Infidelity is a bitch. If we’re not careful we can let it define our worth and value in the world. “I’m not good enough to keep a man.” “I’m doing something wrong.” “He didn’t want me anymore.” All these things are totally untrue and completely destructive to our well-being. If we decide to stay with a cheater, we’re always going to be dragging a dirty puddle of self-doubt and insecurity. It’s hard to think outside ourselves when we’re in a situation like this, but we have to do it. Here are a few of the main reasons why we stay with cheaters:
#1) We think it’s our fault so we try to change ourselves instead.
Usually the first person we blame when our man starts creeping up and down the block is ourselves, not him. Only after we clear away the fog do we realize it was never our fault. Too often, people in cheating relationships keep a hold to their cheating boyfriends thinking that if they tweaked, altered, or rearranged whatever it is that’s fractured, all will be well again. Trust me, it won’t. If you do choose to move on, you need to accept the fact that it happened because it happened and there are no guarantees it won’t happen again. It wasn’t your fault, so stop blaming yourself.
#2) You’ve come to expect it.
Just because you’re a gay couple doesn’t mean you need to expect your man to cheat. It’s not ingrained in us to be natural cheaters. If you want a monogamous relationship and express it to him as such, there are no excuses. We may have Grindr and we may have penises, but you can’t enter a relationship expecting him to cheat. You’ll be spending hours counting down the time until, sure enough, it’ll happen.
#3) The fear of failing…
This is a major pattern happening particularly with young guys, or, older men who new to gay relationships. The idea of not having a successful relationship from the get-go keeps us blinded from the truth sometimes. Our eagerness to prove the world wrong becomes the very thing keeping us from exploring potential endings. We want to play it out until the very last breath no matter the consequences. But the thing is, our fear of failure is rooted with how people think of us. It’s impossible for us to fail when we’re the only ones judging our decisions.
#4) Breakups = Loneliness.
It seems like singleness and loneliness go hand in hand, but they don’t. No one gives a crap if you’re single and believe me when I say no one is judging you. If you’ve spent all your life jumping from man to man to man, and you’ve barely had a second to think by yourself, of course you’d think being single means being “alone.” But in my opinion, choosing to stay with a man who’s giving you a fraction of his affection (and the rest to someone else) is the loneliest bubble of all. Food for thought.
#5) Denial of the fact that YOU are one to be cheated on.
Me? Someone cheated on me? I don’t think so. Believe it or not, there are tons of guys who continuously deny the fact because it’s usually them who do the cheating, not the men they’re with. In an effort to preserve hierarchy, their ego convinces them to withstand it. It’s an unfamiliar process for them – one that typically comes by way of cognitive dissonance. But, at the end of the day it’s a survival mechanism.
#6) We think we can’t do any better.
This is a result of low self-esteem. Perhaps it’s linked to childhood or perhaps it’s rooted with how we rank ourselves as adults, but when push comes to shove, we feel like we’re not good enough and that we deserve to be cheated on. Let me tell you the truth: no one deserves infidelity. You cannot let a man define your worth and value in this world because only you can do that. You are as valuable as you say you are. No ifs, ands, or buts.
#7) We think he’ll change.
Sometimes he can change, but his sexual prowess is still going to be the same. The term “once a cheater always a cheater” is kind of true, but that’s not to say a man can’t discipline himself hard enough. There comes a time, however, when we need to accept the fact that words don’t speak nearly as loud as actions.
#8) The history is too much to forget.
You have an apartment, you have a dog, you may even have kids, but none of those compare to the countless of Christmases, birthdays, drunken scrabble nights and everything else that’s made the foundation of your relationship. The past can’t always be the excuse behind your present decisions. The only way you can make important changes is by observing the situation today, not five years ago.
#9) We’re dependent on him.
This is a recurring problem in the gay community. He owns the house, he’s the one that has the money, he’s been supporting you while you’ve been going back to school, etc. Of course this might make you believe he can “do whatever he wants.” After all, he has the power. This is so not true. The reason why he has power, if any, is because you’ve handed it to him on a platter. Trust me when I say as soon as the power is gone, there will be a noticeable shift.
#10) The unfamiliar is scary as F**K.
When you’re in a relationship for a really long time, it’s incredibly hard to imagine your life any way else. Habits have been formed, new friends were made, your schedule has revolved around quality time; when he’s not in the picture any more, how can we live? The unfamiliar should never be scary and it should never ever keep you from getting the treatment you know you deserve. Take a moment to reflect on how many times you’ve let fear get in your way – do you really want it to happen again?