Michele Bird
March 01, 2016 11:57 am
iStock

Getting cheated on has to be one of the worst and most painful deceptions a person can endure. If you had asked me a few years back if I’d consider it as one of the best things that happened to me, I would have told you there’s no way. Sometimes a negative experience can actually end up changing your life like you never expected.

While many don’t find it entirely possible to fall in love as a teenager, it happened to me. He had been the love of my life – my first real and serious relationship. From falling head over heels in high school to navigating college life, we had been together for more than four years. Even though a good portion of our relationship felt seemingly perfect at the time, I would soon have to face the realization that it was all going to come to an end.

We often did the dance where we would break up and get back together just to repeat the same cycle a few months later. In between I turned a blind eye to white lies that ended up developing into green-eyed monsters later on. Trust is something that is hard to gain, yet can be easily broken. All it takes is one event for trust to be shattered and a lifetime to earn it back. These should have been obvious red flags, but my attitude to keep fighting for the relationship made it hard for me to ultimately cut ties.

If you’ve ever gotten a bad feeling you just can’t shake, usually your gut is right. The final months of our relationship had been rocky at best. We tried to make things work but for some reason it just felt off. It wasn’t long after that I found out my relationship would be over because of a betrayal I had always been in fear of.

No one ever wishes or wants to be cheated on. When I found out that it had happened to me, I was in disbelief as my world felt like it was falling apart piece by piece. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy road ahead, but it was one I had no choice in taking.

I had seen the struggle my friends faced when they had gone through a similar experience as the one I now had the burden of taking on. Accepting the fact that your significant other has chosen someone else over you is a difficult thing to wrap your head around. I had a flurry of mixed feelings ranging from sadness to anger as the days, weeks, and months slowly passed by.

Despite the heartbreak I was experiencing, a big part of me had wanted to forgive him for what happened. I had wanted to move forward and have things return to the way the used to be when everything felt perfect. Deep down, I knew this wasn’t a possible reality and I needed to fully accept that things would never be the same.

After the breakup, I spent a lot of my time in self-reflection. I surrounded myself with the support of friends and family to keep my mind off things. I tried to understand what went wrong and if there’s something I could have done to change the outcome. What I learned is that you can’t change the past or who a person is. People make mistakes and it’s not always something you could have prevented no matter how much you analyze the situation. It was a hard lesson for me to learn but it was a necessary one I needed.

It’s always better that we ended up going our separate ways. If there’s one thing I wish I could have said it would have to be “thank you.” By walking away you granted me the favor that I may have never had the courage to do myself. This hard lesson changed me for the better in ways I could have never imagined.

Today I’m grateful to say I’ve found someone who taught me how to love again by mending back the pieces of a once broken heart. He shows me unconditional respect, love, and happiness each and every day. While no relationship is ever completely perfect, I’m forever thankful to have an SO that never gives up on me no matter if times are good or bad.

Even though my past will always be part of me, I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Getting cheated on helped me realize what love should and shouldn’t be. I discovered how strong I was capable of being in the face of difficult situations. I reevaluated what I actually wanted in a relationship and my future SO. I learned how to stand up for myself and no longer allow others to walk all over me like I had before. Most of all, I resolved that letting go of toxic situations is the first step to truly respecting and loving yourself as a person.

To anyone who has ever been where I once was, always try and see a cloud’s silver lining. Getting over heartbreak – especially getting cheated on – isn’t something that will heal right away. It’s certainly not an easy road to journey through and there’s definitely no official handbook on how to handle these sorts of things. All I can say is this is one life lesson I’ll never forget. And it’s one lesson I’ll forever be thankful for.

Advertisement