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.


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

  1. K@ July 25, 2018 at 9:37 am #

    Thank you for this.

  2. Beth March 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm #

    Please don’t ever delete this post. Please.

    • beautifulmess7 March 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

      I don’t plan to

  3. Surayya malik September 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    I have been through this for the past eight years ! I sometimes wonder after having broken off with him ” what is it about him that I fell in love with and why did I love him so much ?” He cheated on me numerous time , and every time I d catch him red handed he d make it sound my eyesight needed help! I learned he is a typical narcissist and he can convince a jury he never committed the crime when he really did and he can even convince the jury the witness who was there and witnessed the crime
    Is a liar ! He convinced his family , his kids that I was the bad one ! I realized he needed a ” yes woman ” who accepts every word he said example ” I am working late tonight ” and I accepted it. Than when he d return from work he d make hot passionate love to me
    Just to hide his crime ( cheating ) he wanted a woman who d not question me. I smelt a rat because I noted his late shifts and working overtime became constant. And when I questioned him he d get defensive. So playing detective I spied on him and found my doubts were not doubts ! Yet he balled , and begged I was wrong ! This continued forever and I decided pull the plug. Glad I did and yes I too started doubting did I make the eigrh decision. I ask though. Why do we women doubt ourselves when we did take the right step?

    • Anonymous September 21, 2015 at 7:10 am #

      I have been through it married for 32 years and then sent him packing when it happened I had enough. Still think about the way he used me and the marriage for his own personal selfishness. I lost my youth and now at this age its not easy to find someone but I have moved on much more relaxed and nor anxious anymore. He is still using other women for gain I guess he will never stop. I pray karma will catch up with him. He destroyed a family.

  4. TK80 November 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    I am a girl and I met my ex-gf 3 yrs ago via some mutual friends of ours. I was in Malaysia and she was in NZ. Despite the distance, we started off real sweet and loving and it made some of our friends real envious and everyone thought we would end up together. Knowing that we couldn’t live apart for the rest of our lives, I decided to give up my booming career in Malaysia and joined her in NZ. 2 months before I finally made it to NZ, she got a secondment offer to Sydney for a year and she was contemplating if she should take it. She consulted some mutual friends in NZ about the offer and no one supported her decision to take up the offer. And she called one of the mutual friends out and started telling her about her problems with me and the bad side of me. That friend was taken aback by her words as to her I had always been the perfect girlfriend and nothing else. And rather instantly that friend confronted my ex with a question, “Are you distracted by someone else?” And she responded by defending herself that her decision to take up the offer was for better monies and nothing to do with “someone else”. It was quite apparent to my friend that she was trying to hide something from me and therefore the group of friends decided to tell me what was really going on and I was in disbelief that my ex would do that to me and despite what they said, she still chose to move to NZ. It turned out the friendship between my ex and the group of friends turned sour with her totally written them off. My ex suddenly surprised me with her declining the offer and gave us both a chance and there I came to NZ.

    It was not an easy thing to do as when I first arrived here, she was acting cold and did not show any intimacy at all. But I thought it was because she was going through a hard time last couple of months that prompted her to seek counselling advice. I was being myself, trying to show affection and intimacy but it was rather one way all the time.

    Between end March and early April, she was assigned to Sydney for 2 weeks and during that time and I had not been suspicious at all about her meeting up with the same girl in Sydney who got her distracted last year. She was so sweet to me when she was in Sydney, texting and calling me everyday without fail and was telling me how much she missed me and how much she wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and at that time, I was really touched and thought to myself…finally my gf is coming back to me, 100% to me and I was so happy about it…that made me the happiest person ever.

    On April 30, I suddenly felt the compelling temptation to look at her whatsapp chat histories and I saw exchanges of her and that girl since Jan this year till April 30. Even they took pics together when she was in Sydney just like a couple. They had been exchanging messages like couple did and the girl even called my gf “BB” = baby. I saw exchanges of photos, some deleted ones (maybe too explicit) and all the sweet messages just like when we were having our long d. It broke my heart and I was devastated. But I kept it to myself as I was also thinking for myself. I got a good job offer about the same time after waited for 4 months since my arrival here and I thought I should do something for myself, at least to secure a career here.

