This week, the tabloid press has been aflutter with news that Kristen Stewart (the star of the Twilight movies who thinks biting your lip while looking constipated is acting) cheated on her boyfriend of several years Robert Pattinson (her sparkly vampire co-star). Now, I couldn’t care less about these two people if I tried. But the whole situation spurred an interesting discussion on G-Chat about cheating.
Growing up in the home of a divorce attorney jaded me at an early age. Men cheated. Women cheated. Sometimes they felt guilty and confessed, sometimes they kept the secret for decades, more often than not, they chose to ignore what happened and press on anyway. But occasionally, they ended up in the parking lot of my Father’s office screaming it out.
It’s not that I believe every person is a cheater-in-waiting. Fidelity is possible. But it exists on a case-by-case basis.
Most of the women I know have been cheated on at some point or another by their boyfriends, fiances, husbands. In college, I unknowingly ended up the other woman. The man in question never mentioned that he had a girlfriend, and we ran in different circles so I didn’t know. We had been dating for awhile when I spotted them standing on a street corner in downtown.
Of course, being a hot head from the West, I confronted them. Not like a Real Housewife with obscenities blazing, but calmly with a look of righteous indignation on my face. Imagine my shock when I learned that even though I had no idea she existed, she knew that I did.
“There were girls before you, and they’ll be girls after you,” she told me. “He always comes home to me.”
After that experience, I vowed never to date anyone who had a history of cheating. I’m not talking about a single indiscretion, but a pattern of behavior. Anyone can make a mistake, but repeatedly making the same one is something else entirely. You might assume you’ll be the one he’s different with, but how many women assumed that before you?
I also vowed never to continue dating a man who cheated on me. This resolution came in handy some years later when I walked in on my then-boyfriend in bed with his ex-girlfriend. There was no need for drama, because I really felt like I only had one option. I never looked back.
Today, I’d like to hear your thoughts on fidelity. Have you been cheated on? Have you been the “other woman?” How did that effect your future relationships?
Do you think people can change or that infidelity is a behavior someone is doomed to repeat? And if someone cheated on you, do you think you could forgive them, or is it just over?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.