At the expense of getting a lot of hate, I'm ending this myth now.
I have a boyfriend who I would have been with 10 years now if I hadn't cheated on him. Twice.
Yes, you read that correctly. Twice.
We started dating at 14, and I first cheated on him in college. We were long distance and our differences really began to show. A pre-law girl with a party-frat boy. It wasn't working. Our priorities changed. His parties became more important than facetime calls with me. My study sessions became more important than facetime calls with him. His sorority friends bashed me for being ugly. My friends bashed him for acting like a child and not getting his priorities straight. We stopped calling. We stopped caring. We took each other for granted and assumed our relationship would be okay because it had survived the superficiality of high school.
I met someone new, another pre-law student and we ended up seeing each other secretly for 6 months in a sort of quasi on-off relationship that was extremely toxic to all 3 of us.
My boyfriend and I broke up after I told him about it, yet we remained friends...that was in 2015.
Fast forward to 1 year later - we got back together.
Fast forward again to law school across the country...2017.
I began to secretly see someone again. The stress kicked in and spending winter in a place with actual snow was hard. I needed a physical support and I found one. This one was purely sexual, unlike the first where there were actually true feelings.
We broke up again and this time decided it would be final...but that we'd stay friends because all that time would be a waste and we enjoyed each other's company.
All this being said, I've got no excuses for my actions. It was wrong, no matter what the reason or circumstance was.
Fast forward to Summer of 2018. We had a lot of hookups while I was at home. It felt like the final goodbye, some sort of transient summer romance. It felt right, but at the same time it didn't. We decided not to get back together.
I decided not to say I love you before I left. I felt I didn't have a right to say it. I felt he should find someone else, more deserving and more fitting for him. At this point I just wanted him to be happy.
Fast forward to Christmas of 2018.
I got off a plane, drove to house to say hi and drop off some gifts to his family.
A quick hug turned into a kiss on the cheek, which turned into well...you know.
I assumed this was some sort of Winter romance (wow how toxic we were), but in the moment I was so happy I didn't care if it was fake or not.
At the end of break I decided I didn't want my words to go left unsaid.
"I love you, still."
"I love you too, but I'm afraid of you."
I told him that he didn't have to love me, he didn't have to have pity for me. But if what he was saying was true, I was willing to show him that I could make that change for him. That I wanted nobody else, for the rest of my life...and that I'd continue to show that to him as long as he loved me. (Note: I had not seen anyone since our last breakup - sexual or serious. Nobody).
Fast forward to now: we're planning our first out of the country trip together to visit his great-grandmother in the Philippines. He wants her to meet the love of his life while she can, and it is my absolute honor to be that girl...to be his fiance.
I know you're all thinking that I can cheat again at any time.
Yeah you're right I can...and maybe deep down he probably is scared that I will.
But whatever the world or anyone else thinks...I am changed.
I am his and I will never let myself wander away again...notice that I didn't say "I won't let anyone take me away again".
Cheating was my choice.
Being loyal to him, our families and future children, and myself is my choice now.
I'm not saying you should trust everyone and allow yourself to be fooled, but that you look at others for more than their mistakes. I was cheated on in the past...and I still don't know how I managed to cheat on my love twice in my life.
I often wonder who the bigger fool is: him for coming back to me, or me for ever hurting him in the first place.
But I know I'd be a bigger fool if I threw this love away because of some saying that people toss around. The saying "cheaters never change" made me feel like such crap -- that I never deserved to forgive myself, that I never deserved to love anyone, that I could never be a good person to anyone ever again.
I changed. People can change -- even a blind man can see that with time.