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The lesson in being cheated on

A Daily Lover asked me recently to write about cheating in romantic relationships.

This is a touchy subject because it stings so much. I’ve experienced the pain of cheating first hand and I can tell you I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

All a relationship is after all is two people learning how to trust one another. Trust is the foundation of everything else. Without trust, there isn’t a relationship.

When cheating happens, that trust is shattered. And it’s very hard to get it back (not impossible).

There are different perspectives on cheating. For me, it’s a deal breaker. For my therapist, she has seen many a couple work through it and come back even stronger.

There’s no right or wrong way to look at it, but there is a deeper lesson inside the painful act of cheating that I’d like to speak to.

I’ve worked with many clients who have been cheated on in different ways: sexually and emotionally.

Sexual cheating is when you have sex outside the relationship. It’s the physical act of cheating.

Emotional cheating seems innocent, but in many times it’s worse. It seems innocent because there is no physical sexual act. It’s all in your head.

But we humans are energy beings and can feel when things are off. When you are emotionally in love with someone else, or just flirting with them in a major way, this can be more devastating than the physical act many times.

Because intimacy is not meant for someone other than your partner, and this can be a real blow.

After working with so many people who have experienced cheating, there’s a common trend that I’ve noticed.

One question I asked them all is “How long before the cheating started did you feel unsafe in your relationship?”

The answer is always, “a long time” and for many the answer was “I never felt safe in our relationship”.

I believe that our body and intuition can feel a person’s true intentions on this matter long before the physical act happens.

Almost every time, when I asked my clients, “What would have done if feeling safe in your relationship was a priority” – most of the time they tell me that they wouldn’t be in the relationship in the first place or they would be setting the bar higher.

So, I’m going to say something that might seem a little crazy and perhaps controversial, but bear with me for a moment. Keep an open mind.

What if being cheated on is actually a wake up call to trust and value yourself? What if the physical act of being cheated on is an external reflection of how you’ve cheated on yourself.
That is to say, you knew something was off, you didn’t feel safe, you knew you deserved better: but you did nothing.

What if ultimately the spiritual lesson of cheating is this: trust thyself.

What if you made feeling safe more important than anything else?

Many people who I work with admit that in a relationship where’s there’s cheating, safety is not a common experience. It doesn’t have to be some huge overt level of feeling unsafe, it could be subtle.

But, there’s always a disturbance in the force. And it is we who need to get smart and trust that.

I’m hoping that you aren’t reading this blog right now and thinking, “Great, so I’m to blame for them cheating?”

That’s not the take away. Human beings are responsible for their actions. This blog does not justify or make right what happened, but it can help you learn the lesson.

Trusting yourself, being firm with what you need in a relationship and what you deserve, these are all very valuable lessons. And the sting of cheating comes bearing the gift of this lesson if we can learn it.

So, I’d love for you to answer this question on the blog: if you made feeling safe more important than excitement, mystery, how spiritual they seem, or the words that were coming out of their mouth, what would you do?

Please discuss in the comments.

I’d love to know.

Have a great week!
Lots of LOVE,

Mastin

P.S. Take what resonates and leave the rest.

P.P.S. My final “Enter the Heart” seminar of 2014 is July 11th in Honolulu.

Click here to RSVP.

 

 

  • Kristen

    Homerun Mastin. Thank you for sharing this. You can’t imagine how perfect your timing.

    • Mastin

      you are so welcome Kristen!!!

  • Siobhan McAuley

    great post Mastin! I love how you framed this.

    • Mastin

      hey Siobhan! thanks!! did u see any typos? (lol)

      • Siobhan McAuley

        actually now that you mention it….no, just joking! lol

  • http://greatesttrapperalive.tumblr.com Omneé Israel

    I feel that when I’m in a relationship, I put all of my mate’s values before my own. I tend to lose myself while being wrapped in their truths. In my current relationship, I feel the unconditional love. However, I’m in a predicament where I miss how easy everything seemed to be in the beginning. I’ve found myself seeking my ex (for God knows what, because he was terrible). I know that my boyfriend would be devastated. So I want to make sure I cease any feeling or yearning for the past NOW. My intentions aren’t bad. I just feel so lost sometimes.. and find myself missing the long talks and what felt like a mutual understanding. Now, more often than not I feel a little misunderstood. Though I know that this isn’t worth my current relationship. So if anyone has any motivation to keep my hope alive and not stray off to something or someone that I know won’t serve justice..please feel free to comment

    • Irena

      Omnee, i just want to say a few words regarding your post. From what I experienced in my life, I learn that you can’t cease yearning for the past by just fighting it. There is some emotional unfinished business remain either between your ex and you or more likely within yourself.
      If you still have attraction to the past, knowing that relations are not good for you, then ask yourself why? Which of your needs were satisfied then and are not satisfied in a new relations?Until you clearly understand that and will try to find a way to fulfill those needs differently in a new relations, you might remain in an inner conflict, which will sabotage your new relations. Hope it will help you to look at things from different angle.

      • http://greatesttrapperalive.tumblr.com Omneé Israel

        Thanks so much Irena! Your response means a lot. I’m finding that there’s not anything that I miss from my past relationship or the person. He was very disloyal and unfaithful and didn’t make me feel safe. I think that what may be responsible for this feeling is the way we ended. We usually always broke off things in turmoil and abruptly. Maybe I’m seeking a peaceful ending? But how can I go about trying to handle what could be unfinished business while I’m currently in a relationship that is still growing and blossoming. I’m not sure my current mate will respect that or understand it based off of certain conversations.

        • Irena

          Omnee by ” unfinished business” I meant your own in regards of your past, not WITH the person from the past. That you owe yourself to understand what is still attracting you in your ex and see how you can find/ build that attraction with your current mate. Not fighting your feelings, or trying to hide from them but understand them.

          • http://greatesttrapperalive.tumblr.com Omneé Israel

            Thanks so much Irena. Sometimes I just feel like physical contact or contact with someone else is such a necessity. When really it’s having that communication with ourselves and finding out how to be spiritually and emotionally fulfilled. I appreciate you!

      • JPI

        Thank you for this. Great advice and great insight about needs being met.

  • LightEyedDiva

    Wow… this article just blew my mind! Thanks for constantly providing insight!

    • Mastin

      oh – that is so awesome LightEyedDiva :o) happy to be able to contribute!

  • Rosemary

    Mastin, thank you for this…its perfect timing. I need more of this. I have recently just figured out that there was a lesson in all this (cheating on me) and I was blinded by pain and “why’s”…..its been 4 years and he still can’t let me go and I push him away knowing I love and care for him BUT KNOWING he’s not right. I only wish to have learned this lesson sooner….ohhh so much wasted time. ALWAYS enjoy reading your message.

    • The Daily Love

      Glad you enjoyed this Rosemary! Thanks for reading!! <3 – Team TDL

  • http://www.megynblanchard.com/ Megyn Blanchard

    I am so touched by this that I cried this morning Mastin,
    This is perfect! Every question and thought you asked is so spot on. Healing started when I saw how I was the co-creator in everything. When I was angry with another for being dishonest, It was because I wasn’t honest with myself. When I have been angry or hurt by another taking me for granted, it was because I was taking myself for granted, I was taking my Truth for granted.

    Grateful! Love and Light

    • Mastin

      so huge Megyn!!!!

  • Tessa

    Feeling safe, and being safe, really means to me to be grounded in my authentic being. Then, thinking I need the love and approval of someone who cheats is not a concept I take can take seriously. I still may feel bad, but I am so much bigger than the pain.

    • livetolove

      I love this!~

    • Mastin

      that’s right Tessa! so well said!

  • http://www.carlyrachelle.com Carly

    I absolutely agree with this Mastin and it’s the exact lesson that I learned through my own experience of being cheated on.

    I realized that I never trusted my intuition. I denied it over and over again, deferring my power away to my partner because he always had the words to temporarily soothe my continual intuitive feelings that told me “something’s off.”

    Trusting myself & my intuition is something that I get stronger at every day…it’s definitely a moment-to-moment practice. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • The Daily Love

      Yes Carly!! Thanks so much for sharing this and reading today :) – Team TDL

  • Ysa

    This is so timely. I was just wondering if anyone has any words to the cheater? I know there are no excuses for cheating at all. Is it possible to heal together from this? I

  • Jolanda Ludwina Houben

    Spot on, Mastin! Actually in all of my intimate relationships I have sensed feelings of unsafety, the knots in my stomach. With my rational mind I knew I had to leave, but a critical innervoice blamed my highsensitivity (my mother’s voice). My last relationship ended in April. In the moment of an emotional rollercoaster I have doubted my inner radar and lost faith. Mourning the loss of my ex. Now, months later I do see the gift of this break-up and learn to value and love myself, my highsensitivity and my moral standards. Reviewing all my relationships I also discovered personal destructive behaviour patterns (co-dependency issues despite my inner drive to be independent + overly analyzing the other). I am thankful for these lessons and continue my lifepath in little conscious steps.

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful Jolanda! Thanks so much for sharing this <3 – Team TDL

  • Jane

    Right on Mastin! This is exactly my experience and understanding I’m so grateful to you for pulling it together in this way

    • The Daily Love

      Glad you enjoyed this Jane! Thanks for sharing :) – Team TDL

  • Mary Smith

    I really enjoyed today’s Lesson! I was cheated on more than once, and I have to say, I didn’t not know about the cheating until it happened, and I confronted the person. After it was all said and done, I ended the relationship, knowing that I could not trust the person, nor did I want to continue the relationship. What I learned from all of this, is to choose a better partner, by learning about who I am, and what I deserve in a relationship. I also learned that I cannot settle for anything less from a Man. I also learned that People that are cheaters, it’s about who they are, not about You. This has taken years to learn, but I am thankful for all of my Teachers like You Mastin!
    Thank you!

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful awareness Mary! Thanks so much for sharing this <3 – Team TDL

  • Rebecca

    Thank you, Mastin! 10 months ago, I discovered that my (now ex) boyfriend of 5 years was cheating on me with two different women and hiring prostitutes when he was traveling for business. I was able to immediately end a relationship that I had struggled for 4 years to end, always going back to him yet knowing that nothing about the relationship made me feel safe or secure. My suspicion is that he had been cheating on me nearly the entire time and my lack of feeling safe was my intuition telling me what I really needed to know. I spent much of last Fall and Winter angry at him and angry at myself for not trusting me. Now I’m no longer angry. I feel confident in the fact that I will never again cheat MYSELF by not listening to that voice and that inherent feeling inside me that tells me if I’m safe, secure and loved.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing this Rebecca!! <3 – Team TDL

  • cynthia

    Excellent point about the feelings of safety. So simple, yet it says it all. If we don’t feel safe in a relationship, it’s usually because we’re not. Knowing this, we can hopefully avoid those who don’t reach the bar and/or send them packing because whether or not they admit it, we are not safe if we don’t feel it.

