Letter from a Reader: Leaving a Cheater

30 Apr

Why You Should Leave a Cheater remains my most popular post.  I continue to get at least one or two emails a week, often more, from people who are dealing with similar situations.  The stories are always sad, heartfelt, and usually inspiring.   There are always a lot of emotions involved.  This is an issue that far too many people struggle with, sometimes after years of having the same negative behavior repeated by their partner.

They are all different, yet very much the same.  Men and women are both affected, and reach out to me in fairly even proportions.  None of them expected to be where they are.  Some of them try to hang on and fight for their relationship, others are struggling to make up their minds or seeking support and reinforcement for a decision they’ve already made to cut the cheater out of their lives.

Despite my strong personal feelings on the subject and the decisive wording of my article, I try to be an ear more than a giver of advice.  Every situation has its own complications, and I am not a trained therapist.  What I do think is that everyone should listen to their inner voice, be very cautious with someone who has already lied and cheated, and not settle for a bad partner out of fear and complacency.

Today I was contacted by a woman who very eloquently shared her story and what brought her to my blog.  I requested permission to share her story because it resonated with me.  Her story sounds like mine.  Maybe it sounds like yours.  There are many common threads in relationships where cheating is involved.  There is also power in hearing other people’s experiences.   She was kind enough to allow me to share in the hopes that someone could benefit from reading it.  Here is her personal story of leaving a cheater:

“I am a young woman from Ireland who has just discovered your blog. I just wanted to send you an email to say that your post ‘Why You Should Leave a Cheater’ is probably, no, most definitely, the best piece of advice I ever could have read.

Recently I’ve gone through a very rough patch with my partner of 1.5 years. I would consider myself a strong, confident, ambitious woman but because of him, I felt like nothing more than a few pieces of broken glass. He completely tore me apart as a person, and still, I stayed with him because ‘he needed my help’ to sort out his mess of a head. My family and friends hated him, but I thought that love conquers all, excuse the cliche.

After all my attempts to keep both of our heads above the water, I discovered he cheated on me, not physically but emotionally. Although there was no physical contact, I have no doubt that I will never feel pain comparable to that of seeing filthy pictures and messages exchanged between my partner and a woman from his past. I broke things off, and just as you described in your post, his tears started streaming, nose running, condemning himself for what he had put me through and the exclamations of how he couldn’t live with himself. And also, just like you, I felt so sorry for him. Look at this poor guy, he made a mistake, one stupid mistake and surely people deserve a second, third, fourth or fifth chance? How glad I am that I never offered that chance.

My partner was an emotionally abusive partner and it took me too long to acknowledge, accept and realise this. When I broke it off with him, I felt like I had been let out of a cage for the first time in months. I felt so free. I’m no expert, but I don’t think many people feel like that when they leave a relationship. So I was moving on, discovering new and amazing people, learning that there ARE people out there that I deserve, and yes, I do deserve better than the love he gave me. As I was moving onwards and upwards, we bumped into each other on a night out. We talked and he broke down in tears, exclaiming how losing me had opened up his eyes and changed him, making him see that he didn’t want to be THAT person. He begged me to consider giving him the chance to prove himself, and to prove that I could trust him.

After a few days consideration, it was last night that I told him I simply could not allow him the chance to regain my trust, as I had not yet accepted or moved past the hurt he caused me. Oh, and the fact that I didn’t, in the slightest, deserve any of it. Looking into his red,puffy eyes as he promised me he had been snapped into reality, and that he had changed for the better, I really did think ‘what if that is true’? He said it with such conviction that it made me think, ‘if he has changed, we could have the most perfect relationship out there’. I considered that maybe, just for the fact that he seemed so genuine about changing, we could actually be great together.

But I took a step back from my emotionally clouded judgement, and remembered the moment I found those pictures and filthy messages. I remembered the time he squared up to me and backed me into a corner. I remembered the time he told me I looked like a slut in my new top that I loved. I remembered the time he threatened to drive away in my car if I didn’t get back in it. I remembered the time he didn’t defend me when his friend called me fat. I remembered every little time that my heart twinged with pain. I looked into his eyes and told him I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t give him that next chance, because I wanted to grow and rebuild every part of me that he knocked down.

This morning, I had slight doubts and googled, ‘Have I made the right decision to leave my boyfriend’? That’s when your blog post popped up. And thank God for that. It’s so, so refreshing to know that someone ‘gets it’. Although I wish you and I had never gone through that pain, in a way, I now feel ready to offer helpful advice to others in a similar situation. I know that if my daughter one day goes through something similar, I’ll know exactly what to say and why.

