April 21, 2005 8:26 pm

Infidelity

:note: Fear Factory – “Ascension”

After reading Tertia’s post about infidelity, I decided to write my own. Granted, my experience with infidelity is mostly very superficial and non-life-changing, but I still think I have something to say about the matter.

*****
I had a boyfriend in the fourth grade who “asked out” another girl while we were still “going out.” I didn’t speak more than probably three words to him for two years.
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In ninth grade, I dated a guy we’ll call “Tony” because Tony is his real name and “protecting the innocent” only carries weight when the person is in fact innocent. He wasn’t. So Tony he is.

Tony was pretty, um, defensive? I guess? and would get belligerent with my male friends and freak out at them if they gave me a hug. He told me not to hang out with them anymore. He’d constantly bring up ex-boyfriends I’d had and make me feel terrible about dating them. He’d tell me I should wear more yellow, because yellow was his favorite color. It didn’t matter that I didn’t like yellow, he did. So I should wear it.

(Side note: in Health class in 10th grade, we got a little card with about ten warning signs of domestic abuse, and I distinctly remember mentally marking off about 7 or 8 that definitely applied to him. Good thing he never hit me, I would have beat his ass.)

Tony had a best friend – a female friend – we’ll call S. Tony and S would hang out quite a bit, but I certainly didn’t have a problem with it because I had several male friends at the time and I got to hang out with them. Eventually though, I started suspecting that maybe they were doing a bit more than hanging out. I’d mention I saw S outside her house, and he’d start asking me all sorts of questions I didn’t know the answer to, like what time it was when I saw her and how many cars were in the driveway and what she was wearing and things like that. Weird stuff. I had a step-brother of a friend tell me that he saw Tony and S at the movies and they were making out in the back seats of the theater Tony worked at. This step-brother, however, has a history of lying, so then who do you believe? Finally, one of Tony’s best friends (whom I’ll call N) told me that Tony was definitely cheating on me with S. Tony’s friend J confirmed this. Now, I barely knew N or J. I had NO IDEA if either of them were trustworthy or not. I figured though, the fact that three basically random people who owed me NOTHING told me the same story, it had to be true.

I confronted him about it and he denied the whole thing. D-E-N-I-E-D it. All the way. He’d give me these huge, puppy-dog eyes and say, “You don’t think I’d actually DO that sort of thing, do you?” and while I totally did, I’d have to tell him no or else he’d try to persuade me for hours that “he really wasn’t that sort of person.”

Then he broke up with me, stating that “while he still liked me, he needed his space” and “didn’t want a girlfriend.” And still denied the accusations of cheating.

Then he confessed to cheating on me and started going out with S.

I could have killed him. He was trying to do the whole “player” thing, I guess, which I’ve always thought was incredibly stupid. Also, he used to shoplift designer brand underwear because he HAD to have them but didn’t want to spend the money. He’s the owner of the infamously idiotic “You’re going to fuck your shit up” quote – he said that to Star and I once, at a dance, after we had just come out of a makeshift mosh pit. He then started lecturing us on the importance of good “support” for our assets, citing that he wore tighty-whiteys because of their superior support (I guess in an effort to make his case more persuasive – we just thought it was funny and weird).

*****
I had another huge brush with infidelity on New Year’s Eve that year. I won’t go into any more detail than that, but I can definitely say that it was the most betrayed I have ever felt in my entire life. I’ve been hurt worse since then, but it still stands out to me as the time that I felt the most betrayed.
*****

And then there’s the whole incident that happened earlier this year. If you were reading my journal then, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I won’t explain it again.

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I can imagine that most (if not all) of you people reading this have had something similar happen to them. Or have actually been the cheating party. Do you think “once a cheater, always a cheater?” or do you think people can do it once and never do it again?

There was an article in the most recent Cosmopolitan magazine that I couldn’t put down. It was about “Emotional Infidelity.” It basically said that even if you haven’t slept with a friend or co-worker, you might still be “cheating” if you feel a closer emotional connection with them than you do your significant other. For example, you feel more excited about hanging out with them than you do with your SO, or you feel guilty about the time you spend with them, etc. I think that sort of cheating is much more common than you might think. And I think that’s sad.

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