    • The Daily Love

      That’s right Cynthia! Thanks for reading and sharing today :) – Team TDL

  • One Year

    Today marks one year to the day that I found out my partner was cheating on me. You are correct, Mastin, in stating that one of the lessons to learn is to trust ourselves. That was the first of many I learned, because it was me listening to my intuition that prompted me to find out – I had no other clues that something was amiss. To say that what happened solidified my confidence in my intuition is an understatement. I seriously considered leaving the relationship. I’ve always maintained that it would be a deal breaker, but I’d never been in the position to put that into action before. In this case, being a lot older and wiser, having done a lot of my own work before this relationship, and with a lot of soul searching I decided to stay. Together we have done a lot of work and had many ups and downs over the past year. I relate very well to what you said about not feeling safe… I’m still not 100% there. I’m a lot closer than I was a year ago though, when the foundation of my relationship fell out from underneath me. We regularly have what we call ‘check-ins’ to talk about how we are feeling and how things have been going. I still have full access to everything electronic if I need it (the cheating was on-line – which makes it difficult to feel safe about your partner using the internet), but I need it far, far less than before. It’s a work in progress. It will still take some time. I can say, however, that depending on the situation and people involved it is possible. I feel like we are on a good path and if I had to rank it I’d say that today I’m 98% confident this won’t happen with us again. We’ve never been more open with each other, I’ve never been in a relationship with this much intimacy and vulnerability before. Those things make me think it is something worth saving and worth making the effort. I do believe that many, if not most, people should leave when there is cheating. I never thought I’d be one to stay. But there are circumstances (which will be highly individual) when staying is part of our larger growth and evolution. I believe that this was the case for me. No matter what happens I’ll be ok. In the best case scenario I’ll still be ok, but with a partner who has learned, grown, and evolved as well.

    • The Daily Love

      That is beautiful and amazing One year! Thanks so much for sharing today!! <3 – Team TDL

  • mh71

    This was so timely, it made me cry this morning. It was like something cracked open in me and I finally was able to acknowledge the pain that the cheating has caused me and how much I’ve held on to this pain. (A marriage of 11 years was ruined; and I’ve spent the last 2 years unconsciously trying to heal it in unhealthy ways.) The cheating was never admitted to by my partner, but in the years since the divorce, the truth has been revealed. So did I “know”? Yes, I felt it, I knew it, but I didn’t want to believe it. And until today, I never looked any deeper at it. But I’m realizing that by not trusting myself, I’m not assigning any value to myself and therefore I’m not accepting of love that I deserve (I don’t believe that I deserve any better.) This is hard to swallow, really effing hard to write, but I hope that gaining this insight will help me heal in a more positive way. Thank you Mastin, your words help me along this journey.

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful awareness mh71! Thanks for reading and sharing today <3 – Team TDL

  • livetolove

    Working through the frustration of what seems to be continuous need of “mystery and love” over safety and trusting myself. I almost believed that “everyone cheats” which came from the mouth of a lying cheater. I just don’t want to cheat myself anymore. if that becomes the focus of my life before I can learn to differentiate “being impressed by something” over my own safety, then so be it.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing this livetolove! <3 – Team TDL

  • http://www.reportinglifellc.com/ Carmen

    I just told my ex this very recently, but I’m not surprised with the coincidences anymore.

    I never felt safe growing up. I never felt safe when I was married. I don’t always feel safe now, but it’s the closest feeling to safe I’ve ever felt in a relationship.

    I don’t feel safe writing anymore on my blog. So I’ll try writing a book. Maybe that’s safer.

    It’s all a trap…a test. Can you trust yourself not to fall?

    Because when you fall, the person waiting to pick you up doesn’t care if you’re safe.

    I’m grateful for what I have for the first time, and it’s not because HE makes me feel safe. It’s because he’s there to pick me up if I fall, and I trust him.

    • The Daily Love

      That’s amazing Carmen! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • kaysee

    I am not sure how I feel about this post-and the quotes to go along with it. I have been cheated on before-actually quite a few times so I can say what I am about to say, and I agree it really hurts. I think a lot of us have been cheated on, and admit, who hasn’t thought about it themselves??? As we get older we begin to see that it isn’t really personal- I felt the quotes attacked the cheater-kind of like demonizing them. The way I saw the cheating after the pain subsided was that possibly the cheater needed to find fulfillment elsewhere and it had nothing at all to do with me…maybe they just weren’t happy. Of course, it hurts, but things end, or expire. I am not sure if I believe in absolute emotional monogamy…cheating is wrong, yes, I am not condoning it, but we are all human. Outside of my input (I read the quotes first before the rest-sorry and it set the stage for my ambiguous feelings toward this subject), yes I agree with Mastin by asking “How long in the relationship before the cheating did we start to feel unsafe?” But I think that every cheating story is unique and it isn’t that simple…I don’t know…

    • kaysee

      and after so much experience, the only person who can make you feel safe is ultimately yourself.

    • The Daily Love

      Great perspective Kaysee, thanks so much for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • Kalila

    The is so timely. I was in a relationship with a serial cheater for 14 years. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and left the marriage. After leaving, I realized that I never felt safe in the marriage. But I didn’t realize it at the time because I did’t know what safe felt like. I have started my new life and learned how to trust in God and myself and I finally feel safe. I started a new relationship with a man that I feel so safe with. In the past and even sometimes now, I equate safe with boring but I am realizing that safe is not boring at all- at is a place to where I can relax and grow into me. Thanks for reminding me how important safety is in a relationship; it is the foundation from which to grow.

    • Mastin

      you are so welcome Kalila! so proud of you for knowing your worth!!

    • Ashlee Headley

      Awesome post! Good for you! :)

  • Vanessa

    I am sorry but I do not play the blame game so don’t blame any of the people involved in three way relationships. All people know on a soul level when they are not with the right person and they stay anyways because they are more fearful of change than actually jumping into the “unknown” or use the children as an excuse to stay too. I was that 8 year old child and my parents should not have stayed together after the first child, but instead of being responsible and honest with themselves and each other they had another three children together and our childhoods were a living hell with fights and unhappiness until they finally split. I would like to say this: 1. Be HONEST and stop the lying and admit to yourself and your mate there are things missing and if you trusted the universe in the first place it would have led you to the correct person instead of you settling 2. STOP looking outside for someone else to make you happy – everything is inside you if you are willing to do the work. 3. STOP using the excuse that you have to stay because of your children – I am that child and if you think for one moment that children do not know what is going on then you are BLIND! Children are still connected to the source and haven’t lost there connection yet – and have you ever treated them like the brilliant little people they are and actually asked them about “mommy and daddy”. Stop assuming they don’t know because they will surprise the heck out of you because they do know and they just want you to both be happy. Have the courage – BE HONEST with yourself and make the change – Start living your authentic life that the universe wants you to live and break apart in loving kindness with love and compassion. People don’t own people and we cant make people love us – be grateful for the time you had and let people move on and grow so you can grow. Sorry but very frustrated with the blame game!!!!!! Own your life please.

    • Mastin

      this isn’t about blame, it’s about awareness. I hear you and see you Vanessa!

      • Vanessa

        I know Mastin and I am just frustrated with people not taking responsibility for their lives. Everyone I know right now is either splitting up (me included but I have done it talking the truth and with love and kindness) or in unhappy marriages telling me they thought their partner would change. I could pull my hair out – why should anyone change? They are perfect as they are and someone else is perfect for them. I truely want people to wake up and be empowered. Life is a gift and we need to be living our most authentic life to heal ourselves and the planet. If I could give the entire population a huge hug filled with love and make them BELIEVE I would. Share love please..xxxxxx

        • Mastin

          i hear you, luckily we can’t control anyone else. so it’s up to us to stay in our lane!

          • Vanessa

            Absolutely! I LOVE daily love and re-tweet your stuff all the time on my twitter account. I am very passionate about spreading Love and following everything to get us to our higher selves. Helping people open up and helping them live their authentic self is my passion and I support a lot of people right now and it feeds my soul. I am very blessed and want to share the LOVE!!!! x

          • Valerie

            Any suggestions for how to deal w your ex introducing your children to the women he cheated on u w/? I’m really struggling w this now!! Help.

          • Sunshine

            Check the chumplady http://www.chumplady.com. her site has been a major stepnfor menin learning my worth and learning jow ro deal with the practical issues as well. Anyone who has a cheating partner should read her blog.

          • anonymous

            Fantastic website! Thankyou! I also recommend melanie tonia evans for a spiritual path out of the narcisissm.

  • Joeycradio

    Ridiculous. You are a vessel. Amazing, etc.

    • Mastin

      Joey!!! i miss u buddy!

  • Karen

    This is a really interesting lesson. I am the one who cheated on my ex, and I have spent a couple of years already (with likely more to come) working through why I cheated and what I need to do differently to never cheat again. But what was interesting to me as I read the lesson is how much it resonated with me, even though I was the cheater. Specifically, the question of safety. I was with my ex for 12 years, but for a lot of that time, I don’t think I felt safe. He never hit me, but I did have some moments where I thought his anger might cross the line. But even setting that aside, the much more prevalent feeling during our relationship was that I didn’t feel safe to be ME. I didn’t feel like I could just be who I am and have that be accepted. The person with whom I cheated has plenty of issues and is not a healthy person to be in a relationship with, but what was so appealing about him was that he somehow made me feel safe in a way I never did with my ex, on both a physical and an emotional level.

    • JPI

      I have been both the cheater and the cheated on and reading this was amazing. It has been many years since all that happnened but the memory of how I felt about myself and how I hurt others has stayed with me. Not in a way that is self piteous or shameful (though I had to go through that too) but in a positive way–to make sure I remember I never want to be that person again.
      I can’t remember what the situation was but once I was telling my mother how horrible I felt about something I’d done and she said “That’s your conscience telling you not to do that again”. I hate that I lied and I hate that I cheated. Long after I’d been forgiven by the other person I still couldn’t forgive myself.
      I loved this blog topic because it made me look at my mistake in a different light–you have to like yourself enough to give yourself the safety you deserve. My younger self didn’t think I deserved it so I sabotaged a relationship with someone who accepted me. I still feel shame at hurting someone but I’m glad for the lesson. It’s one that has stayed with me.

