Over the past week, I had the privilege of traveling to Daytona Beach, Florida with a group of my closest friends for Spring Break. As is expected of typical college spring break fiascos, we fell victim to the evitable – drama.
However, the drama that did take place wasn't a result of the 26-plus hours in a car and seven days crammed into various small hotels room.
Hell unleashed itself upon my friends and me when an acquaintance of mine decided to break the foundational trust built upon in her relationship. She cheated. In a series of unwarranted and unreciprocated kisses, she cheated on her girlfriend of only a few months with none other than me.
Let me start by first disclosing that I have been on the opposite end of a relationship where I was the partner that had been cheated on.
It sucks, it hurts, and until it's proven right in front of you, you never want to believe it to be true. How could someone that you have grown to know, trust, and love betray you in a purely physical way? How could s/he be so selfish?
Quick PSA: Your girlfriend's decision to cheat on you does not make me a bad person, nor makes my choice to be the bigger person and tell you what happened that day makes me a jealous b*tch.
Society tends to blame the woman (in this case the other woman) for the partners' public infidelity. Why has this become an acceptable standard? Throughout this anti-feminist rhetoric, we stoke the flame of a 'woman vs. woman' narrative to not only insight drama but to seemingly excuse the actions of the partner who participated in the cheating itself.
We have seen this 'woman vs. woman approach' when addressing cheating scandals in the media all too often. Angelina versus Jennifer for Brad.
Or more recently, and an appropriate analogy to my recent experience, Jordyn versus Khloe for Tristan. What happened over my spring break vacation is not an 'Angelina stole Brad from Jennifer' moment, nor was it a 'Jordyn was all over Tristan' situation.
When we further perpetuate this idea that 'Angelina stole Brad from Jennifer' we diminish our partners to no more than a passive object, a piece of property. Stating that 'Jordyn was all over Tristan' paints the other woman, a woman who not the aggressor in this cheating scandal for example, as the one responsible for the entire fiasco. We end up letting our partner entirely off the hook for actions that should be inexcusable.
I am not the Jordyn of my story.
She kissed me. She grabbed on to me. She said, "please don't tell J***a."
Your partners' decision to cheat on you was not something forced upon them by the presence of another woman (aka me).
While it might be easier for you to blame the person your partner cheated with, most of the time it being someone you don't know, it is not a healthy coping mechanism. The hurt we try to avoid by focusing this anger and blame onto the other woman is where the healing must begin to take place.
But again, I, while a participant in this betrayal of trust and insincerity, am not the homewrecker of your relationship. Your significant other is.
I did not cause the hurt of betrayal from someone you trusted; the pain of wondering why you just weren't good enough; the hurt of wondering where the truth ended and the stream of lies began. Your significant other did.
Very often in a relationship, cheating is a clear sign that something is wrong.
Take my advice and do yourself a favor: Stop blaming everyone except your partner for their decision to cheat. Stop making excuses to justify why your significant other chose to be unfaithful.
Once a cheater, always a cheater.