12 Things I Learned From Cheating With Another Woman’s Boyfriend

I respect love and relationships, including other people’s. I’m not proud of dating a guy who already had a girlfriend but the experience taught me a lot.

  1. There are never good excuses. I really liked the guy, so even though he already had a serious girlfriend, I kissed him and agreed to date him. I justified it to myself by remembering that we had a great connection for a long time before his girlfriend came around, but that was BS. I was just fooling myself and trying to ease my guilt for doing something so horrible. There’s never a good enough reason or excuse for cheating with another woman’s man.
  2. It wasn’t exciting. I thought sneaking around with a guy who had a girlfriend would be thrilling. Maybe it looks that way in books and movies but in real life, it’s really crappy. It made me feel dirty and like a secret that wasn’t worthy of being a real presence in the guy’s life.
  3. It didn’t mean anything. The guy just wanted to get some attention anywhere he could. Who’s to say I was the only one he was sneaking around with? If he could cheat with me, he was probably cheating on me! As much as I told myself otherwise, we didn’t have anything special.
  4. I gained nothing from our arrangement. What did he bring to my life? Nothing, other than a truckload of guilt that made me feel like a horrible person and made it hard for me to enjoy dating the guy. He wasn’t my boyfriend, I wasn’t a priority for him, and the whole thing was a mess.
  5. I was looking for love in the wrong places. Why? Because I had no self-worth. I felt powerful that he was choosing me, but I didn’t realize that he wasn’t really choosing me at all. He was using me. That realization made me see that I needed to cultivate a sense of self-worth, otherwise, I’d let guys continue taking advantage of me.
  6. Where was my sense of sisterhood? I reminded myself that I had no responsibility towards his girlfriend. He did, but their relationship problems weren’t mine. What a terrible, misguided attitude to have. The truth is that cheating with another woman’s boyfriend showed me clearly that sisterhood is still important. I should spare a thought for any other woman out there whose life I might be making worse. I don’t want that karma on me!
  7. Yes, karma is a bitch. Months later, when I dated a guy who cheated on me, I realized just how terrible I’d been to this guy’s girlfriend. I contributed to her pain and tears. I played a role in messing up her life and dreams for the future. What goes around always comes back around. I learned that the hard way and I didn’t want to be the type of person who thrived on other people’s misery.
  8. No, they weren’t “having problems.” The guy told me that he and his girlfriend were having serious problems—don’t they all?—and I ate up all his lies. I was the sucker who hoped that this cheating guy would be different to the rest, that he had real feelings for me and wasn’t some toxic loser. I was so wrong.
  9. He wasn’t going to leave her. I realized that when people say men never leave their partners for their mistresses, they’re being honest! It’s rare for a guy to leave whoever he’s with to start something new with the person who caused the official end of their relationship. It’s too complicated and screwed up.
  10. I set myself up for getting played. After we’d been on a few dates, he told me that he wanted to continue working on his relationship with his girlfriend. WTF? He even ended up marrying her! Perhaps unsurprisingly, they got divorced shortly afterward. Still, their drama and demise didn’t make my pain any easier.
  11. It left me with a whole lot of baggage. Getting into this situation was stupid. It just left me with a whole lot of issues that I needed to work through. I had to deal with my guilt and I had to deal with getting dumped by the guy, which was really painful. I tried to see the situation as a learning curve but that didn’t make it easier. A part of me kept thinking that I would have been so much better off if I’d just avoided him from the beginning. Hindsight is always 20/20.
  12. I can set a player straight now. Something good did come out of this situation, thankfully. After being played by a player, I have better knowledge about how to spot a cheat. I’ve been the side chick who was lied to and I’ve seen how cheating men really treat their girlfriends—the way they avoid her calls, ask her not to do their laundry so that she doesn’t smell a different woman’s perfume on it, and use work as an excuse for why they’re always busy. This has empowered me so that I won’t get into the situation of being played again. And, if I can tell that a guy I’m dating is playing me, I can get out before anyone gets hurt by the messed-up situation.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.