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How I forgave myself after hurting someone I once loved and cheating on them

How I forgave myself after hurting someone I once loved and cheating on them

“The best apology is simply admitting your mistake. The worst apology is dressing up your mistake with rationalizations to make it look like you were not really wrong, but just misunderstood.” ~Dodinsky

Baltimore was in a blizzard during January 2016. The city was covered by a three-foot layer of snow. We had a blizzard-themed party inside. Me, my boyfriend and five friends.

We’d been coloring, listening to music, dancing, and playing games. Already, I was sure that this would be the most enjoyable and comfortable night of my life. Everyone was happy. Everyone was happy.

As the evening progressed, my boyfriend switched on the light display in his basement. He and our friend E built a light display using LED lights, infinity mirrors and an app.

Except for one friend, who went to sleep early, the rest of us were in the basement dancing, listening and enjoying the light.

The group in the basement began to disperse. Our friend E and I both went up to the second floor. Some people were in kitchen. Someone went outside to smoke. I heard my boyfriend coming up the stairs after I realized he was the only person still in the basement.

I was surprised to see him enter the doorway. He seemed eerily quiet, but I could also feel a simmering rage. He approached our friend E, poked him in the chest, and said, “How long has this been going on?”

I instantly knew what “this” was. E. also had a clue, but everyone else did not.

My boyfriend said to everyone (in the middle a blizzard) that they should get out of their house. Except for me, E and another friend whom he asked to be neutral. Someone woke my friend, who was upstairs sleeping. Everyone left, and they walked to their homes in three feet deep snow. (Luckily, we were all neighbors, so they didn’t have to journey far).

I don’t know what everyone was thinking, but it seems like they were all confused and worried.

My boyfriend began to interrogate E and me because he’d read a message between us on E’s phone.

It was a message from me that read: “I can’t wait to kiss you again.”

Oof. I wish I had said I dreaded the moment. I didn’t, because I honestly thought this moment wouldn’t happen.

I didn’t think it would happen because earlier that day I had vowed not to mess around with E anymore. I knew I wasn’t in love with my partner and decided to wait for him to finish his dissertation, which would be in a couple of months. I wouldn’t pursue any feelings that I had for E.

I thought I would be able to tell him that I no longer loved him and I was leaving. It was a great plan.

I felt guilty for making out with E. And for the feelings that I had for him. But we had never had sex. My unfaithfulness was also a sign I wanted to leave the relationship. My boyfriend was the one who told me I crossed a line.

It was a great plan. Except for the fact that my boyfriend suspected something was going on. (Of course he did. People always know. People know.

We were in the middle midnight of a blizzard, in a heated interrogation. The time was slow. The whole thing was surreal.

The questioning went like this: Where? How often do you visit? Why? The other friend: Did you know that? (He had no clue).

My boyfriend asked E and our friend many questions until finally he told them to leave. There were just us and E.

We were both crying on the couch. I was sobbing because I had hurt someone who I had once deeply loved. He was crying out of hurt because the person he believed would never do anything like that had done it.

It was the time I spent in bed watching him. Rick and Morty, and having the most open, raw conversations we’d had in years.

I can still remember my sadness.

I can also recall how relieved I was.

I didn’t have the language for it at the time, but the relief was from the death that was occurring, and the re-birth that was to come.

I can’t say I regret the outcome because, in truth, I am now happy. From what I can tell, my ex-partner is also happy. If I had stayed with that person, this happiness would have never existed. In the words of Liz Gilbert, via Glennon Doyle: “there is no such thing as one-way liberation.”

I regret the way it happened. It would have been better if I had recognized that this relationship was no longer for me before cheating began.

I wish I knew myself better.

I wish I would have known I could leave now without doing such a horrible thing or causing pain.

I regret the way I made my ex-partner feel.

My friends thought I was a person who would never betray them. It’s like this

I regret how I strung E along for so long and toyed with his emotions, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.

I regret that I did not value myself enough to leave this relationship when it was due.

I’m still healing and I can only blame myself for the pain I feel. It’s a really weird thing to be healing from the pain you caused yourself.

It’s also weird to be healing while living a happy, nourishing dream life, which is exactly what I am doing.

A death took place the night of this blizzard. It was the death of an old version of me that I didn’t like. A version of me that did not express her thoughts, who stayed in the shadows, who disliked having sex, and who was too afraid to imagine an expansive, beautiful life.

It was this death that opened the door for me to find myself again, and I’ve been on that journey for the past seven years. And it’s a beautiful one.

If you’ve been hurt by someone who was unfaithful, I am sorry. I’m sorry. You did not deserve it. You deserve to feel whatever you feel. It is important to learn from your feelings. It is important to forgive. You can also find out more about us on our website. Inner peace

If you’ve hurt someone by being unfaithful, I am sorry too. I also feel your pain. Let yourself feel your feelings. You can learn from it. Forgive yourself.

I’ve learned to forgive myself by:

1. Recognizing the pain and apologizing.

2. Communication with my inner-child to discover her unmet needs. (The need to speak out, to be seen and heard, to stop pleasing others).

3. You can learn to accept that you are imperfect and will make mistakes.

4. Asking myself what I learned during this experience (for one thing, not to stay in a relationship when my instincts tell me it’s over), and then applying that learning moving forward.

You should also know that if you’re in a relationship where you’re unhappy, it is time to leave. The following are some of the ways to improve your own ability to speak. You must have the courage to leave the relationship without hurting your partner. Please know that I’m not talking about abusive relationship here. That was not my experience, and I am not a person who is qualified to offer any advice.

Also know that you do not have to stick in a relationship just because your lives are intertwined and it’s hard to imagine the logistics (moving out, dividing finances, breaking a lease, etc.) It’s okay to break up. If you’re most worried about these logistics, then it’s time to go. You’ll get it figured out. You will both be happier for it.

The last thing I’ll leave you with are these words that my friend-turned-mentor shared with me: People do shitty things, but it does not necessarily mean they are shitty people. Let’s have grace with ourselves and each other. Let’s love even when (especially when) it seems another is not worthy of our love. Let’s have compassion for the lonely child that exists inside most of us.

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About Teresa Towey

Teresa Towey works as a women’s coach and mentor. She creates private and group spaces that guide women back to their wild and visceral nature, through connection with the body and earth. She is particularly interested in helping women live in alignment with menstrual cycles and express their sensuality. Follow her on Instagram and check out her website. DM to set up a 1:1 session for free!

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How I Forgave Meself for Cheating & Hurting Someone Once Loved first appeared on Tiny Buddha.

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