I’m Fine. Fuck You.

This situation is new, but the feelings are all too familiar. I lost my dad when I was 20 years old and it ruined me. The next 2 years of my life included a headfirst dive into the joys of alcohol, followed by the sobering experience of failing a university course just because I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I distanced myself from everyone I knew and loved—except for one person ironically enough.

This fucked up situation is different, but the motions are the same. In the first weeks, I stopped eating. This time the booze was followed by weed (I have expanded my horizons!). I refused to get out of bed until I had to, and even when I had to I’d still say fuck it. I lost interest in everything and I distanced myself from everyone.

So here I am, a month and change since my life came tumbling down around me, but I’m OK. Really. I’m OK. I know only a person who is not OK would try to convince you this hard that they are in fact OK, but seriously, fuck off, I’m fine.

Because I’ve learned that being OK is kind of the only thing I can do. I still drink and smoke too much, but I’m a musician in his 20s so let’s just let that one slide. But I make myself eat. I refuse to stay in bed and I am seeking out my friends as much as I can. I don’t let what she did ruin me. I don’t let her and this act consume my every waking thought. Not anymore. Because I am OK.

I tell myself I am OK. And even though it sounds like one, it is not a lie. It’s a hope. And it’s a reminder.

I have so many amazing things in my life and I need to remember that—as hard as it is. So I have learned to take my life day by day.

Today I woke up and I am healthy. I do not need to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I have an amazing mother and brother who I don’t see nearly as often as I should. I have an incredible network of friends and I love my job.

So I am OK. I’m fucking great… or at least I know I will be.

Revenge or just returning the favor?

Ah, revenge. Sounds fucking sweet right about now. Anyone who has been cheated on has to consider a revenge affair at some point… it would feel so good.

One of the first things my friend Mark said to me: “You should go fuck his wife.”

And ya know what, buddy? That sounds wonderful. Make both of them pay. I thought about how I could make her understand the pain she was putting me through if I went out and did the same to her. I want her to hurt. I want her to suffer. I want her to understand how badly this sucks.

But I’m not that person.

Even with how she treated me, I have too much respect for her to go out there and purposefully hurt her and go back on my word. I am a man of my word and right now I kind of wish I wasn’t.

And if I did act on these feelings of revenge, how can I still say what she did was wrong. Doing so settles the score (kind of) and I don’t want the score settled. I don’t want to stoop to her level and I don’t want there to be any possibility of her believing any part of this is OK.

So justice won’t be served. She gets away with it. She had her cake and ate it too.

As fucking cliche as it is, the best revenge in this scenario is for me to go out and be the best me that I can. I can only prove to her that I am the catch and if she wants to keep me around, she needs to work for it.

So here’s to the new and improved me…coming soon to a theater near you.

 

Friends… They’ll be there for you

Somehow when you’ve been cheated on you end up feeling ashamed. Even though you did nothing wrong. You feel judged for doing such a horrible job in picking a partner. You feel guilty for making others look at your partner in a negative way. You feel fucking weak and stupid just for considering giving them another chance.

So it is no surprise that I struggled to tell anyone.

I went for hours before finally calling my best friend Mark. He dropped everything and came straight to my apartment with a box of double stuffed Oreos: a solution to girl troubles we started back in middle school.

He helped me make it through those first days.

Mark made me talk about it, he made me laugh and poked fun at me like the sarcastic assholes we both are. He forced me to eat and just listened to everything I had to say. He offered his thoughts (he has a unique perspective having cheated in an early college relationship himself) but told me only I could make the choice. He has known me both in and out of this relationship and just wants the best for me. He called me every day after work for the next week and even Facetimed me shitfaced from vacation because I was having a bad day.

It can be hard to open up to friends and easy to feel like you are a burden, but it is times like these that make me remember, that is exactly what friends are for. So fuck it, use them.

I eventually told my best female friend, Amanda. Amanda is the kind of friend who knows exactly what to say. She reminded me that I am not weak for wanting to stay. In her eyes, I was picking the harder choice and she respected how much strength that took. She reminded me that I did not deserve this. Paragraph texts were sent and she calmly responded and listened to everything I had even as I felt like I was being nonsensical and ridiculous.

But then my friend’s support slowly slipped from neutral to very clearly against me staying in the relationship. They continue to respect that it is my choice and will genuinely support whatever I decide, but their thoughts are clear. 

And that sucks.

The people who care about me are telling me what they think I need to do, and even though there is a part of me that agrees and knows they are making sense, it is not what I want, and just not what I am going to do.

So I distanced myself. I became afraid to tell them anything. Every time I even hinted at wanting to end things, they would seem happy for me to finally make what they thought was the right decision. Anything my partner did that upset me I felt like I couldn’t share because it only reinforced what they thought about her.

This brings up the most difficult part of working past an affair. The only person I want to talk to, the only person I fully trust, and the only person who understands is the very person who hurt me. But can I really tell her “I hate you and think it might be best to break up” if I want to work through this with her? Probably not…

So I’m left alone. I try to talk to my friends when I need to get something off my chest, but I know every speed bump that comes my way is just another reason they think I should leave.

So I am fucking alone.

“Should I stay or should I rock the Casbah?”

The worst part of being cheated on is being left with this choice. A choice I did not want to make and a choice that was not even remotely on my mind: To leave or to stay.

My partner fucked up. She took all of the risks, received all of the rewards, and now I am left to choose.

I have always said that cheating is one of the few things in life I considered unforgivable (and part of me still believes this). The issue was always black and white to me. It’s so easy to look on from the outside and know exactly what you would do. Someone cheats, you leave. If you don’t, you’re a dumbass.

Well, nice to meet you, my name is Dumbass.

The choice is not an easy one and until you are in the midst of it, you cannot possibly understand what that is like. The friends I told (and I didn’t tell many because somehow feel ashamed) say they will support me no matter what, but no matter how hard they try to hide it, they think I should leave. They don’t understand how I could even fathom forgiving this person. How you I possibly trust her again. How I could still love a person who would treat me this way. And there is a part of me that agrees because I know how unbelievably fucked up this all is. And there is a part of me that just wishes I could stop loving them.

But I can’t do it. I can’t get myself to agree that I need to leave and I feel like shit for staying: “How can I just let them get away with this?” I feel weak for not having the courage walk away, to demand what I deserve.

But I look at my girlfriend and think “I love you. I wanted a future with you and I don’t know how to throw that away.” No matter how badly I am hurt, no matter how much I may dislike her or even hate her, I still love her.

She broke my heart, disrespected me, replaced me, and now I know she loves someone else.

But she is my best friend. I love her with every fiber of my being. I just can’t throw away everything we have. Even if it ends tomorrow, next week, or in a year, I have to try.

I’m not ready to let go.