Jane is heartbroken. Her daughter’s father called off their relationship to settle down with another woman and embark on a different chapter in his life. Natalie, my girlfriend, said Jane was crying uncontrollably as she shared the story over the phone. A decade-long partnership was history.
Was her touch no longer enough for him? Had she failed to satisfy him? Was she no longer worthy of him? How could he do this to her?
Natalie, shaking her head, hung up with that wry look she always had after they spoke.
“Nobody wants to be with someone they can easily take advantage of whenever they want.”
Relationship woes are pretty universal. It’s practically a rite of passage. Partners deceived me in two separate relationships and Natalie knows the bitter taste of betrayal all too well. But, sympathizing with Jane doesn’t get us anywhere. In fact, she bawled about this guy’s infidelity consistently.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Over time, Natalie distanced herself from Jane. She was truly hopeless. Every week she would whine over her man’s latest feats of disloyalty and ignore any advice she was given.
“Leave him. Kick him out. Be strong. It’ll hurt but you can’t allow him to treat you that way anymore. If he loves you the way he says he does, he would keep his member in his pants. How many times are you going to forgive him? You’re enabling him to do the things he does because you stick around, accepting it over and over.”
Natalie wasted breath reasoning with her too many times. She did nothing to remove herself from the same agonizing situation. It was exhausting. This man, had taken advantage of Jane in grandiose fashion over the years. His reign of extramarital relations became infamous to everyone who knew the couple. Mutual friends spotted him with a different girl on many occasions. The news quickly spread to Jane each time. His cheating eventually brought her a sexually transmitted disease. Fortunately, it was curable. But, his actions went beyond sheer disrespect and unfaithfulness. He risked their livelihood.
Still she stuck around.
Now he was leaving her?
Shouldn’t it have been the other way around?
Punching bags require renewal just the same as everything else, I guess.
I feel embarrassed for her as a woman, as a mother with a child for whom she provides an example. What does the little girl take away from her mother’s actions? She’s too young to understand Jane’s low self-esteem but sub-consciously she internalizes this information, encapsulating the results into her character. Later, it becomes acceptable to manage an inconsiderate partner because her mother did. Unhealthy cycles emerge out of such decisions. Then, people question their parenting when karma rears its ugly head.
But, Jane is a single example of this standard. Natalie has another friend whose partner not only abundantly cheated but actually shot at her. Yes, shot at her. She was pregnant with his child at the time. They’re still together.
Friends, family members, and acquaintances frequently bombard me with details of their mate routinely taking advantage of them. They keep forgiving and keep suffering. A college pal of mine, Sherry, has a motto along the lines of the following:
“Everyone gets cheated on. So, if you’re going to be in a relationship, be with someone who treats you like a queen while they do it”.
She’s living with the same guy who cheated on her multiple times.
These women appallingly cling to these men despite their adultery because they consider finding someone else comparable to winning the lottery. Being raised around women – my mother, four aunts, two older sisters, and a niece – I am aware of their strength and beauty. But, unfortunately, they can be clueless to their own inner substance. Jane and Sherry are both attractive women with positive qualities. But, their low self-esteem makes them so unsightly. It’s a shame.
Healthy relationships stem from a mutual understanding that if one party blatantly breaches their commitment, it’s over. The potential to lose something precious creates appreciation. I understand people genuinely make mistakes and forgiveness granted under these circumstances illustrates character. But, reducing yourself to a doormat reflects zero self-respect . That’s unacceptable.
Sometimes, when someone slaps you, turning the other cheek only provides that person with another opportunity.
- The Paradox of Cheating (theartofpsychology.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness (letterstomysister.com)
- He Cheated, Should I Stay? (mrsindulge.wordpress.com)