. I’ve heard plenty of theories regarding this. The most common one is that men love harder than women because they are more selective about who they choose to open up to. So you put yourself out there and got stepped on; I think its time to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.
Why Did He Do This To Me?
The thing someone wants to know most of all when they’ve been betrayed is, “why.” I always thought this was intriguing because does it really matter why? If your boyfriend has been cheating on you, would the logic behind it help you sleep better at night? I think it would make you feel much worse to hear “I’ve been stepping out because you’re boring as f*ck and this is getting old.” Usually, cheating does not indicate a lack of love. It is more of a lack of respect and/or discipline. A relationship may be lacking fun, passion, sexual gratification, etc. or as Kanye said, someone may just be unable to stay faithful in a room full of hoes. Human beings are selfish by nature. The majority of our thoughts are motivated by ‘self.’ When I was 21 and in a relationship, from time to time I would text and flirt with other guys every now and then. I was bored, and I’ve since matured, but in the moment I wasn’t thinking about how my significant other would feel. I also didn’t like him any less just because I was exchanging heart eye emojis with other guys. I was just motivated by my own desires and failed to think how this would affect him if he were to find out. This is how cheaters operate. Unless you’re being petty and seeking revenge, you turn off the loyalty switch in your mind. When Jay Z was out with Becky With The Good Hair, he wasn’t thinking about how beautiful, loyal and kind his wife and mother of his child is. The novelty of someone new is intoxicating to some people, and they’re willing to risk it all for a little excitement. For some people, they aren’t sure what counts as cheating and what doesn’t. Some people are ready to slash tires over liking Instagram pictures, others won’t see an issue until you’re meeting up and/or being physical. First of all, boundaries should be established in your relationship so you should know what’s inappropriate. Liking IG photos is extreme, but a good rule to go by is if you feel you need to hide it, you shouldn’t be doing it. No one can read minds and none of us have the power to control other people, so stressing yourself out over the where, when, why and how’s your love cheated on you will just frustrate you even more. Their bad decisions are not a reflection of you. It does not make it okay, but don’t lose sleep at night thinking that their infidelity is your fault. Loyalty is an expectation, but definitely not a guarantee.
So they cheated, and you decided to stay. People love to judge those who forgive cheaters and take them back. This isn’t the first time there have been rumors of Jay not being faithful to Bey, yet she chooses to stick around and work on her family. It is easy for someone on the outside looking in to call another woman stupid or weak for not kicking a cheating man to the curb, but we don’t know the uniqueness of every situation. It really isn’t anyone’s business why you decide to forgive, but I do not think it is wise to just blindly forgive and forget without going deeper. I said above that the ‘why’ does not matter, but that is on a surface level. It is not as simple as she’s prettier or has a better body. People, men in particular, will cheat with a woman who looks like a gremlin. If it were based purely off attraction, no human being on Earth would be able to be monogamous. When my now ex-boyfriend was flirting on Facebook, I was too immature and inexperienced at the time to attempt to get a better understanding of his actions outside of “why are you talking to other girls?!” Looking back on it, I should have been more focused on where the lack of discipline was coming from. “I don’t know why, I just do it” is not an answer. It is an example of how some people are unable to communicate their motives, or they are not courageous enough to be honest. When this topic comes up,
I always think back to the scene in Baby Boy where Yvette is trying to get Jody to explain to her why he cheats. His attempt at honesty was futile, and he basically just told her to deal with it or kick rocks. If your significant other is unable or unwilling to be totally open and honest with you about their actions, I don’t think they are worthy of forgiveness. You have to be real with yourself in order to be real with others. Unless you lack relationship experience or life experience altogether, you have got to be mature and strong enough to hold people accountable for their actions. You can’t get mad at Becky With The Good Hair. She owes you no loyalty. The person who agreed to be exclusive with you is responsible. Who cares if she knew that was your man? All is fair in love and war. Things happen, and people sometimes do things they regret. At the end of the day, we’re all human. If you have cheated or are currently cheating, you’re not a horrible person. People make mistakes, but if you’re willing to take those risks, you have to be able to accept the consequences. If you are the person who is currently pulling the knife out of your back, only you can decide how you want to proceed. If you would rather put all his stuff in the box to the left, nothing is wrong with that. If you’re working it out, do it in a way that is most conducive to long-term success. Sweeping things under the rug because they gave you a weak “sorry, I won’t hurt you again” is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Once someone sees you let everything slide, they’ll start figure skating. If you are starting to get to second, third, and fourth chances, it is probably time to accept that this person is incapable of being the partner you deserve. You can forgive from a distance and move on with your life. The beautiful thing about life is that you are in control of it. If you want to reconcile, reconcile. Don’t let the opinions of your friends and family get in the way of what you believe is your happiness. Just also be willing to accept responsibility for the downfall if things do not work out the way you had hoped. Trust your instincts and stand your ground. It will work in your favor every time.