    • Bella

      I absolutely agree – I got drunk at a party and ended up cheating on my husband. I came home the next day and told him I didn’t want to be married anymore and I have spent a number of years since then working to discover what it was about that relationship and about me that lead me to cheat. While cheating is never justifiable, I’ve realised that it was an unhealthy relationship where I was very submissive and allowed my husband to dictate our lives together. I definitely did not feel safe in the relationship. I got to a point where I felt powerless and dismissed but without the courage or self-knowledge to identify what was wrong and leave that relationship. Cheating was my way of getting out – but it damaged me in many ways I could never have predicted. However, it has also taught me many lessons about myself and about what a healthy happy relationship really feels like and I know I will never cheat or hurt someone like that again. I have said sorry to ex many times and I wish I could go back and change what happened, but in the end leaving him was the best thing for both of us and hopefully we’ll both end up with better, happier, ‘safer’ relationships in the future.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks so much for sharing this and reading today Karen! <3 – Team TDL

  • dearipal

    Mastin, It’s as though you’ve been right here the past six years…. My husband told me just 3 weeks ago that he was in love with someone else. This person lives in Greece, so there has been no physical contact…but the fact that he told me that he does not love me and he has told her that he ‘loves’ her felt more emotionally damaging than had he been physically unfaithful. While I find neither acceptable in a relationship (especially a marriage) this news was devastating. We JUST moved into a home and signed a 2 year lease this past April. I now suspect he was already involved with her. I feel every emotion imaginable. From fear to paralyzed, anger to strength to disappointment in myself….because, as you said….I never truly felt ‘safe’ and I never felt that I was in a place of ‘trust’. I am 54 and the thought of starting over is terrifying….but I will grab on to the bits of strength as they emerge for mere moments…. I will cling to them until the full strength I deserve is back for good. Thank you also for your guided meditation on rejection…. again, it’s as though you knew exactly when and what to say. You are a blessing to many. I cannot begin to thank you for your daily love.

    • The Daily Love

      Glad you enjoyed this post dearipal! Thanks for sharing this <3 – Team TDL

  • Karin Spain

    You are so right Mastin and I have to admit that I never felt safe in my marriage but didn´t have the courage to step out for too many years. I knew it and always made excuses, the children, the life style, the financial security …. In the end it is all not worth it when you end up shattered, ill and almost insane. I stepped out of my marriage more than a year ago and it is still tough, I am still scared to death how to run my life financially on my own in the long run. My ex doesnt want to pay anything and its an endless fight with lawyers. I am scared to loose my children, they love their Dad even though he abused me for 13 years, emotionally and physically, the kids know that and have been often next to it. He got the money, the smile on his face and treats them like princesses.
    But I grew strong and I know I will find my way someday. Thanks for todays post xxx

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for your vulnerability and sharing this today Karin! <3 – Team TDL

  • Bree

    Wonderfully said! Lived in an ” unsafe relationship ” for 22 years where I didn’t love myself and let my spirit wither. Now I am in a much better place by the grace of God and so many beautiful teacher’s like you. Your words today have given me an amazing feeling of release. Thank you Mastin from the bottom of my heart.

    With Love & Gratitude

    • The Daily Love

      Amazing Bree! Thanks so much for reading and sharing this today :) – Team TDL

  • Mary

    I can look back and see where others abandon or cheat on me, is where I have already abandoned myself first…

    • The Daily Love

      Powerful Mary! Thanks for sharing this <3 – Team TDL

  • StrangeProblem

    I’ve recently had a break up that came about because it was told to me that “feelings changed” or something. Mostly the communication vanished, a distance was put in place that no matter how I tried to reach out, either with kindness or anger, I would get no answers to questions and no conversation about the state of things. And, when asked, this person only said that they didn’t know what had happened – because we had been so happy and balanced as a pair, …. blah blah blah… yeah, I’m still working through some of this. :)

    Anyway, I told this person that by completely cutting me out of all of it, of not taking what I was going through into any sort of consideration they might as well have just cheated because in the end it felt exactly the same as infedelity. Seriously, it did because my first thought was cheating. I was told that that was not happening. Who knows if that’s true or not, but it doesn’t really matter at this point.

    My point is that lies feel the same when you’re in the midst of it all – whether it’s about sex, or “friendship” or simply by not addressing any of it directly (a lie by omission).

    Lies in a relationship = really bad juju (not that I didn’t already know this, but this highlighted it, put it in bold and was heavily punctuated). I’ve learned a lot, and if I’d listened to my gut I would have been out months sooner, rather sort of hanging on to what I knew in my heart was over. I think it was just not understanding why things were over was what kept me there, banging my head against that wall.

    • The Daily Love

      Listening to your gut is so powerful StrangeProblem! Thanks for sharing this! <3 – Team TDL

  • Maritza Monrovia

    Dear Universe, i thank you for Mastin! Such a timely entry. This conversation was held just this morning with my husband of 17 years. i don’t trust him AT ALL. We could work at this forever but i just don’t think i would ever stop that little itch. i want to feel safe and loved by the person i’m intimate with. i like how this reframes what i need to do in order for me to learn from what happened. Just as a side note, i was sexually molested numerous times during my childhood and i have established a relationship with my father but there are very strong boundaries. It makes sense that i do the same here with a spouse that has just conveyed to me that i’m not valued. i absolutely want to feel safe. Thank you!

    • The Daily Love

      Powerful vulnerability Maritza! Thanks for sharing this and I’m sure many of the other members of the community can relate <3 – Team TDL

  • Amy B.

    Nicely approached, Mastin. Yes, in life, there’s always two sides to any truth. Your words reminded me of my favorite quote from Landmark Education on responsibility:
    “Responsibility starts with saying you are cause in the matter. Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame or guilt. In responsibility, there is no evaluation of good or bad, right or wrong. There is simply what’s so, and your stand. Being responsible starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from the point of view that you are the generator of what you do, what you have and what you are.
    That is not the truth. It is a place to stand. No one can make you responsible, nor can you impose responsibility on another. It is a grace you give yourself–an
    empowering context that leaves you with a say in the matter of life.” Thanks for putting the positive healing light back out in the world, sir.

    • The Daily Love

      Beautifully put Amy! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • You are perfect!

    When feeling down – Remember this;
    We are made of love, we are One with the source (God).
    You are perfect, you don’t need fixing!!!
    If you have been hurt, this shall pass, and a lesson learned.
    Stay Positive, trust yourself, stay in love with yourself.
    We live in a tiny Blue dot, in the mist of an infinite Universe made of pure Love!
    Tiny Blue dot..called earth!
    Hugs,
    M

    • The Daily Love

      yes You are Perfect! Thanks for this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • Sandy

    I do not have a cheater I have an accuser & blamer. No matter, since I still feel unsafe. I have no idea when he’ll blow for something I said or did. He takes things personal, identifies with a comment or remark as an attack to who he is. He has also been a liar from day 1. It hasn’t been easy accepting behavior or habits he stated he didn’t have & every year he introduces another one. I moved to another state to be with him, after 4 plus years I can no longer accept him. I feel I have nothing left to give the relationship. Your blog hit home when you said…”you knew something was off, you didn’t feel safe, you knew you deserved better: but you did nothing.” It will be difficult, but I see now I must prepare for a departure from him. Thanks for your help!

    • The Daily Love

      Let us know how it goes Sandy! Sending you lots of Love <3 – Team TDL

  • sam

    I’ve been married for almost 20 years to a serial cheater who I now believe may have never been faithful. I found evidence of his cheating in phone logs & very detailed text messages between him and numerous women, some of whom I know. At first I was outraged & angry & wanted to leave with our 3 children. I mistakenly tried to work on the marriage through therapy. I know now it was a huge mistake. Not only did he lie, I felt like the female therapist took his ‘side’ as he can be quite charming & witty & goes out of his way to be entertaining, while I may tend to be more on the serious side. This resulted in me not trusting my instincts & response to the extent of sometimes questioning my sanity. Then through the years I found out he had been using my name in many financial transactions which resulted in defaults, poor credit rating & excessive tax liabilities. I used to be smart & sensible, but now I’m in a state of hopelessness and helplessness due to my financial situation & my weakened esteem. Our children are now teenagers & know his behavior is wrong, but they have accepted it, mostly because I have shut down while he continues to lie & cheat. At this point I feel derided by friends & family for not leaving this situation, and ironically while some may have witnessed and disapprove of his cheating, they likeep him because he’s fun
    But after attending 4 funerals in the past month, I realized a part of me had died.I want to leave him so I can live, but I don’t know how. This is my cry for help…

    • The Daily Love

      What next step is your heart asking you to take Sam? <3 – Team TDL

      • sam

        My heart is broken & unloved; my mind wants to take action & leave. But I am afraid.

        • Cissy

          What are you afraid of? Think of what you are teaching your children by staying. He sounds like a POS. You are worthy. You are enough. You’d be better off without him

  • Pati

    I really liked all you said, Mastin! It’s a keeper.

    I wrote a song about the last person that forgot to mention we were through…ha ha…”Talk is cheap, baby. And so are you.”

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for reading and sharing today Pati! <3 – Team TDL

  • [email protected]

    husband of 23 years lied and cheated emotionally. I found out, forgave him once, he kept it up, lied to me. I sensed something was wrong..felt it in my bones…caught him again after he lied to my face, kicked him out of the house. Told him to get counseling…then I took care of myself. Eventually he came back, promised to go to counseling ( never did). After a while, I came across my own “emotional affair” with a man..not on purpose. I went with it and the other man made me feel like a million. Then my husband finally dumped the other lady once someone else desired me. It was stressful for a while. I didn’t let the other man go until finally felt my husband treated me right..the other man faded away and my husband and i are still together..31 years now. Not that its perfect but I sure had an experience. It all comes down to ” who do you want to be?” ps, my affair was never sexual…I wish I could have stayed friends with the other man but he didn’t . Its best to focus all your energy, romantic energy on one person and mostly on yourself!

    • The Daily Love

      Yes Mary! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 -Team TDL

  • DG

    The Daily Love always seems to address exactly what I’m going through. This is again perfect timing, sadly just found out yesterday. I didn’t feel safe, the vibes were way off. I knew before I knew, and asked and he admitted it. Not sure what to do now, but I guess begin feeling safe somehow.

    • The Daily Love

      What is your heart telling you DG? <3 – Team TDL

      • DG

        My heart is broken, and my trust is gone. I guess I could be a country music writer?.

  • Ashlee Headley

    Your post could not have came at a better time. Being cheated on is something I struggle with. I’m trying to fight the desire to just start cheating on everyone as well. My relationships have shown me no respect. But, the bottom line, I haven’t shown myself the respect.

    • The Daily Love

      Amazing awareness Ashlee! Thanks for sharing today! <3 – Team TDL

  • Dawn | SexGetsReal.com

    I am going to take what I expect is an unpopular view on this topic. Just know that I’m saying all of this with love.

    First, for anyone struggling with cheating, I highly recommend Esther Pearl’s book “Mating in Captivity”. It’s a fascinating look at intimacy and eroticism and how they typically work in opposition to each other. Too much intimacy kills the mystery and the heat that is needed for deep eroticism. Conversely, too much mystery and risk (which is usually when we have a big ol’ chemistry bomb with someone) means it’s hard to have intimacy because of the lack of trust and intimacy.

    I believe that the REASON someone cheated is critically important. Many times people cheat because they are scared of being judged or they feel de-valued or they feel invisible or they feel like their needs aren’t important to their partner. Is this an excuse? No. There’s a more honest way.

    But…in these cases, I do believe healing can happen. I’ve seen cheating strengthen a relationship in tremendous ways.

