The Good Side of Betrayal

Ain’t love grand? When you find a special someone who becomes your Significant Other, you’re filled with life and hope and joy. Love is forever, or so all the love songs claim, and with Mr. Right you’ll live happily ever after.

And then you discover he’s been unfaithful. Cheater. Liar. Adulterer: no matter what label you give him, this person who committed himself to you in love has committed the ultimate act of hatred.

Online news sources and magazines are filled with stories about celebrities having affairs. Currently, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame are in the spotlight for her “indiscretion.” Readers speculate whether they will stay together or break up. Television shows and movies are filled with adultery plot lines, too. But the reality of it results in more than a broken heart. Cheating leads to broken homes, broken lives, financial ruin, depression, anger, ad nauseum.

Sad to say, but cheating is more common than we like to believe. In my circle of friends, I know:

-        a gal who discovered her husband’s philandering when he left the computer web browser open to an ad on Craigslist for a casual encounter (he later admitted to multiple adulteries).

-        a cousin who was sent an email by MySpace asking if she knew and wanted to connect with her husband – whom she wasn’t aware had a MySpace (he claimed he was single though he had a girlfriend).

-        an acquaintance who found out her stepfather was cheating on her mother when she ran across his MySpace page stating he was single and horny.

-        a man whose wife left him and their five children after she had an affair with a cast member in a play all three of them were in.

-        a former co-worker who found a declaration of love on his girlfriend’s phone from her ex-boyfriend (she didn’t see anything wrong with that, but she was upset that he looked on her phone).

The question remains, after being cheated on, do you take the cheater back? Do you believe his apology, his promise to never do it again? Fact is, you may still love him and ending the relationship may create more upheaval in your life than you want to face. Besides, who wants to return to being single and alone? You may even decide to give him a second chance because you fear you’ll never find someone better than him.

But consider this, ladies: a second chance means a second chance to cheat on you. Unless he has a radical change of heart, attitude and action (something which can be measured, not just words), don’t count on him being faithful. I’ve seen it time and again, but the minute you take that boy back into your arms and home and offer him stability and security, he will be back on patrol for his next tryst.

My ex-husband wanted to get back together after his affair destroyed our marriage, but I refused – and I’m so glad I stuck to my guns. My self-esteem was low enough, but his affair made it even worse. After years of picking up the pieces and gaining a new perspective on myself, I had the backbone and pride to reject him. I no longer base my self-worth on a man.

If one good thing has come out of his betrayal, it is I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am beautiful, talented and deserve the best in life. I settled for less than the best and it took his affair to shake me out of my complacency. Now I’m living life to the fullest, something which never would have happened as his wife. I encourage everyone reading this to re-evaluate your life and see if you’re settling for second best, because that means you are betraying you out of your potential. You might find you need a change of career, location, social group, wardrobe, or significant relationship. The result of this change will be a better, happier you.

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