I Took Back My Cheating Ex & It Was The Biggest Mistake I’ve Ever Made

I Took Back My Cheating Ex & It Was The Biggest Mistake I’ve Ever Made ©iStock/SHipskyy

He confessed he cheated, but I didn’t end the relationship. I took him back in the hope that he wouldn’t do it again. I foolishly thought that since his infidelity only comprised of a few kisses in the early stage of our relationship, I could still salvage something great with him. Big mistake. I learned some important stuff thanks to that loser that made me promise myself I’d never take back a cheater.

  1. I drove myself crazy. I focused so much on what he did and how he should change, but what about me? I’m the victim who was going crazy waiting for him to cheat on me again. Every time he looked at another woman, I’d think, “Would he sleep with her?” every single time. It’s exhausting!
  2. Even during the “happy” moments, I still felt like crap. After he fought to get me back, my ego was boosted a bit because I thought he really cared about me and making things work. But once we actually got back into the routine of the relationship, that’s when the old fears came back to haunt me. He’d do something amazing and I’d wonder if it was only to cover up bad behavior. I constantly felt like crap, and that’s not what love is about.
  3. There was always a chance he’d do it again. He seemed really sorry and maybe he was, but I couldn’t deny that there was a chance he’d cheat again. Once I forgave that first betrayal, it made it easier for him to think he could get away with it again, and that’s soul-destroying.
  4. I was settling. I scaled down my standards by allowing myself to get hurt. Staying with the cheater was a sign that I thought I didn’t deserve someone who made me feel loved and secure, and that’s BS. I’m worth so much more.
  5. Taking him back was the easier (but pricier) option. Since I really loved him, I felt like it was easier to stay with him than go through a big breakup, but that couldn’t have been more wrong. I sacrificed so much to stay with him — my mental well-being (I was stressing all the time), my desire and right to be fully loved, and my ability to be able to trust your partner being just a few. No one is worth giving these up.
  6. I ignored the real issues at play. There’s no excuse for cheating, but there are reasons for it. My ex was a commitment-phobe who sabotaged everything he touched (or at least that was his excuse). Whatever the reason, taking back a cheater was merely sweeping a rug over my major dealbreakers. Spoiler alert: they’re not going to go away.
  7. I denied myself a real shot at happiness. I may have had good times with my ex after I took him back, but they never felt as good as before because they were tainted. I stayed with him for a while because I thought he could eventually make me happy, but in fact it was staying with him that ended up denying me a genuine chance at happiness with someone who knows what real love is supposed to be about.
  8. I had to trust myself. We focus so much on whether or not we can trust our partners, but what about trusting ourselves to make the right decision so that we can be happy? Sometimes that means taking the leap and ending the toxic relationship for good, which is what I eventually was able to do.
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.