I know what you’re thinking. If you’re a cheater you can’t also be a good person, right? Well to clarify, I’m a former cheater. ‘Reformed cheater’ as I affectionately like to refer to it. When I was cheating, I comforted myself by saying I was a good person doing shitty things. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t shitty in all aspects but cheating certainly took precedence, which in turn made me a mostly shitty person. Shades of gray people!
Once a Cheater Always a Cheater
If you cling to this adage, you need to shake the dust out of your panties. Believing this means you believe that people, all people are incapable of change. Yes, there are some cheaters that will never change, just like there are assholes that will never change and pushovers that will never change. There will be people who lie compulsively and people who drink too much. There are people that spend too much time in nightclubs and people who drink too much coffee.
Those people are just as equally capable, as well as incapable, of change.
In order to change, most people need a reason. In order to change something about their lives that’s become a regular habit (detrimental or not), most people need a really good reason. And maybe a kick in the ass or a Karmic slap to the face.
People change all the time and usually have a good reason for it. Maybe you eat terribly and your doctor tells you that you’re going to suffer from heart disease, or even die, if you don’t turn things around now. Maybe it’s become clear you’ll lose everything if you don’t quit drinking. Or maybe you stop sunbathing because you’re afraid of wrinkles.
Just like everyone else, someone who cheats, can change.
5 Ways Cheating Made Me a Better Person
1. I Hide Nothing
Lying, cheating and hiding a completely separate life is exhausting. Jumping on your phone every time it buzzes, explaining where you were and who you were with (in a way that sounds reasonable), deleting, password protecting–it’s all a lot of work. When I made the decision to stop cheating, the decision to be honest and open had to come with it, too. I no longer have a password on my phone and will leave it in another room entirely at points. My Facebook and email are left open on my laptop and I only delete things because I don’t need/want them, rather than to hide them. I also am forthcoming about where I am and who I’m with. Since I’m not doing anything wrong, there’s no need to lie.
It’s incredibly freeing to be an open book. Speaking of book, my boyfriend knows all about mine, Unfaithfully Yours: Confessions of a Cheating Bitch (currently on tour at Indie Chick Lit) and while it was difficult to swallow at first, he’s now understanding of my past and trusts me completely.
2. I’m More Direct
Rather than looking outside my relationship to be fulfilled in certain areas, I now ask for what I need within it. Sure, I used to ask for what I wanted, (while also guilt tripping and threatening). When I didn’t get it I’d throw a fit and most likely look to another man to fill those gaps. If those needs were met, it didn’t last long and the temporary fill ended up leaving me feeling empty.
I’ve learned to be honest about my needs and wants as well as to be realistic about receiving them. I’m patient with my boyfriend and know that he can’t change overnight, so rather than demand instant gratification; I acknowledge his progress. The reward of getting what I need from him is infinitely more satisfying than a temporary high from a random man.