Everyone I have ever known in my life has morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely and undeniably cheated on their partner or has experienced being cheated on themselves in some way, shape or form.
Let that sink in for a moment, literally, everyone I have ever known has been brushed with some form of dishonestly in its many guises. Traumatized and emotionally reliant men and women who have had their hearts vehemently broken, and all because the person they thought truly loved them was not monogamous.
Whether it be friends, acquaintances or work colleagues, everyone I have come into close proximity with has experienced the heartbreak, loneliness and sorrow of infidelity.
Knowing that everyone will eventually cheat, how can I possibly even consider opening up my already obsessively anxious, suspicious and mistrustful heart to another, knowing full well that I will be left shattered to pieces if I open up and trust just a little bit?
People that I have known over the many years have easily fallen into the category of cheaters. The most distrustful, false, dishonest and two-faced people you will ever have the misfortunate of encountering when looking for love. Being so closely associated with these cheating scoundrels, I have heard countless tales of adultery and infidelity as they confide in me their fables of fornication.
One such occasion was when a close friend had cheated on his adoring and clearly unassuming boyfriend for the entirety of their relationship. In one of many such scenarios, the two-timing fornicator committed an act of unfaithfulness with a convenient stranger a mere one hour before his unsuspecting partner was due to arrive at his house.
But it gets worse, the cheating boyfriend would actually become a cheating crossdresser, opening a dark world of liaisons with heterosexual married men who sought to indulge in their perplexing and peculiar kinks and fetishes behind the veil of discreteness.
Hearing about such sleazy encounters at first left me flabbergasted but with time I became numb to the infidelity and sleaze. Though I couldn’t quite grasp just how casual and easy cheating on your significant other was to some, it sent shivers down my spine that someone could one day have the power to show such disrespect and disregard for my feelings.
If this was love then love is clearly fucked up and I didn’t want anything to do with it. But even though I had not yet experienced the crushing blow of being cheated on by someone I loved (not that I was aware of anyway) why did the cheating exploits of other people have such a profound effect on me?
Being associated with such low-life fraudsters, I got to know all the tricks of the cheating game. Every little sign and suspicion I could decipher. And thanks to that all-knowing association, I knew how to identify the signs of a cheating partner.
But it wasn’t just my experience with adulterers that left me mistrustful. Even before I was born, I knew that people could not be trusted. Trauma can start in the womb. Guilt, shame, stress, and toxic and emotional behaviour traits can compute into the growing fetus' genetic makeup. Any stress the mother experiences can transfer to the unborn child. If the type of stress is particularly bad, this can cause child trauma.
My mum was a young teenage girl when she gave birth to me, yet during the pregnancy, my dad cheated on her with another woman. Even as a sperm cell, I have known cheating, and this trauma has clearly impacted the way I see relationships.
I’ve been in relationships and dated numerous people over the years. I have been jealous, paranoid, territorial, and suspicious and suffered from intense anxiety and overthinking. The thought of being cheated on absolutely petrifies me and leaves me a shivering nervous wreck when entering new relationship territory.
I always assume that I am not good enough and I devalue my worth as a result. I question why anyone would even want to be with me and assume they are being unfaithful to me or planning to. It terrifies me that I could invest so much time, feelings and intensely into someone, to only find out that they never truly cared, loved or appreciated me. Knowing that I was never good enough for them, knowing that our entire relationship was merely just a smokescreen for their infidelity.
I don’t want to be hurt, I don’t want to be broken-hearted, I just want to be loved and adored, and most importantly to not be cheated on, I mean, is that too much to ask?
Cheating is as simple as a swipe to the right with your thumb thanks to the current dating app landscape where the next affair is vibrating in your pocket. it’s oh-so-easy to hook up and meet a willing participant in just a few minutes, all the while you’re loving and devoted significant other is none the wiser.
It’s a petrifying realisation of how you think you know someone yet you really don’t know them at all. Thanks to this realisation that not everyone is who or what they seem, I have become the person that I never wanted to become. Always on edge and expecting the worse, never able to fully let myself go and enjoy the escapism of love because that feeling of love is too good to be true.
So, I ask questions, I question absolutely everything when I start dating a new partner.
"How do you know that friend?" "Why did you like that photo on Instagram?" "Who is that person who commented on your photo on your Facebook back in 2012?"
It’s exhausting and mentally draining being so aware of everything around you, it’s like my spider sense is tingling all the time as I look into every move and situation with microscopic precision.
The hypocrisy of denouncing those who cheat is that I too have been the other willing participant in an affair. I have been the hook-up and the casual encounter of the lust of others who have explored my body without the consent of their significant others. I have enjoyed the thrill and the titillation of being the object of desire of married men who have sought their sexual needs with me.
Yet even though I have been the other person in a dishonest liaison, I have become suspicious, distrustful, doubtful, insecure, anxious, possessive, clingy and jealous of everyone I allow into my head and heart.
Everybody loves cheating, I know this because I do too. And that is why I remain overly vigilant and attentive than allow myself to be a victim of unfaithfulness in the dating game.