I recently ended an important relationship. Important in my mind I suppose. We had a good thing for a few years although I know it was not perfect. I wasn’t aiming for perfect – in my defense. I found out he had cheated on me during our time together, both emotionally and physically. I even met the woman he cheated on me with although she and I both think there are plenty of others. Thank God my friends were with me because the moment of enlightenment was truly better than television and I would not have believed it to be true if it were not seen through their eyes as well as mine.
Interestingly enough, it was HE who inadvertently threw us together one night about a month or so ago…something deep down in him probably wanted us to both find out. At the time, I could only feel sadness. Not the anger I had imagined people who were cheated on felt. I hear the country western songs and even know some of the lyrics. I read poetry. I get that I was supposed to feel rage in my heart and all I felt was sadness and regret.
Since the not-so-chance meeting, I found ways to place blame on her, him and even myself (should have traveled less and spent more time with him, etc.). When the goal is to blame, there are always countless options and people to choose from. The problem is, blaming was not helping me move on and it certainly did not make me feel any better about the situation. I needed to be o.k. with the fact that for the first time in my life, I was cheatable (my new word) – deserving or not. I was the scorned woman who would have to learn to trust again, hoping that too many years would not pass me by in the process because there’s just not that much time left to live.
Part of the reason I started this blog was because something has changed in me since my epiphany in June. One night as I gave serious thought to the rest of my life, I decided I was going to try to do everything in my life slightly different. My strategy is change for the sake of change. All of the angst, the uneasy feelings, the unfamiliar, the adrenaline and risk… it was all part of the deal that I made with myself and the universe.
It’s not the other woman’s fault he cheated. In her mind’s eye, I’m the cheater because she had not known he and I were together. Ultimately I placed my faith in him that he would be loyal in the relationship and he decided – for whatever reason – to not be what I had hoped for. I chose to be loyal. So did she.
Blame ruins lives. It takes away possibilities and stunts potential. It creates unfulfilled people who never meet expectations. In the extreme, it germinates conflicts and wars. It fuels genocides and atrocities. It doesn’t solve, fix, repair, create, make whole – in fact, nothing good comes from blame. It is as toxic as hate and ignorance. In my own incredibly insignificant way, I truly understand now.
I’m not a victim and neither is the woman he cheated on me with – I refuse to refer to her as “the other woman” because she’s simply “a woman”. We can live our lives knowing we were both true to who we are and hopefully he can also do the same. I am not interested in placing blame and spending my precious energy and time on finding out the details of the indiscretion. I have far better things to do with my life and the time I have left on this earth. So does she.