I had in my hands more stuff than I could carry. My bag felt, heavy. Suddenly, I dropped everything and collapsed onto his living room floor, sobbing. Sociopath made a movement to hug me and I threw a shoe at him and screamed at him to never touch me again. He just stood there with that “deer in the headlights” look. In between sobs and gasps for air I heard phrases such as “I don’t want to lose you”, “You are my best friend”, “I never meant to hurt you”.
We met at a national church retreat when we were 18 years old. We instantly clicked and were the best of friends. At age 28, he told me he was in love with me and was moving to DC. After ten years, we were finally in a “relationship.” The relationship was good. My friends adored him and just knew that “he was the one.” I was happy. Then suddenly, I found the thread. Not a real thread, a metaphorical one. I do not feel that I need to go into all of the details of what happened with Sociopath and me. Instead, I’ll tell the story like this: I found a thread that looked out-of-place and I pulled at it and the more I pulled at it the more everything frayed and unraveled until, at the end of the string, I found…her. Apparently, she had been there for a year.
I’m sure women cheat on men, but it’s not Sociopath sobbing on the living room floor, so I’m going to talk about this from my point of a view – which is that of a woman being cheated on by a man. In a study conducted by the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, it was found that 60% of men have, or will, cheat on their significant others. The reasons cited vary: boredom, the woman lost her looks, nagging woman, feeling misunderstood, excitement, started the relationship too young. To me, those all boil down to one thing: complete bullshit. For each of those reasons, there is an alternative action that the man can take and those alternatives boil down to: communicate or break up (basically, man up!). If you don’t want to be with someone, then don’t. If you do want to be with them, but are unhappy with something, fix it. It really IS that simple. Cheating is never an acceptable course of action.
Five years have passed and, when I look back on it, I realize that I wasn’t sobbing because I was sad that I was leaving. I didn’t, for one second, want someone who could do that to anyone. I wasn’t sobbing because I was sad that the relationship was over. I was actually relieved. If Sociopath had simply communicated, at any point, that he was unhappy, we could have addressed it. If Sociopath had decided to just end it before he started down the road with her – I would have been on my merry way long ago and not a mess on his living room floor. I was sobbing because I was made to look the fool because I had been disrespected by the person I trusted more than anyone.
Yesterday, it was announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child by a member of his staff nearly 10 years ago. Today, his wife broke her silence and said that she was extremely hurt – not by the affair, not by the end of the marriage even – but by the disrespect. Disrespect is worse than a break up, it’s the ultimate hurt.
Sociopath was holding out his hand to me saying that we could “fix things” if I just gave him a chance. I looked at him, reached out my hand…and gave him his key. Without looking back, I picked up my bag and walked out the door. I manned up. It was the best decision of my life.