    If someone is cheating because they’re a total jerk and there isn’t any real love, then yes. Walk away.

    But I see so many people who deeply love their spouse or partner who cheat, for a variety of reasons, and many of those reasons are fear-based. If both partners would be willing to release ego and really dig in and do the work, they’d have something extraordinary.

    I also believe the adage that sex is 10% of a relationship unless there are problems with it, and then it’s 90% of a relationship.

    I don’t think cheating is black and white. I think it is a deeply personal, deeply complex thing and each person needs to take a close look at the intent and the reasons behind what’s going on.

    I have been cheated on.

    I have cheated.

    And I have had lovers who are married (and not in a poly situation).

    Each of these things taught me more about the human spirit, our need for intimacy, and more than that, our need to feel seen and loved.

    Honesty and open communication are always the best way. I am polyamorous and all of my lovers know about each other. We are all in this situation by choice, and we communicate all the time. No secrets. No hiding.

    But, being vulnerable, being willing to get really hurt if your partner rejects you when you open up about your sexual needs? Those aren’t things we are taught how to do.

    We, as a society, have SO MUCH SHAME around sex and sexuality, it drives people to do crazy things. Some of my married lovers felt like they were dying inside from shame and fear because their wives would NOT listen, were not willing to have the scary conversations around sex, and instead shut down.

    Too many people shame their spouses for watching porn. Too many people shame their partners for wanting to try something new. Too many people shame themselves for their desires and fantasies.

    And this shame drives people to live in a world of denial, fear, anger, and lies.

    If we want our partners to trust us, we need to give them space to fail and to grow. We need to create space where we can take risks and say really scary things (like, “I want to try group sex” or “I need XYZ in order to feel close to you”) if we want to have that trust and to allow for the kind of communication where there isn’t fear of retaliation or disgust or judgment.

    Mastin, I like your perspective, but I agree with your therapist. I think it’s more complex and rich than yes or no, good or bad, stay or go.

    Great discussion.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks so much for sharing this and the book recommendation Dawn! <3 – Team TDL

    • CoachDave

      The book recommendation is a good one but the author’s name is actually Esther Perel. http://www.estherperel.com/

      • Dawn | SexGetsReal.com

        Thank you for the correction. That’s what I get for using my delightfully shoddy memory. ;)

    • kaysee

      I really want to thank you for saying what I couldn’t or was trying to say it my response earlier. I think mine came out wrong and just kind of sat there. I have been on both sides as well, and it really is more complex and rich than black and white. Thank you and much love

      • Dawn | SexGetsReal.com

        You are most welcome. Your post definitely makes sense and I agree with what you’re saying.

        I’ve never been the kind of person who sees cheaters as ALL BAD and cheating as THE ULTIMATE END TO THE WORLD. Some people do, and that’s fine. Even when I was cheated on, it made me step back and think – did I contribute to this in some way? And I did. I wasn’t willing to hear my boyfriend and his needs, so he cheated.

        I feel like we need to bring a little more humanity and compassion to our relationships. I worry when I see advice that basically says, “As soon as things get tough, end things.”

        Should we be respected and honored in our relationships? Yes. Should we strive for sacredness? Absolutely. But we are all on different paths and overcoming different challenges on our way there.

        I think cheating is wrong. But I also think it offers a chance for lessons. Many people who I’ve known who have cheated did so while loving their partner and feeling totally at a loss or overcome with pain at the rejection they faced every day by their loved one.

        When I cheated, I honestly felt like I was on the verge of dying. I was so scared and so overwhelmed and so lost. I’d tried over and over again to have tough conversations, to shift our relationship, to change the terms to get needs met, but my partner totally shut down or became defensive. It didn’t seem right to blow up our household over this one thing, sex, but in the end, I cheated as a way to see if getting my sexual needs met really was what I needed to find happiness. And it was. So we ended things in a loving way and parted ways.

        It showed me the suffering that can be happening and the disconnect. It also put me on a path to partner with people who were capable of open communication and honest discussions about tough stuff and that non-monogamy might be a more sacred path for myself. Cheating put me on this incredible path that changed my life.

        We are not taught how to have tough conversations in relationships. We aren’t taught in sex ed classes how to negotiate or how to create safe spaces for having really scary conversations. We aren’t taught how to gently reject or how to self-reflect when a partner is suffering to see what we’re doing to contribute to the issue.

        We are just thrown out into the world, and then we all come at things with these inflexible views about “true love” and “healthy relationships” without really understanding what it takes to maintain a healthy self and a healthy partnership.

        Anyway. I’m soap boxing.

        Haha. Thanks for the love, Kaysee. Good luck to you, too!

        • JennH

          I so much appreciate your sharing this, and I very much agree with your perspective. I have been on both sides of “cheating” and I think that it is much more complicated than “wrong” and “right” (which also encourages victim mentality). I think that the things that happen that lead up to a person cheating are as significant (often) as the act itself. There are so many ways to betray and be betrayed. I think it gives a couple the opportunity to face some truths about themselves and their way of relating with/to each other. It also allows for the opportunity for compassion, forgiveness, and potentially growth (if you can apply the former two!), even if the relationship doesn’t survive.

          • Dawn | SexGetsReal.com

            ” There are so many ways to betray and be betrayed. ”

            Yes! There are… you can betray yourself and your partner without cheating, and often the things that are the most hidden and don’t have physical manifestations are even more difficult to heal from.

            I love what you said about facing truths and practicing compassion and forgiveness. Great points.

            I know that after my partner and I ended things, we actually became closer in certain ways because we used it as an opportunity to finally say things that had gone unsaid and all of the resentment floated away. We have a wonderful friendship now, and we are both so much happier.

            Love this, Jenn!

          • JennH

            Thanks so much for your reply–my ex-partner and I both betrayed and cheated in our own way, and we are still sorting it out (or at least I am)–I am trying to let go of hurt and resentment, and I don’t think he has been able to let go of the anger on his part (one reason –the reason?–we couldn’t heal and repair our marriage). We still love one another and feel deeply connected (at least I do, I think he feels the same), but have not quite found a feeling the release and clearing from the past yet (perhaps it’s too soon?). I look forward to a time of feeling ease and generosity and openness, and happiness for his happiness (and not hurt and jealousy, and all those other ugly, but human, feelings).

    • GC

      Excellent post. I am here to state my wholehearted agreement! I think cheating often stems from lack of communication. I think as someone who has been on all sides of the “cheating” scenario, that more times than not, the sex has very little to do with it. The cheating is all part of a communication and emotional connection that wasn’t being addressed. Early on I thought it was just women seeking communication and emotional connection, but a wonderful man taught me just how much men seek it too, they often just don’t display that desire in the same way as women do.

      • The Daily Love

        Yes GC!! <3 – Team TDL

    • CoachJill

      Dawn, Thanks for really going there! I like you have been on both sides of this one and learned more about loving by the experience than I would have by staying stuck in a fearful spot in my relationship and life. Do I wish I could have learned without this? Absolutely but I am SO thankful I have the lesson now and it led me to the self-love I needed to end up in the healthy relationship I joyfully share today! I think betrayal manifested in cheating is an opportunity to look within and find your strength and true essence just like any other pain we experience. Let go of the cultural stigma and listen to the questions it brings up…..just listen to your spirit…..practice extreme self-care!!

      • Dawn | SexGetsReal.com

        I love this: “I think betrayal manifested in cheating is an opportunity to look within and find your strength and true essence just like any other pain we experience.”

        And yes – cultural stigma and shame – those things can be paralyzing and drive us to do so many things that aren’t really what we want or need, and keep us in fear.

        That’s why I think cheating can actually be a catalyst to something better and healthier. It forces a conversation.

        (I’m not idealizing cheating – I know there are serial cheaters and liars out there, but for most normal people with a moderate amount of self-awareness, cheating tells a story. And I think it’s a story that doesn’t have to mean The End.)

  • GG

    I feel objectifying woman’s bodies is a form of disrespect. I am hurt and angry when I am around others who talk about woman like they are objects to gawk at. Also, at events when woman prance around with sexy or hardly any clothes on for men is disgusting. If you want to look like a stripper go to the clubs where men want to see you like that. I would like to see men walk around with very little on and see how men react to that.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing and reading GG! <3 -Team TDL

  • Mary Kay

    I agree whole-heartedly with this post I have been cheated on my ex-husband, and my two major relationships following my divorce… do we see a pattern here? The big lesson for me was exactly what Mastin said, “I had that feeling” early on in both relationships, and even while it was happening with my husband. I was so naive’ I thought if I just hung in there, instead of leaving, we could work through it. Only problem is, it takes both parties to work on it, and I was in denial when it should have been obvious, that each of these men clearly weren’t interested in changing their behavior, because they kept their women on the side… and I was the ever loyal girlfriend who doesn’t run away when there are problems, and I’ll just stay and keep “working” on the relationship. Bleh! Bottom line is … it took years to discover that sometimes it is the RIGHT and LOVING thing to do, to leave. I thought everyone was good, and sometimes they just make bad choices. Truth is, sometimes people aren’t so good, and they don’t care if they hurt others, because they are broken themselves and only care to get what they want. TakeAway lesson: I matter far too much to stay with someone who doesn’t value me. I thought that was a selfish thought, but discovered that is actually a self-caring and healthy to just walk away from toxic people. I am a compassionate person, and I was wrong. Compassion doesn’t mean taking abuse. It means walking away from abuse!

    • Mary Kay

      Also, I could use some clarity if anyone has some insight. My last relationship was a doozy. It raised so, so many things in my life to re-examine. I never felt safe… even in the beginning of the 5 years. When I often expressed my discord about his emotional or physical affairs. His answer was always “That’s YOU creating it, because YOU are thinking about it. Remember, I’m just mirroring your fears. If you could just be ok with my women, it would probably just stop.” I tried to be ok…. as if that is possible… and this is where I got into the area of “putting up with bad behavior” and it DID NOT go away… in fact, it got progressively much worse, because he found out I would stay with him. He always expressed how I was the one for him, and then I would ask WHY he needed other women??? His answer was always “because I can.” What a slap in the face of my soul! Then I would leave, and he soon he would have a “heartfelt” pleading of why I was the one for him, and I would go back, and the cycle continued until, in spite of my strong spirit, I could not/would not take it any longer. Was my lesson that compassion is for ME first? That sounds so self-centered. Is it really ok, to just remove people from my life? When I did this with toxic people, he would tell me I was judgmental and condemning, and then I would feel bad, and try harder. Obviously, I am still processing “what train just hit me.”

      • The Daily Love

        Thanks for sharing Mary, what is your heart telling you? – Team TDL

    • The Daily Love

      Yes Mary! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • Jules

    Mastin-Really enjoyed reading your perspective on this. LOVE LOVE LOVE what you say here~What if being cheated on is actually a wake up call to trust and value yourself? What if the physical act of being cheated on is an external reflection of how you’ve cheated on yourself.

