Why You Should Never Cheat -- From A Girl Who's Been Cheated On

by Adalay Katch

My high school boyfriend of five years cheated on me when we went away to college. He cheated on me with a girl named Julia... I will never forget that name.

He cheated on me in the beginning of October, and coincidentally, it rained really hard that day — but only for me, since he lived more than 600 miles away.

He cheated on me, and everything in my life changed. I wasn’t the same. I’m still not the same.

As a rule of thumb, if you cheat on her, she will never be the same. But, that’s not why you shouldn’t cheat on her. From a girl who’s been cheated on, here’s why you should refrain:

It’s way too much work.

Talk about multi-tasking.

Cheating is like working an extra part-time job or picking up a few extracurriculars. Balancing multiple schedules. Lying. Covering lies. Maintaining more than one relationship, regardless of whether emotional attachment was involved or not. Comforting your partner’s suspicions. You’re in for it.

I’ll never forget the text message I received in my inbox that read, “Good night, Julia :).” I hadn’t heard from him in three days, so I had just shot him a few messages asking him if he was okay. He accidentally responded to me, calling me by her name.

Basically, if you’re going to cheat, you better be a scholar in meticulous lies. You better have studied the human psyche. You better know how to eat your cake and clean your plate, too.

Cheating is no easy task, and honestly, it’s probably too much work for you.

For us, it’s going to hurt either way, so save yourself the pain.

When my high school boyfriend cheated on me in college, this much went without saying. Our phone conversations decreased significantly since we moved away for school.

He asked me to text him before I called, to make sure he was “available.” The last time we Skyped, I noticed the photograph of us that hung beside his bed was gone. His texts were short and bland, and it had been a while since I heard an “I love you” or “I miss you.”

I had noticed it all, and then one day, I got the call: “I’m sorry, Adalay, but...” But, the thing is, he didn’t have to say anything at all. I knew what had happened.

That phone call relegated me into weeks of frenzy followed by months of moping and a weight gain of nearly 40 pounds. Yeah, I fell off the deep end for quite some time, but I’d be lying to myself if I said my depression came from only the fact that my boyfriend slept with another woman.

The physical act itself was completely irrelevant. He wanted to have sex with her — that’s what hurt. That’s what pushed me so far down.

He shouldn’t have waited to tell me. He should have saved himself from the “cheater” moniker and told me before his dignity ignited in flames because, for me, it would have hurt just the same.

You’ve worked too hard to have this on your résumé.

How many sweet “good morning” and “goodnight” texts have you sent? How many times did you make special plans for her birthday? How much time and emotion did you dedicate? You were a good lover, friend and partner for quite some time.

Why taint all the good you brought to this relationship with one bad decision?

Your name doesn’t look good next to the word “cheated” in a text message.

But, you’ll always be remembered that way.

 You'd be pissed if it happened to you.

Yeah, yeah, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, but let’s be honest: You’d be pissed to find out she cheated on you.

Because she deserves better.

Even if she wasn’t your ideal girlfriend -- heck, even if she was a sh*tty girlfriend --, you chose her for some reason. And, if anything at all, she deserves better for that reason alone. At one time in your life, you wanted her.

You wanted her and you got her. Now, leave her with the same respect you used to earn her.

Because YOU deserve better.

I don’t buy the whole, “Once a cheater, always a cheater” bit. What I do know is the decision to cheat will stick with you for quite some time. When my boyfriend cheated on me, it took me a long time to feel okay again — about a year and a half before I finally felt like myself.

I had been down for so long and then, one day, it was like I woke up and flipped a light switch: I was completely fine. About six months later, I started dating someone else and barely ever think of my ex now.

It took me a long time to get over it, but when I did, I really got over it — no resentment toward him at all. What I learned a few months later was that he was the one who wasn’t over it. He still held the resentment with himself; he hadn’t forgiven himself.

He sends me a text message on my birthday every year. I always know that when September rolls around, I’ll have a conversation with my past. He says, “Happy Birthday” and then asks about how I am. "Good." He says he’s good, too. So, we talk for a bit.

Sometimes, it’s only a few minutes, and sometimes, it turns into a few hours or days. Regardless of the length, he never fails to say, “You know, I’m really sorry about everything, Adalay.”

He doesn’t want to be with me. I don’t want to be with him. But he still says sorry, like it happened yesterday.

I tend to forget that it happened at all, but I’m reminded every September when he asks me to forgive him once again. It’s been four years now and the apologies are still rolling in. Each time I read another “I’m sorry,” I can’t help but think that he deserves so much better.

You deserve better than to be sorry.

I’m a girl who’s been cheated on, but I’m not writing this because I hate my ex. I’m not jealous or bitter. I don’t wish I could reverse what happened. I’m writing this because I don’t think cheating gets you what you want in the long run.

And, while at times, it’s difficult to see or care about it in the moment, the reality is our futures take place in “the long run.”

Make decisions you can live with, not just tonight or tomorrow morning, but in the long run.