The truth can hurt, but sometimes you have to face it anyway.
In the back of your mind you’ve sensed something has been off. You find crushed receipts in the trash as you follow a trail. She’s been shopping and dining out more than usual. She’s been out more frequently with family and friends, or at least that’s what you’ve been told.
There’s been zero intimacy for months. You can’t remember the last time you didn’t yell at each other. Hacking into her phone, you find she’s been texting a number you don’t recognize. You hear her, so you put the phone back, but you don’t know what to think.
You call your closest friend and ask if he can catch up for a few drinks. He senses the urgency in your voice and agrees. Over some beers and chicken wings, the small talk ends. He asks, “How have things been?” You confide, “Things haven’t been the best, I think she might be cheating.”
“That doesn’t sound like her.” he says, “What happened?” You mention your unsure and you tell him you don’t have sex anymore with her.
He knows how poorly you’ve treated her in the past. Then, he says what you’d rather not hear. “If she is? You know it’s your fault.” Dumbfounded, you want to punch him, but you don’t. Because you can’t. — Because he might be right.
All the Ways You Pushed Her Away
You Stopped Being There
She’d call you upset, and you’d brush her off. Figuring you’ll get back to her, but never did. When she needed you, you cared more about overtime hours, fantasy football lineups, beer pong tournaments, Xbox etcetera, etcetera, than giving her your undivided attention. To you, they were all valid excuses.
You started treating her like one of the guys at work. She’d be excited to share with her dreams and ask for your input, but you’d rudely laugh, you’d joke. Instead of being supportive you’d bash her dreams with negative criticism.
You’d Work More
You’d choose working overtime and spending more time with your co-workers than needed. She’d hate it when you’d use work as an excuse, time and again. Your relationship began to take a back seat to your workaholic tendencies.
You Stopped Making Out
You used to have a make out session at least twice a month, now, it’s never. Studies show couples who make out more are happier than couples who don’t. Studies also show woman have deeper intimate connections by kissing more. She’s disconnected intimately from you.
You Don’t Own Up
You don’t know how to apologize anymore, and you hate apologizing. Period. You’ve formed a belief that it’s in your DNA not to apologize, and she’s fed up with that. You say it’s a guy thing, and she needs you to own up when you mess up.
You’re Not Her Champion
You’d call her, and she’d hang on your every word. You’d command her attention because you were the highlight of her day. Now, you fight and argue more than a newly divorced couple, and you’ve allowed disrespectful tendencies to destroy communication.
Time to Get Real
She’s asked you to be more attentive and present, but you naively believed she’d always be there. Taking her for granted has possibly pushed into the arms of someone new and odds are he’s willing to do everything you won’t do.
As bad as you wanted to punch your best friend, for saying “It’s your fault,” you’ve realized — he’s right. The relationship has been in the neglect cycle for some time, and it’s time to accept there are issues to overcome. Maybe it’s time to start over? But before that choice happens, honestly addressing things from both sides should be priority number one; calmly seeing how both parties have failed.
I believe cheating is entirely wrong. I also think if we truly love someone, then giving one firm second chance, is valid. Everyone deserves a second chance, but not 100 chances. Either way, things must change, because neglecting our relationship and or cheating, aren’t solutions that lead to happier days.
What I’ve learned, is that we can start over at any time, but the problems and personal issues we don’t address, come with us to the next relationship. Working on ourselves and figuring out what we want, and finding professional help before moving forward to rebuild a broken relationship or starting a new one, brings clarity when were lost.
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Photo credit: Flickr/ @boetter