I Didn’t Have Trust Issues Until I Got Cheated On — Now I’m Skeptical Of Every Guy I Meet

Being cheated on is heartbreaking, it’s demeaning and it’s totally devastating. There was no such thing as perspective when my ex was unfaithful; what he did was wrong and I didn’t deserve it at all. The experience scarred me for life in many ways, and at this point, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust a guy again.

  1. I may have forgiven, but you can sure as hell bet I haven’t forgotten. Regardless of the fact that I’ve forgiven him and moved on — and make no mistake, it was for my own sake rather than his — I remember what he’s done to me and what he did to us. Pardon me if I want to throw up in my mouth sometimes, but it’s his bad taste I’m still spitting out. My forgiveness might have healed all of your self-inflicted wounds, but mine are still seeping a bit around the edges. I need time, breathing room and a hell of a lot of wine to get over what he did.
  2. PTSD is a real thing. You don’t need to be in combat to suffer PTSD. You don’t need to be the victim of an assault to know what it’s like to wake up in a cold sweat at night, heart racing and with tears in your eyes. These are all of the things that I’ve experienced as a result of my ex’s infidelity, and just because this chapter of my life is closed doesn’t mean that the after-effects don’t still torment me. It’s no wonder I’m unsure about that whole “trust” thing nowadays. Who wants to relive something that traumatic when they can stay safely at home nestled on their couch with Netflix and cats?
  3. I question everybody’s motives now. It doesn’t matter who it is anymore: parent, friend, coworker, hot guy at the bakery down the street — I’m not the person I used to be and my trust isn’t as freely given to anyone anymore. See exactly what he’s done?
  4. My self-worth isn’t what it used to be. I know deep inside that his cheating wasn’t my fault. I didn’t force him to make a decision to go against everything a monogamous relationship stands for. If he was unhappy, he could have just as easily left instead of getting side action, but he was a coward. I’m pissed off that my own personal conception of my self-worth has been damaged and temporarily dictated by his actions. It doesn’t mean it hurts any less, though, or that I feel any better about my circumstance.
  5. I’ve realized that I’d rather be alone than be with someone who’d disrespect me on such a deep level. It’s not fear of intimacy or getting hurt again that makes me keep to myself — it’s not wanting to deal with the BS drama that’s common in the early stages of courtship. Two preening peacocks strutting about, boasting on their accomplishments, bank accounts, or careers is not something I’m interested in when the payoff could result in a breakup due to infidelity. I’d much rather be alone than waste my time again.
  6. It’s not that I don’t know if I can trust again—it’s whether or not I want to try. And frankly at this point, I don’t. If his infidelity has taught me just one thing, it’s that I don’t need to rely on another person to solidify my happiness as a person. Yeah, I might be beaten down and feeling like crap because he-of-the-wandering-dong thought his cheating ass wouldn’t get caught, but you know what? He’s not worth the time I spent crying over him and I don’t feel like trying.
  7. If you give them an inch, they’ll take it all. It’s not always true that cheaters are repeat offenders, but since our relationship was rocky from the start and disrespect ran rampant in the early days, letting him have the slightest edge over me was a bad idea. I should have trusted my intuition then, but I do now. If I don’t think I’m getting out at least what I put into a relationship — and at most, what I absolutely deserve as a kickass woman — then I’m going to walk away. It’s easier to live with wondering what could have been instead of spending time— and money — in therapy later on down the road.
  8. On the flip side, his infidelity taught me an important lesson. I know this had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t like hell when I think about him with her instead of me. I trusted him with everything, and while it’s not his job to care for my self-image, it was his to be courteous about playing with it. That’s the last time I allow anybody to get their greedy little hands on my most important asset: my self-esteem.
  9. I’ll never take him back. Yeah, we had some good times. He apologized profusely and I’ve forgiven him, but a line has been crossed and from that, we can’t go back. What we had is ruined, and while something like this might not be a deal breaker for others, it is for me. He crossed my boundaries, but I’m not going to.
  10. Yeah, I might have issues with trust now, but I’m resilient AF. It’s going to take me a while to get through this, and that’s okay. I’m going to give myself as much time as I need to go through the stages of anger and sadness and insecurity, but I’m going to come out of it stronger on the other side, and him… well, he’ll still just be a cheater.