5.7
March 26, 2015

He Cheated, and I Chose to Stay.

Christie Page

“There goes your self-respect,” some girl commented on a picture I posted of my boyfriend and me.

It was one of my happiest memories captured digitally. One where I thought I looked, to be honest, pretty and happy even though I was making a silly face. The picture was of us at a theme park. It was his first time there and my first time as an adult without my family.

My choice to forgive and move past him cheating infuriates some. They want me to be angry with him and to hold onto negativity and pain. In their eyes, I have devolved from a strong, independent survivor to a weak-minded, naïve woman with low self-respect.

Choosing to move past the experience and learn from it has been one of my greatest moments of growth. I refuse to apologize because others cannot understand my forgiveness.

Was it easy? Absolutely not. Do I still have moments of doubt? Without question. But I choose how the past affects me. I choose how I react to the lesson I have learned. My self-respect is far from in jeopardy; if anything, it is stronger than ever.

When someone wrongs us, the people closest to us want to rally and protect us. I am blessed with a plethora of family and friends that would go to the ends of the earth for me. A select few have traveled into my darkest moments with me to bring me back from the edge. The truest of these people want to see us evolve into a stronger version of ourselves. They respect our journey, even if they don’t agree with it.

I felt true peace the day I decided to get really down and dirty with honesty in my life. It is something I have been trying to face for the last few years: I want an honest life. I have set about expressing what we think in our heads but often, out of fear, don’t say aloud.

Some fear the opinion of others, some fear backlash and repercussions, some fear losing the people in their lives. I think the greatest thing people fear is that they will be rejected for their truth. I have found strength in leading an honest life and watched my fear dissolve.

So when that comment was posted, I didn’t for a moment second-guess my decision to forgive a man I love; I chose to eliminate that person from my life. I didn’t feel angry, but rather an absolute resolution that I did not need her, or anyone’s, approval or permission to make choices I alone have to live with. I choose to give a second chance to a man I love who I feel is worth fighting for. In that moment, I felt myself growing into a person who takes full responsibility for the direction of my happiness.

The decision I made is not for everyone, and every set of circumstances is different. But there is no shame in loving our own way. There is no shame in working on something we believe in, provided we have healthy boundaries and know what we want.

Next time you’re at a crossroad and the world around you is trying to influence your decisions, ask yourself:

What am I at peace with?

What will I not tolerate?

How do I feel?

Remove all other thoughts and influence and have a truthful conversation with yourself.

Live an authentic life. Make honest choices. Make your choices.

 ~

Relephant Read: 

Why I Stayed: A Letter to my Ex.

4 Stages of Cheating & When It’s Warranted.

Why Sexting is Cheating.

BONUS: Waylon learns the keys of long term relationships from Wendy Strgar:

 

~~~~

Author: Christie Page

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Author’s own 

~

Facebook is in talks with major corporate media about pulling their content into FB, leaving other sites to wither or pay up if we want to connect with you, our readers. Want to stay connected before the curtain drops? Get our curated, quality newsletters below!

Mindful bonus:

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Sofi Dec 12, 2015 9:01am

I think you should love someone for who he is, not what you think he may become… and a bigger Not if you thinl he’ll change for you. Sometimes complex problems take simple solutions, not always of course. But if you ever change your mind about this or if he does it again, then I would much be interested in readig what you’ve learnt . Only you know whats the best for you at the moment? And nothig is definitve, so I don:t think any of us can tell you what you’ve done us correct or icorret, sometimes life doesn’t fit any of those labels.

Janie Nov 27, 2015 10:42pm

If you have doubts, you have not forgiven him. A break in trust in a relationship that severe cannot be taken lightly. Even if you think you have moved on, it is the type of thing that will continue to pick at you and your relationship. It is easy to mistake wanting to move on to recapture what you had as forgiveness. That is not forgiveness. That is insecurity and weakness.think about why you did this. The decision to be happy is not always considerate of the long term consequences. Take it from someone who forgave as it brought me "happiness." years down the road I realized that I never really forgave him. I just thought I did. What I really did was suppress the pain. And what I learned, which I wish I knew then, he did not deserve my forgiveness. We are all human and make mistakes, but let's be real. People cheat because they think they will not get caught. It is not a mistake. It is a deliberate action. Getting caught is the mistake. Of you are someone that finds cheating unacceptable, then making that kind of "mistake" is pretty difficult.

Angela Nov 27, 2015 1:03pm

I also stayed and I am able to look at the situation and say that a lot if good came out of it. It caused us both to be very honest. The first year was rough, it was the lie more than the act, if you could do and hide this then what else. For a year I was bombarded with everyone’s thoughts and opinions and couldn’t have a conversation without someone wanting to discuss it and let me know how I must be so weak or lonely to stay. I chose to stay and it was hard and terrifying at times and it takes incredible strength and self respect to choose to love, repair and forgive. The strangest part to me was I forgave him long before he forgave himself and that was more of a problem than anything else. I didn’t want an ass kissing man constantly trying to make it up to me, I wanted just us normal and real again. I think many women leave and say it’s because they respect themselves and that may be true in some cases, but in some it’s mainly because they are worried that others will think they are stupid. In my case I believed the good we had outweighed that act. I knew it was not anything I did that “made” him do it. I don’t blame myself. It was his issue, but I am honest enough to say I’m not perfect and we both made changes to be more open and present to each other. Much love and on those days/nights something triggers the memory I send you strength and love.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Christie Page

Christie Page is an underachieving superhero who spends her daylight hours in the medical field helping people change their lives. She is a third generation breast cancer survivor, recovering anorexic/bulimic and is on life six or seven of her nine lives. She has been homeless and sheltered, rich and poor, loved and hated and believes her experiences have lead her down a path of spiritual exploration and awakenings. Christie wishes to share her journey with others in an attempt to come to peace. She writes to clear space from the rolodex that is her muddled mind.