When I was first asked to write about this subject, I wasn’t sure that I could. Then something inside me made the conscious decision to put it down on paper and finally, hopefully, get it out and lay it to rest. Let me tell you a little bit about me. I’m a 47 year old man who has found it hard recently to really have trust in a relationship. This stems from previously being cheated on by the woman that I thought was the love of my life. Who I thought was the “soul mate” that we all have or are led to believe we have out there somewhere.
I met her 23 years ago, just happened to bump into her in a local bar. She walked in and instantly I knew, I had to speak to this woman. She was beautiful beyond words and even though I thought I had no chance with her, I spoke to her. From that moment on we spent almost every day for weeks together, walking and talking, driving seeing different sights. She was from Australia and hadn’t long been in the country so I showed her London as we talked and got to know each other.
Anyway, on to the subject in hand. It must have been about ten years into our relationship when things seemed to change. From doing everything together, things changed. She seemed to arrange things with her friends that didn’t involve me, and said she was going to see this friend or that friend. She started to get home later than usual from work, saying she had met friends for a drink or gone to the shops.
I at first thought nothing of it as these are things that people do after work. It must have been a good three or four months later that I really started to have suspicions. The drinks after work lasted longer and longer, the shopping trips never seemed to actually add anything to her wardrobe. She seemed to plan everything without me and even when I was working she disappeared for hours.
She eventually got found out when a friend she told me she was going out with called the house. I explained that I thought they were together having a catch up, to be informed that they hadn’t actually spoken in over a month as this friend was out of the country. That was the reason for her call, to arrange a catch up.
Now as you can imagine, I had a thousand different things flying around in my head. Whether to confront her the moment she came through the door or try and see if she’d slip up on her own lies, to throwing her clothes out of the house and leaving them on the front lawn and double locking the doors from the inside. I eventually, after a lot of rage and thought and scenarios going through my head, chose a very simple option. Just ask her. Ask her who’d she been seeing and why? Was I not enough for her anymore?
So I said to her we needed to sit and talk, and the following day we did just that. When she knew I knew, she apologised and cried and tried to make excuses about me always working, not being able to go out etc. I had always made time for us to do things. When she could not give me a valid reason why she had cheated on me I told her she was going to have to leave. I could not have her in the same house as me. I couldn’t look at her because I loved her so much and she had ripped my heart out.
She may as well have actually ripped my heart from my chest because the pain I was felt was beyond anything I had ever felt before. I ached when she left, an ache that almost took my breath away. It felt like there was a physical hole in my heart. I am not ashamed to say I sat there and absolutely cried my eyes out. I didn’t move, I just sat there and cried, not actually knowing what to do. This woman that I loved with every fibre of my being had gone. I don’t even think the tears were over the deception and cheating, it was because she had gone. She was no longer a part of my life. Yes, I told her to leave but it didn’t stop the pain. I cried at one point or another for days after that day. Wondering where she was, what she was doing. Missing her, hating her, hoping to see her.
She had gone back home to visit her family I found out a few weeks later from a friend of hers I happened to bump into while out with my mates. They were trying to keep me busy and upbeat, surrounding me as good friends do. Not that it stopped the aching in my heart for a second. I smiled and laughed where I should but inside I felt empty, like a shell of myself. I just didn’t let it show, I didn’t mention it or share it, even with my closest of friends. Just smiled and said stupid things like “Oh well, life moves on” and the old chestnut “plenty more fish in the sea” with a smile. At times I felt like I could hardly take a breath I was fighting back so much pain. She was always on my mind.
Must have been about a week after that I decided to send an email and just ask her to explain her thought process as to why she would cheat on me and ruin ten years of a relationship. When I had done everything for her. Helped her when she first arrived, gave her and her sister somewhere to stay when they couldn’t stay in the flat they had anymore. How I’d run her around everywhere for work, gone with her on my days off so she could work. Built a life with her and shown her nothing but love.
Her answer ?? She didn’t know. She was stupid. She just felt like I wasn’t giving her time because of my job. Every moment I had I gave her my time, even not talking to my family like I used to, rather wanting to spend that time with her. She said it was a mistake and wished she could take back the time and not have done it. That she’d realised while she wasn’t with me how much she loved me and loved being around me. That she left the UK because she didn’t know what else to do. She felt she had nowhere to turn so booked a trip home to see her family.
Over the next few months we emailed and had the odd phone conversation and she asked me if there would be any chance of us ever being together again. I said I didn’t know, and only time would tell that. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to trust her again and didn’t want to be suspicious of her all the time. The chats continued and eventually she said she was going to come back and could we get together for a drink. I agreed to meet her.
We met in a bar in Wapping. We were both obviously nervous and kissed on the cheek and sat down. Over drinks we chatted, and I asked where she was staying, what she was up to etc. The feelings were still there, that was obvious. I had missed her immensely and honestly, yes I wanted her back. Some of you may call me a fool at this point but I had missed her. I truly believed we could put things behind us and start over anew. So, we started meeting and going out on dates again, and doing things together. It was almost like when we met first time round. That same passion, same feelings, wanting to be around each other. She stayed with friends for quite a while moving around London from flat to flat etc. Must have been a good five to six months before I said to her if she wanted, to stop all the living out of a suitcase, she could move back in and we could be a couple again. Things at that point were as good as they had ever been. For a number of years things were great.
