We’ve all been guilty of doing crazy things in the name of love, and making my boyfriend sign a “no cheating” contract when he got a six-month job out of town was pretty far into “Girl, you’ve officially lost it!” territory. While I assumed at first that it would bring us closer together, it actually revealed a lot about our relationship.
It was simple and straight to the point. This was just between us so no complicated jargon was necessary and I didn’t want any loopholes. We drafted the contract together, him writing while I spoke. “I promise to stay faithful to my girlfriend while I’m away working. I appreciate the relationship we have and give my word that I won’t take it for granted. I have an amazing girlfriend who deserves my loyalty.” After reading it, he agreed to the words and signed it at the bottom.
I hoped he was a man of his word but I had my doubts. I’m probably one of the most honest and loyal people I know. Once I’m in a relationship, I could be around Chris Hemsworth or Channing Tatum or anyone else that women are crazy about and I wouldn’t even be tempted to cheat. I’m a woman of my word and I was hoping he was too but I wasn’t 100% sure.
For a while, our agreement made me feel kind of secure. I put it in his bag and advised him to read it every time he felt tempted to be unfaithful. I mean, it wasn’t like he’d rush to his apartment and read the agreement when he was tempted to cheat and then head back and tell the girl that he wasn’t interested. Still, I fooled myself into thinking that our contract had that level of power.
After a while, my insecurities came back. I tried to visit him for a weekend once a month but I’d just landed a new job that needed a lot of my time. We’d still regularly talk on the phone and video call each other, but long distance puts a lot of strain on a relationship. After some time, the calls and messages weren’t as frequent as they were initially and this made me feel insecure regardless of the agreement we had in place.
I seriously needed to re-evaluate our relationship. I never told my friends that I made my boyfriend sign a contract promising not to cheat on me. It was too embarrassing and I think I knew deep down I wasn’t with the right partner but I didn’t want to hear them say it. While I’d never caught him cheating, I had found some questionable texts on his phone a few months into our relationship which destroyed my ability to trust him.
Without trust, there’s no relationship. I could probably host my own DIY show with how much I love fixing things, but I’ve had to accept that not everything can or should be repaired. As soon as I knew I couldn’t trust him, I knew I needed to leave but I didn’t because I wanted to fix the trust issue and thought that a contract would be the answer. I was wrong.
You can’t make someone stay faithful. To me, the contract symbolized his commitment to our relationship; I have no idea what it symbolized to him. He could have just agreed to it to avoid a fight. This was the toughest realization to come to terms with but it’s true. No written agreement, no religious affiliation, and no revolutionary moves in the bedroom will stop someone from cheating on you if that’s what they want to do.
It is OK to be afraid to lose your partner, but it works both ways. Time was slowly going by and I didn’t get to visit him because of work commitments for about three months. I was really terrified of losing him but I started to wonder if it was all one-sided. After all, if he didn’t care about keeping me, I certainly couldn’t keep the relationship together all on my own.
I knew I seriously needed to chill. I hate dating as I’m not crazy about opening up to different people. I probably stayed in the relationship even though there was a lack of trust because I was too lazy to break up and have to meet someone new. The problem with this is that sometimes you stay in a relationship for too long and just totally waste your time. I realized I needed to take a deep breath and a step back from the relationship. He was clearly not meant for me and it was OK.
I’ve never been tempted to use a no cheating contract again. After six months, he was back in town and we actually stayed together for a couple more years before ending it when I found out that he’d been texting an ex-girlfriend of his. He claimed he hadn’t been physical with her but I don’t know if I believe it. In future, I won’t resort to a contract—I’ll just be with the right person who loves, respects, and values me without me having to tell him to.
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