    That is to say, you knew something was off, you didn’t feel safe, you knew you deserved better: but you did nothing.

    What if ultimately the spiritual lesson of cheating is this: trust thyself.

    I believe your perspective on this would work for any relationship you have in your life.

    • The Daily Love

      Yes Jules! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 -Team TDL

  • Anna

    I guess I’ve never been “cheated” on in any way that mattered. Maybe a guy went out on me, but it wasn’t a big deal…just high school stuff. Never in any of my adult relationships has anyone ever cheated. Guess I have been blessed. I do know of so many people who have been betrayed by cheating though and I can’t imagine how devastating it must be to find out your partner has been cheating on you. Guess it is time to look at how you “SEE” you and what you feel like you deserve.

    • The Daily Love

      That’s right Anna! <3 – Team TDL

  • nes

    Five years ago the married LOVE of my life resurfaced after almost 10 years. We met when I was 11 years old, I am now 40. After a few months of e-mailing, he started taking things to a sexual place. What ensued was a couple years of “sexual e-mailing” and we saw each other three times, since it was a long distance thing.

    At some point I started to feel like we needed to be just friends and then the worst thing happened….turns out he could not be my friend!!! He was much more adept at those e-mails. I thought we were going to be close friends after the affair, which I know sounds crazy, but he was the LOVE of my life and I thought it was our destiny to at least be close friends.

    I have told him repeatedly that I needed him to show up more. I told him I did not understand why he got involved with me if we were not even going to end up as friends. Last week we had a horrible conversation on the phone in which he was incredibly defensive and told me he didn’t think he did anything wrong!

    I can admit I was really trying to understand where he was at so when he told me this, it was a revelation. He is an intensely private man and even hearing him get angry was “news”.

    I was the “other woman” but I thought I was different because we had this 28+ year history.

    I wasn’t.

    All in all, it has been one of the most devastating experiences of my life because I stopped trusting myself and this person who I had adored as a young girl.

    YOU ARE RIGHT MASTIN. It comes down to TRUST. I’m on that path now. I told him not to contact me and I look forward to getting my life back!

    • The Daily Love

      Yes Nes! It’s all about trusting yourself!! <3 – Team TDL

  • JM

    Great post that applies to most relationship problems. How someone treats or values is often a reflection of how much you trust and value yourself. Trust yourself enough to know who not to trust and when to let go. Our lives are always whispering to us…

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks so much for sharing this JM! <3 – Team TDL

  • On my way

    Mastin you do have a way with words. “Crazy” it sounds exactly sane to me. Yes I cheated myself into believing everything I knew was wrong. I knew 2 weeks into the relationship that this was not a good person but I didn’t value myself, trust, respect or love myself enough to get out. I stayed for 12 more years until the physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse was so bad it almost killed me. Hopefully I’m on the path to learning how to trust thyself. It has been 4 years since my divorce and I have not been in a serious relationship with another man since because I do not trust myself yet nor do I feel very safe around any men. I find something off in most men I meet. So until I can learn to trust myself I will wait because I do not want to cheat myself AGAIN. Thanks Mastin

    • The Daily Love

      Powerful On my way! Please let us know how it goes! <3 – Team TDL

    • Sara

      until I can learn to trust myself I will wait because I do not want to cheat myself AGAIN. These words I can relate to. I am very attracted to my X, still, but until I can trust myself to folllow what is in my best interest/ G-ds interest for me, I will not contact him. Thank you for your comment.

  • Scott Engler

    Great topic Mastin, your writing and insights have significantly grown even since I started reading your blog back in late 2013!

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful Scott! Grateful to have you here :) – Team TDL

  • v

    married to a cheater. one of his girlfriends contacted me and told me what an ugly looser i am . i have young girls, i was so lost . i made a fool of myself talking about this situation to people. most left me . .when you have young kids its so much harder. Some how i found TDL and super soul sunday. This help me tremendously. Also, i am not ugly inside or out.

    • The Daily Love

      Your vulnerability in sharing this is so beautiful V! <3 – Team TDL

  • Marjorie E. Price

    Yes, very timely. Totally agree. We are responsible for our choices, and the consequences that arise from choices. When we were younger, ok, we’re still learning, immature, impulsive, etc. and can make a mistake. But make same mistake again, then it’s a choice! And now we older and wiser, we should understand how our actions hurt those we love! So we choose not to do it! If we are healthy, loving people. If you love someone, you don’t hurt them.
    And most importantly, you have values, boundaries, and make them known, defend them, enforce them. To love and respect yourself first!
    In a loving, committed relationship, both people deserve the best the other can give and receive. Those boundaries, values, communication, trust, intimacy must be shared only between those two people! Or of course things fall apart! Common sense!
    I agree, Mastin. Cheating – deal breaker. Especially emotional cheating. Sucks big time.
    But if the person cheating is 100% honest, gets help, couple gets help, does the work, there is love and re-commitment, respect, enforced boundaries, etc. I’m sure there can be healthy rebuilding. If both people want that. But I don’t know too many who do that… It’s such a break of trust, which is the cornerstone to romantic love. Cheating of any kind is lying. That kind of lying is a deal breaker for most people.
    It’s tough – can humans be monogamous, emotionally and physically? I guess it depends on the person. So you better be with someone who shares your values and boundaries. And who, if they say they respect and love you – prove it with choices and loving actions.
    Love is a CHOICE! :-)

    • The Daily Love

      Love is a choice Marjorie! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • Kathy Henry

    I just learned a lot from this and now know that feeling safe is having what I want in the relationship, what I deserve and what my values are! I just went through 11 years with a man that lied and cheated on me one way or another. I really thought we could work it out as each time went by but it is not possible if the one doing it don’t want to stop! I thought he was worth fighting for and tried fighting to keep his love when in the end he hurt me like nothing else. I still love him with all my heart but have realized that since our breakup over 9 months ago that I would not ever allow him back in my life to do it all over again and have told him so. Thank you Mastin for the Daily Love and showing me how to leave him out of my life……

    • The Daily Love

      Glad you enjoyed this post Kathy! Thanks so much for sharing this! <3 – Team TDL

  • Lisa Middleton

    I stayed with a cheater , for the children, we had also built a multi million dollar company together . I sacrificed my 30’s and sanity for 8 years, I kept telling myself I did not want my family to suffer because of his ‘Unit” and back then there were no books about sexual addiction, narcissism or psychopaths, I was in the book store every week . Finally at year 8 ,( my first call about his cheating was in MONTH 2 of the marriage) I walked from a 300 Million dollar company and the courts gave it all to him because we were not married 10 years ( bad legal advice I had asked, paid the atty 350K , they are the only people who make the money, oh I never asked for child support, knew I could work and never wanted the children to suffer any lasting court debacles ..girls work … the guys will hide it or spend it and there is just more suffering, work for me I will help you make enough to take care of your children) . But that is OK since I have done it again anyway and he could never replicate it. He died last summer penniless and alone. Always remember life is always changing, nothing is constant, observe and enjoy. Oh , Now have a Happy vibrant family the three of us.. going on 14 years…decided to date again… ughhh. reconnected with high school sweetheart after 35 years… he never gave up looking for me… kind of bitter sweet… oh he is still super handsome LOVE at 54

    • vicki

      i am very happy for you.

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful Lisa!! Thanks so much for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • jamie

    Love this post!!
    To my fellow daily lovers- I totally agree that this is a deal breaker! If you really believe that person is right for you, cheating is evidence that they are not right or ready for you right now.
    Why do we question that we deserve the same loyalty we give?

    • The Daily Love

      Exactly Jamie!! <3 – Team TDL

  • http://www.luvandkiwi.com/ Tish

    I once heard the following and it stuck. When someone cheats you learn that you can survive. You trust again…it may not be the person who cheated always, but you can always trust in yourself…that you will be okay no matter what. Once I realized that and realized I trusted myself, all my walls, hurt and shame came tumbling down. We’ll never be able to control another human being…Not that I want to be with a cheater, but if my husband were to ever cheat that would be on him. I trust that no matter what would happen I’d be okay. There’s infinite amounts of peace in that. I thank the cheaters from my past for teaching me that oh-so-hard lesson. xo

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful Tish!! Thanks for sharing this <3 – Team TDL

    • Thank you for sharing Tish. I really needed to hear these. And I was so touched by your words that they literally brought tears in my eyes. No kidding, your words along with Mastin’s article brought tears in my eyes, so thank you so much for helping me. Lots of love. <3

  • vicki

    Also, because i have so much experience with this topic i wanted to start local support groups. my life would have been radically better if i had good advice and a support group. how can i start to help people with this? the expensive help i received from social workers was to absolute worst advice .

    • The Daily Love

      Sharing in the community is a great start Vikci!! I’m sure many people can relate <3 – Team TDL

  • Naomi Sirio

    I’m a Gestalt Psychotherapist and Transformational Speaker. I have also been in a relationship where cheating became the catalyst for me to ‘jump and then grown my wings’. I can’t say that cheating is a deal breaker for me…. a deal changer perhaps but, it’s difficult to know how you will be impacted by this form of heartbreak until you experience it and … every experience will be different because you will be different. I have seen many of my clients overcome the devastation of cheating and I have noticed that the couples that come through this are the ones that maintain a feeling of safety and respect despite their heartbreak. On the other hand, those in relationships that have emotionally withered long before the “cheating” occurred do not fare so well. What I know for sure is this … we are perfect loving, kind souls doing our best to have a human experience, a human experience that is based on relationship. As human beings we are inevitably going to disappoint and hurt others …. including those we love. Based on that alone, we know that other human beings with which we are experiencing this life in relationship are going to do the same. We are going to be hurt and our trust in another may be broken … but if we can learn to trust ourselves and know with whole-heart that our inner knowing and our instinct will never let us down, then we can navigate relationship with trust ….. trust in our SELF which is really the only trust that matters. Love x http://www.naomisiriopsychotherapy.com.au

    • The Daily Love

      That’s right Naomi! Thanks for sharing this!! <3 – Team TDL

  • Julia

    This is one of the best things I have ever read on cheating and it is so true! Thank you so much on this new (to me) perspective. i thank you so much. I tired to mend a cheating relationship with my past partner and it didn’t work because he was unwilling to do the work. I have learned more from this article than any therapy i have had in the past several years. Thanks again!

    • The Daily Love

      Glad you enjoyed this Julia! Thanks for reading and sharing :) – Team TDL

  • Mama bear

    The reason for cheating is important as is the behavior that occurs once it is out in the open. From someone who has been cheated on and is surviving and overcoming it together, it makes a big difference when you understand the weaknesses that cause that need for attention and power and if the person comes clean on their own and changes the behavior. All I know is that it is hard to work on your own side of the street- be all you can be so you are okay, no matter what the cheater chooses to do later, you are enough and if they don’t choose you, it’s okay.

