An ex-cheater explains why he cheated, how he stopped, and who he had to become in order to not cheat again.
So you have been cheated on by your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband your wife, your fiancé, or just someone who you had an understanding with. This person has shattered the trust that you placed in them. You never thought that it would happen to you, at least not by this person, because this was different – not like the others before.
This person said and did all the right things. But now your friends are saying, “I told you so, they are all cheaters.”
You see this kind of stuff on the Maury Povich show, you used to find it comical, and now you’ve been made into the joke.
You stay up day and night trying to figure out why they did it. You ask yourself, what did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Why me? You swear you’ll never give your love to another, at least you won’t become so vulnerable that you can get hurt. From now on you’re not giving anyone the key to your heart.
Let me put all your doubts to rest.
If you have been cheated on, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. Believe me when I tell you that if someone has cheated on you IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
I don’t say that just to feed you fluff. It really doesn’t have anything to do with you, and it really isn’t your fault. I know some of the excuses you were told. Things like you neglected them, you made them mad, it just happened and it meant nothing, or they were drunk and didn’t know what they were doing, and the excuse train goes on and on and on, and on. Get off at the next stop, in fact pull the emergency brakes and get off that train right NOW.
I know because I was that guy. I cheated on my wife. Which led to us eventually separating and our son being split between two homes. And even though we kept it more civil than most, our family structure was never the same.
I also cheated on all my girlfriends, before and after my marriage. What I didn’t know at the time, and neither did they, was that it wasn’t about them. It didn’t matter if it was Susan, or Sharon, or Kimberly, or Beverly. When I cheated on all these women there was one person that was always at the scene of the crime, yes you guess it, me. I was always there.
WHY I CHEATED
I cheated because that who I was. I was a cheater. I didn’t cheat because of the person I was with. I cheated because of the person that I was. I can honestly say that I had the good fortune of having some really great women in my life, and that did not stop me from cheating.
My mother had a saying when I was growing up and it went like this, “If you lay down with stray dogs you will catch fleas.” My translation was, “Son, you will become like the people you surround yourself with.”
All my friends cheated on their girlfriends and wives. My personal philosophy and my mindset at the time made it acceptable to for me to cheat. That was the reason I hung around with people who cheated. I wanted to be where my behavior was acceptable. If I was a thief I would have hung around with other thieves. If I was a drug dealer I would have hung out with other drug dealers. I was a cheater. I hung out with other cheaters.
(Even though I said if someone cheats on you it is not your fault, if it becomes a pattern, and every man or woman that you have ever been involved with has cheated on you, then it’s time that you take some responsibility and re-evealute the kind of people that you are attracting into your life, because now that pattern is not about them, but about the choices that you are making.)
HOW I STOPPED CHEATING
I have heard it said “once a cheater always a cheater.” Please stop the ridiculousness. Like right now!
That’s like saying drug dealers can change and become upstanding members of society, robbers and murderers can change and become productive members of society, however if someone cheats they are doomed for life.
Like I said, the reason why I cheated was because that’s who I was, that’s the kind of person I had become. If a person wants to change any aspect of what they are they simply need to change who they are and become someone else.
I did not set out to change my cheating ways. I set out to change my ways. One day I made a decision that I wanted to become a better person. I decided I was going to become the best me that I could be. I was not satisfied with my physical, emotional, financial, social, or relationship status quo. I was not satisfied with any area of my life, and I made a decision to change.
Change requires developing a new set of beliefs and a whole new philosophy. Developing ones mindset. That was the journey that I embarked upon. Becoming the best me that I could be did not include lying, stealing, or cheating.
Not being a cheater is simply a byproduct of being the person that I have decided to become. I no longer hang out with people who cheat. I don’t gather in places or with people where cheating is acceptable, because that goes against the person that I have worked so hard in becoming.
That is why I can say without any doubt that if you have been cheated on, it has absolutely nothing to do with you, and it is definitely not your fault. Just like anything you want to change in life, the only way a person will ever stop cheating is if they decide to become a person who does not cheat.
It is like any vice. Some people don’t drink, don’t smoke. don’t do drugs, it is not in their character. It is not who they are. They avoid people and places that do the things that they are against. They cannot be talked into it. Cheating is no different. It is a choice that we have to make.
Do not believe that a person who has been a cheater will not cheat on you just because you’re you. Believe me it’s only a matter of time. Unless they have gone through the process of change, then they are still a cheater, it might be a year or even ten years, however as soon as the right opportunity presents itself, their cheating ways will raise its ugly head.
A QUICK STORY
I was walking in a very nice neighborhood with an (ex) associate, and we went by a house with a sliding glass door slightly opened. I didn’t think anything of it; however he said, “What do you think they have in there, let’s go in there real quick, it doesn’t look like anyone’s home.”
See the thing is this, I had known this person for some time, and had no idea that he even thought that way. Under normal circumstances, he would not think of stealing, however when an easy opportunity presented itself, his true character came out, he just couldn’t hide from his true self. Unless he changes the person he is, he will always be a thief. Same with a cheater…
IF YOU ARE A CHEATER
If you want to change who you are and become a different person, here’s a simple process. This can be used in any and every area of your life.
Ask yourself these three questions:
What kind of person am I now?
Be honest with yourself. Write down a honest description of who you are. You may need to consult with the people who know you best, and ask them to be brutally honest.
What kind of a person do I want to become?
Write out a description of the kind of person you want to become. Be very specific.
What changes do I need to make in order to become that person?
Write down the changes that you need to make. (Hint, it always starts with a decision to change, then the action follows. In other words you must first have the desire to change.)
Now go start your journey, and become the best you that you can possibly be.
Photo: Flickr/Erin Nekervis