To the Boy who Cheated on Her for Me

Dear Ms. Marist,

I just found out that the boy I’ve been hooking up with has a girlfriend. We’ve only been hooking up for a few weeks, but I think I may like him a little. He really makes me feel special. What should I do? Should I tell his girlfriend?

Dear Runaway Romantic,

First, I will give you a short answer and then I will give you a long answer. No, you should not see him again. No, you should not tell his girlfriend. I won’t give you a cliché response like, you are better than that or he’s horrible and doesn’t deserve you. Those are easy responses we give to complex situations. But, I will say this, he is doing something wrong and you are doing something right.

People who cheat are insecure of themselves and their relationship. Often times, you see this situation occur with the people or couple you least suspect. The confident smiley one or the bashful sensitive one, but it happens more often than you think. These people who cheat have no reverence for what is sacred and fundamental about a relationship, trust. If they can’t have trust or truth in their relationship how can you ever expect the same out of them. Everything they say will be laced with the bitterness of the actions they are committing. They will lie, even if they don’t know it, and, yes, they will cheat. That’s not to say they are not a good person. Good people constantly make bad choices that hurt themselves and others, but that does not mean they are not good. They become bad people when they are not able to admit to themselves or the to guilty party, what they’ve done. I digress for a moment; 

Picture a door that he’s about to walk out of. All you want to say is, “Stay, for just one hour, thirty minutes—five minutes longer! Make me feel special and I’ll make you feel special too. Hold me, talk to me, be with me, it’s the best part of my day!” But, you don’t. You watch him put on his shoes, throw on his jacket and open the door. He looks up at you, saying the same with his eyes, but not with his body. And then he leaves. The door shuts, the sound of its slam echoes through the space you are in, and you’re alone. In that moment, that is the best thing you can be.

If he can let you go, if he can cheat, then you know that there will never be anything there for a relationship. Consider yourself lucky to learn this lesson now. To ask questions and to emerge again stronger because of it. Don’t get strung along. Don’t get hung up on the words of being special, unique, important, whatever they say to you. They cheat, they lie, even if they are good. Therefore, no you should not see him again. No, you should not tell his girlfriend. He has to live with the guilt, not you. And trust me, some part of her probably already knows.

Sincerely, Ms. Marist

(P.S, If the girlfriend does ask you, tell her. Show her the truth he could never own up to)


Photo courtesy of Kate Beebe, 2019

Photo courtesy of Kate Beebe, 2019

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