“We expect one person to give us what once an entire village used to provide, and we live twice as long.”
― Esther Perel, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based by my experience and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, am now or will be affiliated
February 8 – Manila, Philippines
An affair simply alerts us to a preexisting condition, either a troubled relationship or a troubled person. Someone is either cheating or being cheated on, offering advice to someone who is in the midst of having one and thinking about having an affair.
I was curious about infidelity because I have experienced it before. I was cheated on, a cheater and the woman who asked to complete the third. When it happened to me, I began searching on why people cheat, why are we part of a drama, why are we always cheated on.
I was 12 when I found out that one of the closest person in my life was stuck in an affair. At a young age, I did not fear talking about it to the people involved. All my questions were left unanswered back then. People did not talk to me after that and I was even told not to talk to old people about what I saw and that created a void in my heart for so long. I did not know until I was in therapy, I had masked this all my life that I was okay but I have avoided conflicts because I thought from a young age you should never speak your truth, how you felt and people’s perception of you matter so much. I became a people pleaser, pleasing everyone so they won’t get hurt.
When I was 30, I thought I was so matured enough to know haha but I was cheated on. I found out my ex was paying women to get laid on the very first month of relationship. I began searching about infidelity. I came across people who has deep understanding on the subject and that was the start of my journey of diving it on a different lens and later on discovering myself.
I don’t approve deception or take betrayal lightly. To understand infidelity does not mean I am justifying it. I am having compassion as I dive deep into this topic to people who was cheated on, who cheated, and the third. I have explored this – I talked to people, read books, my own experiences and by my own experiments (like a scientist haha).
The reasons why we are stuck in a drama, why we cheat and why we are cheated on in my lens.
1. It’s about us
I really love the quote from the movie Before Sunset the protagonist Jesse said “I feel like I’m running a small nursery with someone I used to date.” Our partners are not our saviors, before we met them they have a life of their own and so do you. We put all the responsibility to them but not to us and we ended up getting so hurt in the process. We must always improve and not to lose that part of us that we once were. Life is an endless process of self-improvement.
When we seek to gaze of another, it isn’t our partner we are turning away from, but the person we have become. So many people lost the part of themselves in relationships. They always say that we should always communicate our concerns to our partners but most of the time it always falls into deaf ears and judgement. Feeling insignificant for years may lead people to cheat, cheated on and be the third.
We always tend to minimize the importance of sex for the well being of the other. We eliminate fantasies as if they are a disgust to the society and as if it is a character flaw. But it is an issue that we never work through within ourselves. People are crying out for help and they are conflicted because too many people judge them for it. We define ourselves with such ridiculous remarks. Emotional and sexual rejection don’t get the same attention as the wanderings. But it is one of the main reasons why we find the other.
3. We are conflicting what trust means
Trust is always conflicted to mean safety. We thought that in order for us to trust we need to know. We need a guarantee, a security that our partners have our backs and not be so selfish to put their needs ahead of our feelings. But trust is not about that. Trust is the relationship to the unknown. That our partners are not our own – they are just a loan. They have options to renew or not. They can change and so can you. If we detached ourselves to the outcome and expectations (this is very hard I know but it is an ongoing process), we will find ways to be better for ourselves and so that it will inspire change in our outer world.
4. Open communication – honest and vulnerable
I believe that we should all be explorers – of the mind, emotions and in bed. People thought to save relationship, they have to open the relationship to others. For some this can be true and that is alright whatever works for the relationship than no alternative at all.
We are always into safety and comfort but it is never guaranteed. We must learn to live in uncertainties, the attractions, the fantasies – both our own and our partners’. When people feel free to talk honestly about their desires and ours we tend to become closer. When we validate each other’s freedom within the relationship, we may be less inclined to go looking elsewhere.
5. Relationships should always be reinvented
I believe that relationships especially marriages should be reinvented. We have too many parts of us that we need to work on. As per one of my favorite authors Esther Perel say “We go into relationships with too much expectations and our significance depends on our partners. We want our partners to provide what a whole village used to provide – stability, safety, mystery, adventure. We want them to give us continuity and give us surprise”. I totally agree with her.
There is a difference between desire and love and we conflict the two. When we love, we go towards the nurturing side and forgot about our allure, our mystery, the steamy sex and hot gaze. We always need to have different parts of us – the hot and caring, the smart and funny, the sexy and adventurous etc.
Sometimes we need to have that actual experience with people who can show us the feeling of human connection – it is what makes us feel that we matter, a taste of sweeter life so we can have the guts to go after it. Going after what we want may seem as a coward move but it can also be an act of courage – an act we long to have so we can follow it.
6. The forbidden always holds its allure
I thought having an open relationship and being polyamorous were the keys to successful relationship. But some of the people I know who are into these, they ended up still getting hurt because they have sex with someone else without telling their partners that it happened. We really find breaking the rules so enticing, it’s mystery and the novelty.
If we accept the fact that we are all going to be attracted to someone else and we have the choice to act on it or not – everything will be open and better. There is always difference between desire and love but we conflict the both.
7. There is no the one, but we believe there is.
I heard people recite their vows in weddings. I was surprised by the promises they gave each other because to be very honest, it’s not actually happening in real life. I believe that we will always find the one in every chapter of our lives, we thought that we are the only one. We will be married to one person twice or thrice.
8. The other person
This blog will not exist without them. We tend to judge them far too harshly than the people who cheated. People call them bitch, home wrecker. I see them as conflicted individuals who can’t see themselves for now because they deceive themselves to thinking that it is their only worth. They are single, gorgeous, best in their careers. Why are they choosing to stay? They were told that the relationship was on the rocks, divorce is finalizing, they were told that they were not married, kids will leave home soon, we have a lot of problem at home, no sex etc. To them they are saving the relationship, which for them is so romantic. We all have poor boundaries.
They are wasting their time waiting for the love that they were promised in a midst of chaos. We all wanted to be saviors. We were taught to be saviors – if I gave him more sex, maybe he would leave. Maybe, if I stay a little longer he’d leave them as he promised(blog). It’s okay. If you find yourself into one, take this as an experience but don’t judge who you are. The more you go deeper into knowing yourself, the more you realize there are other parts to who you are. I know this because I was also into one – when I thought I did not matter. When men came up to me for certain reasons like the above, I already know this is a waste of my time. The guy I want will want me for the whole of me and he will also give me the whole of him not just 25%. We are not held responsible for the issues of others, we are just running away from our own that’s why we have been there. But we all matter, it’s not too late to change.
Infidelity is a hot topic, I did not want to touch this for so long but it is a life process I want to know and overcome.
I’d like to end my blog by telling my 12 year old self “This is where you needed to be and it is going to be alright”. When it seems like our entire being has been hijacked because of what happened to us in our past or our self definition rests in the hands of the persons who did this to us, it is always important to remember that there are other parts to who we are. It’s not too late to change.
Maria, sometimes Niskie