Betrayal is something that is so over-publicized these days that it has almost lost its actual meaning. We hear about it so much in the media or in movies, songwriters express it in their number one hits all the time which people casually sing along to, unaware of the pain it took to write such powerful and imposing lyrics. Do we ever really understand the act of cheating? In my opinion, cheating will always just be a common phrase that’s taken for granted. Unless of course you have experienced its heart-wrenching effects.
So why do people do it? What sort of mystical being can capture and engulf someone’s heart that once belonged safely to someone else? Not many I would think. Nine times out of ten you don’t end your current relationship and marry your secret Lover; you regret it ever happening. Then why do it? For some people, it’s the thrill of it all. It’s a small spark with someone else that you didn’t think possible when you got into your relationship. You start doubting it; “Am I happy with my partner?” “If I was, would I be feeling these mixed emotions?” The answer (generally speaking) is yes. Depending on how long you’ve been in the relationship, you may not feel butterflies anymore. You may not shake in their presence, or want to be with them all the time. But you do need them. Life wouldn’t be the same without them.
I guess one way of looking at it is that love is like a drug. It makes you feel ecstatic and you can’t get enough of it. You need it on a daily basis to survive. But as time passes, you get accustomed to the high. It begins to feel normal, like it isn’t even in your system. That’s when a new drug (the Lover) comes into the picture. However, if you take away the first drug that’s been keeping you grounded, you’ll start to get withdrawal symptoms and wish you hadn’t forgotten what that ecstatic feeling was like. And sometimes that’s really all it is. People forget what it was they felt in their relationship until it’s too late.
Perhaps sometimes it’s simply spending too much time with someone you know is interested. Mix alcohol into that and you’ll have deadly results. I refuse to accept drinking as a legit excuse for cheating. No-one forced you onto him; no-one forced you to get drunk. In fact, people may even have warned you in the midst of the madness not to betray your partner. But when a person’s mind is set on something and they are consumed in those thoughts (and liquor), nothing will prevent the inevitable mistakes that lie ahead. If you have been cheated on in these circumstances, don’t make or allow excuses. Don’t blame the drink. Alcohol didn’t cheat on you.
After you have experienced this utmost form of betrayal, how does the relationship recover from such a blow? First of all you must decide if the relationship is worth fighting to save. You could base that decision on multiple factors: 1. Did you partner tell you everything about the affair without having to be interrogated. 2. Did they show remorse and regret for their actions. 3. Are they willing to work ruthlessly to get your trust back? If the answer is yes to all of those factors, to a certain extent they deserve another chance. But even if you do decide to forgive them, the emotional scars will not automatically fade away. Nor will the mind-engraved vision of your loved one enjoying the gentle caress of a hand or lip that isn’t yours.
When your heart is hurt in such a tormenting way, there is only one person that can heal it: yourself. No amount of “I’m sorry” s or boxes of chocolates can replace the piece of your heart that was lost in this process. Will you heart ever replace that piece? Possibly not. Maybe it’s just leaving room for an even stronger love to grow in its place. If you can genuinely forgive someone for playing your heart like that, at least you’ll have the consolation of knowing that no matter how many times it gets broken, you have a heart that many relationships would die for. You have a heart that shows no boundaries towards forgiveness and love.