When an ex-boyfriend of mine confessed that he cheated on me, I was surprised by my reaction. I expected my self to be angry, to burn his clothes, throw them out the window, and bust the windows of his car. However, all that didn’t happen. Instead, I felt empathy for him. I pitied him. I felt sorry for him.
When he told me, my brain went blank. A million things went through my mind. He could have told me he was unhappy. He could have confessed to me that he had feelings for others, we could have discussed it and worked our way through it. He could have broken up with me. But he didn’t do all these things. Instead, he strayed and went looking in other places.
The first thing I thought was ‘who is she?’. Was it someone I knew? Is it someone from work? Is it someone he met on a night out? On Tinder? Suddenly, those questions quickly disappeared and it finally hit me, he cheated on me. I was filled with sadness all of a sudden. But surprisingly, that sadness wasn’t about my state, but his.
I felt sorry for him because he didn’t know how to love, both himself and others. See, I believe you have to love yourself before you can love others. He didn’t love me, he didn’t know what love really is because he never experienced it. When I cried I cried for him, not for me, not for us.
Don’t get me wrong, I was hurt, saddened, angry, and confused, but I found myself feeling more empathy for him than for me. I can’t explain it. It wasn’t the first time I was cheated on. I guess I have a tendency to put myself in toxic relationships. But this time was unique. During the previous experiences, I was the stereotype – I cried, screamed, missed him deeply, and blamed myself for his terrible actions. After some thought and reflection, I realized I might not have loved him as much as I thought. I guess I didn’t care about him enough.
It doesn’t mean it wasn’t painful and insulting, it was. It’s a feeling I never want to experience again. I’ve been through it way too many times. Even once is too much. Thankfully, I am now in a more healthy and mature relationship and place in my life. I never saw that ex of mine ever again, but if you happen to read this I want you to know that I truly feel sorry for you. I hope that, like me, you are in a better place now, and know how to love.