Break ups, no matter what the reason, can be excruciating, especially when you feel like you’re not leaving just one person, but their whole family too. You’re cutting off what was your livelihood, love and passion for years. But when I doubt myself, and I read posts like the one you wrote, it makes me think I’m not the only one who has had to make these decisions. Thank you for taking the time to write that, because it really has cemented in my mind that this is what I want to do, this is the right decision. So thank you.

I read a quote recently that said ‘we accept the love we think we deserve’, and it’s very true. Right now, I’m certain that I deserve more, so why settle for shade when I can have sunlight?”

I hope anyone who reads her words will think about the type of love that you deserve and not accept less.


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9 Responses to “Letter from a Reader: Leaving a Cheater”

  1. infinitymadness2 May 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Sorry, I don’t mean to spam. I found another blog that is similar to yours, and to those who’ve gone through the same thing.

    Here are some of the poems I copied. They’re really good. I hope you like it. :)

    I replaced the ex just fine
    with a cute puppy found online
    kept me warm at night
    and never did bite
    Clearly a more pure bloodline


    You are a habitual liar
    Raising my continual ire
    You fuck everything with 2 legs
    A question which begs
    How many of them were for hire?


    Oh poor me, my life is so crappy
    my lonely penis just goes flippy flappy
    21 years down the drain
    my family’s in pain
    but a ho sure makes me happy.


    Source- http://chumplady.com/2013/02/and-the-winners-are/

  3. A5 May 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    ive recently posted regarding the main reason why i believe that one who has been cheated on should run away as fast as she can.. i should probably write an article on the way in which men see/ view most women today& why… i honestly believe that much of the poor treatment has to do with how we as women as a whole ‘society’ market ourselves to men these days. WE ARE FAR TOO AVAILABLE AS YOUNG WOMEN,, to these young men& when they have offered us nothing to sart with.. it used to be that a young man had to have something to OFFER a young lady.. he could not be with her until he married her, and in order to marry he had to have a job, a home, a trade, and would work to apprentice, save the money, build the house and so forth.. now all these men offer is an initial ride on XXXX and then we must impress THEM so they can keep giving it to us& then they walk away to a new female or they stay& cheat.. ????
    to be continued but food for thought in the meantime :)

    • beautifulmess7 May 7, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      I don’t think all women behave that way. I definitely think it circles back to self esteem. I certainly had low self esteem when I met my ex-husband, and throughout most of our relationship. It wasn’t because I wasn’t successful, accomplished, and strong. It was because my view of myself and what I deserved was off.

      There are chivalrous men out there. I know because I’ve got one now. There are still men who want to provide. Who cherish the woman in their life. Who have a good job, a beautiful home, savings, and plenty to offer a partner. Those men don’t play games. They don’t jump from woman to woman.

      You’re right, though, that the problem starts with the women who accept that behavior. Who think they can’t get better or don’t deserve better, somewhere deep down inside (even if they know in their head that’s not true). Women who try to impress men who aren’t worth impressing. Who provide for men who can’t get it together (or don’t want to because it’s easier to live off of someone else). Those trends need to stop, and I think that starts with better self esteem for young women.

      • Pat June 12, 2014 at 5:15 am #

        I agree with u I was one of those women who entertained a men like that for 32 year’s. When i eventually kicked him out after the last straw. He now continues to use other women for their resources. Not one many. Some of them talk bad about until they find out differently. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. I so amazing how the other women always thinks he will not do to them what he did to you.

        • Lady June 12, 2014 at 5:20 am #

          No one can change these men not even after 32 years of marriage, children and grand children. Ladies stop thinking you will be treated any different to the wife that put her family first and loved her husband.

          • Anonymous September 17, 2014 at 3:13 am #

            My husband cheated on me only a month after renewing our wedding vows for our 10th anniversary. At the time we had 2 children. He confessed his affair to me when I was 8 weeks pregnant with our third. I felt like I had to “suck it up” because I needed to focus on the baby. It’s now been a year since he told me but despite things seeming better for a while I’m miserable. I don’t know how to leave. The baby is 6 months old and I keep thinking of keeping things together for the kids. We did big renos to the house and now that there is nothing left to do I find myself thinking about his affair. It irks me that hubby is sooo happy and blissfully unaware of the fact that I’m filled with so much anger and resentment towards him as well as love. I hate my life at the moment!

            • beautifulmess7 September 17, 2014 at 7:11 am #

              Speak up. Get yourself therapy. It’s a tricky situation, but you can’t just keep swallowing your feelings. It will tear you apart.


  1. Why You Should Leave a Cheater | Being a Beautiful Mess - April 30, 2014

    […] If you want more stories about what can change when you leave a cheater, read this letter from a reader: Personal Story of Leaving a Cheater […]

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