  • Meg

    I can’t tell you how close to home this hit for me. I was cheated on a number of years ago and could never figure out why I didn’t feel safe in the relationship, in trusting others and even doubting myself. I chose to stay in that relationship, overlooking my own worth. It has been heartbreak after heartbreak. I now see that I broke my own trust knowing long before I was cheated on that this was not the right relationship for me but ignored it! I want to move forward! I feel empowered knowing that I can move forward and learn to trust myself, see the true value of being me, and attract relationships that foster that! This post was just what I needed.

  • Susan M

    I am with a man whom I have stayed with after I found out he had cheated with a woman for years, about 5 years in total. We had a long distant relationship for that entire time until he moved out here to live with me. To say I was crushed would be a huge understatement, I was completely broken . It had been 7 years now since I found out and my heart slowly bleeds when I think about it. Mostly I do not feel safe emotionally and not just because I fear he will cheat again but also I have resentment that he hasn’t worked hard enough ( in my opinion) to make me feel like I once used to before I found out about her. He is a difficult man to understand and I love him more than I will probably ever love again. Is it ever really possible to move on from infidelity? Or is my heart steering me wrong? Please help me!

    • Carol

      I wrote a post yesterday. I was cheated on for 5 years too. It blows my mind that I had no idea it was going on. I was happily married no clues, not ever feeling unsafe etc. What I have come to realize now was it was the mistress that allowed it to happen. My husband found the perfect woman. She wanted nothing but sex, a few fleeting moments of attention from him. They never went anywhere or shared special moments together not even a dinner or a holiday etc. He had that with me. She meant nothing more than sex to him. I get that now. I realize that men can be involved with someone and have no bond with them. Hard to get but I realize she did something I never did. She had no demands or expectations from him except her own pathetic low self esteem to get attention. It was kind of like a free prostitute as he explained. The irony of it is I spoke with her and she actually thought he cared about her!!! For real I was like are you that stupid! But I felt bad in a way she was older than me, no career , not attractive. It was probably the best she could get ( a part time relationship) after speaking with her she was not even likeable, kind of bitter and not so nice. I asked my husband what the deal was he said she wanted to have sex and gave me attention he could live in fantasy land with her , he even said she was not attractive physically! He has issues and he is in counseling now so we are working through it. But honestly if there were not women out there who don’t care about sleeping with a married man or chasing something already taken then none of us wives would be in this predicament , I think all people would cheat if it was the perfect circumstance…don’t you? Hang in there my marriage is so much better now. It took a evil person to realize what he had at home . Blessings.

  • michelle

    Speaking from both sides of this coin, your take on cheating is probably the best one.
    Taking it one step higher is the fact that as a spiritual being, emotions and physical touch are both human desires. It is the humans who are making all the rules dictating them. The rules are your creation not necessarily being created by the universe. Remember, we are here to learn and to me that means every day, all day.

  • michelle

    One word, EGO!

  • Jasmine

    I’m still working my way through a cheating scenario, my feelings fluctuate from anger to forgiveness, and everything else in between. The final question in your blog packed a real punch; to be honest, I’m almost frightened to answer it.

    I’ve also found some of the responses enlightening; to Mastin, and today’s responders, please know that you have had an incredible impact on someone today, and I’m grateful to you, more than you know.

  • pc

    right on!

  • Deb

    My husband did this two times. I begged him to come back. No, he didn’t. I never thought I was smart enough, pretty enough, special enough, whatever enough, for him. So when he did that it proved I was right. It took me a year of therapy. Trust now–not so sure. Still healing.

  • Daniela

    About 3 months ago I left a 7-8 year relationship. I cheated my way out of the relationship. I’m not proud of what I did but I do blame myself for not trusting my gut and instincts. I knew this was a relationship I no longer wanted to be in but I was too scared to face it and to be on my own. At the beginning of the relationship he cheated on me several times. The pain was unbearable at times. Then I cheated, I almost thought it was okay to do this because he did it and every time he did it to me somehow I always forgave him. It was a very bumpy 7-8 years of lies, cheating and very little trust. At times we considered seeking a therapist because we both wanted to continue in our relationship, however, we never were on the same page timing wise. He was my first love and all but that wasn’t love. Not sure what causes peopel to hurt each other intentionally like that but I’m glad the cycle has ended. I do think you can heal and I do think couples can bounce back but it is an uphill battle and both involved really have to give it 100% to build the foundation again.

  • xnavygal

    Until I learned to love myself first I always allowed the wrong ones into my life. I consistently confused pity for love thinking I could somehow “fix” this person. I was the one who needed fixed. By showing myself self-love and care was the first step for me. I love Dr. Wayne Dyer’s quote : You can never be lonely, if you like who is you’re alone with”. Yes, I have been cheated on more than once, but the lesson’s learned have been invaluable. People come into your life for a reason. Some as blessings, teachers etc..all have made me who I am today.

    • The Daily Love

      Beautiful xnavygal thanks for sharing this! <3 – Team TDL

  • Jane

    I’m really interested in this topic and like the idea of understanding feeling safe and loved in a relationship. Even without cheating involved, the harm a partner can do or being with the wrong person is really apparent to most of us in hindsight as we recognized we may have felt insecure in a relationship which ultimately wasn’t right for us. Here’s what I want to hear a bit more about, the cheater – physical and emotional. A cheater who isn’t caught, goes back to the relationship, continues or even deepens their commitment, how is it possible to have actual intimacy with a partner you cheated on in the past, always knowing there is that lie? I’ve watched this from the outside and I can’t imagine anything but absolute honesty with a partner (nor can I imagine staying with someone when if I absolutely could not resist someone else, but that’s me). I also can’t imagine that if I truly loved someone and trusted their love for me, I wouldn’t trust them enough to forgive me and rebuild from a new place. So any input from the cheater’s perspective on staying in a relationship, even taking a very serious relationship to a new commitment level after you’ve cheated physically and emotionally with another?

    • makeli21

      I am not the cheater, since I was betrayed by my husband, but I can say that he tried a few times to return to our marriage and not lie and get away from the affairs. It never worked until he told me the truth and he really began to work on himself and was honest with himself. My opinion is that you have to be honest about what happened and honest about yourself before you can rebuild. I can’t see it working any other way.

  • Carol

    Wow. I have read all these posts and just have to comment. I was cheated on by my husband for 5 years. I do blame the other woman. She encouraged the relationship and told him how to hide it from me…constantly telling him to be careful, delete stuff etc. They only had sex, never went anywhere, were not in love. He texted her constantly to keep it going. Kind of like a drug dealer with an addict. I believe now after working on my relationship that my husband has a problem and this person he met was the only one that allowed him to be deceitful. I actually have decided she is pure evil, knowing he was married and did not care. He cheated with other women too but they at least backed out at some point or did not put up with his bs. So my point is if you choose to pursue a married person….You have the obligation to the Universe to realize they are already committed to someone else and you need to think of that other person. If you are really meant to be with that person then have some respect for yourself and not get involved unless that person is free. If you just are selfish and only care about the attention you are getting for fleeting moments then you are just a bad person. The damage that was done to my relationship is now for a lifetime. I constantly ask my husband “was it worth it”. He says no. I believe him. So to the other woman. Hope you got what you wanted…You have destroyed 2 people all because in actuality you have the self esteem problem and just found someone that was weaker than you to prey upon. In the end I am stronger because I know my love was true and I do believe that we may all be tempted at some point in our lives. But at least I have morals. I am not a liar, and I choose to walk away from situations that would hurt someone else. I actually live truth and honesty I don’t act like am a great person and not practice it. My marriage will survive and no I had no feelings of being unsafe before. I do now, and that will ultimately help us when I learn to trust again. For now honestly my marriage has never been better.

    • Bec

      Having also been cheated on, I do not hold the other woman responsible, it was his choice — not to talk to me — not to seek wisdom — not to visit a counselor — it is all him! I cannot blame anyone else for my choices nor do I give permission for anyone doing the same. Accountability if the first step towards healing! Sexual addition was the issue in my marriage — I tried to discuss early on — his refusal to open up due to our beliefs. I visited around without oversharing — only to be told — still young, this will change. I agree with those that made the statement — I knew something was not right early on, but there was no place to go to research 25-28 years ago. It all seemed so black and white then. I know his family calls her evil — she destroyed a 25 year marriage. I disagree — it was not the first time he cheated. His addiction is sex and the next fix — as well as alcoholism. He is such a good man with so many great qualities. He is destroying his relationship with his daughter and step daughters and does not see this at all. Still breaks my heart — there is grand kids who miss him dearly. Yes he still loves me and I him. My lesson is I deserve honesty, caring, nurturing love. He was my experience to learn this. I did everything I could to keep going in the relationship, but when he asked me to do things that would not line up to my true self and higher self — I finally opted out! I cannot lie and cheat knowing it will hurt others. I do agree if all parties involved know what is going on — that is different – at least they have a voice. God is big enough and things are working out for an even greater purpose and for me — I am learning to LOVE me for the first time in my 58 years. I was taught obedience was loving — and people pleasing became my life until it destroyed my life! Not only am I surviving but I am thriving — thanks to the dark of the night and finding my first Love again, God and me!
      Glad things worked for you — held to false hope for a long time they would for me too! LOL Surrendered and said good bye!
      Blessing of love sent to you and yours!
      Bec

      • makeli21

        Yes, yes, yes, love yourself! It has to start there. I agree with you. It is not the other woman that is responsible. I have forgiven the other women who were involved with my husband. They have problems of their own, but I am not interested in helping my husband heal. He is learning to love himself for the first time in his 55 years. The journey has been very painful given his multiple affairs for 5+ years, but we are working toward forgiveness and compassion each and every day. I send you blessings, as well.

    • Chantal

      Carol, so sorry you had to go through these tough times. I can sense you still feel immense pain from it. What stood out for me with in bright colors as I was reading your post was to share this with you… Can you just imagine how hurt, sad, stuck, lost etc… this other “other women” would have to be to not only disrespect you but to chose to disrespect and deceive herself by choosing to want to be with a married, unavailable man. If she doesn’t have self love and self respect, how can she have it for someone else? It’s kind of sad in a way. I know it’s hard to open your heart when you feel such anger and pain coming from someone who you feel is responsible for it, but if you can do so and find it in you to have compassion for her and truly forgive her as she is really a lost soul, then it is actually is a gift you will be giving to yourself! Forgiveness doesn’t set others free. It sets us free.
      Wishing you the best!

      • Carol

        Thank you for your thoughts. The problem is… I spoke in detail with the other woman so it is hard for me to “forgive” her. Believe me my intention in contacting her was to initially forgive but the things she told me and the text messages I read proved to me she was a horrible person. My husband I realize now has a lot of issues he hid from me. Our marriage is improving, I love him, he came clean with me and that meant more to me than anything else. I was just trying to put it out there that there are terrible people in the world and you need to protect the people you love because evil lurks all about. My radar is up now to protect my husband. I will never forgive her. But thank you for your kindness. I know she reads the Daily Love so I hope she sees this my only wish is that I never and my husband never sees her again.

