At both tables we discuss the heart aches, the signs, their resolve to make it work and for some the reasons behind their decision to walk out of the relationship.
Enjoy the discussions.
Meet the Ladies;
Lynn,29, Freelance Designer, South Africa
Shish, 27, Executive Assistant, United Kingdom
Rose, 24, IT Assistant, Kenya
Lynne, 22, Student, Kenya
1. How long had you two been in a relationship when you found out your partner was cheating?
S: We had been in the relationship for two and half years.
2. What kind of infidelity was it?
L: I think it was sexual, there were many rumors going around that it was sexual and that she was open to that kind of a relationship but later it turned out to be a relationship.
3. Was it a onetime affair or a pattern?
4. What were the signs that your partner was cheating?
# Phone etiquette: Going to the bathroom with his phone
# He had his relationship status on Facebook sometimes as single or blank...huge sign of a lack of commitment or just many suitors to please.
# He would take down all things in his house that would show he is in a relationship with me(photos,cards and em). I discovered this when i visited him unexpectedly meaning he would get female visitors.
# All messages in his sent items were deleted and some of his inbox messages.
# I wouldn’t find any of my texts in his phone, nor pictures.
# Being TOO nice like flowering me with gifts, sometimes too much. Realized later on it was a way for him to cover up his acts or to keep my mind occupied.
R: He came clean; he told me everything he had been doing, he didn’t blame it anyone.
L: He owned up to his actions.
R: He knew how much he had hurt me; he was torn because he didn’t know how to ease it for me because I wouldn’t listen to a word he said.
L: He acknowledged how much he hurt me.
7. Was he sorry for what he had done or sorry he got caught?
L: No, he was always sorry after he got caught because then i would leave and the drama would end for him but then he would be back to get his fix from all the drama going on.
S: Honestly, he seemed sorry that he got caught like ‘I should have been more careful’; he was embarrassed because I had all the evidence staring at my face.
8. Was he willing to clean up his act, or is he in denial?
S: He was willing to change and he did it immediately and with so much zeal; that is the gifts the pampering a way to show me that he still loved me and that it was just one silly mistake. Though I gave him another chance, I would look at him with a side eye and had so much hate for him.
R: He started cleaning his act immediately; I on the other hand didn’t believe he could change. He set out to prove me wrong.
9. Was this out of character or something he seemed capable of doing?
L: It was something I guessed he would do
S: When I found out about the affair, I was in shock, I couldn’t believe that the man I had been in a relationship with for more than two years could do such a thing but experiences like that open your eyes, later on I realized I’d given him a benefit of doubt but it was something he was most likely to do, I was just blind to it.
R: Part of the reason I was so broken was because I never saw it coming; I was caught off guard. It was totally out of character.
L: It was totally out of character since I have known him for a very long time.
10. Did you consider leaving the relationship?
L: Every time. Leaving a relationship needs a lot of courage and strength. Leaving a bad relationship is like kicking a bad habit afraid to deal with the withdrawal symptoms
S: Every time I looked at that man, I wanted to leave the relationship but I didn’t have enough strength to. I had made the mistake of making this man the center of my life. The whole situation destabilized me, scarred me into thinking I wasn’t good enough and scarred me into questioning myself worth. I needed to get my strength back, to realize that I was too good to be with a man who would cheat on me.
11. What was your level of commitment to forgiving your partner and learning to trust again?
L: With every wrong doing my commitment waned and eventually left the relationship when he was trying to get his act together. I stopped loving him and ended the relationship for good. I guess that was the consequences of a woman scorned.
S: I eventually forgave him but like I said there were other future events of infidelity and with every doubt I had my commitment levels lowered and I couldn’t trust him anymore. I was always on edge; the affair practically turned me into an insecure woman. He would say he is going somewhere but I would have to crosscheck information.
12. In your opinion, what would it take to repair the relationship?
13. Any advice for anyone going through the same?
L: Having left such a relationship, I am happier now. I can never cheat on my partner and so i don’t expect the same from mine. The very standard you tolerate is which will be used against you in the end. Cheating habitually indicates a weakness of character, from my research, the man I dated had narcissist traits which make people with that personality disorder among many others prone to such without having a problem or guilt of any kind. Cheating creates a weak relationship foundation because it erodes trust, and trust is the basis of all relationships just as faith is the foundation of our belief in God.
1. How long were you in that relationship during the time of infidelity and was it a long term or short term relationship?
L: Had dated for 2 years, it was a long term relationship.
2. What were the reasons behind the infidelity? What kind of cheating was it emotional or romantic affair etc?
A: My ex-boyfriend came along; he represented 'the one that got away'. He was my first love and he simply knew which buttons to push. At the time, we were still very happy with Peter but I felt I wanted 'some fun' in my life. My ex-boyfriend and I started an emotional relationship that basically involved us reminiscing, him promising a better future and the works. I hooked up with my ex-boyfriend and for sure we broke up within a month.
L: It was purely emotional; the worst kind of infidelity. At the time I felt like my boyfriend had abandoned me emotionally so I created that bond with someone else.
A: I decided rather than physically cheat on Peter, which was bound to happen; I simply broke up with him. I thought I was protecting Peter by not telling him the whole truth but somehow he found out and I will regret that for the rest of my life. I would have wanted to continue the relationship but I did not want to make him the guy that took back a cheating girlfriend and honestly i was too ashamed even try get him back.
4. What did you learn through the whole infidelity experience, any advice?
A: The one thing I learned from all of it is the whole idea of 'I need some fun' is stupid and selfish. I had a great man and I damaged him by cheating on him. I believe cheating is the most selfish thing you can ever do and the next time I feel I need some fun; I shall seek it with the man in my life.
L: Its very easy to cheat on your partner and emotional infidelity is the worst. Gradually you loose interest in your partner and even when you are with them, you think about the other person. I know what I did is wrong and I have tried to change so as to not affect my future relationships.
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