He Started Cheating On Me When I Became Successful. Coincidence? I Think Not!

He was the boyfriend who always supported me. He cheered me on from the sidelines and acted like my biggest fan…until my career actually started to flourish. Then he changed.

  1. He wanted me to work for him. There was an opening at his company for the position of his personal assistant. It was around the time I was hustling to get things going with my career. He saw my struggle and suggested I take that position but I didn’t want to be his personal assistant—I wanted to concentrate on my dream.
  2. He tried to convince me that I didn’t have what it takes to succeed. He just couldn’t seem to care about my dreams being important or valuable to me. He asked if I really thought I could be successful. Um, what? He kept saying I should’ve taken that job at his work instead because he didn’t want to see me fail. Wow, how kind!
  3. He treated me like a child. I remember when I started working as an intern at a magazine, he was always finding subtle ways to make me feel like crap for not knowing things and not earning a lot of money. He did this by pretending to give me advice even when I didn’t ask him for it when he was really belittling me. So annoying.
  4. He used money to feel superior. He was a lot older than me but that had never been a problem. Now, suddenly, it was becoming one when it came to money. He’d pay for dates and when I offered to pay, he’d ask how much money I had and he’d laugh at the amount, or he’d look at me like I was crazy to even suggest going dutch.
  5. He kept pushing me to get a different job. Another position was available at his company and again, he pushed me to take it. He wanted me to be in a stable career or so he said. I was starting to think that he just wanted to control me. I wasn’t having it. I wanted to stick to my career goals. Screw him.
  6. The woman who got the position he wanted me to apply for became an obsession for him. The PA position at his company went to another woman and he told me about her. And then again and again, as though she was always on his freaking mind. It became so annoying that once I hung up the phone during our conversation because she was coming up in every second sentence. What the hell was going on?
  7. He started acting shifty so I confronted him. He’d take calls in other rooms. He’d cancel dates. He wasn’t there to meet me after a business interview and I started to worry that he was up to no good on the side. I asked him if he was still interested in me and he said of course he was. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that the minute I was paving a way for my career, he was changing his mind about me. It was just too weird that these things were happening at the same time.
  8. Can men handle smart women? I don’t know. FI don’t know. They always say they can and that they love smart, strong women, but this guy was the exception to the rule. He wasn’t only unsupportive but he started putting me down whenever I expressed an opinion that was different from his. He called me “challenging” and “argumentative” when I was just standing up for myself.
  9. He wanted his women in neat boxes. I started to feel like this guy just wanted his girlfriends in boxes, where he could easily control them and predict what they were going to say and think. Screw that. I wasn’t born to be in a box. If he couldn’t handle me, we’d have to go our separate ways.
  10. His affair came to light. One night, we were out for dinner with his nephews and one of them asked about some woman and when she’d be coming to visit again. It was the woman he’d hired as his PA and who he couldn’t stop talking about. This was the first I was hearing about the visit. He quickly tried to change the subject but I could tell that she was the one he was cheating on me with. Bastard!
  11. It wasn’t bad timing—it was a bad boyfriend. It’s so crazy that the minute I started working towards my career, he started fooling around behind my back. WTF? Was he angry that I was getting a life outside of our relationship or was he intimidated by strong women? Was he selfish AF? I actually didn’t care. I just knew that I couldn’t care about him anymore. He was the problem, not my career or anything else.
  12. I didn’t blame myself. Although he cheated on me and really hurt me, I didn’t carry the blame or feel worthless. I didn’t wonder if the other woman was nicer or prettier or funnier. I knew that he was the one with the insecurities, that he was to blame for ending our relationship and being a coward. And honestly, it was so much better to have my career than some asshole bringing me down. At least it wouldn’t take off with some other woman!
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.