  • Darya

    The writing is always on the wall. It’s our choice to read it or ignore it. All my relationships that I was cheated on it was a very unsafe, unsecure relationship. Where I would have to fight for love and time. Why would someone be in a relationship like that? Exactly what Mastin states, it’s about self love and deserving a healthy relationship. The problem with these relationships I would try and end it many times to just turn around and be in it again. Boundaries have to be set and the will has to be strong enough to say no I have had enough and I have to let you go. I would have to say 99% of cheaters will cheat again. I have given guys so many chances to again be fooled by promises. Now that I think about it if I let go at the first instinct I got, I would’ve saved myself a lot of time and pain. Thank you for this article. It really hit home and I’m going to listen to that voice inside more clearly.

  • Brittney

    This is probably my favorite blog post of the year. It brought so much emotion, because it hits so close to home for me. Thank you so much for sharing this, Mastin.
    I stayed in a relationship for a year and a half, knowing this person wasn’t being honest and truthful with me, all because I was afraid of being alone. All along I knew the relationship wasn’t right. Even after knowing he was cheating, I still stayed until he broke it off. It was the most painful, yet powerful learning lesson I’ve ever had. It taught me the importance of trusting my intuition and not settling for less than I deserve. It also taught me the power of being alone, to nurture my relationship with myself first. If I hadn’t been cheated on or gone through the painful experience, I may never have truly learned how to trust and love myself! Now I’m grateful for the experience.

  • GC

    Love this post. I think you did hit the mark with the safety factor. I have been cheated on. And that level of emotional safety was long gone before the “act” happened. And I have been the other party in a long term affair. I’d be curious what your perspective is about the person who is DOING the cheating. Would he/she also be drawn to stepping outside the relationship emotionally and/or physically for the same reason/lessons?

  • Jenny

    I read an article on Elephant Journal that cheating is a result of a disconnect in the cheater. They are the ones searching for an unknown and find temporary “comfort” in someone outside of their relationship. This is how it was for me, as the cheater. I wasn’t whole, but neither was my relationship. It was after I ended the “distraction” and started working on me, that I realized my marriage was never right for me and took steps to change practically everything. Healing happens with time and sweat and lots of tears, but it is possible to heal from this. I know my next relationship will be very different, because I am very different.

    • makeli21

      I agree with the disconnect. Cheaters are disconnected from themselves. The only way they can do what they did is by disconnecting. The question really is, why are they disconnected?
      You do have to be whole and if you aren’t honest about that, things won’t work. Be happy with who you are and all the rest will fall into place.

  • Tara

    My bf of 5 years emotionally cheated, but he has major validation issues, always feels like he needs to please the ladies and make us all feel special instead of treating his girlfriend special and just extending simple kindness to other women (if that makes sense), ALWAYS gets depressed on his birthday from getting older and not being where he wants in life, hated his job at the time, felt like he was blaming me for all his problems and his unhapiness because I was around most often to blame. When breaking up he couldn’t really tell me anything I had done wrong to cause any of this. I’m a great girlfriend, just maybe made a bad choice in picking a partner. So I figure he is like a little lost puppy right now in his life.

    Had I made feeling safe a priority, I probably would have ended things 3 months in, after he drank himself silly in the middle of the afternoon after coming back from a weekend away, when at the same time my dad was having critical health issues….huge red flags I think that I didn’t make important at the time, I had feeling in my body that was telling me to run, but I ignored it and counted it as a strike 1, I like to give 3 for the same red flag. If it happened again, then it would have been time to run for sure. It didn’t, and maybe 1 strike should be enough of a red flag.

  • Nancy

    Feeling “safe” must come from within. If we don’t trust ourselves and
    our ability to be ok no matter what (as Tish so eloquently stated
    below), then someone else “out there” cannot make us feel secure inside.
    I was in an on again off again relationship with a man who perceived me
    as “unsafe” from the beginning. Our relationship was new and exciting
    and unfamiliar and deeply connected and he was afraid of his feelings,
    of being abandoned. Ultimately he lied and cheated (emotionally more
    than sexually) with an old girlfriend from childhood who was there for
    him when his mom died and later when he got divorced. She was his go to
    person during the major traumas of his life. He projected his feelings
    of being unsafe onto me and ultimately became the one who was unsafe.
    Which comes first, the feeling of safety or the being cheated on? The
    main thing is to trust your own instincts and emotions. If you feel
    something is amiss, then it probably is. The feeling of safety comes
    from knowing thyself and trusting that you will always take care of
    yourself by speaking and acting in loving ways that honor your truth.
    When you trust yourself, the Universe responds with trustworthy people.

    • Marjorie E. Price

      Wow, yes, so true. All this applies to my bf and his issues. Hard to be with someone who can’t trust you. And have to let go, accept it was not me, or anything I did. His ego turned it around on me. I made it clear I there for him, work together, even go to counseling. But, nope. Guess some people happier remaining stuck, repeating old patterns. Or just realize they actually didn’t love you in a healthy way, want the same kind of relationship as you can give and receive. So sad and difficult. Live and learn! And in time, trust the Universe, that right person who is on the same page as you, will cross your path! And will love and fight for you, the relationship, do the work, make those healthy choices for oneself first! That is love!

    • makeli21

      Yes, trust yourself and find what you need from within. It is the only way that it works. Hopefully others will come on the ride with you and within their own safety be honest and happy.

  • Marjorie E. Price

    I need opinion and support: bf of 10 months just ended things. Reasoning was he can’t trust me. He says this is bc whenever he tried to open up to me, tell me about his ex wife, that he still angry at her, resentful she divorced him (he cheated-is a recovering substance and sex/love addict) I would get confused, ask questions, particularly, if you still wrapped up in her, the past,?what and where are we? You say you love me, in love with me – but you still have ex on mind, in dreams, talk about her in therapy, etc. ? I would get a bit angry, passionate in the discussion. I’m in love with this man, and he’s telling me this about ex… And he doesn’t trust ME? Turns it around on me? Doesn’t understand why I’d be hurt, want answers… That is pressure? From a man who’s said things, done things to imply he loves me for 10 months, and at some point saw a future with me, introduced me to kids even. Best friends! So close in every way…so I thought.

    But can’t be in same room with ex, go to kids activities if she there, so that means I’d be excluded too, not ok with her dating. He is so angry at her…

    What is that about? Please confirm what I know to be true!

    Thanks!

  • DJY

    ENLIGHTENING

  • DJY

    Need to say a bit more…Never looked at it this way but am glad Daily Love could provide this perspective. It resonates with me. I save so many of The Daily Love in a folder so I can go back again and again and read.

  • Mike

    No surprise this is a hot topic. I am just finalizing a divorce after finding out I was being cheated on in my 20 year marriage for years. Like many, I was totally unprepared for the sting that came with finding out about the betrayal–definitely the most painful experience of my life. The part of my experience I wanted to share was how that pain being so great forced me into action spiritually. I had been a spiritual hobbyist for years, accumulating tools and ideas that interested me but never enough for me to actually apply them. Then this hit and the pain reached a level where my egos resistance to applying some of the principles I’ve learned was actually crushed. I consciously dropped all judgment and forgave myself for judging. I then made an effort to meet anger with compassion. I want to emphasize I wasn’t doing any of this out of some pious drive for goodness–rather I did it because it seemed to be the only approach that actually eased the pain I was feeling. I can honestly say picking up a few spiritual tools that I’ve been toying with for years actually transformed my perspective on the whole situation–as well as many other areas of my life. Nothing has necessarily gotten easier–still learning how to be a single dad, dealing with financial disaster, etc. The best way I can describe it as a certain lightness has been incorporated into my being–I am in spite of everything happier than I have been in years. So here’s the statement that my ego is still resistant to me saying but I’m going to say it anyway– the cutting pain of betrayal has turned out to be a blessing.

    • makeli21

      Betrayal is a terrible thing, but I am glad that you have been able to find the blessing within the journey. No judging and the giving of forgiveness are critical. I hope that you continue to find compassion and the “lightness” that seems to have come into your life.

  • makeli21

    This is a challenging topic for me as my husband of 20+ years told me 2 1/2 years ago about several affairs he was involved in for 4-5 years of our marriage. I was thoroughly caught off guard and shocked that my loving, smart, honest, kind, high-integrity husband was not the man I thought he was. He became a mean, unkind, hurtful and ugly human being that I simply didn’t know.

    I have since learned that he has been a troubled, unhappy person for quite some time (since before we were married) and has been doing his version of “faking it” to the outside world. He is a smart man who is blessed with many assets (not to mention a loving wife and beautiful family) and he has been given many gifts over the years, but he never felt worthy of those gifts and has not loved himself. As he now describes it to me, he thought he was doing the right thing all those years “pretending” to fit into his life and in his own skin, but it was never right for him and he never truly loved himself. This all built up over time and he began to seek fulfillment from outside himself which then finally exploded with a physcal affair with a colleague of both of ours!

    All those years and he was in a very happy, healthy and blessed life with family and much love and he couldn’t appreciate it because he didn’t feel worthy and he didn’t love himself. So he began to seek outside himself, to numb himself with things he didn’t really want and knew were wrong – women, alcohol, drugs. He never cared for any of the women that he met online, texted, or became involved with because he was using them to “feel” better because he wasn’t able to face himself and face his real inner problems. He didn’t love himself.

    Now that I have learned this, I have been doing what I can to help him. We have gone to marriage counseling, he has been seeing his own therapist, I went to therapy for a time, as well, and we are still together and will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary next week. It has been a painful and difficult journey, but he is happier within himself and as a result our marriage is now healthy and happy. He can now honestly love me because he loves himself first. He can be a true father, husband, son, and friend to others because he is now true to himself. No more lies about who he is. No more lies.

    I have seen some posts here that get at the “problem” of the cheater and that it is within themselves. Someone who cheats has done something very wrong and it is their responsibility to figure out why. It is not the responsibility of the spouse or partner to figure out with is inside of the other person. What was the problem within the cheater themselves? It irks me that some people (cheaters and non-cheaters) put the responsibility on the spouse/partner for not listening, not helping them, not being what they wanted or needed. I am not a mind reader. I am not responsible for what is inside him or for his choices. He was unable to understand himself and to love himself and that is not my responsibility. I can certainly help him, but he has to be able to be true to who is he is and see what it is that he truly needs and ask for that.

    I did not have a problem with trust or honesty. I have loved and trusted myself and the marriage I was in and I have felt safe. Yes, I have had problems with trust since this time, but I am also really learning who my husband truly is and my honest trust in myself has enabled me to open again to him. My husband “lied” to himself for many years and he is now open and honest with himself and has realized (with great work on his part) that he can love himself and that he is worthy of all the blessings and love he has in his life. He has learned to find healthy ways to be and much of that has been spiritual work for himself.

    A great truth – you can’t love others until you love yourself first.