Then it happened again.
We had arranged to visit Australia and stay for a while. She had gone out ahead of me, I was going to follow a few months later when I’d sorted out things at work and holiday cover etc. After all a minimum three months is actually a long time away from work. I arrived at the beginning of December two thousand twelve and everything seemed great. She met me at the airport and hugged me and kissed me like she’d missed me. We went to the house where we were going to be staying. All seemed great.
After settling in for a few days we arranged to go out and I’d get to meet some old friends and some new ones. It was that very first night out I saw something that put me on edge. There was one “friend”, someone I’d never met before, who seemed a little too friendly with my other half. Over attentive of her, especially seeing as I was there, and very touchy feely with her. She however seemed very on edge, pulling away when he touched her arm and being very aloof of him. Something didn’t quite sit well in my mind about what I was seeing. She kept glancing at me after he’d touched her with a very guilty look on her face. Eventually moving away from him which I found odd. Well, this kept going on a few times when we all went out as a group. I often wondered why he was even there.
Eventually one day, while in a supermarket of all places, in the middle of an aisle I just turned to her and didn’t ask her, I just said, “you slept with him didn’t you before I got here.” The look on her face gave me my answer. My exact words, I remember them to this day, were “I can’t do this again and I won’t do this again.”
I put the basket down on the floor and walked out. She followed me all the way to the house asking what I was going to do, where I was going to go. I got to the house and pulled out my case and started packing it. All the time with her continually asking me what I was going to do and where I was going to go, tears streaming down her face. I didn’t know if she was worried or even cared or was just afraid I was going to find the guy and destroy him. She could tell I was fuming as I didn’t say anything, and my face showed it. I just closed my case and walked out. I didn’t actually know what I was going to do. I just couldn’t be there. A hostel maybe or a motel. My friend found out what had happened and phoned me. She had called him. He told me to get on a train and meet him at a certain station, he’d be there waiting for me. We just went to the nearest pub and I drank. A lot. I stayed with him for the remainder of my visa and saw the things I’d wanted to.
Then I returned home to the UK. That was February two thousand thirteen and I put myself straight back into work, trying to erase anything about her from my memory. I deleted and blocked her number, removed her email address from my lists and just wanted to forget her. Its bloody hard to just cut someone out of your life. I know that. I had to do it though, for my own peace of mind and sanity. I had to think about me and what I was going to do not worry about how she felt. It had to be about me and where my future was going. I am glad to say that this time I didn’t go back, I didn’t entertain any messages passed on by her friends. I had moved on.
Well, at least I thought I had. What I didn’t realise was that because of that relationship and what had happened to me because of it, I had become so suspicious of women and what their motives were. It took me a long time to initially process it all and work it through my mind. I thought I had finally laid it to rest but couldn’t have been more wrong.
It plagued any sort of relationship I tried to build for the next couple of years.
My mind just could not trust. I’d meet someone, really like them, and start seeing them. Then a few weeks, a month or couple of months those thoughts would enter my mind. They would make me feel uneasy, on edge. I started wondering what they were doing when they weren’t with me, or when they didn’t call when they said they would. I started distancing myself from them, pushing them away for no reason.
Sometimes almost deliberately starting an argument to cause a divide, so I could then have an excuse to finish that relationship. I didn’t trust women. I didn’t trust their motives and what they wanted out of me. I now know it wasn’t a deliberate thing. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt anybody or make anybody feel like I had done and like I did, but in my own mind I just couldn’t give myself freely to another woman. I always felt like eventually they would just cheat and try to hide it.
We are now in two thousand eighteen and I am glad to say that with time the healing process has finally given me a peaceful mind. I recently had a relationship that lasted eleven months and although it did not last and ended with us both as friends, I can happily say never once did I find myself fretting about her lateness or about her going for drinks with friends. Never once did I find myself calling her to check up on her and see where she was. Never once did my bad experiences from the past flood my mind with negativity and send me spiraling me into the untrusting person I used to be.
My faith has returned, and I would like to say to anyone who has shared any of the sort of experiences I did, you have to decide to let it go and move forward. You have to decide for yourself to just lay the past in the past, not to judge everyone by the standards of the few, to let your heart and mind heal and find peace again. That may be done alone, or by a new pastime or hobby in your life. It may even be done by a new partner that gives you your confidence back to strive for love and intimacy. We all need and want love.
Even after heartache and treachery, lies and deceit, we can all learn to love again and be the image of ourselves that we know we can be. And should be.
PLEASE NOTE – This is a true story provided by a gentleman who contacted us and wanted to share his story on infidelity from a male perspective. Whilst the content is his and we have approval to share it, his name has been changed for protection of his identity. If you would like to share your story with us, please feel free to email it on our contact page.