    In Aug, we had a fight and she was telling me about how uncommitted I was and she even said to me that she hated me. I was burst down to tears and I confessed to her about me invading her privacy by reading her whatsapp messages and to my real shock, she said she knew about it but not bringing it up as she was waiting on me to bring that up myself. She then admitted at one point she wanted to be with her and not wanting me anymore but she was stopped by a good friend. She said she stopped but to what extent? Early this year, she said she knew what she was doing and she would stop contacting that girl but she never did.

    What’s more ridiculous was she wanted to us to have baby with me being the surrogate mother on conditions that it would be her genes and bearing her family name. That conversation was brought up post April after I knew what she was doing behind my back. When I tried to be as cautious as possible, not rejecting her plan but I told her we needed to be real committed to one another before we should move to the next level of having a child together. But to her, I wasn’t being committed. It took us a few months later to really break up. She was sent to Sydney again for work for 5 days in Sept and she extended her stay over the weekend and went there 2 days earlier. And so happened, she was in Sydney on her bday. I told her weeks before that I had plan to celebrate her bday with her and she acknowledged that. But when this business trip came about, she chose to be away when she didn’t have to. I was so heartbroken and confronted her and she told me off..completely off. She told me she didn’t want me to celebrate her bday and she even added that she didn’t want to see my face.

    After her return from Sydney, we broke off. I offered to move out and she was okay with that. She was staying at her friend’s after her return while the friend was abroad and now the friend has returned for nearly 3 weeks, she is still reluctant to move back entirely. She sleeps in our house on weekdays on the couch while I am in the room.

    On the same day of break up, we had a talk at night time and she asked me if I would still look for her and see her. I said I would. She even said that even if I had already moved out, she wanted me to come home for dinner every Sunday. And we could have dinners on Fridays and Saturdays. She said that if we find it comfortable to communicate in a different way or format, we could get back together. She kept telling me that it’s possible. On from that day on wards, we still see each other everyday, having dinner together even over the weekends. We do things we did when we were still together except for not sleeping together.

    She said harsh things and heartbreaking things to me and never gave me a closure I deserved when I did ask for it. I told her I needed a closure to move on but she refused to give me one. I don’t know of her current status with the girl but if they have already started dating, she is being unfair to her as well.

    I don’t know what she is up to. What kind of agenda she has. One minute she makes me wanted but the next minute she totally ignores me. I feel like a back up. Maybe she is seeing me as back up. I have been so naive that I thought we still stand a chance to get back together. The longer we keep our current status “undefined” or in grey area, the more evidences I picked up along the way, all evidences have proven her cheating on me.

    I just got back from business trip in China just recently and got her some nice tops that suit her style. There wasn’t any ‘thank you’ coming from her and even worse, she was being a real b****! She was commenting on the tops and that I shouldn’t have gotten them and the fact I am not her and don’t know her style. Fyi, this was not the first time I got her clothing. I bought a lot for her in the past and she loved them!

    Just last night, she stayed up till almost 4am texting on mobile. This morning when I got up, I asked her if she stayed up late and to my surprise, her reply was “I can’t remember”. It was just a petty question and I can’t believe she would give me that kind of answer. There wasn’t any honesty in such petty stuff. She could have said yes and be done with it…no further question asked.

    I can’t take this anymore. I am planning to move out asap but before I do it, I am going to have a last talk with her. She owes me a closure…if she is not going to give one, I will give her one on how she makes me feel…like trash. She betrayed me, our relationship, breached the trust and all hopes and dreams we had but not admitting to any of these. Instead she was throwing all blame on me as if I forced her to cheat on me.

    Don’t get me wrong…I am not a wicked person but I am hoping karma will play its impact on her and “the other woman”. I reckon she should learn a lesson from the hurt and pain she caused me.

    • Surayya malik September 18, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

      Don’t wait for closure. If you got that job than pack your bags and leave ,talking to her will only give her the opportunity to charm you back with her false promise. Show her you respect yourself a lot. Run the other way if you looking for peace

  5. lousie November 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    My husband cheated on me while i was going through cancer in 2other surgerwith multipty women in still doing it now .we have been married for 15years i do not deserve this its just not right. I deserve better.

    • beautifulmess7 November 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      Yes you do

  6. 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.

            • April January 8, 2017 at 12:55 am #

              Has it gotten any better.

  7. 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/

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

    Thank you for sharing this!


  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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