Finding peace in betrayalApr 03, 2021
Omg. I can't believe I'm actually going to open up this can of worms. You know you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube....but I'm going to share something people don't usually talk about for fear of judgement, etc. because I know it's going to help someone else to hear it from me.
So, here's the story. In 2018, I got involved with a man, who at first said, let's not catch feelings. We'll just be friends with benefits. I went along with it because I wanted to be with him but I really wasn't ok with what he proposed. I ultimately wanted an unconditional, loving, monogamous relationship.
And then I got feelings for him and told him that I wasn't ok with him seeing other women. So then he proposed, "I could be in a committed relationship with you if you are open to bringing other women into our relationship." I said, "I don't feel comfortable with you being with other women behind my back but I would consider it if I was included." He agreed to that.
I had never done anything like that before but I pride myself about being open minded and I thought I could find out for sure if I was ok with sharing in an open way. So we booked a trip to a resort where that kind of thing was ok. And we connected with other people with some agreements: we would both agree on who we connected with, we would honor our relationship first and foremost so if one of us wasn't ok with what was happening, we would both stop. No secrets. No lies. All out in the open.
Sounds good, right? There were moments where I felt incredible jealousy and felt unseen and unloved and we talked about those times. But for the most part, I had lots of fun. It felt light and playful. We met some really great people and it seemed harmless. And I felt like I could have what I wanted and so could he.
And then one day about two years after we had been dating, I found out that he had been sending flirty texts to a woman and had met up with her behind my back. It didn't matter how far it went. He was keeping secrets and lying. I broke up with him. To me, betrayal is betrayal. Lies are lies and I will not accept them on any level.
A month and a half later after we were broken up, I found out that he had slept with four other women over the two years we had been together and had lied to me and kept every woman a secret from me. At that point, and still today, I can't make sense of all of this. He had everything he wanted, I thought. He could have his cake and eat it too. I allowed him to be with other women in front of me but not behind my back.
He explained that his addiction, his need for validity, had nothing to do with me. He regretted it and vowed to get help and to change. I couldn't get past it though. I am still sorting through messy, confusing, deep, and painful emotions.
For me, understanding why brings me peace. I feel like I walk a very thin line. On one side of the line are the thoughts, "What's wrong with me? Why am I not enough? How did I miss the signs? Why do I trust so easily?" And on the other side of the line are the thoughts, "You did know the truth. Your gut felt it. You are the most valuable treasure. You lied to yourself because you wanted to be loved."
And this is my healing path, to notice the dark stuff and give it the time of day, pour some light and love on it, to nurture it. And to strengthen my connection with the truth. This is my work.
Thank you for reading. If you can relate, reach out to me. We are stronger together.
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