So I just watched “No Other Woman” in Cinema One, and like the first time I watched it in the movie house, I got so affected. So much so that I wanted to slap Derek Ramsey’s chiseled face and kick him in the balls (which are probably made out of steel just like the rest of his body, so he’ll probably just laugh at my puny attempts to hurt him).
I really thought about not writing about this. Among all the things I will end up choosing to write about, this will probably raise the most eyebrows. But if I’m gonna stay true to the purpose of this blog (rediscovering myself, re-affirming my beliefs) I cannot really pass up the opportunity to write something I have such passionate feelings about.
So, (deep breath).. Here are some personal lessons I learned about dealing with infidelity:
1. Your gut is always right
We all believe that an essential part of relationships is trust. And to this day, I firmly believe that. The danger of this belief is though, that if upheld to the extreme, it can lead to you turning a blind eye to something that needs attention. I think our bodies are well-trained to sense danger. And sometimes, you just know. I can’t describe it. A harmless mention of a name or a supposed event that doesn’t mean anything can trigger feelings of suspicion that you can’t quite put a finger on. But because you don’t want to be the psycho partner, you brush it off. One thing I learned though, is that it’s never nothing. Feeling iffy about the relationship probably means there’s something that needs exploring. It may be that your worst fears are true, there is someone else. Or it could be that there’s really just a disconnect between the two of you. So confront, question or do something about it. But it may not be very wise to just ignore whatever it is that you’re feeling. At the end of the day, although it’s very important to trust your partner, it’s even more important to trust yourself.
2. It’s not just about you
I remember a counselor who told me that it takes two to tango. So it’s wise to examine yourself and figure out what was it in you that caused your partner to cheat on you. I wanted to strangle her. The thing is, one of the most hearbreaking effects of dealing with infidelity is the gut-wrenching feeling that there’s something wrong with you. You get it into your head that you’re not lovable and there must have been something that you’ve done to deserve this. But it’s never because you’re ugly or fat. It’s not because you can’t cook or take care of your partner. We all have weaknesses. You may be the biggest nag in the face of planet, and you may even go as far as saying that your personal quirks contributed to problems in your relationship, but it was your partner’s own weaknesses that caused him or her to cheat. If they were really unhappy, then they could have left or found a way to fix things. But it doesn’t give them the the right to betray you or cheat on you.
If you see problems in yourself because of the experience that you want to improve on, then good for you. But indulging in self-loathing and needless blame just isn’t healthy for your already broken heart.
3. Do not waste energy blaming the third party
It’s so easy to villainify (tama ba spelling) the other woman/man. . It’s so easy to think that your precious loved one was just seduced but some latex-wearing vixen or some smooth -talking cassanova. Believe me, I’ve indulged in my own level of cattiness (I think boycotting Angelina Jolie films when she broke up Jen and Brad’s marriage really did a number on her popularity). But I think a part of healing means facing the truth. Your partner was just as culpable as the third party. Even more so, because unless this other person is a sister, brother or best friend, they really have no responsibility towards you (well, other than the responsibility of treating you with respect like any human being. So I guess it’s justifiable to judge them. :P). The sooner that this fact is accepted, the sooner you can move on and get to the bottom of the real problem.
4. Learn when to let go
Contrary to what Christine Reyes did (yes, she’s my peg for the scorned wife), I really don’t believe in fighting for my man. Because no matter how much you fight or cajole, even if you challenge the mistress (or the male-equivalent) to fisticuffs, it won’t work if your partner isn’t willing or is incapable of making it work. If you push for the relationship even if he or she isn’t ready, then there’s a possibility that he or she will hurt you again. And I personally think you owe yourself the dignity of getting out if this is really the case.
5. Forgiveness is the most important thing in the healing process
Just as blaming the third person isn’t healthy, it may even be more important to realize that your partner is only human. They may have committed that most colossal mistake one can commit in a relationship, but they are probably not the devil incarnate either. It hurt. And you most certainly didn’t deserve it. But chances are, there’s a deeper issue there and cheating on you is just the tip of the iceberg. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean staying and putting up with more crap. Nor does it mean letting go and just chalking things up to experience. It just means not letting the bitterness and the hate define who you are as a person. Because whether you choose to give it another shot or break up ,you still have to live with yourself. And you’ve gone through enough allow yourself to carry the excess baggage.