    So to the person who may be cheating or thinking about cheating, why do it? What is it that you want out of? Do you want out of the marriage? Then just do that, don’t cheat. Do you want out of your life, out of your own skin because you are unhappy? Then don’t cheat, find a healthy way to change your circumstances. See a therapist. Figure it out. Don’t cheat. You will regret it. It is not your spouse/partner who is responsible for your unhappiness. No one but our own selves is responsible for our unhappiness. Cheating won’t help that, it will only make you and others unhappy and hurt.

    Our society is way to easy on cheaters. We have just come to accept that it happens. That is bull. Cheating is wrong. End of story. Do something about your life and make it what you want it to be. Cheating is not the answer.

  • MJ

    Several months ago I just finished a relationship with someone who cheated on me the whole year with his old girlfriend. I have struggled with this again in my life after being married 23 years ago and having my husband cheat. This man had spent 29 years in AA and used every meeting, sponsee that he mentored and his family to make excuses while I found out he was with another woman (his ex-girlfriend) the majority of the time. It was literally a revolving door. I have struggled with blaming myself and the anger over him using AA which he made out to be something I could trust and so much respected in his ability to remain sober for 30 years now. I never questioned him. I do see in looking back that I was unhappy many times and should have left, but I’ve always questioned my own judgment and that maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough or giving enough. He says he had his own insecurities, but wow, I would have thought he was the last person to do this after having his wife do it to him at the end of his marriage. Come to find out, he’s done it on every girl he’s dated. He wants to be married after 30 days of knowing someone, move them in and I guess that takes care of it for him. I am so gun shy on any of this and learning to trust now again is so frustrating. I too, have been on both sides, in my younger years, but realize now how hard it is to be in a relationship and keep communication open. I feel like I will spend the rest of my life without one because I don’t want this to happen again. I’m not really sure how to go about finding someone and trusting my judgment that I’ve chosen well since my track record hasn’t been that good. There are many sides to every story and I appreciate everyone’s insight into this. It has been a hard recovery, but I am truly trying to get life’s lesson out of this for me.

    • The Daily Love

      Keep going MJ! Thanks for sharing this :) – Team TDL

  • Renee

    Cheating comes in all forms but we also have to look at the cheater in this. I endured multiple lessons over a 16 year period at the hands of a pathological liar who turned cheating into an artform. It was scary how elaborate and quickly he could come up with a lie to cover up his dinners with female friends. And when confronted he became an expert gas-lighter and i became a classic victim until I finally learned my lesson and got out. I honestly have been burned by these lessons and my inability to make a move from them that I now face new lessons; how to feel love for myself again in order to be able to attract love into my life. Not sure I even want to anymore as it will be very hard for me to learn to trust again. But I can assure you, this time around I will make feeling safe in my relationship my #1 priority because I have felt the other end of the spectrum for far too long and I didn’t like it.

  • Pam

    I am three years out of a ‘relationship’ with a hard core somatic narcissist…He had his ‘harem’, all of whom knew about me (he was living a very fine lifestyle on my dime) and they didn’t care about the pain that was eventually inflicted upon me by their collusion with him. It is unimaginable to a normal person the deceitful things he did. How he could glibbly lie with a straight face at a moment’s notice…..Sounds like Renee’s creep exactly. After I finally threw him out, his lifestyle changed dramatically. Here was Mr Incredibly Handsome, Suave, Buff, Charming and Debonair living in a homeless shelter—-yep. I warned him and he reaped what he sowed. His life is now a total mess. I failed to mention his extreme alcoholism…..he was just recently convicted of BAC of over .15 and got two yrs probation when 1 is the normal sentence. He has an interlocking device in his car to test his breath before it will start–haha–that’s a REAL chick magnet. He still texts or tries to call–I ignore him.
    Everyday is still a work in progress in healing. He did have some wonderful qualities. If a good memory comes to mind, I immediately replace it with one of his heinous acts–the bad FAR out number the good.
    I have discovered a modality which has been very helpful and I hope it’s ok to name it here–the ZPoint Process–google it. I have gone from a 10 to a 3 on the scale of emotions. Incredibly easy.
    Beyonce says it best: “Thank God I finally found the GOOD in goodbye”

  • http://www.reportinglifellc.com/ Carmen

    There’s something major missing in these comments. Feeling unsafe is not limited to lack of trust in a person. It also means you feel emotionally and mentally unsafe.

    The more common reasons for not feeling safe are:

    Feeling degraded or put down.
    Not feeling good enough in the eyes of your partner creating uncertainty.
    Lack of emotional intimacy making you more vulnerable to being hurt.
    Lack of affection that makes you feel protected, instead of violated.
    Afraid to communicate and being ridiculed for your feelings.
    Feeling neglected and considered second after other activities.

    The list goes on and on, and they all hurt both people.
    People cheat and are cheated on because there’s a lingering feeling of not feeling important to the other person for whatever reason.

    • http://www.reportinglifellc.com/ Carmen

      I should add I had help compiling this list from both someone who was cheated on and someone who cheated, two different people, same feelings of being unsafe.

  • ANONYMOUS

    Dear Mastin, First and foremost words can not express my gratitude. I read your emails daily, watch your Daily TV and send them to whomever I can to help them.

    My cheating story is different from below and for all of you I am so sorry. I married my best friend who happened to be a Financial CPA. One day a letter came in the mail addressed to me by the bank…All was gone! Everything. Now, it was the money of course that destroyed me but the BETRAYAL…unforgivable. I am blessed, beautiful family who has sheltered my 2 children and I. The children will achieve in chosen careers which will serve them well and I have ensured they were and are educated. As for them, watching the BETRAYAL…well devastating.

    But a lesson…
    I sat my beautiful son down and said if you ever do this to your family, I will take in your wife and children and you will not be part of my life. This is not want a man, father, husband does to his wife.
    I say my beautiful daughter down. I explained that she now has the power through her education to strive for financial freedom. I then explained that no man who ever loved his wife would do this! I then explained…YES there were signs and to watch for the signs.

    This man…sits on a beautiful yaucht, with a beautiful new car and BMW motorcycle all on the FAMILY home…when I see a boat, I try not to vomit,
    My lesson: I did not love myself enough to see the signs and leave earlier. Had I done that perhaps I would have something left…I was weak, battered down, emotionally and physically sick…

    My apologies to all of you that this message is so long but please please learn from me….learn to see the signs, read every paper you sign, learn how to spot when a person is lying to you. I send this to both men and women.

    I will heal, learn, grow and as my parents told me when they took us in ” Had you done this to him, you would not have refuge here”. We are so grateful that as a daughter you did not and will never do this to another human being…

    Peace and thank you for allowing me to share my story…
    Anonymous….

  • ymn

    Hey Mastin,
    Today my relationship ended,i was in a relation with my bestest friend for one and a half years. A month ago she found some old texts between me and a friend,nothing obscene nothing,nothing bad,she took it as flirting…i had nothing to hide from her thats why i gave her the phone,she said she knows that nothing was going on between her and me but whatever i did was wrong and she broke up…a few days later we again started talking as friends,yesterday she asked for my facebook id,i didnt had anything to hide there too…so i gave it,she found a conversation with a girl i did in January last year in the beginning of the relationship…simple plain conversation,she said today i was a flirt,i always did that…i never did that,i didn’t even remembered the girl’s name…and everything has collapsed.

    I never cheated on her,neither emotionally nor physically…never did i thought of giving her place to some other girl in my life…we had our problems in the relation but never did i thought to find someone else. I don’t know why is this happening…i know i never cheated on her.

    The most painful part is that i hurted her,unintentionally maybe but i am the reason of all her pains right now…i don’t know what to do,i know she is the one…Her trust is broken and i don’t know what to do now…please suggest something,its all messed up now…

    Say something please…

    • http://www.reportinglifellc.com/ Carmen

      I’m not Mastin, but if your girl grew up victimized or watching the men around her stare at other women more than their own wives, then she will feel victimized with any little infraction. Watching adults as a kid is what creates your whole perspective about relationships.

      That’s why people cheat and that’s why people feel victimized by cheaters. And that’s just my point of view that I’m working with myself. So I hope that helps.

    • Pelin

      Hi ymn,
      I know it’s long but please read in order to understand what it’s like to be on the other side and I have a question for you in the end.
      I’m going through the exact same things except that I’m the one who feels cheated. 4 months or so ago I found some old texts between my boyfriend and one of his friends. He gave me his phone just like you did. There was nothing obscene, nothing bad but i took it as flirting just like your (ex)gf did. Before I knew this girl and my boyfriend was close and I told him that I didn’t like that and he PROMISED me not to start a conversation with her ever again. It was a very dramatic scene, he was promising not to be friends with her anymore, I was so happy telling him that it was such big thing that he was doing that and he was so proud telling me ”yeah, normally people wouldn’t do such a thing, ending their friendships” I was so happy telling him how our relatinship just got to a whole new level. And that day I found his texts. He texted that girl once after his promise. But it was only one time so maybe it can be forgiven but what’s even worse is that his texts before his promises. Ughh it seems to me like he was flirting. But there isn’t really anything in the texts so I can’t do anything about it. I felt cheated but I knew that people normally wouldn’t consider it cheating. At first I thought about a breaking up for a while but he begged me and said he only did that in order to make me jealous. And I thought if it was only to make me jealous then it’s okay and we continue our relationship. But the thing is the texts did felt like he was flirting and I was still feeling cheated. So even the littlest things like him looking at some girl on the street became a huge problem because I wasn’t trusting him anymore. Now here we are still together after 4months but there hasn’t been one day in which we didn’t argue (and we always argue about things he did which makes me question his fidelity). I just can’t get pass those textes. After reading this article I decided that I was cheated, because no matter what it was I felt cheated and this is cheating. Even though before this I would have never thought about being in a relationship with a cheater, I decided to continue with him because I just can’t let go of him. Whenever I thought about breaking up, I get scared thinking ”He says he is so in love with me, what if he is the love of my life and I lose him due to a misunderstanding”
      Your situation seems just like ours (except for the promise part, but I’m talking about the texts before the promise here), so I’m asking you this;
      How is those texts are not cheting? If you are truly in love with someone how is it possible for you to text to other girls in a way that could be count as flirting? (I know you will say that ‘my texts doesn’t count as flirting’ but your (ex)girlfriend did think of them as flirting right? So they count)
      I know these are stupid things to ask to you but I just wanted to share my feelings being in a similar situation as your (ex)girlfriend and I hope that you can share your feelings too.
      No matter what, I wish you get past this, and live a completely happy life
      Best wishes,
      ps. I’m not a native English speaker, so sorry if I made any mistakes

  • Andrea

    Are there any “other woman” or “other man” reading this? I would love to hear your thoughts. Why did you do it? I believe there is a lesson for them too.

    • http://www.reportinglifellc.com/ Carmen

      A GREAT place to ask this question is on Quora. I’m addicted.

      • Andrea

        Thanks!