When Kurt Vonnegut wrote the play, “Happy Birthday, Wanda June”, his main character stated this: “In my experience, alcoholism is far more prevalent among women than men.” In my experience, similar to that of Kurt Vonnegut, I believe cheating is far more prevalent among women than men. I am not sure there is a statistic to support either claim, but I believe both are correct. This is coming from a daughter and granddaughter of alcoholics that are cheaters. And then there is me. Watching and listening to the devastation as I found my mother when I was 12 years old making out with a Hispanic, much younger and very handsome man in the living room of our family’s home. My father had no idea this was happening as he remained asleep while I watched the scene unfold from the top of the stairs. Supposedly, my parents were separated at the time, but I think they say that because they deny the hurt that both had felt from my mother’s drinking, her unidentified schizophrenia, and my father’s excessive work hours.
But this is about me and my cheating. Is cheating genetic? Or is it situational? Are there common traits that cheaters have that those who don’t, do not have? All questions I don’t have the answers to. You would think that witnessing cheating from generation to generation, to reading about it, to seeing it on social media, to knowing what the bible says about infidelity, that I would know not to cheat. I guess I didn’t learn my lesson *shrugs*
Every time I have cheated, Diego, my ex-fiance has been a factor in. every. situation. Whether he be the “other man” or the one who got played, he was sure to have some sort of idea what he was getting into when he was dating me. I was with my abusive ex boyfriend named Jake when Diego asked me out to mini golf “as friends”. We both were sexually and romantically attracted to one another and next thing you know, we are about to have sex when I say, “No.” He immediately stops and I say I can’t go through with it because I was still in a relationship with Jake. Although we didn’t hit a home run, we sure as hell ran all the other bases, which counts for something. You may be wondering what went through my head as things lead up to nearly having sex and the answer is “it felt good.” Also, the tiny little angel on the shoulder tapped me and occasionally said “I think you should stop here” or “what about Jake?” But the overpowering chemicals in my brain, and in my groin, along with the devil on the shoulder said to keep going.
Although many say, ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater,’ I don’t believe in that. I have not cheated in every relationship I have been in and I have cheated in more than one relationship I have been in. I think the core of why humans cheat needs to be looked into more. Most would say cheating happens in relationships when the cheater is unhappy with their relationship. Maybe they are just unhappy. Period.
I cheated on Jake because he was an abusive twat and it was a very toxic relationship. I didn’t care how I made him feel, especially after he emotionally hurt me as much as he did. I did it for myself; I felt as though I was saving myself. I felt that was my one path out of that relationship. I knew he was toxic by his response to me telling him that it happened. He threw rocks at my windows for weeks, called me nonstop, and was stalking me, even after I blocked him.
Some people may say that cheating wasn’t the answer to get out and I would agree. It was all I ever had known though from my family. It was my best idea of an escape route. Some may say that the only way to get out of an abusive relationship is to do what I did because a survivor is the one who knows best to get out of the situation they are in due to instinct. I would agree with that statement as well. Wherever you may fall on the spectrum of opinions in regard to cheating, I probably agree with your point of view. This is a topic that I am conflicted with, years after having cheated and observing those around me cheat or be cheated on.
But what about me cheating on Diego? He gave me everything; he supportive of me and my bipolar disorder, he was kind, funny, sweet, compassionate, empathetic, you name it. I was happy, or at least as happy as a bipolar person can be. My thoughts thus far have been if you are unhappy, you will cheat. If he met all my needs sexually and emotionally, which he did, why would I seek someone else? The thing is, I wasn’t seeking. He kind of fell on my lap. And when something is in your lap, you touch it, you feel it. You ask yourself: is it tangible? Is it attainable? Is it good for me? If you can answer yes to those questions, you’re gonna try and keep it or hold on to it for a while. I flirted, nothing dirty, but a little scandalous, all in good fun. He was a co-worker of mine at a branch I was helping out at. I was the new girl. Not new to the profession, but new bait, so to speak. He had devilish good looks, dirty blonde hair pushed upwards and slightly off to the side, was very slim, but muscular, wore tight pants that showed his girth and very long length, his shoes always had a pointed toe, something I found somehow very attractive in a men’s dress shoe. He had a wicked smile, very coy. Drove a 2015 gray Ford Focus, the same car that Diego did; how ironic.
I wanted him. I had never been so deeply attracted to someone as I was to Justin. To this day, I see him from time and time again because I still bank with the corporation that I worked for, and every time I see him my heart drops to my knees and my hands become a little shaky. Fuck, I slept with the guy… MULTIPLE TIMES and never once did I not break out into hives on my chest due to nervousness. How this insatiable man wanted to sleep with little ole me, I have no clue. But I did it at the expense of my relationship with Diego. I had a man who I had been with for two years, had known for four, who I built my life with. I had a man who was going to marry me happily and be the father to our children some day. Maybe the reason people cheat is because we put too many expectations on relationships nowadays. This I still don’t know. I cheated on Diego with Justin because I was in a suicidal, hypo-manic spree. I was being reckless, a common trait of those who experience any sort of mania. I had a suicide plan. I had planned to walk to the Agate pass bridge and I planned to jump to my death. I planned to park at the park and ride that was 0.2 miles away and I was going to jump. It was 7 p.m. I was home alone til about 12:45 a.m. when Diego would get home from work. I was going to leave a note; a suicide note that said it was me, not him. And that I loved him. I didn’t know what I was going to say, I thought I would figure it out when I put pen to paper. I was texting two people: Diego and Justin. Diego texted me periodically due to the business of his work load at the store, but it wasn’t enough where I could confide in him my feelings in regard to my mania or my suicidal thoughts.
I was not even a year into my bipolar diagnosis when this happened. I didn’t have a real grasp of what mania was, but I understood the suicidal thoughts quite well. I knew I was going to make it through to tell the tale, but the reckless mistress inside my mind said to keep texting Justin. I held off on driving to the park and ride and I held off on writing the suicide note. I don’t remember who suggested it, but next thing I knew I was in the shower, put on the sexiest matching set of bra and panties that I owned, and I was driving my Jeep over to his house, about 15 minutes away from Diego and I’s home, and about 5 minutes away from where Diego worked. I pull in and see his Ford Focus, I couldn’t breathe. My chest was hot, filled with anxiety. He took me to the living room of his pristine home and watched as I undressed, his erection growing. He circled around me, taking every inch of me in. He looked and felt wherever he pleased; if I was wearing panties, they would have been soaked. My chest was red, I was very anxious and panic ridden. My only thought was “what if Diego finds out?” We had sex and that was the one thought that lingered in my mind as I rode in and out of euphoria.
All I can say is that I didn’t kill myself that night. It cost me everything. Not all at once, but slowly, my relationship was torn to shreds, my house was taken away from me, I paid rent to a place I no longer laid my head in at night. It cost me what would have been my marriage and our potential to have children together. It cost me the relationships that I built with his family. It cost me all of the friends that we had accrued together; they all took his side… obviously.
I cheated on Diego because of lust. Lust for another man whom I would never date or be with in a million years. Was I unhappy in my relationship with Diego? No. Was I unhappy? The answer to that was also no. Were there too many expectations from both of us in regard to our relationship? Maybe. Did I cheat due to bipolar? Although initially I blamed my cheating on this, and as I often say, bipolar gives a reason behind your actions, but not an excuse. I can’t be sure of the core of why I cheated on Diego, or even Jake for that matter. All I know now is that those relationships were not meant for me in the long run. They were meant to be a tool as a part of my growth on this journey; as a stepping stone, not as a destination.
Til next time,